China Rejects World Health Organization Proposal for Second Phase of COVID-19 Origins Investigation
China has officially rejected the World Health Organization’s proposal for a second phase of an investigation looking into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. The news broke Thursday during comments to reporters by a top Chinese official.
Vice-minister of China’s National Health Commission, Zeng Yixin, unambiguously stated, “we cannot accept this kind of plan for origin-tracing.” China claims their reasoning is because parts of the proposal “did not respect common sense and violated science.”
The proposal was presented last week by WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, which called upon China to cooperate with the investigation. “As you know we will need cooperation from the Chinese side,” Tedros said. “We need transparency to understand or know or find the origin of this virus.”
The top Chinese official said they have put forth their own proposal to look into the origins, and specifically, will seek evidence in other countries. Zeng said he was shocked by the WHO proposal, and insists aspects of it “did not respect commons sense and violated science.”
Zen said Beijing’s proposal was submitted on July 4 to the WHO and should be based on the first phase that was already conducted by a WHO-led team and Chinese counterparts earlier this year.
A Wall Street Journal investigation found “China resisted international pressure for an investigation it saw as an attempt to assign blame, delayed the probe for months, secured veto rights over participants and insisted its scope encompass other countries as well.”
When the WHO-led team traveled to China in early 2021, they “faced constraints during its monthlong visit and had little power to conduct thorough, impartial research without the blessing of China’s government” added the Journal investigation.
Chinese authorities also refused to give WHO investigators data from its confirmed and potentially earliest cases of COVID-19. “In their final report, the investigators said insufficient evidence meant they couldn’t yet resolve when, where and how the virus began spreading.” It has also been discovered that Chinese researchers ordered a U.S. government archive to delete gene sequences of early cases.