The White House described as "irresponsible and dangerous" the refusal of China to allow audits to determine the origin of COVID-19.
Beijing rejected a new WHO-led investigation based on new evidence. Jen Psaki said she was "deeply disappointed" and stated that "this is not the time to obstruct."
On Thursday, the White House criticized China's opposition to conducting a new WHO investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
"We are deeply disappointed. The position (of China) is irresponsible and frankly dangerous," said Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the White House.
This is not the time to obstruct," said Psaki, after China strongly criticized the World Health Organization's request to conduct an audit of laboratories in the regions where the first cases of COVID-19 were identified, including the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The scientific community is divided regarding the theories about the origin of COVID-19. While a few months ago, a majority defended the natural source of the virus. Over the weeks, the idea that the virus could have leaked from a Wuhan laboratory gained acceptance.
The Chinese regime not only refused to cooperate but called the plan presented by the WHO "disrespect" and "arrogance towards science," said the vice minister of the National Health Commission of China, Zeng Yixin.
Chinese officials have denied that the coronavirus came from a laboratory, claiming that it is a common rumor, despite numerous complaints from various countries and organizations that point to China spreading the epidemic.
Zeng responded to a WHO statement last week asking to begin the second phase of investigations into the origin of the coronavirus in China, which would include investigating markets and laboratories in Wuhan. In this city, the first outbreaks were detected.
According to Zheng, who said he was "surprised" to read the WHO's proposal, the agency's subsequent investigation should focus on tracking work in several countries and regions and the study's first phase. It should not be repeated during pre-inspection, culminating in a visit by international experts to Wuhan last January.
Last week, the director-general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, asked China "to be transparent and open" and "to cooperate especially by providing the raw data on the early days of the pandemic."
Ghebreyesus said knowing the true nature of the coronavirus is a massive debt to millions of people who have fallen victim to it.
The WHO mission in Wuhan last February requested access to the raw data of patients registered in the city's hospitals with symptoms similar to those of the covid before the first known case of the disease. Still, China claimed that these already their experts had studied.
The response of the Chinese authorities comes a few days before the visit that Wendy Sherman, United States Undersecretary of State, makes to the country this weekend to recover the deteriorated relations between the two countries.
This is a high-level diplomatic visit by President Joe Biden's administration, embroiled in growing tensions with China over criticism over the onset of epidemics, human rights, and cybersecurity.