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News Bulletin
No.6, 2021
2021/07/02

Politicization of COVID-19 Should be Rejected

The past year and more have seen repeated resurgence of the coronavirus and the pandemic is still wreaking havoc. Since the very beginning, China has been joining hands with all other countries in an effort to pull through the tough time together. China has launched the largest emergency humanitarian operation since the founding of the People's Republic of China, and supported global economic recovery and post-pandemic reconstruction, contributing China's part to the building of a global community of health for all.

At the moment, staying united to fight the pandemic is still the pressing priority for the world. However, some countries have recently been renewing their efforts in politicizing on the COVID-19 origin tracing issue. Instead of upholding science, reason and objectivity in advancing the research of COVID-19 origins, they keep hyping up the "lab leak theory" and relentlessly attacking China.

China has made clear its serious and responsible attitude toward origin-tracing and has taken the lead in collaborating with WHO on global origin-tracing. Since last year, China has twice invited WHO experts (including those from the US, UK, Japan and Australia etc.) to China for joint study of origins. In March, 2021, the WHO released the origin-tracing study report of the China-WHO joint mission, drawing a clear conclusion that lab leak is extremely unlikely. The report was co-authored by more than 30 top global experts in various fields, which is widely representative and highly professional.

It's common understanding that the origin-tracing of COVID-19 must not be politicized and that it must be based on science, conducted through cooperation and proceeded with global collaboration. WHO experts also pointed out that future origin-tracing should be conducted in multiple countries and regions instead of bounding to one location.

Many scientists in the international community, including Dr. Danielle Anderson, a former Assistant Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School who once worked in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, have expressed unequivocal opposition to politicizing the origin-tracing by some in the US. Dr. Anderson said that she's dumbfounded by the portrayal of the lab by some media outside China, and the toxic attacks on scientists that have ensued. Dr. Anderson pointed out that there were strict protocols and requirements at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and entering and exiting the facility was a carefully choreographed endeavor. Responding to the Wall Street Journal report which claimed three researchers from the lab were hospitalized with flu-like symptoms in November 2019, she said no one she knew at the Wuhan institute was ill toward the end of 2019.

Besides, Massimo Galli, head of the Infectious Diseases Unit at the University of Milan-affiliated Luigi Sacco Hospital in Milan, Italy, said that the coronavirus is an unknown virus with no signs of genome engineering inside and the "lab-leak" theory has no scientific basis at all. Galli and three other Italian experts believe that the virus is 99% likely to be the result of natural spillover.

Facts have proved time and again that the accusation of "Wuhan laboratory leaking the novel coronavirus" has no factual basis. But some people in the US have been clamoring for intelligence-led investigation in disregard of science and facts. It is reported that the US experts on the coronavirus origins task force of the authoritative medical journal the Lancet are under "threat", and the chair of the task force is even "pressured" to ask the experts on the task force to renounce the "bat-spillover" theory, which is underpinned by ample scientific evidence, and turn to support the "lab leak" theory. Some experts may have to resign in order to uphold their scientific positions.

It violates the spirit of science, undermines global cooperation in origin tracing and defiles human justice for certain people and certain countries to sinisterly force scientists to bow to their hegemony, bullying and coercion. Relevant countries and people should immediately halt their politicization of origins study out of their hidden political agenda because such practices are immoral, unpopular and doomed to failure.

Origin-tracing is vital to the global fight against the pandemic, and concerns the well-being of the entire humanity. As a responsible major country, China will continue to, with a science-based, open and transparent attitude, actively support and participate in the global origin-tracing research, and steadily make new contributions to this endeavor.

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