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Washington pulling WHO's strings: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2023-04-09 21:39
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That the US Energy Department recently suggested that a "lab leak" in China was the likely cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, based on a new intelligence report that the United States has declined to share, has prompted the World Health Organization to press China for "more access and transparency".

In doing so, the WHO has chosen to overlook the fact that its experts have carried out two field researches on the origins of the virus in China following the outbreak of the pandemic about three years ago. These are the only two researches of their kind done anywhere in the world so far. The conclusion that was reached was the "lab leak" theory was "extremely unlikely".

Science is obviously now taking a back seat as the world health body is letting the US politicize both it and the issue.

The WHO should not forget the fierce pressure that conclusion subjected it to from Washington after it was published, as the US openly questioned the WHO's impartiality and professionalism.

The US' withdrawal from the WHO and its subsequent suspension of its funding to it during the Donald Trump administration — irrespective of the influence that would have on the global fight against the virus at a time when the WHO was playing a key role in supporting the least developed countries to deal with the pandemic — expose the true concerns of the US.

Washington has never put people's well-being first but instead speculated on the COVID-19 pandemic for its domestic politics and international geopolitical game.

Although it rejoined the WHO shortly after the Joe Biden administration took office, the US has continued to try and blame the pandemic on China. That is because doing so has proved to be the easiest way to help Washington ease the domestic pressure on it for its flawed response to the pandemic that has resulted in the highest numbers of infections and deaths from COVID-19, and divert attention from the many clues that have pointed to the US military's Fort Detrick Biological Laboratory being the most likely source of a lab leak.

The WHO should be urging the US for greater access and transparency concerning the Fort Detrick lab.

As the news conference on the subject Beijing held on Saturday shows, China has been one of the most cooperative and biggest contributors to the virus origins tracing undertakings, a scientific mission it has always said must be kept immune to the US' shortsighted attempts to politicize and weaponize it.

The readiness with which China has shared its data and information related to the work with the WHO and the international scientific circle as a whole, and the cooperation it provided the WHO's field research teams are in stark contrast with the US' own furtive practices and dodging of its responsibilities.

It is ridiculous that the WHO has chosen to continue to allow itself to be misled by a country that has put its intelligence community in charge of a matter of science, and irresponsible politicians in charge of crucial posts of public health communications, while its scientists are sidelined, muffled, dismissed and attacked.

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