China has slammed the United States probe into the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19), saying it is driven by political purposes.

“The relevant report, totally based on the concocted lies and distorted facts without providing any evidence, is not credible or scientific,” said the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson in a statement, according to Fox News.

The new but usual statements came after a GOP report earlier this week claimed that they unearthed clues that prove the virus was an engineered product by the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), contradicting the Chinese government’s narrative that it came from nature.

In the report, the Republicans detected suspicious behavior between the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) and the WIV around two months before they officially confirmed the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan in December last year. 

They expected such activities to align with the scenario that the engineered virus leaked out of WIV, and the government was trying to cover up the deeds.

“It is our belief the virus leaked sometime in late August or early September 2019,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who led the probe. 

“When they realized what happened, Chinese Communist Party officials and scientists at the WIV began frantically covering up the leak, including taking their virus database offline in the middle of the night and requesting more than $1 million for additional security. But their coverup was too late—the virus was already spreading throughout the megacity of Wuhan.”

Responding to their allegations, the Chinese Foreign Ministry department repeated the same rhetoric they had been sprouting since the U.S. voiced it would look at COVID-19’s origin. 

“What the relevant U.S. congressmen have done smears and slander China in pursuit of political gains,” a spokesperson for the department alleged in a statement. “We express categorical opposition to and strong condemnation of such despicable acts that have no moral bottom line.”

The ministry further cited the cause that led to the U.S. involvement in the 2003 Iraq War to demonstrate its allegation that the probe was “engaging in political manipulation under the pretext of the epidemic and shifting the blame to others.” 

“In 2003, the U.S. side used a test tube of laundry powder as evidence for Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction,” the statement said. “One needs not look far for a lesson, and the international community should not let such a thing happen again.”

 The Chinese Communist Party had continuously denied access to relevant data that could have assisted with clarifying the source of SARS-CoV-2. 

Public health experts who favor efforts to figure out where the virus came from believing that such an examination is critical to reducing the likelihood of another pandemic.

“Finding the origin of a virus takes time and we owe it to the world to find the source so we can collectively take steps to reduce the risk of this happening again,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Last month, a Wall Street Journal editorial board laid the investigation into the lab-leak theory was essential for policy reinforcement, especially when the theory suggested the birth of the virus was possible due to U.S. funding poured into the WIV.

“Congress should thoroughly investigate the process that led to the approval of money for the WIV and possible gain-of-function research,” they wrote. “It should also debate limits on this kind of research in the U.S. and push for international standards.”