COMMENTARY: COVID-19 Origin Tracing – Let Science Do Its Job

Luo Songtao, Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Dominica

At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging worldwide, with the viruses mutating constantly, the international community are in dire need of, more than ever, unity to combat the pandemic and a science-based approach to global cooperation on origin-tracing of the virus. Unfortunately, some countries are sparing no effort in politicizing the origin probe and manufacturing and spreading “political viruses” that constitute new barriers to joint efforts to overcome this public health crisis. Origin-tracing is a scientific issue that brooks no political intervention and that should not be used as leverage for one’s own political advantage.

China’s position on global origin-tracing is consistent and clear-cut. Origin-tracing is a matter of science. It should be and can only be left to scientists to identify, through scientific research, the virus’s zoonotic source and animal-human transmission routes. However, some countries have been pursuing politicization, stigmatization and the use of origin-tracing as a tool. They order intelligence inquiry into the origins of the virus in China and hype up the unfounded “lab leak” conspiracy based on the presumption of guilt. This is undermining the very foundation of global unity to battle the pandemic, and crippling the virus probe efforts that should have been objective and impartial. Essentially this is a manifestation of disregard for people’s rights to their lives and health. A recent online survey report released by CGTN Think Tank reveals that 80% of the global netizens who participated in the poll believe “the issue of virus tracing on COVID-19 has been politicized”.

The findings and recommendations of the WHO-China joint study report are widely recognized by the international community and scientists, and must be respected and implemented by all parties, including WHO. China has been open and transparent as it is actively engaging in science-based international cooperation in origin tracing. As the first country to work with the World Health Organization (WHO), China invited WHO experts twice to China for origin studies. At the beginning of the year, the WHO independently selected 17 international experts from the US, Britain, Japan, Australia, etc. to team with their Chinese counterparts in conducting a 28-day field study in Wuhan, China. The experts went to all the places they wanted to go, met all the people they wanted to meet, reached a scientific conclusion in the joint WHO-China study report that a laboratory leak is extremely unlikely, and recommended conducting further research around earlier cases globally, and studying the possibility of cold chain transmission of the virus, etc. The future work of global origin-tracing should and must proceed from that basis, instead of reinventing the wheel.

Origin tracing should be conducted on a global scale. Being the first country to report the virus does not necessarily make it the origin of the virus. Research only in that country is far from enough. At present, there is increasing media coverage of COVID-19 cases emerging in many countries in the second half of 2019. Skepticism is rising over Fort Detrick bio-lab virus leak in the media reports. Therefore, origin probe should be conducted more extensively across the world to search for early cases, to carry out molecular epidemiology study and identify animal reservoirs and intermediate hosts.

A virus that knows no border can only be defeated through solidarity. Since the onset of the pandemic, China, upholding the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, has provided 2 billion US dollars in assistance for the COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in developing countries hit by the pandemic while providing more than 280 billion masks, 3.4 billion protective suits and 4 billion testing kits to the world. Another 3 billion USD will be provided for international assistance in the next 3 years. China has honored its pledge to make vaccines a global public good by leading the efforts to carry out the world’s largest vaccine cooperation campaign, providing more than 770 million doses of vaccines to other countries, the most of any nation in the world. Recently at the First Meeting of the International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in his address that China will strive to provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world throughout this year and offer 100 million US dollars to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) facility.

China-Dominica friendship has also been heightened as the two countries move ahead with anti-pandemic cooperation. Since the outbreak, China has donated multiple batches of masks, protective suits, forehead thermometers, test kits and vaccines and gifted the urgently needed PCR test kits amidst Dominica’s recent infection spike. It is believed that the Dominican Government and people shall prevail over this pandemic with their relentless effort.

China is committed to science-based global cooperation on origin tracing and will continue to make greater contributions to the global fight against the pandemic while endeavoring to build a global community of health for all.

