Coronavirus origin: US faces another embarrassment

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 12:52 PM, 28 Aug, 2021
Coronavirus origin: US faces another embarrassment
File photo.

As many as 4.497 million people across the world have died because of deadly coronavirus. Another 216.162 million are confirmed affectees at present. 

Despite this huge loss of human lives the countries, with all their advancement in research, have not been able to trace the origin of the pandemic. Some countries have, however, prepared vaccinations as a result of which the death rate and spread of the deadly infection have come down. 

The US has consistently been alleging that China is responsible for spreading the pandemic.   

It was in May last year when then US president Donald Trump claimed to have seen evidence to substantiate the unproven theory that the coronavirus originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, despite US intelligence agencies’ conclusion that the virus was “not manmade or genetically modified”. 

“We’re going to see where it comes from,” Trump said at a White House event. 

“We have people looking at it very, very strongly. Scientific people, intelligence people, and others. We’re going to put it all together. I think we will have a very good answer eventually. And China might even tell us.” 

Pressed to explain what evidence he had seen that the virus originated in a Chinese lab, president Trump responded, “I can’t tell you that. I’m not allowed to tell you that.” 

According to a media report, prior to that White House event, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the clearinghouse for the web of US spy agencies, issued a statement asserting that the intelligence community “concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the Covid-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified”. 

“The intelligence community will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan,” the statement added. 

When President Joe Biden took over he ordered in May an investigation into the origin of the pandemic. After three months he has been presented with an intelligence report that is inconclusive about the origins of coronavirus

It didn’t yield a definitive conclusion on whether the new coronavirus jumped to humans naturally, or via a lab leak, in part because of the lack of detailed information from China. 

This has provided China with an opportunity to hit back.   

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin has accused the United States of using coronavirus origin-tracing to suppress other countries, and called the report political instead of scientific.  

He also pushed back against criticism from U.S. officials that China has obstructed international efforts to get information about the earliest days of the pandemic. 

“The United States says it lacks information from China,” Wang said, adding that “I can tell the United States that this is just an excuse to cover up the failure of its intelligence in origin tracing.” 

China’s ambassador to the United Nations, Chen Xu, sent a letter Monday to Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, demanding that the US military lab at Fort Detrick in Maryland is the one that should be under investigation, instead of any Chinese labs, according to a statement from the Chinese mission in Geneva.  

The Chinese Embassy in Egypt held a news conference to denounce the US intelligence report as a product of conspiracy theories. 

The inconclusive report on coronavirus origin is the second embarrassment for the US during the past few weeks. 

The US had to face a more serious embarrassment when it had to quit Afghanistan after 20 years of occupation of the impoverished Islamic state. 

While leaving it paved the way for the Taliban to take control of the country. 

Needless to recall that the US spent some one trillion dollars on the mindless war, that brought to power the very same elements the US and allies had ousted two decades ago.