A global altercation intensified amid renewed calls for an inquiry into the origins of the Covid pandemic on Thursday, in which Beijing accused the Biden administration of playing politics and evading responsibility, even as the US president promised to release the results of the US intelligence community investigation of the case.
On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered intelligence officials to “double” their efforts to investigate the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, including a possibility that the trail could lead to a laboratory in China’s Wuhan.
A day later, China said the United States was playing politics. Its foreign ministry said researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) had already said the theory of “label leakage” was unlikely. The ministry rejected the theory that the virus could have leaked from a laboratory as a “conspiracy”. “Some people in the United States completely ignore facts and science,” said State Department spokesman Zhao Lijian.
Biden later promised to publish the results of the intelligence community’s investigation into the origin of Covid-19, including the possibility of a leak from the Wuhan Virology Laboratory in China, unless it contained something he “was not aware of”. He previously ordered the community to “double their efforts to gather and analyze information that could bring us closer to a final conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days”.
He added: “As part of this report, I have asked for areas of further research that may be needed, including specific issues for China.” “The majority of the elements do not believe that there is sufficient information to assess that one (theory) is more likely than the other,” the US president said.
Zhao said the United States ranks first globally in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and fatalities, which have reached about 33 million and 600,000, respectively. He said the United States should accept the WHO-led international inquiry.
“The US side claims that it wants China to participate in a comprehensive, transparent, evidence-based international inquiry,” Zhao said. “We would like to ask the United States to do the same as China and immediately cooperate with the World Health Organization on research into trace of origin in a scientific way.”
Zhao said the administration’s stance came in “in total disregard of facts and science … while completely ignoring doubts about the origin tracing work and failure of pandemic response in the United States”.
“This fully shows that the American side does not care about facts and truth, nor is it interested in serious scientific tracing of origin, but wants to use the epidemic to engage in stigma and political manipulation and to evade responsibility, said Zhao.