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Virus investigation must be fair and scientific

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A healthcare worker takes sample from a woman at a New York State Department of Health COVID-19 antibody testing center at Steve's 9th Street Market in Brooklyn, New York, the United States, on April 25, 2020. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

This year’s World Health Assembly convene virtually yesterday with tackling the COVID-19 pandemic top on its agenda. According to Western media reports, the EU was putting forward a motion for the assembly, requesting an independent inquiry into the origin of the Coronavirus, a proposal supported by countries such as Canada and Australia. As the US and some other countries are also urging international support for Taiwan’s participation in the assembly as an observer, some Western media outlets claimed that China is facing unprecedented pressure during this year’s conference and will be isolated.

Will China oppose scientific research into the virus’ origin? No, because it is a necessary move to fight COVID-19 in a scientific way and conducive to prevention measures and development of vaccines and medicines. Washington’s smear that a Wuhan laboratory was the virus origin has been universally opposed by scientists, but the US is still irrationally calling for an investigation. It is obviously an unfair and unscientific appeal that China will never accept.

Some people in Europe and Australia echoed the US proposal for an independent investigation, against which China is certainly vigilant. Do some people in Canberra and other places follow Washington politically and conceal their political intention toward China?

A politicised appeal won’t be supported at the assembly. Five Eyes doesn’t represent the entire world and the US cannot control other countries at will. The US has messed up its COVID-19 fight but intends to shift the responsibility onto China. Such a plan is bound to backfire.

We hereby call on all countries of the world, including Western countries, not to be held hostage by Washington’s plot, to uphold the World Health Organization (WHO)’s mission of serving the world’s public health needs and jointly opposing any politicisation of the organisation.

A scientific investigation should be carried out. But first of all, it should be led by WHO rather than any country or regional organisation. Second, the investigation needs to be scientific and fair. Not only China-related factors, but also those related to the US and other countries need to be included. Earlier confirmed cases than the previously known first infected case have continuously been found in the US. Among those diagnosed as having flu last winter, how many were Coronavirus infections? All these clues shouldn’t be missed.

Investigating the origin of the virus is only one part of the Coronavirus fight. The ultimate goal is to control the pandemic and resume production globally. China is one of the countries that have done well in both. How could China be passive and isolated in WHO? It is the US that should feel it failed the international community.

The proposal that will eventually be adopted by the assembly will not be one that only meets US requests. No matter where the virus originated, the challenge is for all people around the world. The international community should be vigilant and reject the US attempt to politicize the investigation and create new disputes.

Only a small number of WHO members will cheer for the island of Taiwan, putting on nothing but a farce. GLOBAL TIMES

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