Sumary of China rejects WHO's plan for further study of Covid-19 origins:
- China cannot accept the World Health Organization’s plan for the second phase of a study into the origins of Covid-19, a senior Chinese health official said Thursday.
- Zeng Yixin, the vice minister of the National Health Commission, said he was “rather taken aback” by the call for a further probe into the pandemic’s origins and, specifically, the theory that the virus might have leaked from a Chinese lab.
- “It is impossible for us to accept such an origin-tracing plan,” he said a a news conference called to address the Covid-19 origins issue.
- Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politicsThe search for the origins of the virus has become a diplomatic issue that has worsened China’s relations with the U.S. and many of its allies.
- He also says there had been a “premature push” to rule out the theory that the coronavirus might have escaped from a Chinese government lab in Wuhan.
- Tedros’ words were echoed by Germany’s health minister, Jens Spahn, who urged Chinese officials to allow the investigation into the origins of the virus to proceed.
- Zeng said the Wuhan lab has no virus that can directly infect humans.
- He noted that a WHO-coordinated team of international experts who visited the lab earlier this year concluded that a lab leak was highly unlikely.