On Tuesday, when asked by the media about an international group of scientists who published an open letter calling for an independent investigation into the source of the new crown virus, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian was said to be furious and to have spoken in a brutal and forceful tone, angrily accusing the group of international scientists who published the open letter of being “so-called scientists” and publishing a “so-called Open letter”, “ulterior motives” ……
The WHO expert mission to investigate the origin of the new coronavirus in China has not released a full report so far, only a press conference was held before bidding farewell to China, at which two points were raised in particular in favor of Beijing, one was to rule out that the New coronavirus outbreak may have been caused by a laboratory accident in China, and the other was to second China’s view that the new coronavirus may be related to frozen Food imported from overseas.
On March 4, an international group of scientists called for a new independent investigation into the origin of the outbreak, not ruling out any hypothesis, especially the possibility of a laboratory accident, which the Chinese side does not like to hear.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian took the opportunity on March 9 to “elaborate” on China’s “four-point position” in response to a reporter’s question on the issue, and during the “elaboration” process, the spokesman used an extremely strong and brutal tone. The spokesman used a very strong and brutal tone.
A reporter asked a group of international experts published an open letter criticizing the lack of independence of the WHO China traceability investigation, Zhao Lijian first made himself happy and “corrected” the reporter that the traceability investigation was a “study”, not an “investigation”. “, the investigation is actually a neutral word, in Chinese whether it is very heavy, such as “file an investigation” means to pull down a certain official, in the outside world, has always referred to the WHO expert mission to China to investigate the source of the new crown, the meaning is very clear, including understanding, investigation, research, exploration, the Chinese side has been Do not like the word investigation, incredible.
Zhao Lijian’s next comment was, to put it bluntly, rather barbaric, as he told reporters: “The open letter published by the so-called scientists you mentioned has a completely ulterior motive” and is a “smear” against the WHO and China. Zhao Lijian accused the so-called scientists of “recklessly misinterpreting the scientific findings of the panel and advocating presumptive investigations of specific countries.
However, Zhao Lijian’s accusations are highly speculative. First, the open letter, which was published in both the Wall Street Journal and Le Monde, France, was not written by a group of “so-called” scientists, but by a group of well-known epidemiologists, virus experts, geneticists, etc. in Europe and the United States.
Second, the open letter does not presume guilt or smear, but rather questions the initial claims made by the WHO and Chinese expert panel at the Wuhan press conference, one, that the virus could have been transmitted by frozen food, which echoes the Chinese claim that the virus was brought into China by imported frozen food, but WHO has never argued that there is no evidence that frozen food transmits the virus; another issue is that the panel argued that laboratory transmission is simply not possible and that all relevant studies are useless. The other problem was that the panel felt that laboratory transmission was simply not possible and that all relevant research was useless.
This claim immediately aroused the skepticism of the U.S. government, while WHO Director General Tandse clearly announced on Feb. 21 that all hypotheses about the origin of the virus were not ruled out. After speaking with members of the investigation team, I would like to clarify that all hypotheses regarding the source of the new coronavirus have not been ruled out and require further study, Tandse said. This statement is tantamount to dismissing the statement made by the delegation members at the Wuhan press conference that an accident at the laboratory was “highly unlikely.
The open letter from the international scientists also states unequivocally that all possible scenarios must be investigated, including “infection of the sampling site during sampling” by laboratory staff; “infection during transport of animals and collection of samples”; and “infections caused by laboratory accidents”; and “infections caused by the disposal of laboratory waste or animal escapes.”
The open letter also says that we wish to draw attention to the fact that half of the scientists on the mission are Chinese citizens, which may limit scientific independence; on the other hand, the mission’s investigations are based on information that the Chinese authorities choose to provide, and that both sides must agree on what the mission will report.
The scientists called on the international community to form a truly interdisciplinary, independent mission that included members familiar with Chinese language and Culture, and who had access to all sites, all materials, samples, and people involved. This includes the work records of the Wuhan market staff and Wuhan laboratory staff, information on early hospitalized patients, blood samples as well as samples taken from the market, and laboratory research materials. The scientists also hope to be able to speak privately with the first patients and suspected patients and their families.
It is also unclear when the WHO expert panel will produce its final report on the traceability of the Wuhan virus, which still needs to be endorsed by the Chinese side. At the Wuhan press conference, the panel announced that a briefing on the investigation would be released soon, with the full report to follow in the following weeks, and according to sources from WHO, there may be no more briefing on the traceability investigation, with some panel members preferring to wait for the final report to be released, but the timing is difficult to determine.