US envoy advises China to be truthful about the origin of Covid

A worker holding a sample of Covid

The Covid-19 virus's origins should be "more honest," according to the US envoy to China.

He made these remarks the day after US media reported that a federal agency had determined the pandemic was most likely caused by a Wuhan laboratory leak.

The response from China's foreign ministry was that the origin of the global pandemic "was about science and should not be politicized.".

Relations between Washington and Beijing are strained after the US shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon earlier this month.

China needs to "be more honest about what happened three years ago in Wuhan with the origin of the Covid-19 crisis," according to Ambassador Nicholas Burns, who stated this at a US Chamber of Commerce event on Monday.

The US Department of Energy concluded in a classified intelligence report with "low confidence" that the virus was unintentionally released by a laboratory, according to US media reports published on Sunday.

Previously, the energy department had stated that it was unsure of the virus's origin.

Different conclusions have been reached by other US agencies, with varying levels of confidence in their findings. With "moderate confidence," the FBI came to the conclusion that the virus escaped from a lab in 2021.

The Huanan seafood and wildlife market in Wuhan is where, according to other studies, it transitioned from being an animal to a human.

On Monday, John Kirby, the national security spokesman for the White House, said there was still no definitive answer.

When questioned by reporters about the alleged determination made by the energy department, he responded, "There has not been a conclusive conclusion and consensus in the US government on the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Monday saw a new denial of the lab leak theory from a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson.

"Stop smearing China and stop politicizing origins-tracing," demanded Mao Ning of US investigators.

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