Tracing Covid-19's origin: Five ways US is pressing China to solve mystery

Topics Coronavirus | China | United States

Chinese officials have disputed the Wuhan lab theory. (Photo: Bloomberg)
Two leading disease experts in the US have said the world needs the cooperation of the Chinese government to trace the origins of Covid-19 and prevent future pandemic threats.

China hasn’t provided evidence to disprove the theory that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, said one of the experts on Sunday.


In the past few weeks, the United States has pressed China on tracing the origin of the virus. Here are five instances of how it is doing so.

US expert calls for China's cooperation

The Chinese government needs to cooperate to trace the origins of Covid-19 and prevent future pandemic threats, two leading US disease experts said, reported Bloomberg.

Scott Gottlieb, a commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration in the Trump administration who now sits on the board of Pfizer Inc told CBS News, "Information to support the theory that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China, has increased."

China hasn’t provided evidence to disprove that theory, while the search for signs that the virus emerged from wildlife hasn’t yielded results, Gottlieb said. Read More

Risk of future outbreaks, says US expert

Peter Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, said in a TV appearance that not knowing how the pandemic started puts the world at risk of future outbreaks. There’s going to be Covid-26 and Covid-32 unless we fully understand the origins of Covid-19." Read More

Pompeo alleges Wuhan lab's involvement 

According to an ANI report, Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday said that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) was engaged in military activity alongside its civilian research.

"What I can say for sure is this: we know that they were engaged in efforts connected to the People's Liberation Army inside of that laboratory, so military activity being performed alongside what they claimed was just good old civilian research," Pompeo said, as per Fox News.

He further added, "They refuse to tell us what it was, they refuse to describe the nature of either of those, they refused to allow access to the World Health Organization when it tried to get in there." 

Biden asks intelligence for report in 90 days

US President Joe Biden said in a statement last week, "I have now asked the Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days."

Biden said he has asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China. Read More

China hits back at US for revisiting lab-leak theory

According to a BBC report, China denounced US efforts to further investigate whether Covid-19 came from a Chinese lab.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said it showed the US "does not care about facts or truth, and has zero interest in a serious science-based study of origins".

"Their aim is to use the pandemic to pursue stigmatisation, political manipulation and blame-shifting. They are being disrespectful to science, irresponsible to people's lives and counter-productive to the concerted efforts to fight the virus," he said.

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