An international team of 13 experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) completed two-week quarantine in the city of Wuhan, China, Thursday, and started their field visits on Friday.
The trip of the WHO team revived the continuous blame that China has impeded the efforts on COVID-19 tracing, especially after it barred the entry of two WHO members who tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies while transiting in Singapore. Some US media referred to China’s routine quarantine regulations as an “obstacle” set by the country as part of its “continuing efforts to control the COVID-19 global study.”
The Western hysteria that surrounds China’s delay in origin tracing has been heightened since early January. Politicians like Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had urged an early WHO-led investigation into China as soon as possible.
自一月初以来，对于中国推迟追踪事发地，西方国家坐不住了。澳大利亚外交部长马里斯·佩恩（Marise Payne）和英国外交大臣多米尼克·拉布（Dominic Raab）等政客敦促世卫组织尽早对中国进行调查。
However, this alleged “long-delayed” mission in China is the third WHO international experts’ trip within a year.
On Feb. 9, 2020, the WHO deployed an advance team for the WHO-China Joint Mission. During that trip, the WHO researchers traveled to Wuhan in Hubei province, and subsequently published a 40-page report detailing the understanding of the COVID-19 outbreak in China.
On July 10, 2020, WHO experts traveled to China to prepare scientific plans for identifying the zoonotic source of the disease, laying the groundwork for longer-term studies of the virus origin.
During this crucial period of time when multiple variant strains of the COVID-19 virus have been documented globally, China agreed on the visit by the WHO experts for origin tracing again on the premise that pre-departure tests and quarantine requirements are strictly abided by, a science-based move to preserve the hard-won outcomes of epidemic control domestically and minimize the risk of cross infection.
At present, one of the two experts who tested positive before boarding the plane has already arrived in China after testing negative in a second round of testing.
“It is found by more studies and recognized by WHO that origin-tracing is an ongoing process that may involve many countries and places where the epidemics broke out. Origin-tracing is a complex scientific matter that requires international research and cooperation by scientists across the globe.” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at the regular press conference on January 28.
“It is inappropriate to make any negative conjecture with preconception or even attempt to make politicized interpretation.” He stressed that the purpose of international research and cooperation on origin-tracing is to get a deeper understanding of its animal hosts and transmission routes, so that we will better guard against future risks and handle similar public health crises.
Who is impeding a global study?
Some Western politicians seem obsessed with hyping up the anti-China sentiment. Shortly after the WHO experts arrived in Wuhan, the US began to accuse China, once again, of a cover-up by the government, pressuring for a “transparent” investigation into the lab in Wuhan suspected of being the source of the virus.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a “fact sheet” recently, saying that the US has new information to prove that the virus might have emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), despite the fact that top scientists around the world have openly denied such theories.
Peter Daszak, an American disease ecologist who has been working with the WIV for 15 years, said last April that it was impossible that the virus came from the lab in Wuhan.
In response to the fact-free claims from the “fact sheet,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying suggested an origin-tracing in the US for more transparent information on Fort Detrick, as well as 200-plus overseas bio-labs outside of the US.
As the US Army’s top germ lab in Fredrick, Maryland, that studies deadly infectious material such as Ebola and smallpox, the Fort Detrick lab was abruptly shut down in August 2019, which aroused doubts among many Americans, with some demanding that the US government disclose more information on the closure of the lab.
Until now, the US, which accuses China of hindering global study, has never invited the WHO to conduct investigation within its territory, nor did they conduct an investigation by itself.
Who is impeding a COVID-19 global study? Fact speaks for itself.