Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks

China Review News: According to reports, a senior US official said that "China continues to obfuscate and deny the international community the needed access" to COVID-19 information. "If there were sound, technically credible reasons for a US investigation, we would of course support it. But there are none," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: Origins tracing is a matter of science. China always supports and will continue to participate in the science-based origins study.

Instead of thinking about how to control the epidemic in the US and save people's lives, some US politicians and officials are trying in vain to shift the blame for their own failure in fighting the virus onto China with a report drafted by the intelligence agencies. This will only disrupt and undermine international cooperation in the origins study and epidemic response. The allegation that China refuses to provide "needed access" is nothing but an excuse to cover the US' own failed intelligence-led origins tracing.

The US side said they need "reasons" to support an investigation in the US. Then, please answer the following questions. First, patients of the EVALI outbreak in July 2019 in Wisconsin in the US had symptoms highly similar to that of COVID-19. Isn't this a reason? Second, according to the US NIH website, research has shown that evidence of infection in five states appeared back in December 2019. Isn't this a reason? Third, the US government sealed blood samples collected before January 2, 2020 from further testing on the ground that it interferes with the origins tracing agenda and is detrimental to US national security. Isn't this a reason? Fourth, Florida Department of Health once removed data from its website that showed 171 patients had coronavirus symptoms or positive test results in January and February, 2020. Isn't this a reason? Fifth, many comments on social media like Facebook indicate that more than 200 people in the US or countries having close ties with the US said publicly people they know or they themselves had suspected infection of the novel coronavirus as early as in November 2019, with COVID-like symptoms. Isn't this a reason? Sixth, 12 countries including Costa Rica and Kenya publicly said that their "patient zero" of COVID-19 came from the US. Isn't this a reason? Seventh, Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina (UNC) have a dark chapter in history and poor safety records of coronavirus researches. The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, which is based in Fort Detrick, was shut down by the US CDC because of serious safety incidents in the fall of 2019, before the outbreak of COVID-19. Isn't this a reason?

Given that the US is confident that it has nothing to hide, then it should face up to the questions of the international community by inviting the WHO to do the origins study in Fort Detrick and the UNC, and release the raw data on early cases in the US. Should the US refuse to cooperate, it would only further expose its true intention of politicizing origins study.

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