So-called report by U.S. congressmen on COVID-19 origins not credible: FM spokesperson

(Xinhua) 09:57, August 04, 2021

BEIJING, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The so-called report on COVID-19 origin tracing by U.S. congressmen is totally based on the concocted lies and distorted facts without providing any evidence, which is not credible or scientific, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.

On Aug. 2, Representative Michael McCaul, Lead Republican of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, released a report claiming that there is a preponderance of evidence that the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) sometime before September 2019. It also alleged that the WIV, aided by U.S. experts and Chinese and U.S. government funds, were conducting gain-of-function research.

In response, the spokesperson said the relevant report, totally based on the concocted lies and distorted facts without providing any evidence, is not credible or scientific. What the relevant U.S. congressmen have done smears and slanders China in pursuit of political gains. "We express categorical opposition to and strong condemnation of such despicable acts that have no moral bottom line," the spokesperson said.

This February, a China-WHO joint expert team visited the WIV and had in-depth and candid exchanges with experts there. Members of the joint expert team spoke highly of the institute's openness and transparency, and reached a major conclusion in the joint study report that the allegation of lab leaking is extremely unlikely, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that in 2003, the U.S. side used a test tube of laundry powder as evidence for Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction. One needs not look far for a lesson, and the international community should not let such a thing happen again.

"It must be pointed out that, the U.S. side's political manipulation of origins tracing has drawn overwhelming rejection from the international community. As of now, 70 countries have voiced opposition to politicizing origins tracing and emphasized the importance of upholding the joint China-WHO study report via sending letters to the WHO Director-General and issuing statements. It shows that clear-eyed people over the world can tell right and wrong. The United States should listen to these objective and impartial voices."

If these U.S. congressmen do have a sense of responsibility, even a tinge of it, for their own people, they should urge the U.S. government to release at the earliest the medical records of those infected in the unexplained outbreaks of respiratory disease in Virginia and the large-scale EVALI in Wisconsin and Maryland in 2019, and of U.S. military personnel who fell ill during the Military World Games in Wuhan, and to allow a thorough international probe into Fort Detrick lab and the 200-plus U.S. biological labs overseas, the spokesperson said.

"As to gain of function research on coronaviruses, the United States has provided more funding and conducted more experiments in this area than anyone else. Why don't the congressmen find out if there is such research at home and whether or not it may create the novel coronavirus?"

The spokesperson urged the United States to respect facts and science and focus on fighting COVID-19 and saving lives, instead of engaging in political manipulation under the pretext of the epidemic and shifting the blame to others. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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