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In China, the U.S. was accused of leaking the virus from the laboratory

More than 500 thousand Internet users in China have signed an open letter to the World Health Organization (WHO), demanding to investigate the situation at the American biological laboratory at Fort Detrick in order to “prevent future epidemics,” writes the Chinese newspaper Global Times.

An open letter from residents of the People's Republic of China says that in order to prevent the next epidemic, WHO needs to pay attention to laboratories that study dangerous viruses or biochemical weapons. In a special way, the letter highlights the US Army Institute for the Study of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick in Maryland, which allegedly contains dangerous and contagious viruses-Ebola, SARS, MERS, and smallpox. The leakage of any of them can lead to serious consequences.

“In the fall of 2019, a leak occurred in the laboratory before the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, but the US does not disclose detailed information under the pretext of national security,” the letter says.

It is noted that China allowed virologists from Western countries and representatives of the US media to visit the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the US did not open a laboratory at Fort Detrick and did not “share the initial data with countries, including China, that are independent of US geopolitical influence.”

The American laboratory, according to the Global Times, was temporarily closed in 2019 after an inspection by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The reason for the closure was called “infrastructure problems with wastewater disinfection”, but the explanation, according to the publication, was not convincing enough. Only by finding out the origin of the virus, the world can eliminate potential dangers and avoid the next outbreaks of the epidemic, the newspaper writes.

A group of Chinese users prepared a letter and asked the newspaper to publish it on social networks, which was done on Saturday, July 17. During the day, the letter gained more than 500 thousand signatures, the publication notes.

Earlier, the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called the rejection of the version about the COVID leak from the laboratory “premature”. He called on China to be transparent, open, and cooperative, especially with regard to information and primary data that was requested at an early stage of the pandemic.”

At the end of May, it was reported that the United States had obtained data on the coronavirus outbreak in the Wuhan laboratory. China called the US statements a political game and an attempt to shift the blame on others, but criticized the proposal to re-investigate the origin of the coronavirus. Later, the US Department of Health denied the existence of evidence of a coronavirus leak from a laboratory in China.

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