Experts worldwide oppose politicizing COVID-19 origins, urge impartial scientific research
Published: Aug 13, 2021 11:44 PM
File photo:Xinhua

File photo:Xinhua

Experts and officials from various countries have strongly opposed politicizing the COVID-19 origin-tracing, calling for impartial scientific investigations into the origin in multiple territories.

COVID-19 is "the common enemy of the entire humanity regardless of nationality, color or shape," Philippine presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told a televised news conference earlier in August.

"It is important that the world link arms to fight this. The problem is if we politicize this, it becomes a hindrance to our efforts to combat this," Roque said.

At a press conference following the meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs held in June, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that politicians "shouldn't strive to score points and increase their popularity by speculating about the COVID-19 situation."

The investigation led by the U.S. intelligence community into COVID-19's origins has a clear end-goal of diverting attention from the country's pandemic response failures and casting blame on China, said Andrey Kortunov, director general of the Russian International Affairs Council.

For his part, Maltese Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo said that any politicization of COVID-19 origin-tracing should be resisted.

"Let's try and find out why it happened and how it happened, but it should be based on evidence. We shouldn't play politics with health," he said.

Meanwhile, researchers and observers have noted that origin-tracing studies should be conducted in multiple countries, as credible reports raised by experts of different countries point to COVID-19 incidences in their territories earlier than the end of 2019.

"Scientists should be allowed to get to the bottom of this, and the net should be cast wider with probes being undertaken in multiple locations," said Eric Biegon, a multimedia journalist with Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.

Herman Laurel, a columnist for social news website Sovereign P.H., said the World Health Organization should probe the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

He said the facility was ordered to be closed after it disposed of "dangerous materials believed to have caused strange 'vaping sickness' and the 'strange flu' in the U.S. at that time."

An online petition launched in the Philippines last week to investigate the Fort Detrick biolab has obtained nearly 500 signatures.

A number of people, mainly from the United States, have recounted their experiences on social media about novel coronavirus infections in late 2019.

People should be patient, deliberating and consider all the evidence in terms of COVID-19 origin-tracing, said Stephen Winchester, consultant virologist at Berkshire and Surrey Pathology Services.

The origin of the virus can only be determined by results of impartial scientific investigations, Winchester noted.

"It is a very important area of study establishing this origin, but it takes time, and needs to really weigh up all the evidence," said the virologist.