China accused the U.S. of attempting to smear the country after a Sunday report from the U.S. Department of Energy found that COVID-19 most likely leaked from a lab.
Reporters pressed Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning about the report during a Monday briefing. Mao dismissed the report, however, citing the much-criticized joint WHO-China investigation into the origins of the virus.
“The origins-tracing of SARS-CoV-2 is about science and should not be politicized. China has always supported and participated in global science-based origins-tracing,” Mao said Monday. “‘A laboratory origin of the pandemic was considered to be extremely unlikely’ is a science-based, authoritative conclusion reached by the experts of the WHO-China joint mission after field trips to the lab in Wuhan and in-depth communication with researchers. It was accurately recorded in the mission’s report and has received extensive recognition from the international community.”
“Certain parties should stop rehashing the “lab leak” narrative, stop smearing China and stop politicizing origins-tracing,” Mao continued.
China’s dismissal comes one day after the U.S. Department of Energy joined the FBI in finding that an accidental lab leak was the most likely source of the COVID-19 outbreak, though it made the assessment with “low confidence.”
In a statement to Fox News Digital on Sunday, a spokesperson for the Energy Department said, “The Department of Energy continues to support the thorough, careful, and objective work of our intelligence professionals in investigating the origins of COVID-19, as the President directed.
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