US top diplomat meets with WHO chief, backs study into Covid-19 origins


WASHINGTON – US Secretary of Antony Blinken met with the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday (July 28) and affirmed US support for the global health body’s plans to conduct additional studies into the origins of Covid-19, including in China.

Earlier this month, the WHO called for all countries to work together to the origins of the coronavirus that caused Covid-19. China has rejected plans for more checks on labs and markets in its territory.

Blinken met with WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Kuwait City and discussed the plans for further study of the origin of the pandemic, the Department said.

“He stressed the need for the next phase to be timely, evidence-based, transparent, expert-led, and free from interference,” Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

The first human cases of Covid-19 were reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. China has repeatedly dismissed theories that the virus leaked from one of its laboratories.

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