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2020-02-20 21:14:00 Source:China Today Author:staff reporter ZHANG HUI
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Scientists worldwide root for Chinese medical professionals and debunk conspiracy theories with a statement through The Lancet.

The Lancet statement in support of the scientists, public health professionals, and medical professionals of China combatting COVID-19. (The Lancet website)

A statement signed by 27 public health scientists who have closely followed the novel coronavirus outbreak has drawn global attention since its release on February 19. For its declared support of Chinese medical professionals in combating the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the statement has earned the applause it deserves. With solid evidence, it vehemently condemned conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus, and called for the joining of more global scientists in supporting the scientists, public health professionals, and medical professionals of Wuhan and across China.

"We want you, the science and health professionals of China, to know that we stand with you in your fight against this virus,” said the statement published in The Lancet, the world's leading independent general medical journal.

They lauded the remarkable efforts made by Chinese medical professionals who “have worked diligently and effectively to rapidly identify the pathogen behind this outbreak, put in place significant measures to reduce its impact, and share their results transparently with the global health community.”

According to the statement, this rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data is being threatened by rumors and misinformation that suggest COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.

The scientists indicated their clear-cut position in condemning these conspiracy theories, buttressed by research by scientists from multiple countries, which corroborates the conclusion that this novel coronavirus originated in wildlife. They are further supported by a letter from the presidents of the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and by the scientific communities they represent.

"Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumors, and prejudice that jeopardize our global collaboration in the fight against this virus," the statement goes, and then also highlights the scientists’ support of the call from the Director-General of the WHO to promote scientific evidence and unity over misinformation and conjecture.

The 27 scientists hail from universities and research institutes of various countries, regions, and organizations, including the U.S., Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Malaysia, and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as well as the World Organization for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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