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Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne Calls for Global Pandemic Inquiry NOT Connected to World Health Organization

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Foreign Minister Marise Payne joins David Speers on Insiders | ABC News Foreign Minister Marise Payne is calling for an independent inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic. Ms Payne called for greater transparency from China over ...
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As reported by ABC News Australia by political correspondent Brett Worthington


A bipartisan push has begun for a global inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, including China's handling of the initial outbreak in the city of Wuhan. Key points:
  • Ms Payne said an inquiry into the outbreak should be run independently of the WHO
  • The WHO has faced international criticism of its handling of the pandemic
  • Labor backed the push and urged the Government to secure the support of other nations

Foreign Minister Marise Payne has urged China to allow transparency in the process and does not believe the World Health Organisation (WHO) should run the inquiry.

Senator Payne told Insiders any probe of the crisis would require international cooperation.

"It will need parties, countries to come to the table with a willingness to be transparent and to engage in that process and to ensure that we have a review mechanism in which the international community can have faith," she said.

Labor has backed the push and urged the Government to secure the support of other nations.

"Given the Minister has said this, and we support her comments, it can't just be a talking point, a point in an interview," Labor health spokesman Chris Bowen said.

"It has to be made a reality. Yes, we support it, and we would expect and trust that China would cooperate."

Meanwhile, Senator Payne refused to be drawn on whether she trusts China over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I trust China in terms of the work that we need to do together," she said.

"The issues around the coronavirus are issues for independent review, and I think that it is important that we do that. In fact, Australia will absolutely insist on that."

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