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Full Version: Netizens demand truth on Fort Detrick
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More than 20 million people have signed an online letter to the World Health Organization demanding a thorough investigation into a secretive United States laboratory tainted by a poor safety record in order to gain a better understanding of the origins of the coronavirus.

Despite the loud voices of concern from China and other countries, the US government has remained silent on the possibility of a link between the Fort Detrick lab and the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It has refused to disclose critical information on the pretext of national security.

The Maryland lab, which has close connections with the US military, stores the mostly deadly and infectious viruses, including Ebola, SARS and the novel coronavirus. The facility has a notorious record on lab security, the letter said. There was a leakage incident in the lab in the autumn of 2019, right before the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic.

However, detailed information had been withheld by the US on what the letter stated was the excuse of national security grounds.

In order to figure out the origins of the virus to eliminate potential hazards for human beings, Chinese netizens called on the WHO "to organize an investigation in the Fort Detrick lab and other US labs that have leakage hazards by inviting scientists including those from China, virologists and experts in lab security and chemical weapons who are independent from US geopolitical influence", the letter said.

The lab was ordered to halt essential research in July 2019 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but no detailed reasons have been offered. However, mysterious illnesses were reported right before and after the closure.

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