FM Spokesperson: Investigating Fort Detrick "call for the people"

Added On July 22, 2021

A foreign ministry spokesperson said Wednesday that investigation into Fort Detrick is the call of all the people around the world, including the Chinese, which must be answered by the United States in terms of tracing the origin of the coronavirus. 

Foreign Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily press briefing, as a joint open letter calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate the Fort Detrick lab has gained about 5 million signatures from Chinese netizens as of Wednesday afternoon.

 SOUNDBITE(Chinese): ZHAO LIJIAN, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson 

"The open letter has been well received by the Chinese, with around 5 million people signing in less than five days, showing their indignation over some U.S. people's political manipulation using the issue of origin-tracing."

 Zhao said in July 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a letter to Fort Detrick, asking it to terminate most operations. Even so, the United States refused to disclose the reasons for closing Fort Detrick on the grounds of "national security".

 As the U.S. media reported, the Fort Detrick still stores a large number of viruses that seriously threaten human.

SOUNDBITE(Chinese): ZHAO LIJIAN, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson 

"The United States should show transparency, take concrete measures to thoroughly investigate the origin of the epidemic in the country, find out reasons for poor COVID-19 response and hold accountable those who are responsible, thoroughly investigate Fort Detrick as well as more than 200 overseas biological experimental bases, and give an explanation to the people around the world and to the international community.


Also at Wednesday's news briefing, Zhao once again refuted the COVID-19 "lab leak" theory, saying it is nothing but a lie.

 Zhao Lijian made the remarks when asked to comment the claim hyped up by some U.S. officials and media that three workers of the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019, which, according to the allegation, adds to the credibility of the "lab leak" theory. 

SOUNDBITE(Chinese): ZHAO LIJIAN, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson 

 "If the U.S. side is sure of what it claims, then prove it. What are the names of the three workers? What kind of disease did they contract? If it's saying they tested positive for the novel coronavirus, where is the report?"

  "Let me say this: the U.S. side couldn't show the evidence because it is lying. It is only seeking to demonize and stigmatize China in the name of conducting studies of origins."