Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, US has pursued most convenient and economical way in finding the origin of the novel coronavirus — fabricating groundless allegations against China, experts say.


Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the United States has pursued the most convenient and economical way in finding the origin of the novel coronavirus — fabricating groundless allegations against China, experts say.

In the latest episode, US media have hyped an updated intelligence report by the US Department of Energy, saying the pandemic “most likely” arose from a laboratory leak in China.

Calling the report “significant”, The Wall Street Journal said: “The Energy Department now joins the FBI in saying the virus likely spread via a mishap at a Chinese laboratory.”

The department had previously said it was unsure about the origin of virus. However, it changed its position and arrived at the lab leak judgment with “low confidence”, which means the information it obtained “is not enough or is too fragmented to make a definitive analytic judgment or that there is not enough information available to draw a more robust conclusion”, a CNN report explained.

Searching for the origin of Coronavirus will help humanity cope with future pandemics, and investigations should be conducted in a scientific way. However, since former US president Donald Trump labeled the disease the “China virus”, this work has faced challenges caused by political manipulation.

By hyping up its so-called lab leak theory and accusing China of covering up the truth at the start of the outbreak, the US has attempted to shift attention from its own failings in preventing the spread of the disease and further demonize China as a “threat”, observers say.

Despite scientific research by multiple nations and a joint investigation by China and the World Health Organization, Washington continues to press the global health watchdog to stage a second-phase study into the origin of COVID-19 in China, as well as mobilized its intelligence agency.

“The topic of the lab origin of the coronavirus has been constantly raised. First, Trump started it, and then (President Joe) Biden supported it,” Gennady Onishchenko, first deputy chairman of the Committee on Education and Science of the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, told Xinhua. “Obviously, the purpose is to blame China. All this is being done to politicize the topic of COVID-19 origins. Perhaps, other steps will follow. They don’t need the truth.”

For years, US politicians have created a narrative to contain China, making it a scapegoat when they talk about national security or try to shift public anger over their policy failures, analysts noted.

US economist Jeffrey Sachs, who heads the Lancet COVID-19 Commission, said that once the outbreak began, Washington blamed China entirely, and even refused to cooperate with China to stop the pandemic. In 2020 Trump repeatedly attacked China and even withdrew from the WHO after accusing the body of favoring China.

Since the early 2010s, the US has been escalating its containment efforts against China by taking unilateral trade measures, imposing technology barriers, investment and financial barriers, and other sanctions, and by forging military alliances such as AUKUS, Sachs said.

“The goal of the US is to weaken China and to mobilize an alliance against China,” he said. “This is a huge mistake and very dangerous.”

However, the political manipulation or even weaponization of the origin-tracing issue by the US is not popular at the international level. More than 80 countries have stated explicit opposition to the politicization of origin tracing, and over 300 political parties, civil organizations, and think tanks from more than 100 countries and regions have submitted a joint statement to the WHO Secretariat.

Countries around the world are getting tired of the politics some major powers are trying to play in regard to the pandemic. Politics does not have a constructive role in overcoming the human and economic toll that this virus has inflicted on different countries, said Cavince Adhere, a Kenya-based scholar in international relations.

Politicizing the origin-tracing of Coronavirus is not helpful to the international community, and the blame game that we have seen from Washington really doesn’t work well for the global anti-pandemic effort, he added.

Originally published at China Daily