China once again urged the U.S. side to immediately stop political manipulation on COVID origins-tracing, voluntarily share the data of suspected early cases in the United States with the WHO, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Thursday.
Mao's remarks came after the U.S. Senate passed the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 a few days ago, which says that the COVID-19 pandemic may have originated in China. Director of the U.S. National Intelligence Avril Haines on Wednesday noted that there is not a consensus among the U.S. intelligence community on whether or not the outbreak is a result of a lab leak or natural exposure to an infected animal. Besides, Polish virologist Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska recently said in an interview that the COVID "lab leak" theory rehashed by the U.S. Department of Energy and FBI is sensation-seeking and has no factual or scientific basis.
For some time now, the United States has been politicizing, weaponizing and instrumentalizing COVID origins-tracing for many months, Mao said, adding it has let a matter of science be dominated by lawmakers and the intelligence community and spread myths such as the "lab leak" theory without any evidence to discredit and attack China.
"This has seriously poisoned the atmosphere for science-based global origins-tracing and been perceived by people in the rest of the world," she said.
Noting China's position on the origins-tracing is consistent, Mao said China has supported and participated in global science-based origins-tracing since day one.
"In the meantime, we have been firmly opposed to all forms of political manipulation on this issue," Mao said, adding the political manipulation by the United States is the main stumbling block to the science-based research on COVID origins.
Mao said the United States has been pointing fingers at WHO's origins-tracing process, politically punishing scientists with conscience and attacking countries with lies that make no scientific sense.
Pointing out that the United States has done nothing responsible on origins-tracing, Mao said it has never invited WHO expert groups to the United States for joint research or shared any early data on COVID origins and it has turned a deaf ear to the world's concerns about U.S. bio-military bases at Fort Detrick and around the world.
Politicizing origins-tracing would only hamper science-based cooperation on the issue, disrupt solidarity against the virus, and undermine global health governance mechanisms, Mao said.
"We once again urge the U.S. side to immediately stop political manipulation on this issue, respond to the world's legitimate concerns, voluntarily share the data of suspected early cases in the United States with the WHO, disclose information about its bio-labs at Fort Detrick and around the world, and give the rest of the world the truth it deserves," she added.