Coronavirus

China Stonewalls WHO Investigators

A Chinese health care worker gives a COVID-19 vaccine jab to a man at a mass vaccination center for Chaoyang District on January 15, 2021 in Beijing, China. / Getty Images

The Chinese government barred the entry of two investigators who are part of a World Health Organization team tasked with finding the origins of the coronavirus.

On Monday, Beijing granted permission to 15 WHO scientists to enter Wuhan—where the deadly virus first emerged—only to stonewall researchers upon their arrival. The regime barred entry to two of the scientists, claiming they tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, and required the rest of the team to quarantine for two weeks, according to a Thursday tweet by the WHO. The international organization said that all members had "multiple negative PCR and antibody tests for COVID-19 in their home countries prior to traveling."

The Chinese government has repeatedly stymied efforts by the WHO and other international observers to conduct independent investigations into the pandemic's origin in China. The country imposed economic sanctions on Australia after the country called for an international investigation and has refused to allow any foreign scientists to enter Wuhan for months.

The Chinese government has long tried to dismiss concrete evidence that the coronavirus pandemic started in Wuhan. Its top diplomats and propagandists have instead promoted a wide range of conspiracy theories, including a bizarre theory that the virus actually originated in a U.S. military lab.

"When did patient zero begin in [the United States]? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be the U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! [The United States] owe us an explanation," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian tweeted in March 2020.