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‘No scientific basis’: China on US’ intel assessment of Covid origins

“A lie repeated a thousand times is still a lie. No matter how many times the report is published or how many versions it comes in, it will not change the fact that this report is, in essence, a political and false one, with no scientific basis or credibility,”

IANS | Beijing |

China has slammed the US as being “politically motivated” for its intelligence report on the origins of novel coronavirus.

China has called the report compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as having no “scientific basis or credibility”, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, when the US intelligence agency first released the so-called unclassified summary of assessment on Covid-19 origins in August, China had made clear its firm opposition.

“A lie repeated a thousand times is still a lie. No matter how many times the report is published or how many versions it comes in, it will not change the fact that this report is, in essence, a political and false one, with no scientific basis or credibility,” said Wang.

The reaction came on Sunday, days after the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a fuller version of its findings from a 90-day review ordered by President Joe Biden.

In the 18-page report, the US intelligence community concluded that the coronavirus had not been developed as a biological weapon, but could not determine if it had infected humans as a result of contact with animals or from a laboratory accident.

It added that, without new information, intelligence agencies would not be able to offer a better judgment on whether the virus emerged via animal-to-human transmission or a lab leak.

Wang pointed out that the study of the origin of the novel coronavirus is a serious and complex scientific issue, which should and can only be carried out by global scientists in cooperation. The use of intelligence agencies to trace the origins is in itself an iron-clad proof of politicisation, the report said.

“The US intelligence services have a deplorable track record, with their falsification and deception tactics known by the world,” he added.

Recently, more than 80 countries have stated their explicit position of opposing politicisation of origins-tracing and upholding the joint China-WHO study report through various means, including writing to the WHO Director-General, releasing statements and sending notes, he said.

Wang also implored the US to focus instead on domestic efforts and global cooperation in fighting Covid-19. He added that the US should stop attacking and smearing China, respond to the international community’s legitimate concerns, receive WHO experts’ visits, and open up its biological labs at Fort Detrick and biological experiment bases.