A rising tide is turning against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as a global majority has come together to support launching an independent international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a regularly scheduled virtual meeting that brought together 194 member states of the World Health Organization (WHO), the majority of nations, at least 116, from around the globe have come together to call for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, Australia’s Daily Telegraph reported.
The motion for an inquiry does not specifically mention Wuhan China as the origin of the coronavirus, but it does call on the “actions of WHO and their timelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic” to be among the issues examined, the Telegraph said.
The motion also does not set a specific method for an inquiry, but suggest using “existing mechanisms for review as a potential option. Following the review, the motion says recommendations should be made to “improve global pandemic prevention, preparedness and response capacity.”
With the overwhelming majority of member-states supporting a motion for an independent investigation into the coronavirus pandemic and its origins, the World Health Organization (WHO) will find itself in the hot seat. But the question of whether or not the WHO will take action on the recommendation remains.
Even before the motion was introduced, many of the backers from the coalition of nations were already complaining that the European Union-drafted motion had been “watered down,” The Guardian reported.
“We’re not interested in blame; we’re not interested in any kind of witch-hunt,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Sky News, “we’re just interested in learning” and added that backing the motion was “sensible.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeatedly has said that China refused to give scientists from other countries samples of the coronavirus, early on in the outbreak, that were taken from the initial people that contracted the disease, as well as alleged that Beijing destroyed virus samples.
On Friday, a new report by the South China Morning Post confirms that China did indeed not only block early access to samples, it ordered labs to destroy them.
An official with the National Health Commission’s science and education department, Liu Dengfeng, said unauthorized labs were instructed to destroy samples to “prevent the risk to laboratory biological safety and prevent secondary disasters caused by unidentified pathogens.”
“Based on comprehensive research and expert opinion, we decided to temporarily manage the pathogen causing pneumonia as Class II – highly pathogenic – and imposed bio-safety requirements on sample collection, transport, and experimental activities, as well as destroying the samples,” Liu said.
Australia has been one of the most vocal advocates calling for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and how it was handled early on, a stance that drew strong pushback from China.
On May 1, Beijing accused Australia of parroting the United States in its call for an independent inquiry of the World Health Organization. The US is still making allegations that the WHO and China conspired to cover up and/or downplay the outbreak early on.
In a direct threat, Chinese Ambassador Cheng Jingy warned in an interview with an Australian newspaper that the country could face boycotts from Chinese consumers, students, and tourists visiting the country, as well as the sales of major exports including beef and wine.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison accused the Chinese ambassador of “economic coercion.”