Covid-19 study can be test of cooperation, ST Editorial News & Top Stories

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Given the increasingly fraught relationship between Washington and Beijing, it is not surprising that a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman reacted harshly to United States President Joe Biden’s recent move to order a renewed assessment of the origins of the Sars-Cov-2 virus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic. Presented with conflicting reports of whether the virus crossed the species barrier from a natural reservoir, or leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Mr Biden asked his intelligence agencies to report back within 90 days. China dismissed the fresh intelligence mandate as an attempt to engage in “stigmatisation, political manipulation and blame-shifting”. Speculation over the virus’ origin was rekindled after the Wall Street Journal reported that three Wuhan Institute researchers sought hospital care in November 2019 for symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illnesses.

This reminded the world that 18 months into the…

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