China says US COVID origin report is not credible – Community News
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China says US COVID origin report is not credible

SHANGHAI, Nov. 1 (Reuters) – A declassified US intelligence agency report stating that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have originated in a lab is unscientific and not credible, China’s foreign ministry spokesman said. , Wang Wenbin, in a statement on Sunday.

The updated U.S. intelligence briefing, published Saturday, said a natural origin and a lab leak were both plausible hypotheses to explain how SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, first infected humans. but that the truth may never be known. read more

Commenting on the website of China’s Foreign Ministry website on Sunday, Wang said that “a lie repeated a thousand times is still a lie,” adding that US intelligence agencies “have a reputation for fraud and deceit”.

“Tracking the origin of the novel coronavirus is a serious and complex issue that must and can only be explored through the collaboration of global scientists,” he said.

China has consistently denied allegations that the virus was leaked from a specialized lab in the city of Wuhan, where COVID-19 was first diagnosed in late 2019.

Wang also reiterated China’s call on the United States to open its own laboratory at Fort Detrick to international experts.

Wuhan Institute of Virology’s P4 lab is seen behind a fence during the visit of the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origin of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Wuhan, Hubei province , China on February 3. 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File photo

WUHAN LABS

A joint study by China and the World Health Organization (WHO), published this year, ruled out the theory that COVID-19 originated in a lab, saying the most likely hypothesis was that it infected humans naturally, probably through the wildlife trade.

Critics said the study did not examine Wuhan labs and examine the raw data needed to understand the virus’ early transmission routes.

The WHO established a new Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO) last month and called on China to provide the raw data to aid any new research. China has refused, citing patient privacy rules. read more

In an open letter to WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last week, a group of scientists critical of the organization said that while they welcomed a new investigation into the origins of COVID-19, the proposed SAGO panel composition did not. possessed the necessary skills and impartiality.

On Monday, WHO unexpectedly announced that it was reopening applications for its SAGO panel for three days, seeking experts in social sciences, anthropology, ethics, political science and biosafety/biosafety.

It did not say whether any of the 26 previously announced nominees had dropped out or whether the panel was being expanded. The list was published on October 13, followed by a two-week public consultation period for feedback.

Reporting and writing by David Stanway; additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Gareth Jones

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