West's concerns over WHO report groundless

2021-03-31 12:02:53

On Monday, the World Health Organization announced it had received the report of the expert team that visited China to conduct field research in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, where the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in China and reported to the WHO. The report was scheduled to be released to the public on Tuesday. However, it had already been leaked to some Western media outlets, many of which have been quick to cast aspersions on it. CNN quoted US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken-hitherto unknown to be a virologist or expert in eco-virology-as having expressed concerns about the "methodology and the process" of the expert team. And The New York Times, also in its expert capacity, backed him up by declaring the report "does little to allay Western concerns". Given the blame game the West has been playing during the pandemic with China as the whipping boy, it was to be expected that the report's findings would be disparaged. Yet for all the attempts to pin the blame for the pandemic on China, the report states that: "The findings suggest that circulation of SARS-CoV-2 (the scientific name for the virus) preceded the initial detection of cases by several weeks. Some of the suspected positive samples were detected even earlier than the first case in Wuhan, suggesting the possibility of missed circulation in other countries." Heaven forbid that the Western countries should have to point their accusing fingers at one of themselves. Which is why they have doubled down on attacking China by throwing suspicion on the integrity of the members of the WHO's expert team, with Blinken claiming "the government in Beijing apparently helped to write" the report. In fact the report is based on the field work of the team of international and Chinese experts who visited nine sites, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and conducted talks and interviews with medical staff, research staff, recovered patients, and the families of medical workers who died of COVID-19, as well as ordinary residents in Wuhan. The criticism turns a blind eye to the facts that the international experts from dozens of countries spoke highly of China's cooperation, and that the report was drafted and finished by WHO experts. The Western politicians and media outlets denigrating the work of the team and the report on its findings are intent on making the research into the origins of the pandemic a political tool to serve their purpose of impugning the integrity of the Chinese authorities. Yet their efforts do not alter the fact that China has cooperated with global experts in an open, transparent way, nor will they dissuade it from continuing to cooperate to learn more about the origins of the virus so the world can be better prepared to prevent a pandemic in the future. While the West views China as the enemy, for China, the enemy is the virus. Science is science, it should be free of politics. It should be for the common good.