PanamaTimes

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

China accuses WHO of 'attempting to smear' Beijing after boss says data about COVID origins 'should have been shared years ago'

China accuses WHO of 'attempting to smear' Beijing after boss says data about COVID origins 'should have been shared years ago'

Samples of genetic material collected at a market in Wuhan - where the first cases were detected - showed DNA from raccoon dogs mingled with the virus. Chinese health officials defended their search for the source of the virus.

China has accused the World Health Organisation (WHO) of "attempting to smear" Beijing after the global health body's boss said data linking the origins of coronavirus to raccoon dogs should have been shared years ago.

Samples of genetic material collected at a market in Wuhan - where the first cases were detected in late 2019 - showed DNA from raccoon dogs mingled with the virus.

Last month the WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the newly disclosed genetic material "should have been shared three years ago".

Chinese health officials defended their search for the source of the virus, branding the WHO chief's remarks as "offensive and disrespectful".

Shen Hongbing, director of the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said the WHO was "attempting to smear China" and should avoid helping others "politicise COVID-19".

"As a responsible country and as scientists, we have always actively shared research results with scientists from around the world," he said at a news conference.

Raccoon dogs have been linked to the origins of COVID


Outbreak origins still debated


The origins of the outbreak are still being debated and have become the focus of bitter political disputes.

Many scientists believe the virus jumped from animals to humans at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, the location of the first known COVID outbreak.

However, there have been suggestions it came from a lab leak in the city, which houses several laboratories - including China's top facility for collecting viruses.

The ruling Communist Party has tried to deflect criticism of its handling of the outbreak by spreading uncertainty about its origins, with officials repeating anti-US conspiracy theories the virus was created in Washington and smuggled into China.

The government has also said the virus may have entered China on mail or food shipments - though scientists have seen no evidence to support that theory.

Chinese officials initially suppressed information about the Wuhan outbreak in 2019 and punished a doctor who warned others of the new disease.

The ruling party reversed course in early 2020 and shut down access to major cities and international travel in a futile attempt to contain the disease.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology where it is claimed COVID-19 may have escaped from


The genetic material the WHO referred to was uploaded to a global database recently but collected in 2020 at the Wuhan market where wildlife was sold.

Scientists said it adds to evidence for the hypothesis coronavirus came from animals rather than a lab leak - though it does not resolve the question of where it started. They said the virus might have spread to raccoon dogs from humans.

Last month the director of the FBI said the agency believes COVID-19 "most likely" came from a lab leak in China, though four other US agencies, along with a national intelligence panel, still believe the pandemic was likely the result of natural transmission, while two are undecided.

The information was removed by Chinese officials from the database after foreign scientists asked the CDC about it, but it had been copied by a French expert and shared with researchers outside of China.

Mr Shen said scientists investigated the possibility of a lab leak and "fully shared our research and data without any concealment or reservation".

He said the source of COVID-19 had yet to be found but noted it took years to identify the AIDS virus and its origins are still unclear.

"Some forces and figures who instigate and participate in politicising the traceability issue and attempting to smear China should not assume that the vision of the scientific community around the world will be blinded by their clumsy manipulation," Mr Shen said.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
El Salvador's Bitcoin Holdings Reach $350 Million
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
German politician of the AFD party, Marie-Thérèse Kaiser was just convicted & fined $6,000+
Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
Biden Administration to Relax Marijuana Regulations
101-Year-Old Woman Mistaken for a Baby by American Airlines: Comical Mix-Up during Flight Check-in
King Charles and Camilla enjoying the Inuit voice singing performance in Canada.
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Headlines - Thursday, 23 April 2024
Illinois Woman Wins $45M Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Kenvue for Mesothelioma Linked to Baby Powder
Panama's lates news for Friday, April 19
Creative menu of a Pizza restaurant..
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Experience the Future of Dining: My Visit to an AI-Powered Burger Joint
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
I will never get enough of his videos and the pure joy and beauty of these women!!
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an "invisibility cloak", for AI using adversarial patterns on a sweater, making the wearer nearly undetectable to standard object detection methods.
Lamborghini Bids Farewell to Its Best-Selling Sports Car: The Huracán
Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals 25-Year Prison Sentence for $8bn FTX Fraud
OJ Simpson, ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, dies aged 76
British Backpacker Imprisoned in Notorious Bolivian Prison: Family Raises Funds for Legal Fight and Essentials
Argentina: Venezuela Cuts Power to Embassy after Opposition Meeting
El Salvador Offers 5,000 Passports to Skilled Foreign Workers: Tax-Free Relocation and Citizenship
Panama Papers Trial Begins: Founders of Mossack Fonseca Face Money-Laundering Charges
75 Becomes the New 65: Retiring in Your 60s Unrealistic as Life Expectancy Increases and Costs Rise
Total Solar Eclipse of 2021: 32 Million Witness the Mystical, $1.5bn Spectacle Sweep Across North America
New shopping experience…
New world, new reality, let’s get used to it
UK Company Passes Milestone in Developing Space-Based Solar Power, Aiming to Power a Million Homes and Provide Constant Energy
Mexico Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador after Police Storm Embassy, Arrest Former Vice President
Monty Python were so ahead of their time
If there's a will, there's a way!
Rules about how to dress are important, but not so much if you have a lot of money.
Body Armor Firm Showcases Stab-Proof Vest in Demo on CEO
Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Embassy Stormed in Quito
Here is a tattoo idea, for engineers
Zoraya Ter Beek, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands, will undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health challenges
Here's a video featuring Fidel Castro, where he discusses his stance against war and his commitment to preserving life, positions that have put him at odds with the USA:
Woman reaches behind and steals gun from a security guard and shoots three people while getting detained in Chile
Take a walk around the safe and thriving downtown San Salvador.
Joe Biden criticised by Trump campaign for declaring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday
Macron says France will help Brazil develop nuclear-powered submarines
A video demonstrating women's self defense class in 1930
×