Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

China fired back at the United States on Sunday over allegations from the White House that Beijing withheld some information about the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak from World Health Organization (WHO) investigators.

In a statement on Saturday, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington had “deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the Covid-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them.”

“It is imperative that this report be independent, with expert findings free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government,” he said, referring to the WHO mission investigating the origins of the pandemic in the central city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first detected late in 2019.

“To better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one, China must make available its data from the earliest days of the outbreak.” Sullivan’s statement said.

(PHOTO: Marion Koopmans, right, and Peter Ben Embarek, center, of the World Health Organization team said farewell to their Chinese counterpart Liang Wannian, left, after a WHO-China Joint Study Press Conference held at the end of the WHO mission in Wuhan, China, on Feb. 9, 2021.NG HAN GUAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

China responded Sunday with a statement from its Washington Embassy that said the US had already “gravely damaged international cooperation on Covid-19” and was now “pointing fingers at other countries who have been faithfully supporting the WHO and at the WHO itself. “While it welcomed President Joe Biden’s decision to reverse the Trump administration’s move to leave the WHO, China hopes the US will “hold itself to the highest standards, take a serious, earnest, transparent and responsible attitude, shoulder its rightful responsibility, support the WHO’s work with real actions and make due contribution to the international cooperation on Covid-19,” the statement said. SOVEREIGNPH

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