US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday met WHO chief Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesu in Kuwait, where he reaffirmed support to the UN agency’s additional studies on the COVD-19 origins, including in China to better understand the pandemic.
“In a meeting with DG Tedros, we discussed saving lives by ending this pandemic and advancing global health security. The US supports the World Health Organisation’s plans for additional studies into COVID-19 origins, including in People’s Republic of China (PRC), to better understand this pandemic and prevent future ones,” Blinken tweeted.
In recent months, the lab-leak theory has gained great traction pushing the Biden administration to give the American intelligence to find answers into the virus origin under a stipulated period of time.
Earlier this month, the WHO had proposed the second phase of studies into the origins of the coronavirus in China, including audits of laboratories and markets in the city of Wuhan, calling for transparency from authorities. However, China rejected this plan.
A state department release said Blinken and Tedros discussed opportunities for collaboration to continue reforming and strengthening the WHO, while also building greater global pandemic preparedness and response capacity across the board.
Secretary Blinken affirmed US support for the WHO’s plans to conduct additional studies into the COVID-19 origins, including in China, to better understand the current pandemic and prevent future ones, the release said.
According to the State Department, Blinken also stressed the need for the next phase to be timely, evidence-based, transparent, expert-led, and free from interference. He emphasised the importance of the international community coming together on this matter of critical concern and reiterated the United States’ support for a multilateral approach to global health security more broadly.
Both the leaders committed to work together and with all Member States to make meaningful, concrete progress in strengthening global health security to prevent, detect, and respond to future pandemics and health threats.
Last week, the United Nations called on all member states, including China, to fully cooperate with the WHO amid Beijing’s rejection of a further probe into the origins of the COVID-19. (ANI)