China says ‘shocked’ by WHO plan for COVID origins study

BEIJING (AP) — A senior Chinese health official said Thursday he was shocked by the World Health Organization’s plan for the second phase of a COVID-19 origins study.

National Health Commission Vice Minister Zeng Yixin dismissed the lab leak theory as a rumor running counter to common sense.

The head of the WHO acknowledged last week that it was premature to rule out a potential link between the pandemic and a leak of the coronavirus from a Chinese lab.

Zeng said that the lab in the city of Wuhan has no virus that can directly infect humans. He said that China has made repeated clarifications and does not accept the WHO plan.

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