“The plan contains language that does not respect science or common sense,” said Zeng Yixin, vice minister of the National Health Commission.
China vehemently opposed World Health Organization’s call for another probe into the coronavirus’s origins that includes examining whether it leaked from a lab. It said there’s no evidence for the theory and it defies common sense.
A group of top Chinese science officials insisted at a briefing in Beijing on Thursday that the pathogen most likely arose in an animal, which transmitted it to humans via an intermediate host. While praising an earlier report from the WHO that pointed primarily to animals, they said they found that the lab leak hypothesis was “extremely impossible.”
Liang Wannian, an epidemiologist who headed the team of Chinese experts working with the WHO, said the Wuhan laboratory at the center of the controversy “never had the virus”.
“There’s no need for us to put more resources into a lab leak probe.”
Zeng Yixin, vice minister of the National Health Commission, said: “The plan on the second phase of the origin study, it contains language that does not respect science or common sense.” “We won’t follow such a plan,” he added.
Chinese officials said they are committed to uncovering the origins of the novel coronavirus, a matter that deserves serious study and should be based on science. The WHO’s plans to make the lab leak hypothesis a priority for the next stage of research has been contaminated by political posturing and displays “arrogance against science,” Zeng said.
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