China Rebuffs WHO’s Terms For Further COVID-19 Origins Study

FILE - In this Monday, May 24, 2021 file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks at the WHO headquarters, in Geneva, Switzerland. The head of the World Health Organization said Thursday, July 15 that he is asking China to be more transparent as scientists search for the origins of the coronavirus and acknowledged it was premature to rule out that the pandemic may have been linked to a laboratory leak. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP, File)

(AP) — A senior Chinese health official says China cannot accept the World Health Organization’s plan for the second phase of a study into the origins of COVID-19. National Health Commission Vice Minister Zeng Yixin says he was “rather taken aback” by the call for a further look into the pandemic’s origins and specifically, the theory that the virus might have leaked from a Chinese lab. He dismissed that theory as a disproved rumor. The head of the WHO acknowledged last week that it was premature to rule out a potential link between the pandemic and a leak of the coronavirus from a Chinese lab. Zeng says the lab in the city of Wuhan has no virus that can directly infect humans.


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