TRACING COVID-19 ORIGINS / EP
12 nations reporting 'patient zero' from US among 7 reasons to probe it on virus origins: Chinese FM
Published: Aug 27, 2021 07:29 PM
EVALI Photo:GT

File photo



Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson listed seven reasons for the US to invite the World Health Organization (WHO) for COVID-19 origins investigation on Friday, including vaping-related lung disease patients in 2019 having the similar symptoms with COVID-19, evidence of infection in five states which appeared back in December 2019 and 12 countries claiming their COVID-19 "patient zero" was imported from the US, following a US official's claim that there was no reason for a US investigation. 

Instead of thinking about how to control the epidemic in the US and save people's lives, some US politicians are trying to pass the buck for their own failure of COVID-19 response to China with a set-up intelligence report, which will only set back and undermine international virus tracing efforts and global cooperation against the epidemic, spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at Friday's media briefing. 

US' claims that China refused to provide necessary information was only an excuse to cover up its failure in leveraging intelligence to trace the virus origins, Zhao said. 

He asked the US whether the following seven reasons were considered as "reasons" for the US, since the US claimed it would support a US investigation if there were reasons. 

First, the symptoms of vaping-related lung disease outbreak in Wisconsin in July 2019 were highly similar with COVID-19. Can this be a reason? 

Second, according to the US NIH website, research has shown evidence of infection in five states appeared back in December 2019. Can this be a reason?

Third, US government officials sealed blood samples collected before January 2, 2020 from further testing on national security grounds. 

Fourth, Florida had published data of 171 early cases occurred in January and February 2020, only for the related data to be later removed.  

Fifth, there were around 200 netizens from the US or countries connected to the US claiming that they or others suspected that they were infected with COVID-19 as early as November 2019. 

Sixth, 12 countries including Costa Rica and Kenya, have publicly identified their COVID-19 "patient Zero" was imported from the US. 

Biosafety protective suits for handling viral diseases are hung up outside a chemical decontamination room in a biosafety level 4 training facility at Fort Detrick Photo: AP

Biosafety protective suits for handling viral diseases are hung up outside a chemical decontamination room in a biosafety level 4 training facility at Fort Detrick Photo: AP



Seventh, Fort Detrick and University of North Carolina both have poor safety records when it comes to coronavirus research. Fort Detrick was shut down by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after a serious security incident in the fall of 2019, just before the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The US should face up to legitimate questions raised by the international community, and invite the WHO to conduct a review of Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina to trace the source of the virus and disclose the original data of early cases in the US since it's confident that it had no problem. If the US refuses to accept these conditions, it will only further expose the true face of politicizing the virus origins tracing, Zhao said. 

Zhao's seven reasons came after Reuters citing an anonymous US official said if there were sound, technically credible reasons for a US investigation, the US would support it. "But there are none," the official said. 

China on Tuesday for the first time officially demanded the WHO investigate Fort Detrick lab and the University of North Carolina through diplomatic channels, as Chen Xu, Permanent Representative of China to the UN Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland, on Tuesday sent a letter to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the WHO, asking the WHO to conduct an investigation in the two US locations during the next round of virus origins investigation in the spirit of fairness and justice. The letter is attached to a petition signed by more than 25 million Chinese netizens sent to the WHO demanding an investigation into the Fort Detrick lab. 

Global Times 

Despite some US official claiming that there is no reason for a US-based investigation on virus origins, these questionable points need to be answered.

Despite some US official claiming that there is no reason for a US-based investigation on virus origins, these questionable points need to be answered.


 

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