Virus origin tracing should be handled without political influence

Have you ever read The Wolf and the Lamb from Aesop’s Fables? In the story, the wolf tries every excuse to stir up trouble with the lamb as he wants to eat it. The moral of this story? When a villain wants to do you harm, he does not care if the excuse is inappropriate.
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic raging on worldwide, this seems quite the case when speaking about origin tracing issues. Several countries have been trying to discredit the findings of the first-phase probe conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Wuhan and continue to blame China by circling back to the so-called “lab leak” theory—discarding all science and facts.
China was the world’s first country to report confirmed cases, and has thus far invited the WHO experts to the country twice for the purpose of origin tracing. The expert team concluded in its report in March that a lab leak was “extremely unlikely.”
However, in July WHO claimed there had been a “premature push” to dismiss the lab leak theory, a jaw-dropping step back from its previous statement.
“The findings of the WHO-led [research] in Wuhan into the origins of COVID-19 were quickly discredited because they didn’t fit the U.S. narrative,” Tom Fowdy, a British political and international relations analyst, wrote in an article recently published on the website of Russian media outlet Russia Today.
“Relentless pressure from the U.S. has caused WHO to suggest a second probe into the origin of COVID-19, focusing on Chinese labs,” he said.
China firmly rejected the plan, as it discounted previous research outcomes and ran counter to common sense and science, Huo Zhengxin, a professor of law at the China University of Political Science and Law, said.
Future origin tracing efforts should be an extension of the first round, focusing on the virus’ natural origin in animals, and expanding well beyond China to pursue clues found globally, Zeng Yixin, Vice Minister of the National Health Commission, said at a press conference on July 22. They should inherit the science-based and cooperative principle held throughout the study’s first stage in China, he added.
A scientific matter
Political leaders and experts worldwide have strongly opposed politicizing the issue of COVID-19 origin tracing. Many scientists have already refuted the lab leak conspiracy theory based on exact evidence.
On July 5, 24 leading experts from around the world published an article in medical journal The Lancet, stating that the lab leak theory lingers on without scientifically validated evidence.
“There is currently no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) has a laboratory origin. There is no evidence that any early cases had any connection to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)… nor evidence that the WIV possessed or worked on a progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 prior to the pandemic,” scientists from the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia wrote in a preprint paper on Zenodo, a European research data sharing platform, on July 7.
– The Daily Mail-Beijing Review News exchange item