A lie repeated a thousand times is still a lie

While global leaders were gathering strength for the fight against COVID-19 at the G20 Summit in Rome, the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a declassified version of its report on the novel coronavirus origins, attempting to extend its blame game on the issue of origin tracing.

The U.S., addicted to stigmatization and politicization, is entirely at odds with the attitude of collaboration and solidarity. The so-called declassified version only further exposed the irresponsibility of the White House.

The origin tracing of COVID-19 is a serious and complicated issue of science. It should and can only be addressed by global scientists in cooperation.

However, the U.S. has utterly ignored science and facts over the past year, trying to trace the virus’s origins through its intelligence community.

From U.S. media claiming the so-called “significant breakthrough” in origin tracing, to the summary of the intelligence community assessment on COVID-19 origins released in late August, and to the “newer and more detailed” report issued this time, the U.S. has always been building a lie, in order to smear China with the presumption of guilt.

The intelligence community-led origin tracing itself is hard evidence of politicizing the issue of origin tracing. The U.S. intelligence services have a deplorable track record, with their falsification and deception tactics known by the world. The so-called origin tracing report fabricated by the U.S. intelligence community is utterly devoid of credibility.

A lie repeated a thousand times is still a lie. The so-called declassified version is nothing but a lie being repeated. The “lab leak theory” is in direct opposition to the science-based conclusion reached in the joint China-WHO study report and has long been denied by the international science community. The declassified version released by the U.S., which is filled with cliches, fully revealed the White House’s lack of science spirit.

China has already showcased its science-based, professional, serious, and responsible attitude on international cooperation in origin tracing from the very beginning. It was the first country to cooperate with the WHO on the global studies of COVID-19 origin tracing and twice invited WHO experts to China for COVID-19 origin tracing studies. It acted transparently when receiving WHO expert teams and satisfied all the visiting demands of the latter.

No matter how many times the U.S. origin tracing report is published or how many versions it comes in, it will not change the fact that this report is, in essence, a political and false one. The true intention of the U.S. is to politicize the issue of origin tracing.

It’s a general trend and a common aspiration to respect science and facts and adhere to truth and justice regarding COVID-19 origin tracing. Recently, more than 80 countries have stated their explicit position of opposing politicization of origin tracing and upholding the joint China-WHO study report through various means, including writing to the WHO Director-General, releasing statements, and sending notes. Over 300 political parties, civil organizations, and think tanks from more than 100 countries and regions have submitted a joint statement opposing politicization of origin tracing to the WHO Secretariat. These voices of justice in the international community fully prove that politicization is never tolerated, and the attempts to slander other countries through origin tracing will never succeed.

With the coronavirus ravaging the whole world, no country can stay safe on its own. Solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon.

It forms a sharp contrast to China’s responsible attitude on origin tracing that the U.S. has never directly responded to the reasonable concerns raised by the international society, even though the actual time of COVID-19 outbreak in the country has been constantly proven to be earlier than what was reported, and the labs of Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina were highly suspicious.

There have been nearly 46 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and the death number has exceeded 740,000. Facts indicate that the U.S.’s stigmatization and politicization game not only hinders international solidarity in the fight against the virus, but also seriously undermines the U.S. pandemic control at home. It is an “accomplice” of the novel coronavirus.

The U.S. should stop all scapegoating and blame-shifting moves and focus instead on domestic efforts and global cooperation in fighting COVID-19. It should halt political manipulation and create enabling conditions for scientists all over the world to conduct origins-tracing cooperation. It should stop attacking and smearing China, respond to the legitimate concerns of the international community, receive WHO experts’ visits, and open up its biological labs at Fort Detrick and biological experiment bases.

However, if the U.S. remains obsessed with political manipulation and intelligence-led origins-tracing in disregard of international justice, it will only further undermine the general atmosphere for science-based global cooperation in origins-tracing, hamper international cooperation in combating COVID-19, and cost more lives.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)