Chinese government rejects WHO plan for second phase of Covid-19 origins study
July 22, 2021 at 04:25
(CNN) The Chinese government will not participate in a second phase of the World Health Organization's investigation into the origins of Covid-19, a top health official announced Tuesday, after the possibility of the virus leaking from a Wuhan lab was included on the proposal.
Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the National Health Commission, told a press conference in Beijing he had been "surprised" to see the lab leak listed as a research objective under the second phase of the investigation.
"In some aspects, the WHO's plan for next phase of investigation of the coronavirus origin doesn't respect common sense, and it's against science.
It's impossible for us to accept such a plan," he said.
Zeng also appeared to respond to US State Department claims that several workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell sick shortly before the first documented cases of Covid-19, saying "no worker or researcher at the WIV got infected by coronavirus."
The WHO released an initial report from its investigation into the origins of Covid-19 in March , in which it determined that the virus probably originated in an animal before spreading to human beings around December 2019.