China called on the United States on Wednesday to invite the World Health Organization to investigate the causes of the COVID-19 outbreak there as the battle over the pandemic continued after the WHO completed its fieldwork in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Hours after the WHO team announced preliminary results at a press conference in Wuhan on Tuesday, Washington said it wanted to review the data used by the team, which concluded that the virus that causes COVID-19 is not out a laboratory in Wuhan and that bats remain a likely source.
“We would like the US side, like China, to take an open and transparent stance and invite WHO experts to the US to conduct investigations and tracing inspections,” said Wang Wenbin, spokesman for the Chinese State Department, in a regular daily Meeting. Repeat a recent call.
The origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which first emerged in Wuhan in late 2019, are heavily politicized, and China is pushing the idea that the virus has roots outside its borders.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the Biden administration was not involved in “planning and conducting” the WHO investigation and wanted an independent review of its findings and underlying data.
“The US is independently reviewing WHO data? It is WHO that should review the US data,” said Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a tabloid of the ruling Communist Party’s official people’s newspaper, on a social media platform Weibo.
“Have we all misheard or is this speaker really that shameless?”
Peter Ben Embarek, head of the WHO-led team that spent four weeks in China – two of them in quarantine – said the investigation did not dramatically change the picture of the outbreak, despite the fact that the virus crossed borders before arriving in Wuhan could have exceeded.
In addition to ruling out a laboratory leak, he said frozen foods could potentially be a means of transmitting the virus, which would support a Beijing-backed thesis that has traced some case clusters back to imported food packaging.
The WHO conclusion “completely refutes the conspiracy theory of some anti-China hawks such as former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who accused the Wuhan Institute of Virology of leaking the virus,” wrote the Global Times.
Pompeo said there was “substantial evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory.
Chinese officials have stressed over the past few months that the virus may have appeared in several regions outside of China.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)