Some people in US may have ulterior intentions on COVID-19 origins tracing: Chinese FM spokesperson
Published: Jul 22, 2021 08:46 PM
Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian is making remarks at a routine press briefing on July 8. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian

Some people in the US may really have ulterior motives on the origins tracing of COVID-19, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Thursday, urging the US to give a reasonable explanation for its suspicious attitudes and behaviors in terms of virus origins tracing.

American journal Vanity Fair in June revealed an internal warning from the US government, which said "not to pursue an investigation into the origins of COVID-19" because it would open "a can of worms if it continued," Zhao mentioned at a regular press conference on Thursday.

In fact, the US has remained silent on the serious concerns of the international community about its Fort Detrick laboratory, and more than 200 American biological labs outside the US, Zhao said.

The US side must understand that the international community including China has every reason to raise questions about Fort Detrick, to demand clarification and explanation from the US, and to call on the World Health Organization (WHO) to conduct a thorough investigation into Fort Detrick, which is notorious for its wrongdoings such as violating operations and contaminant leakage, said Zhao.

"These are not only for the origins tracing of COVID-19, but also for the safety of people around the world," he noted. "The doubts will not end until the US gives a reasonable explanation."

In Italy, scientists from two laboratories wrote in a news paper published on Monday that they found the presence of antibodies, which are normally observed after coronavirus infections, among a small number of pre-pandemic blood samples they retested, Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

For some time now, there have been an increasing number of reports saying that COVID-19 cases emerged in many parts of the world in the second half of 2019, Zhao said. In the US alone, at least five states saw COVID-19 infections before the US' first confirmed case was officially reported, he added.

These once again show that the origin-tracing work of COVID-19 is a complex scientific issue that should be carried out by global scientists in cooperation based on a global perspective, Zhao said.

Nonetheless, some people in the US, turning a blind eye to science and facts, are obsessed with political manipulation, said Zhao. These people hype up the so-called "lab leak theory," and suppress and threaten experts and scholars who make an objective and rational voice, attempting to shift responsibility for their disappointing COVID-19 response through discrediting other countries, he said.

US chief immunologist Anthony Fauci responded to Senator Rand Paul's comment of COVID-19 being leaked from Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) on Tuesday, saying he "totally resents the lie" that Paul is "now propagating," reported the Washington Post the next day.

"Some individuals in the US put politics above science and political personal gains above people's lives and health, which is also a crucial reason for the country's weak response to the pandemic," Zhao remarked.

Chinese health authority and officials from WIV slammed the "lab-leak" theory at a media briefing on Thursday, stressing that no staff of the WIV have been infected with COVID-19, and the WIV has no viruses that can directly infect human beings.

China has submitted phase-II COVID-19 origins-tracing recommendations to the WHO, Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, said at the briefing. China believed the study should be based on the WHO-China joint study, and it should be carried out in many more places around the world after full consultations with member states, Zeng noted.

Global Times