Intelligence Report on COVID-19 Origins is Against the Spirit of Science
Chinese Ambassador to Estonia H.E.Mr. Li Chao

On August 27, after 90 days of so called “origins investigation”, the US intelligence community released a summary of the assessment on COVID-19 origins. As expected, the report is unable to draw a clear conclusion. However, this "proposition essay" ordered by the U.S. government to its intelligence community just tries to put aside science, fabricates a "laboratory leak theory" and slanders China, claiming that China "continues to hinder the global investigation and resist sharing information”. It is completely a scapegoating report.

Origins tracing of COVID-19 by intelligence community defies science. For a serious matter as source tracing, science must be followed. However, the U.S. government just ordered its intelligence agencies to hand in the so-called report on the origins of COVID-19 within 90 days, showing no respect for science at all. The former US Secretary of State Mr. Mike Pompeo has boasted that “we lied, we cheated, we stole”. We have seen the "masterpieces" by the U.S. intelligence community, such as using a tube of laundry powder to convict Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction, or staging the "white helmets" video as evidence for chemical weapon attack in Syria. This absurd way of origins tracing unveils the U.S.’ bullying and arrogance. Its purpose is not to pursue the scientific truth, but shift the responsibility of its failure in pandemic response domestically and refusing to cooperate in origins tracing of COVID-19. From the very beginning, the U.S. has tried to politicize the pandemic, stigmatize the virus, and use origins-tracing as a tool. The malicious intention of political manipulation in the name of origins tracing is evident enough.

Origins tracing of COVID-19 by intelligence community facilitates fabrication. SARS-CoV-2 originated from nature. This is a consensus of international academic and medical communities. In March this year, the WHO-China joint expert group issued a joint report , with the scientific conclusion that “it is extremely unlikely that a laboratory leak caused the first COVID-19 cases”. It also put forward important suggestions such as “searching for possible early cases worldwide” and “studying the possibility of cold chain transmission of the virus”. On July 5, 2021, 24 world-renowned medical experts affirmed on The Lancet that suggestions of a laboratory-leak source of the pandemic remain without scientifically validated evidence. On July 16, 2021, 22 Chinese and foreign scientists used the evolution theories of Richard Dawkins, a prominent British evolutionary biologist, to expound on why SARS-CoV-2 could only come from nature in their co-authored piece On the origins of SARS-CoV-2—The blind watchmaker argument. By now, more than 80 countries have written to the WHO Director-General, issued statements, or sent diplomatic notes to voice their objection to the politicization attempts and call for the Joint Report by the WHO-China joint study team to be upheld; over 300 political parties, social organizations and think tanks from more than 100 countries and regions have submitted a joint statement to the WHO Secretariat on opposing the politicization of origins tracing. Origins tracing by political manipulation and intelligence community will push us further away from truth. The next phase of tracing should build on the result of phase one and study early cases in many countries around the world,only through which the right answer can be found.

Origins tracing of COVID-19 by intelligence community aims at scapegoating and slandering. Since the outbreak, China has always adhered to the concept of a global community of health for all. Acting with openness, transparency and responsibility, China has introduced and shared virus gene sequences to the world at the earliest possible time, actively exchanged the experience of epidemic prevention and control with countries around the world, provided assistance to other countries in the fight against COVID-19 within its capacity, and took the lead in participating the largest global vaccine cooperation. China has always participated in international origins tracing cooperation with an open attitude. We have twice invited WHO experts to carry out joint research on origins tracing. The experts went to all the places they wanted to go, met all the people they wanted to meet. Origins tracing is for the better prevention of future risks, should not be used to blame a certain country, let alone splitting the international community. “Presumption of guilt” should not be applied in origins tracing, otherwise you will never be satisfied with the answers that differ from what you expect. The origins tracing with self-interest seriously poisons the atmosphere for international cooperation and will ultimately harm the interests of people all over the world. Now, the viruses constantly change through mutation and the pandemic is undergoing many twists and turns. Cooperation is the top priority in the fight against the pandemic. Geopolitical considerations and self-interest should not override the lives and health of the people. Endless scapegoating and blame-shifting will only waste the resources and undermine the global efforts to fight against the pandemic.

No country is immune to the threat of COVID-19, only by unity, cooperation and mutual assistance can we dispel the haze of the pandemic. China's position on the issue of global origins study is consistent and clear. China always supports and will continue to participate in scientific origins study. What China opposes is politicizing origins tracing and the origins tracing that goes against the resolution of the World Health Assembly. At the same time, China actively supports the efforts of other countries to fight against the pandemic. Since September 2020, China has been and is still donating vaccines to more than 100 countries and exporting to more than 60 countries. The total amount of the vaccines provided by China has surpassed 800 million doses, ranking first in the world. At the First Meeting of the International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation held on August 5, 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China will strive to provide 2 billion doses of vaccines to the world and has decided to donate US$100 million to the COVAX Facility for distributing vaccines to developing countries. China will continue to make positive contributions to mankind's eventual victory over the pandemic and the establishment of a global community of health for all.

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