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11 Comments

  1. If we knew better
    August 31, 2021

    LOLOL. Feller, best you just sit in a corner and play stupid and act like you cannot even speak English. For your sake. Because i dont know who the hell you trying to fool with your propaganda. You think people stupid man? or as stupid as Skerrit tell you we are? either way you are wrong.

  2. L C Matthew
    August 31, 2021

    It is amazing this guy is enjoying free press to even speak directly to Dominicans. Will i be afforded the same freedom to speak my mind in Chinese media to the Chinese people? This guy needs to keep his trap shut because i really do not want to hear what he has to say. The western public is free enough to speak out about thier own government and government lies with no fear of being arrested neither controlled so he needs to shhhhhhsh. I suggest not to publish his view unless we have the same freedom to express our point of view directly in China. That’s mutual respect!!!!!!!

    • August 31, 2021

      Agree. He is shill for a total totalitarian government who locks up millions of its own people, shuts down any free speech, is destroying the oceans and forests of Asia and the world, colonizing Africa for food production, and the list goes on. This guy is a clown and licks at the boots of his Chinese masters. They screwed up in a lab and let this loose. Now they hide and bury the truth. So keep writing your garbage in the free Dominican press while nothing can be written in the Chinese media. Dominica needs to wake up and kick the Chinese out before its too late. Unfortunately their soft loans and political influence buying with millions in projects/aids will likely not stir anyone in Government to respond.

    • Marcus
      September 1, 2021

      You would find yourself in jail a few hours later of speaking and that would probably be the last that was ever seen of you.

  3. Check
    August 31, 2021

    I ask all readers to simply do some research and go back to late 2019 and early 2020, and fact-check the claims that this man has put forward. I will not give my opinion or conclusions on some of his claims, but any honest research will prove that this commentary is full of half-truths, un-truths, and willfull mis-information. Please note that the CGTN that he quotes is a ccp owned and operated media house that pushes ccp propaganda. The “netizens” that he mentions are people who are paid internet posters and bloggers. Paid by the ccp. BTW ccp=chinese communist party. The ccp has been very thorough in cleaning up evidence that would give a more comprehensive view as to the origin of the virus. As I have said before, when you hear one of these ccp people talk, know that what they are telling you should be understood in reverse. They always implicate themselves by putting the blame of action on another party. What they accuse others of doing, is exactly what they are doing.

  4. Waiting For Airport
    August 30, 2021

    Once again DNO giving China an unfair advantage over Us, making us pass like sot… Chinese propaganda in our local media… Chinese media will never allow our propaganda in their publications.

    China we not interested in your attempts to indoctrinate us with your bs!

  5. Mr. Nicholas
    August 30, 2021

    Smart but not clever…. seeing the impending scandal china is trying to get ahead of the wave….. fact of the matter is .. Wuhan biological research is at the epicenter of it all

    we might be bare foot Mr. Song but trust me NOUS PAS SOT!!!

  6. Rubinho
    August 30, 2021

    Thank you yet again for your propaganda. We do NOT need any advice from you. Why don’t you tell the international community and the people of Dominica were the virus originated from? This is of real interest to all of us. All your other ‘advice’ you can save for your fellow countrymen.

    • Pipo
      August 30, 2021

      Perhaps we are expecting too much from mr. Luo Sungtao. He can only present the official view of the Communist Party of China. Don’t be too hard on him. He is doing his job, which is to present his country and its interests. We are free to make up our own mind about the possible origins of Covid. However, to ascertain blame only is not helpful since we are all affected by this dreadful and deadly virus and must tackle it together, globally.

    • lmckoy
      August 30, 2021

      Every country, including China, will act to protect its interest. Maybe the Charge d’Affaires does not know where the virus originated and even if he knew and tell you, how would you know if what he is telling you is the truth? The immediate concern should be to get control of this dangerous virus, regardless of where it originated, so that we can go about our business. After that, we can worry about origin.

  7. derp
    August 30, 2021

    that thing came out from China, I bet even the lab in Wuhan, you all just trying to save face now

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