“#Don’t let Beijing stonewall investigations of COVID’s origins”
Beijing is furious that President Joe Biden has reopened the US government probe into COVID-19’s origins, making it obvious that he’ll have to play hardball to get China’s leaders to cooperate.
After Biden announced a 90-day investigation by the US intelligence community into the question of whether the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese state media accused the United States of taking a dangerous “political gamble” with these “vicious accusations.”
A pretty telling reaction, when a growing number of experts confirm the lab leak as “feasible.”
Then China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian shot back at Biden’s probe with a request for an equal investigation into the US, since America clearly “does not care about facts and truth.” Then again, he’s the guy who claimed last March that the US military was responsible for bringing the virus to Wuhan.
As former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb has noted, the only way to avoid a repeat of 2020’s disaster is to uncover the source of the outbreak and to allow dedicated “international attention” to preventing more pandemics.
Which means Biden will have to go to the mat with Beijing — even at the expense of immediate progress in getting China to actually reduce its world-leading carbon emissions.
Beijing has officially promised to start cutting its use of fossil fuels . . . in 2030. But it built a ton of coal plants after making that vow and has only given Biden’s envoy John Kerry more promises. Its leaders are sure to threaten to break off climate talks if Washington persists in demanding the chance to investigate in Wuhan.
When that happens, the president needs to hold firm: If China won’t help prevent another global plague, its promises on climate will be meaningless anyway.
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