Caixin
Aug 26, 2021 07:23 PM
WORLD

China’s U.N. Envoy Asks WHO to Investigate U.S. Labs on Covid Origin-Tracing

What’s new: China’s ambassador to the United Nations has formally requested that the World Health Organization (WHO) include the U.S. bio-military research base, Fort Detrick, and the University of North Carolina in its investigation into the origins of Covid-19.

In a Wednesday letter addressed to WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, Chen Xu, China’s permanent representative to the U.N. Office in Geneva, rejected the theory that the Covid-19 virus leaked from a virological lab in Central China, adding that “it is the labs of Fort Detrick and University of North Carolina that should be subject to transparent investigation with full access.”

Two unofficial documents attached to the letter claimed that multiple “bio-safety incidents” occurred at Fort Detrick at times that overlapped the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, while alleging a coronavirus research team at the North Carolina university, led by epidemiology professor Ralph Baric, had “close collaboration” with the Fort Detrick.

Why it matters: The Chinese ambassador’s request came a day after the U.S. intelligence agencies concluded on Tuesday their 90-day investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, including the possibility of a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Central China’s Hubei province.

U.S. President Joe Biden reportedly received a classified report on the investigation, which was inconclusive about the origin of Covid-19, according to the Washington Post.

In May 2020, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying first raised questions about Fort Detrick, where the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) is located.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua (zhenhualu@caixin.com) and editor Michael Bellart (michaelbellart@caixin.com)

Download our app to receive breaking news alerts and read the news on the go.

Get our weekly free Must-Read newsletter.

You've accessed an article available only to subscribers
VIEW OPTIONS
Share this article
Open WeChat and scan the QR code