President Joe Biden’s administration is “deeply disappointed” in China’s decision to reject yet another call from the World Health Organization (WHO) for further investigation into the origins of COVID-19, a U.S. official exclusively told the Daily Caller Friday.
The U.S. and its allies have for months called on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to open up to a more transparent “phase 2” investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, but so far to no avail. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu rejected yet another WHO request at a press briefing Friday, arguing that the U.S. and other nations were looking to “politicize” the pandemic. (RELATED: House Republicans: ‘Significant Circumstantial Evidence’ COVID-19 Originated From Wuhan Lab Leak)
“The findings and recommendations of the WHO-China joint study report are widely recognized by the international community and scientists, and must be respected and implemented by all parties, including WHO,” Ma said of the request. “The future work of global origin-tracing should and must proceed from that basis, instead of reinventing the wheel.”
“No country has the right to put its own political interests above people’s lives, nor should a matter of science be politicized for the purpose of slandering and attacking other countries,” Ma added.
The Biden administration rejects China’s assertion that the international community is satisfied with the original joint WHO-China report on the virus’ origins, however. The original investigation was fraught with issues that made their way into the final report.
“Alongside other WHO Member States around the world, we continue to call for the PRC to provide the needed access to data and samples. This is critical so we can understand how to prevent the next pandemic,” the official told the Caller. “This is about saving lives in the future and it’s not a time to be stonewalling. We owe it to our people and people all around the world to look thoroughly and apolitically into the origins.”
“The early days of the pandemic were irrefutably in China; yet China continues to obfuscate and deny the international community the needed access,” the official added.
The original team of WHO researchers arrived in Wuhan well over a year after COVID-19 first emerged in the city in November 2019. The team wasn’t able to gather its own samples and instead relied on human and animal samples gathered by Chinese scientists.
Scientists from the U.S., EU, Australia and Japan signed an open letter highlighting the need for Chinese transparency at the end of July.
I join Dr. Cathy Foley, Australia’s Chief Scientist; @GabrielMariya; Dr. UEYAMA Takahiro, Executive Member, Council for Science, Technology, and Innovation of Japan; and Drs. MATSUMOTO Yoichiro and KANO Mitsunobu, S&T Advisors to the Japanese Foreign Minister on the below letter. pic.twitter.com/4rHB9YD3t3
— Eric Lander (@EricLander46) July 27, 2021
The rise of the “lab-leak” theory has taken center stage in calls for investigation into the origins of COVID-19. The theory, which was initially dismissed as a conspiracy by establishment media, posits that the virus accidentally leaked out of the coronavirus research lab in Wuhan. Some experts argue this is just as or more likely than the competing theory that COVID-19 naturally transferred from wild bats to humans through some intermediary. (RELATED: Did Coronavirus Come From A Lab? Ten Key Takeaways From A Shocking New Report)