China has slammed Joe Biden’s calls for further US investigation into how Covid-19 was first transmitted to humans, questioning Washington’s motives and opposing the services’ “notorious track record” intelligence in the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq war. .
The US president said on Wednesday he has ordered the US intelligence community to step up efforts to study the origins of the coronavirus, including the possibility that it emerges from a lab accident rather than human contact with an infected animal.
The virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 and has since spread around the world, killing nearly 3.5 million people. The broad consensus among scientific experts remains that the most likely explanation is that Covid-19 jumped to humans from an animal host during a natural event.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Thursday that it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, pointing to the findings of a March report from a mission. of the World Health Organization.
Zhao said: “[The US’s] one of the goals is to use the pandemic to continue stigma and political manipulation to shift blame. They are disrespectful to science, irresponsible to people’s lives, and counterproductive to concerted global efforts to fight the virus.
Citing memories of the 2003 Iraq war and the unfounded intelligence used to justify the US-led invasion, Zhao said that “the notorious track record of the US intelligence community has long been known to the world.”