‘Something to hide’: China’s cover-up
Nationals backbencher Matt Canavan has accused Beijing of having "something to hide" after Chinese medics admitted they knew how dangerous COVID-19 was but were silenced by the government.
British network ITV has secretly filmed senior medics who witnessed some of the first cases in Wuhan and claimed they knew the virus could be transmitted from human to human but were told not to speak out.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) claimed on January 14 there was evidence of "limited" transmission between humans.
But the medics - speaking on ITV's Outbreak: The Virus That Shook The World - claimed there was no doubt the deadly virus could be passed between people in December.
Coalition Senator Matt Canavan said the revelations vindicated the government's demand for transparency from Beijing.
"That's why the federal government's always been consistent in calling for a proper, transparent inquiry (on the origins of COVID-19)," he told Today.
"The question has to be asked: If China has nothing to hide here, why they are going to these sort of lengths to hide things?"
A WHO investigation team is in Wuhan but was initially barred from entering, with Beijing citing visa issues.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack last week insisted the probe would "get the answers it needs" despite fears China would attempt to railroad the probe.
But Mr Canavan has accused Beijing of dragging its feet more than a year after the first cases were detected.
"We have really no more information about where this came from, what happened in Wuhan, and the international investigators themselves have been denied access to Wuhan," he said.
"You do have to wonder, the more people try to hide something, the more it probably is they have something to hide."
Originally published as 'Something to hide': China's cover-up