China: Biden playing politics with call for investigation into virus origins
The Chinese government is accusing President Biden of playing politics by calling for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.
Biden “does not care about facts and truth, nor is it interested in serious scientific origin tracing,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Thursday, according to The Associated Press.
Zhao also said the U.S. should be transparent about how the virus spread in America.
“The U.S. side claims that it wants China to participate in a comprehensive, transparent, evidence-based international investigation,” Zhao said. “We would like to ask the U.S. side to do the same as China and immediately cooperate with the World Health Organization on origin tracing research in a scientific manner.”
On Wednesday, Biden asked the U.S. intelligence community to “redouble their efforts” to determine where the virus, which was first reported at an animal market in Wuhan, China, originated. He signaled that top U.S. health officials are considering whether it could have occurred naturally or came from a Chinese lab in Wuhan.
“As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China,” Biden said. “I have also asked that this effort include work by our National Labs and other agencies of our government to augment the Intelligence Community’s efforts. And I have asked the Intelligence Community to keep Congress fully apprised of its work.”
The so-called lab leak theory started as a fringe idea and was promoted by former President Trump and others.
In recent weeks, the international community has ramped up pressure on China to explain what it knew about the coronavirus and when it knew a pandemic was possible.
“We need a completely transparent process from China; we need the WHO to assist in that matter,″ Andy Slavitt, a White House senior adviser for the coronavirus said, the AP reported. “We don’t feel like we have that now.”
A WHO team said after an investigation in February that the lab theory was “extremely unlikely.”