China blasts WHO chief for ‘offensive’ comments on COVID-19 origin tracing
Chinese health officials have called out World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for his “offensive” comments in the ongoing search for the origins of COVID-19.
Speaking at a press conference, the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shen Hongbing, said Ghebreyesus’ recent remarks were “offensive and disrespectful”, accusing the health agency of ” trying to smear China” and said she should avoid helping others. “politicizing COVID-19”.
In remarks made last month, Ghebreyesus said newly disclosed genetic material collected in Wuhan, China should have been publicly shared three years ago.
The genetic material mentioned by Ghebreyesus was uploaded to a global database recently, collected three years ago from a Wuhan-based wildlife market where wildlife was sold.
“As a responsible country and as scientists, we have always actively shared research results with scientists around the world,” Shen said at a press conference.
Shen also said officials have yet to find the source of COVID-19, adding an example that it took researchers years to identify and find the origins of the AIDS virus.
“Certain forces and figures who incite and participate in politicizing the issue of traceability and trying to smear China should not assume that the vision of the scientific community around the world will be blinded by their clumsy manipulation,” Shen said.
The United States has press China will provide more information on the origins of COVID-19 and allow international investigations to be held as part of efforts to determine the origin of the virus.
Several media recently reported that the Department of Energy had determined with “low confidence” that a lab leak was the source of the possible outbreak and pandemic, citing new information in its report.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report
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