China on Thursday rejected the WHO's proposal to continue the investigation into the origin of the pandemic in the Asian country, where the first COVID-19 patients were discovered worldwide at the end of 2019.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last week requested an audit of laboratories in regions where the first cases of coronavirus emerged, a reference to the Chinese city of Wuhan, a time ago epicenter of the epidemic.
Chinese Vice Minister of Health Zeng Yixin said Thursday
extremely surprised by this proposal.
lack of respect for common sense and an arrogance towards science, said Mr. Zeng at a press conference.
China disclosed to the WHO on December 31, 2019 the existence of an outbreak of pneumonia cases in Wuhan.
However, Beijing has always fiercely fought the theory that COVID-19 could have escaped from one of its laboratories, especially those at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Long brushed aside by most experts, this theory brought to the United States by the former Trump administration (2017-2021) has nevertheless made a strong comeback in recent months in the American debate.
For his part, one of the officials of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Yuan Zhiming, assured Thursday that his establishment had not been the subject of
no leak or
However, Chinese authorities and the country's media regularly point to the Fort Detrick laboratory in the United States as being the source of COVID-19.
Located near Washington, this laboratory is at the heart of American research against bioterrorism.
According to Global Times, a daily newspaper with a resolutely nationalist tone, 5 million Chinese Internet users have signed a petition for the opening of an investigation into Fort Detrick.
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