At least 120 countries are backing a United Nations motion intending to investigate the origins of COVID-19, according to Business Insider.
Australia first proposed the initiative with intent to investigate China for its role in the pandemic.
What are the details?
On Monday, the outlet reported that a new version of the initiative doesn’t mention the Communist country by name.
China has insisted that it is far too early to make definitive determinations on the emergence of COVID-19.
The U.N. will virtually vote on the measure this week at the World Health Organization’s two-day World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva.
The WHO has been under fire for months after reportedly parroting China’s repeated misinformations surrounding the deadly virus. The organization also botched its initial response to the COVID-19 outbreak earlier in the year.
Business Insider reported that 123 nations voiced their support. To pass, the bill requires a two-thirds majority of the assembly’s 194 members.
“The text of the resolution calls for an ‘impartial, independent, and comprehensive evaluation’ of the ‘international health response to COVID-19,” the outlet added.
What is China saying?
According to a Monday New York Post report, China said it would cooperate with the investigation.
“The EU resolution said the investigation should be initiated at the ‘earliest appropriate moment,’ and should also examine ‘the actions’ of the World Health Organization and ‘their timeliness pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic,'” the outlet noted.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said, “China supports a comprehensive evaluation of the global response to the epidemic after the global epidemic is under control, to sum up experiences and remedy deficiencies.”
Xi also said that the work “needs a scientific and professional attitude” and needs to be WHO-led.
“[T]he principles of objectivity and fairness need to be upheld,” he added.
Earlier this month, China reportedly refused to allow the WHO to investigate the origins of the coronavirus.
Dr. Gauden Galea, the WHO representative to China, told Sky News that the country would not permit the organization’s members to participate in the investigation.
“We know that some national investigation is happening but at this stage we have not been invited to join,” Galea said in early May remarks. “WHO is making requests of the health commission and of the authorities. The origins of the virus are very important, the animal-human interface is extremely important and needs to be studied.”
“The priority is we need to know as much as possible to prevent the reoccurrence,” he added.