Wang Wenbin: U.S. should invite WHO to probe Fort Detrick and University of North Carolina
2021/08/26

CCTV: It is learned that Permanent Representative of China to the UN Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland wrote to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) the other day, handing over two non-papers on Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina, as well as an open letter signed by netizens demanding an investigation into Fort Detrick. Could you please elaborate on China's position?

Wang Wenbin: On August 24, Ambassador Chen Xu, Permanent Representative of China to the UN Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland, wrote to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and submitted two non-papers titled "Doubtful Points about Fort Detrick (USAMRIID)" and "Coronavirus Research Conducted by Dr. Ralph Baric's Team at University of North Carolina", and an open letter signed by more than 25 million Internet users calling for an investigation into the Fort Detrick base.

China's position on the issue of global origins study is consistent and clear. Tracing the origins of the virus is a scientific issue. China always supports and will continue to participate in scientific origins study. The conclusions and recommendations of the China-WHO joint study report have been recognized by the international community and the scientific community, and must be respected and implemented. Future global origins study should and can only be carried out on this basis.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) has received WHO experts twice. It is extremely unlikely that the novel coronavirus was leaked from the WIV -- this is the clear conclusion of the China-WHO joint study report. Those who insist that the possibility of a lab-leak cannot be ruled out should investigate Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina in the principle of fairness and justice.

The fact is, the international community and the American people have long raised serious concerns over the illegal, non-transparent and unsafe practices at the Fort Detrick base. It is the center of US bio-military activities and USAMRIID is the main research entity there. USAMRIID has long been engaged in coronavirus research and modification. After the Institute was shut down because of serious safety incidents in 2019, disease with symptoms similar to that of COVID-19 broke out in the US. The US has not yet given any explanation on these problems to the international community and American people.

As to the University of North Carolina, the US has been falsely accusing the WIV of causing the COVID-19 pandemic with its coronavirus researches. However, it is the US who has sponsored and carried out more such researches than any other country. In particular, the Baric team leads the world in researches in this field, with extremely mature capability in synthesizing and modifying coronavirus. An investigation into Dr. Baric's team and lab will help clarify whether such researches have created or can create SARS-CoV-2.

We urge the US to stop using the origins study to seek political manipulation. If it is bent on insisting the lab-leak theory, it should start with inviting WHO experts to launch a probe into Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina to find the source of the virus. In the meantime, we hope the international community can work hand in hand to resist the backlash of politicization and bring the origins study back to the right track of scientific cooperation.

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