|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks on Disinformation about COVID-19 Origins Tracing Disseminated by US Congressmen|
Q: On August 2, Representative Michael McCaul, Lead Republican of the US 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 US experts and Chinese and US government funds, were conducting gain-of-function research. Does China have any comment?
A: The relevant report, totally based on the concocted lies and distorted facts without providing any evidence, is not credible or scientific. What the relevant US 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.
This February, a China-WHO joint expert team visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology 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.
In 2003, the US 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 US side’s political manipulation of origins tracing has dawn 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 US should listen to these objective and impartial voices.
If these US congressmen do have a sense of responsibility, even a tinge of it, for their own people, they should urge the US 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 US 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 US biological labs overseas.
As to gain of function research on coronaviruses, the US 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?
In a word, we urge the US 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.