US envoy: China should be truthful about Covid's origin.
BBC || Shining BD
The US envoy to China has called on the country to be "more honest" about the origins of the Covid-19 virus.
His remarks come a day after US media reported that a federal agency had discovered the pandemic was most likely caused by a Wuhan laboratory leak.
The global outbreak's origin "was about science and should not be politicized," the Chinese foreign ministry retorted.
Since the United States shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon this month, relations between Washington and Beijing have deteriorated.
At a US Chamber of Commerce event on Monday, Ambassador Nicholas Burns stated that China needs to "be more honest about what happened in Wuhan three years ago with the origin of the Covid-19 crisis."
On Sunday, US media reported that a classified intelligence report from the US Department of Energy had reached the "low confidence" conclusion that the virus was unintentionally released by a laboratory.
The energy department had previously stated that it was unsure of the virus's origin.
With varying degrees of confidence in their findings, other US agencies have come to different conclusions. In 2021, the FBI came to the "moderate confidence" conclusion that the virus escaped from a lab.
Other research indicates that it transitioned from being an animal to a human at the Huanan seafood and wildlife market in Wuhan.
In an unclassified report published in October 2021, the top US spy official stated that four US intelligence agencies had "low confidence" that the virus had come from an infected animal or a related virus.
There is still no definitive answer, according to John Kirby, the national security spokesman for the White House.
When asked about the rumored conclusion of the energy department, he told reporters that "there has not been a definitive conclusion and consensus in the US government on the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic."
The lab leak theory was once more rejected on Monday by a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry.
US investigators were urged by Mao Ning to "stop smearing China and stop politicizing origins-tracing."
Being proven correct doesn't matter, Republican Senator Tom Cotton tweeted following news that the US energy department had chosen the lab leak theory.
Holding the Chinese Communist Party responsible is crucial to preventing future incidents.
Seth Moulton, a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, told CNN he was "not entirely surprised" by the alleged finding of the energy department.
He claimed that "the Chinese have mishandled Covid at every turn, [and are] trying to sweep it under the rug."