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Australia calls for probe into coronavirus origins

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:22s - Published
Australia calls for probe into coronavirus origins

Australia calls for probe into coronavirus origins

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison sought support for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic in phone calls with U.S. President Donald Trump and the German and French leaders, Canberra said on Wednesday.

Emer McCarthy reports.

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seeking support from nations such as the U.S., Germany, and France for an investigation into the origins of the new coronavirus.

But French officials say Emmanuel Macron told him the urgency was to beat the pandemic before looking for who was at fault, echoing similar comments from Britain.

Australia's push for an independent review of the origins and spread of the pandemic has drawn sharp criticism from China, which has accused Australian lawmakers of taking instructions from the United States.

The White House has been fiercely critical of China and the WHO, and has withdrawn U.S. funding from the U.N.

Agency.

The director-general of the WHO has repeatedly said it will evaluate its handling of the pandemic after it ends.

A government source told Reuters that Australia is examining whether the WHO should be given powers similar to international weapons inspectors, to enter a country to investigate an outbreak without having to wait for consent.

Some have also also questioned Beijing’s transparency.

China’s embassy in Canberra said in a statement on Tuesday that Australian lawmakers were acting as the mouthpiece of Trump.




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