US President Joe Biden last Wednesday ordered US intelligence agencies to beef up their investigation into the origins of COVID-19 virus and report back to him in 90 days, according to a White House release.
Calling out the US for "turning a blind eye to facts and science," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Thursday slammed Biden's announcement.
"Origin-tracing is a serious scientific issue, and yet the US intends to let its intelligence agencies play a leading role in conducting the research," Zhao said. "It has zero interest in scientific research, but is only seeking political manipulation for the purpose of scapegoating."
The possibility of the novel coronavirus "lab leak" theory has already been given an answer by the World Health Organization (WHO) early in this year.
In late March, the WHO released a report on COVID-19 origin-tracing after an extensive joint study with Chinese scientists.
The report said a "very likely" scenario is that the virus jumped to humans from an unknown animal. They also mentioned it's "extremely unlikely" that the virus escaped from a laboratory and suggested no further study on the issue.
WHO on Friday reiterated its call for a "de-politicized environment" for the study of the COVID-19 virus origins, as the whole process of the study is being "poisoned by politics."
Speaking at a WHO press briefing, Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said, "We would ask that we separate the science from the politics, and let us get on with finding the answers that we need in a proper positive atmosphere, where we can find the science to drive the solutions through a process that's driven by solidarity."
As the US exerts all its energies in hyping the "lab leak" theory, does the US have the will and courage to invite WHO experts to join their investigation?
(Produced by Cheng Weidan, Xu Zheqi, and Liu Junya)