The just-released report of the United States intelligence community (IC) on the subject of the Covid-19 origins, is remarkable for its being “inconclusive” and demonstration of the fissures among researchers.
By Venus Mashambanhaka
The chief reason for this, of course, was that the inquiry into origins tracing itself was meant to be a political witch hunt barely dressed up with science.
As fate would have it, against the overwhelming evidence against the predetermined conclusions that sought to paint China as responsible for originating the virus, the dress-up fell leaving US with no clothes!
No evidence has been produced to show that the virus was manufactured as a bioweapon, or leaked accidentally from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
The IC made a commendably bold admission that cleared the Government of China of having prior knowledge of the virus before the outbreak.
With the discrediting of two major theories, the US no longer has legs to stand on in its quest to continue vilifying China as the originator of the virus – a claim that the US had wanted to use for both political capital as well as the basis for an unprecedented civil suit against China for “damages” caused by the disease.
This should signal the end of the cynical “origins tracing” that has not served anyone but down seeds of division and doubt in the minds of the global populace when everyone should have focused on defeating the disease.
The sideshow has been costly.
It will be remembered that the US vilified and threatened the World Health Organisation on a fictitious basis that the global health body was covering up for China.
Former US President Donald Trump’s stigmatisation of China over the virus was costly and led to distrust, often seen in stakeholders losing faith in Chinese own efforts to defeat the disease.
The campaign of disinformation likely caused thousands of deaths of global citizens.
Against this backdrop, the world must reject any further attempts to broaden, expand or elongate investigations in the vain hope that something would stick on China.
There is just so much high a price to pay for that.
It is also objectionable that the IC states in its report that, “China’s cooperation most likely would be needed to reach a conclusive assessment of the origins of COVID-19.”
China already provided access to over 200 experts led by the World Health Organisation in January, and they pretty much came with the same conclusions that the IC has done, emphatically that the virus did not leak from a lab or manufactured as a bioweapon.
The world cannot afford to go on and on in circles: the obsession with China must just stop.
Instead, new lines of inquiry must be opened, chiefly targeting the US itself where there is indicative information that the virus could have predated official reports.
It is known that the US has over 200 facilities that were involved in handling, experimenting, and modification of coronaviruses.
One big center of this was at Fort Detrick, which was closed over safety concerns.
In the US, people started falling sick of what is presumably Covid-19, well before the official declaration.
The same happened elsewhere in Italy, Europe.
The world would really be interested in these more credible lines of inquiry of origins tracing that are more scientific and broad-based.
However, the US is choosing to continue focusing on China and dragging it into its self-serving conspiracy theories.
It will be within the rights of China to reject this unilateral and parochial and obsessive focus on the country, which certainly doesn’t serve anyone but US’ narrow interests in achieving a propaganda coup.
The world cannot continue to be led down the garden path.
Perhaps it is time for global consensus that calls out US bullying and obstructionism at the expense of greater solidarity to fight against the pandemic.
World leaders should be bold enough to call an end to sideshows so that humanity can be united, once again in the fight against the disease, which is clearly a moving target at this stage.
However, there continues to be important scientific knowledge being gained as well as strides in vaccination.
Countries with knowledge and demonstrable leadership of the field should be allowed to guide the world.
As for the US, which has handled the pandemic poorly at home and failed the global leadership test, it must simply sit down.
This way, the world can progress and boost the chances of winning against what has been termed the invisible enemy.