BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Some U.S. politicians have hyped up the "lab leak" theory of COVID-19 again to shift responsibility for its own failure in handling the pandemic.
A group of U.S. Republican senators are pressing the Department of Justice to pursue legal action against Chinese officials after the COVID-19 leak theory was revived recently in the United States, according to a Fox News report.
This is another utterly irresponsible and senseless attempt by some U.S. politicians who try by all means to smear China, cover up the fatal incompetence of U.S. authorities in tackling the pandemic, and seek political gains for themselves.
Tracing the origins of the virus is a matter of science. To date, all the evidence that has stood up to scientific examination does not support the theory that the virus came from a laboratory.
In early 2021, experts of the World Health Organization (WHO)-China joint mission, after field trips to a lab in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province and in-depth communication with researchers, reached the conclusion that "a laboratory origin of the pandemic was considered to be extremely unlikely."
Fabian Leendertz, a zoonoses expert who had participated in the WHO search for the origins of the coronavirus, said that a laboratory leak as the possible origin of the COVID-19 pandemic was "purely politically motivated," and that political power games were behind this theory.
The expert told German Press Agency recently that "there is no new data that would strengthen the laboratory hypothesis that I am aware of. It remains the most unlikely hypothesis of all."
More and more clues from the international scientific community are linking the origins of COVID-19 to sources around the world. This study should be, and can only be, conducted jointly by scientists around the world.
China has supported and participated in global science-based origins-tracing. In contrast, the United States has never invited WHO experts to its land for joint study, or shared any early data on COVID-19 origins.
Rather, the U.S. has been politicizing and instrumentalizing the issue, and mongering its lab leak theory without any supporting evidence. By doing so, U.S. politicians just want to shift the blame for its own COVID-19 response failure and accumulate political capital as "blaming China for bad things" has become a potential consensus between the two major U.S. political parties.
Yet baselessly blaming and slandering others for one's own failures might deflect people's attention for a while, but it is never conducive to solving problems.
The spread of SARS, Ebola and COVID-19 demonstrated painfully that unknown, lethal viruses do exist and are able to wreak extensive havoc, making humanity's destiny closely linked. How humanity can better cope with the next pandemic is a question demanding a good answer, and one consensus is to apply a science-based approach.
The United States should do better to respect science and facts, stop its political manipulation, and refrain from undermining global cooperation on science-based origins-tracing.
Disinformation and smear can go nowhere, but put humanity in greater jeopardy. ■