US should invite WHO experts to investigate virus origins, just as China did: FM
US should invite WHO experts to investigate virus origins, just as China has: FM
Published: Feb 02, 2021 04:09 PM

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin. Photo: VCG

While a WHO expert team for virus origins-tracing in Wuhan visited a number of places, including hospitals, that reported early COVID-19 cases in China, the Huanan Seafood market, local CDCs and reportedly an animal health facility, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the Chinese government has provided vigorous help to the WHO team and China has always been open and transparent in terms of its response to COVID-19, urging the US to also open up to the work of tracing coronavirus origins.

The WHO experts have been to China three times, and held communications with their Chinese counterparts on relevant topics, while this trip is part of the global science and research work on tracing the virus' origins, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a routine press conference on Tuesday. 

"The Chinese government has provided vigorous help and support to the WHO expert team [in Wuhan] and Chinese experts have shared a great deal of information and research results with them while helping deepen exchanges with the scientists," Wang said, noting that they have already had multiple rounds of deep interactions on scientific questions, which has been positively received by WHO experts. 

Tracing the origins of the virus is a complicated scientific question involving many countries and places as well as many clues, and some evidence suggested that the outbreak occurred in the second half of 2019 in many other places around the world, the spokesperson noted. 

"For example, a US CDC report said in December 2019, some blood samples of Americans tested positive for antibodies of COVID-19, which means the epidemic might have occurred at that time, earlier than the first COVID-19 case reported in the country, which was January 21, 2020," he said. 

Chinese officials have repeatedly urged the US government to hold an open and transparent attitude to the question of the virus origins-tracing. 

Another spokesperson of the ministry, Hua Chunying, said on January 18 that if the US truly respects science and facts, it should open the biological lab at Fort Detrick, give more transparency to issues like its 200-plus overseas bio-labs, invite WHO experts to conduct origin-tracing in the US, and respond to the concerns from the international community with real actions.