Politicizing pandemic harmful to global fight against COVID-19: Brazilian neuroscientist

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The U.S. government's attempts to politicize the pandemic by claiming China as the source of COVID-19 are not only groundless, but "harmful" to the global fight against the disease, a Brazilian neuroscientist has said.

"There is no scientific evidence" to validate Washington's assumption that the virus escaped from a Chinese laboratory, said Miguel Nicolelis in a recent interview with Xinhua.

The scientific community is very skeptical, and it simply does not accept "this type of political manipulation without evidence," said Nicolelis, who was a tenured professor at Duke University in the U.S. state of North Carolina.

"The politicization of science never brings benefits, on the contrary, it is extremely harmful," he said.

The neuroscientist supports the findings of a joint origin-tracing study earlier this year by over 30 experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and China, which ended with a report concluding that the laboratory leak scenario was extremely unlikely.

"A detailed genetic scan of the virus was carried out and there is no evidence of tampering or evidence of laboratory accidents," he added.

Unscientific attitudes towards the virus have had disastrous results on healthcare in the United States and Britain, with high rates of infection and mortality, said the neuroscientist.

He noted that there are other instances of Washington misleading the public to further its own interests.

"We need to remember the invasion of Iraq in 2001 ... after the world was led to believe in false evidence about weapons of mass destruction. There was nothing. Iraq was destroyed," he said.

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