COVID-19 origins tracing ought to expand to multiple countries, including US: NHC
Published: Aug 29, 2021 12:01 PM
Zeng Yixin,deputy minister of China’s National Health Commission

Zeng Yixin,deputy minister of China’s National Health Commission

It’s bewildering that the US government has mobilized its intelligence apparatus, instead of professional institutes, to probe origins of the novel coronavirus, a senior official from China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said in response to US’ inconclusive intelligence report on probing the coronavirus origins. 

The official also said that China supports the expansion of the coronavirus origins tracing to comprise probes into multiple countries, including the US. 

The remarks were made by Zeng Yixin, deputy minister of the NHC during an exclusive interview, who said that tracing origins of COVID-19 is a “scientific job”. Therefore, the Chinese government has always stated that the job should be conducted in a scientific way, and China opposes politicizing it.

The US report on the COVID-19 origins, concocted by US intelligence teams and partially released on Friday, said the US intelligence community "remains divided on the most likely origin of COVID-19."

Zeng reiterated that upholding the principles of openness, transparency, science and cooperation is necessary. 

China has fully cooperated with high-level WHO experts during their trips to Wuhan earlier this year. The experts “visited wherever they wanted to visit and met with whoever they wanted to meet”, said the NHC official, noting that the WHO-China joint report released afterwards outlined several possibilities of COVID-19 origins, and the WHO experts thought the lab leak theory as “extremely unlikely.”

In order to facilitate next-stage coronavirus origins investigation, Chinese experts also submitted proposals to WHO experts in July this year, according to Zeng.

Coronavirus origins probe is a complicated scientific job, which should only be conducted by scientists worldwide, said Zeng. He said that the US should realize that the coronavirus is the common enemy of humanity, and should treat the origins probe as a scientific problem. 

Zeng also said scientists should be encouraged to work together, and conduct coronavirus origins tracing in multiple countries, including the US. 
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