Article “The US must force China to be honest about COVID.” Last Minute WORLD, CURRENT headlines and events
U.S. Ambassador to Beijing Nicholas Burns said Washington should force China to be more honest about the origin of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Burns, who attended the event hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce via video link, said the US needs to get China to play a more active role in the WHO if it wants to strengthen the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO).
“And, of course, they need to be forced to be more honest about the incident that started the COVID-19 crisis in Wuhan three years ago,” Burns said, referring to the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first cases were reported. December 2019.
Burns’ comments come after The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the US Department of Energy had concluded the outbreak was likely caused by a leak from a lab in China. Beijing denies this assessment.
According to the Wall Street Journal, citing people who read the intelligence report, the Department of Energy recently issued its verdict on a classified intelligence report made available to the White House and key members of Congress that the reliability or plausibility of the information is dubious.
Different views in US institutions on the origin of COVID
The Department of Energy did not respond to a request for comment. Jake Sullivan, US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, said yesterday that there are “differing views” in the intelligence community about the origin of the epidemic.
“A lot of people said they didn’t have enough information,” Sullivan told CNN. Four other U.S. agencies and the National Intelligence Council still believe COVID-19 is likely the result of natural transmission, while two are still undecided, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Asked for comment on the Wall Street Journal report, which was also endorsed by other US media outlets, China’s foreign ministry cited a WHO-China report pointing to a natural source of the outbreak, likely from bats, rather than a lab leak.
“Some parties should stop repeating the ‘lab leak’ rhetoric, slandering China, and politicizing the tracing issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said.
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