Continuous US hype of COVID-19 pandemic ‘lab-leak’ theory escalates tensions in China-US relations: observers
Published: Mar 09, 2023 10:01 PM
COVID-19 testing Photo: VCG

COVID-19 testing Photo: VCG

The continuous hype of the COVID-19 pandemic "lab-leak" theory by US politicians poses threats and escalates tensions in China-US relations, Chinese observers said on Thursday, following the US House staging its first ever politicized hearing on the origins of COVID-19. 

Following the "low confidence" report from the US Energy Department that concluded the "COVID-19 pandemic most likely arose from a laboratory leak," the US House Oversight Committee gathered several politicians and the former US CDC director to hold a so-called hearing on Wednesday (US time) on the topic of an attempt to dig out the truth of the COVID-19 origins, according to a VOA report. 
Obviously, the hearing disappointed a broader range of scientists. "It was very disappointing, and almost unbelievably divorced from the science," University of Arizona evolutionary biologist Michael Worobey was quoted by Science on Wednesday in an article titled "Science takes back seat to politics in first House hearing on origin of COVID-19 pandemic."  

Meanwhile, some congressmen including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul sent a letter to the US Department of Energy in which they urged transparency from government agencies relating to origins of the pandemic "as a means of rebuilding trust with the American people."
The international community clearly sees what the US has been doing on the tracing of COVID-19 origins - politicizing, weaponizing  and instrumentalizing the issue, and busily involving the intelligence community and politicians, hyping the "lab-leak" theory without any grounds, smearing China and poisoning the atmosphere of global scientific tracing of the origins, said Mao Ning, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry, at Thursday's press briefing.

The main reason for the obstruction of scientific research on global origins tracing is the political manipulation of the US, Mao noted. 

Apart from pointing fingers at the WHO's origins tracing, politically suppressing scientists, and attacking and discrediting other countries with illogical lies, the US has so far not taken any responsibility for the COVID-19 origins, Mao noted. 

The US never invited the WHO to send a team of experts to the US for origins tracing or provided any early data, but turned a deaf ear to concerns of the international community about Fort Detrick in the US and its military biological bases around the world, the spokesperson said.

The hearing continued the farce of hyping the groundless "lab-leak" theory among US politicians. The repeated move by the US makes the current escalation in China-US relations more challenging regarding risk management between the two countries, warned Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University.

Through the repeated hype, the US attempts to sway more forces to join its camp to smear China with political tricks and in the name of security. Such manipulation causes huge harm, which we cannot make light of, Li told the Global Times on Thursday. 

The Biden administration seems to have never tired of hyping China threats, even on the topic of COVID-19 origins, and it attempts to divert the attention of the international community and offset China's influence, Lü Xiang, research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. 

"China's position on the origins tracing of the coronavirus is consistent. We have always supported and participated in global scientific tracing, and we firmly oppose any form of political manipulation," Mao said. 

The politicization of the origins tracing has made the science-based investigation difficult to conduct, hindering the efforts of scientists, virologists and health experts around the world to find the truth, a Chinese member of the WHO-China joint team told the Global Times previously.