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UK PM backs Biden’s call to pressurise China to release raw data on Covid-19

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s backing comes as Washington raised concerns over the possibility of the Chinese government’s interference in the recent investigation by the World Health Organization

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: Alberto Pezzali/Reuters

LONDON – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has backed the call by US President Joe Biden to put pressure on China to release raw data relating to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.

Johnson’s backing comes as Washington raised concerns over the possibility of the Chinese government’s interference in the recent investigation by the World Health Organization into the origins of Covid-19 in Wuhan.

In an interview with Face the Nation/CBS News, Johnson said it is vital to get to bottom of how the pandemic originated.

“One of the things we’ll be calling for in the G7, which President Biden is going to be joining, I’m glad to say, is the global co-ordination in getting to the bottom of what happens with these diseases. So when you have a zoonotic plague like the coronavirus, we need to know exactly how it happened,” Johnson said.

He added, “Indeed if it’s zoonotic if it really originated from human contact with the animal kingdom, that’s what is asserted. But we need to know exactly what happened. Was it in a wet market? Did it come from the bats? Were the bats associated with the pangolins? All these questions are now matters of speculation. We need to see the data. We need to see all the evidence. So, I thoroughly support what President Biden has said about that.”

This comes after Jake Sullivan, US National Security Adviser, said that Washington has “deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the Covid-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them”.

He stressed the importance of an investigation that is “free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government” into the origin of Covid-19.

While Biden has moved to rejoin the WHO, the US had recently refused to accept the latest findings by the global health body and said it will independently verify the results using its own intelligence.

Weeks after a team of WHO experts launched a probe into the origin of Covid-19 in Wuhan, the global health body said that there is no evidence of coronavirus circulation in any animal species in China.

– Asian News International (ANI)