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China urges U.S. to open Fort Detrick to int'l experts: spokesperson

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BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) -- China has again urged the United States to open Fort Detrick as soon as possible, let international experts access relevant information, and publish research results of the more than 200 U.S. bio-labs all over the world, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Wednesday.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks during a press briefing while commenting on a query that U.S. Republican from Wisconsin Mike Gallagher on Monday said China was engaged in a systematic "cover-up" designed to avoid culpability for its "mishandling" of the pandemic.

Since the outbreak, China has been open and transparent, sharing its experience in prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment with other countries without reservation. The country has received WHO experts to China twice and released the research report of the joint WHO-China study, making positive contributions to global COVID-19 origin tracing and gaining worldwide recognition, Zhao noted.

"I would like to ask the congressman you mentioned whether he paid enough attention to the outbreak of large-scale EVALI in Wisconsin in July 2019? The world has yet to see a clear conclusion about the disease. Does he think this is a systematic 'cover-up' by the United States?" Zhao asked, adding that if the congressman wants to reach a conclusion, he might as well drive to Fort Detrick, which is only an hour's drive from Wisconsin. It may be helpful to know the truth there.

In June 2019, Fort Detrick was ordered to stop research work after failing to follow procedure, as well as due to mechanical failure and leakage problems. Almost at the same time, EVALI broke out in Wisconsin, the spokesperson said.

Zhao noted that Fort Detrick's hidden peril and leakage accidents have become notorious, and its so-called research and poison gas experiments, which are unethical, are shocking.

Zhao said faced with widespread doubts and international concern, the United States is silent and evasive. "What are they really afraid of? The real systematic cover-up is from no one but the United States. Is there a more awful truth?" Enditem

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