September 23, 2021

China says WHO plans to audit ‘arrogant’ labs

China said on Thursday that there was “disrespect” and “arrogance towards science” at the start of the corona virus epidemic as part of further investigations into equipping Chinese laboratories as proposed by the WHO.

Last week, the World Health Organization said the second phase of an international investigation should include an audit of Chinese labs, amid mounting pressure from the United States to investigate a biotech lab in Wuhan.

The proposal, presented by WHO chief Tedros Azanom Grebesis, included “audits of relevant laboratories and research institutes working in the field of early human affairs identified in December 2019” – citing the Chinese city of Wuhan. Are

China Lab
China has in recent days been accused by the WHO of failing to share the necessary raw data during the first phase of the Kovid source investigation. Photo: AFP / Hector Retail

But Chinese Deputy Health Minister Zheng Yixon told reporters on Thursday that he was “extremely surprised” by the plan, which he described as “irrational and arrogant.”

The United States has criticized the Chinese position, which White House Press Secretary Jane Sackie called “irresponsible and clearly dangerous.”

“This is not the time to be stoned,” he added.

Long ridiculed as a right-wing conspiracy theory and vehemently rejected by Beijing, the idea that the Covid 19 emerged from a lab leak is gaining momentum.

Wuhan Laboratory
Yuan Zhiming, director of the National Biosafety Laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, says that since the lab opened in 2018, “there have been no pathogen leakages or infection in staff.” Photo: AFP / Hector Retail

Beijing has repeatedly insisted that a joint WHO-China mission in January, citing the end of its arrival in Wuhan in January, has expressed a “highly unlikely” leak.

Meanwhile, Chinese officials and state media have put forward an alternative theory that the virus could have escaped from a U.S. military research lab in Fort Dietrich, Maryland.

The nationalist tabloid Global Times said it had collected five million signatures from Chinese web users on a request for an American lab investigation.

Top officials have also speculated that the virus may have been imported with frozen food.

Wuhan Laboratory
China has in recent days been accused by the WHO of failing to share the necessary raw data during the first phase of its investigation into the Kovid origin. Photo: AFP / Hector Retmal

Since the lab opened in 2018, “there have been no pathological leaks or staff infections,” Yuan Zhiming, director of the National Biosafety Laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, told a news conference Thursday.

Zheng responded by saying “rumors” about the lab, insisting that he had “never done useful research on the corona virus and that there was no so-called man-made virus.”

His comments were about research that is quite prominent in theories about possible lab leaks.

China has in recent days faced allegations from the WHO that it did not share the necessary raw data during the first phase of the investigation, with Tedros urging Beijing to move on to the second phase. Be transparent, free and cooperative. “

Tedros on Friday called for more study of animal markets in and around Wuhan.

The UN health agency is pushing for a new and more in-depth investigation into how the disease, which has killed more than 400,000 people worldwide, first came to light.

The WHO was able to send a team of independent, international experts to Wuhan in January alone, more than a year after the first appearance of the Covid 19 there, helping Chinese counterparts investigate the onset of the epidemic. Helped to do.

Thursday’s remarks come ahead of US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s visit to China over the weekend to address strained relations between the two countries.

The high-level visit, chaired by President Joe Biden, comes amid tensions between the two powers over issues including the onset of epidemics, human rights and cybersecurity.

Copyright AFP. All rights reserved.

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