US intelligence community’s virus origins report is artificial, political flavoring, not science: Pakistani scholar

Illustration: Liu Rui

Editor’s Note:

Ninety days have passed since US President Joe Biden ordered for a report probing into the origins of the still ravaging novel coronavirus. On Tuesday, Biden reportedly received a classified report from the US intelligence community that was inconclusive about the origins of the novel coronavirus. It included information about whether or not the virus jumped from an animal to a human, or escaped from a lab in Wuhan. What are the US’ intentions behind its origins-tracing maneuver? Global Times (GT) reporter Wang Wenwen talked to Yasir Habib Khan (Khan), founder and president of the Institute of International Relations and Media Research in Pakistan, on these issues.

GT:  What do you think are the US’ intentions behind its origins-tracing maneuver? Why could a scientific investigation become so politicized? 

Khan: Every intension has its deep-rooted history that gives foundation to spillover action.

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Politicizing virus origins will hinder global efforts, say experts

[Photo/China Daily]

Searching for the origin of viruses, including the novel coronavirus, is an extremely difficult and complicated undertaking prone to uncertainties, but one thing that”s certain is that the quest should be underpinned by scientific evidence, not politically motivated speculation, experts said.

“Whenever a major infectious disease breaks out, one of the first questions raised by scientists and the public is: Where did it come from?” said Su Jingjing, a professor at Peking University’s School of Health Humanities.

“Hunting down the origin of a virus, understanding how it is introduced into the human population and how it spreads further will enable medical and public health experts to better cope with the disease and prevent future outbreaks,” she added.

However, Su said, tracing the source of a virus requires large amounts of on-site investigations, thorough laboratory testing and “a great deal of luck”.

For instance, she said, it took nearly

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