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US' politicization of virus origin hurting the world

By Seymur Mammadov | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-07-26 11:57
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A few days ago, the permanent representatives of 48 countries to the UN Office at Geneva appealed to the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressing support for further study of the coronavirus on a global scale and opposing the politicization of such research. The diplomats stressed that the study of the origin of the virus is a matter of science, and the politicization of the issue will only hinder the solution of the problem.

Note that the WHO itself, in principle, is against the politicization of the topic of coronavirus and the study of its origin. Back in November, Ghebreyesus urged people not to politicize research and base their opinions on science. However, he added, some members of the global organization are still trying to politicize research.

It is not hard to guess who we are talking about. Of course, about the United States.

To study the issue, a competent inspection was organized, the work of which China assessed positively. From January 14 to February 10, 2021, a joint expert group of Chinese and international scientists from WHO conducted joint research to determine the sources of the coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Based on the results of the research, WHO experts concluded that the spread of the virus as a result of a leak from the laboratory is "an extremely unlikely option".

But all this remained at the first stage of the study. On the second, apparently under the influence of the United States, formulations appeared in the group's plan, which, as Beijing believes, do not respect science. And so China refused to follow them. The Chinese side opposes the politicization of the issue and insists on a second stage of research based on the results of the first.

However, the transformation of WHO's opinion does not come as a surprise. As noted above, the document from the first phase of research indicates that the spread of the virus as a result of a leak from the laboratory is an extremely unlikely option.

Why can't research be done on the origins of the virus in the United States? Washington must demonstrate transparency and disclose as much as possible about all issues and respond to the fears of the outside world if it demands the same transparency from China.

In fact, the overall COVID-19 situation is increasingly pointing to multiple origins in different locations. The mayor of Belleville, New Jersey, said he contracted the virus in November 2019, more than two months earlier than the first confirmed case in the US and also earlier than the first case reported in China. According to the US NIH website, the study found evidence of infection in five states emerged as early as December 2019. In July 2019, an epidemic began in Wisconsin, which then spread to other states. Computed tomography of the lungs of patients shows the same "glass effect" that is noted with the symptoms of COVID-19. It can be concluded that the coronavirus appeared even before it was seen in Wuhan. Based on this, the Chinese side rightly insists on conducting research in other countries, considering such insistence of the WHO toward China as a politicization of the scientific issue.

China has every right to close its laboratories for inspection, which, by all indications, is organized not to search for the truth, but to denigrate China, its authorities and its science. China also has every right to demand equal treatment against other countries, in particular the United States, regardless of the wealth and influence of the United States on WHO and anyone else.

Be that as it may, until the politicization of the pandemic topic stops and the perpetrators start looking for where they really are, the search for salvation from the global threat will slow down and humanity will be unable to return to normal life. To life without masks and senseless deaths.

Seymur Mammadov is the director of the international expert club EurAsiaAz and editor-in-chief of the English-language information and analytical portal Baku Tribune.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.

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