China Blames Conspiracy Theories That Reject Kovid-19 Investigation


It was largely sidelined when a conspiracy theory began circulating in China that suggested the coronavirus had escaped from an American military laboratory. Now, the ruling Communist Party has firmly placed this idea in the mainstream.

This week, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson has repeatedly used an official podium to raise unproven ideas that the coronavirus may have first leaked from a research facility in Fort Detrick, MD. He said this lab has collected more than 25 million signatures for research.

Authorities and state media supported a rap song by a patriotic Chinese hip-hop group that made the same claim with the words: “How many incidents have come out of your labs? How many corpses with a tag hanging?

As Beijing opposes efforts to investigate the origins of the pandemic in China, it produces groundless theories that the US could be the true source of the coronavirus. The disinformation campaign began last year, but Beijing has increased the volume in recent weeks, reflecting concerns about being blamed for the pandemic that has killed millions around the world.

Supported by authorities, academics, central propaganda outlets and social media, these theories gained wider validity in China. They risk further clouding research into the source of the virus and worsening already frayed relations between the world’s two biggest powers at a time when cooperation is much needed.

“This not only contributes to worsening US-China relations, but further reduces the two countries’ working together to face a common challenge,” said Yanzhong Huang, director of the Seton Hall Center for Global Health Research. University. “We haven’t seen any bilateral collaboration on vaccines, tracing the trajectory of the virus or the trajectory of mutations, any of that sort of thing.”

Understanding the origin of the virus could help scientists prevent another pandemic. Virologists still rely heavily on the theory that the virus spread from infected animals to humans outside of the lab, but calls are mounting to investigate the possibility of the virus escaping from a lab in Wuhan, the city at the epicenter of the outbreak.

China dismissed the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis as a groundless conspiracy theory. He also criticized the US pandemic response while highlighting its own success in taming a recent outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant, with only a handful of new cases reported this week.

Wary of independent scrutiny, Beijing tightly controlled He rejected the World Health Organization’s efforts to investigate the origin of the epidemic and rejected the health agency’s latest call for a second phase of investigation to take a closer look at the laboratory theory.

China is stepping up its disinformation campaign ahead of the results of an investigation by American intelligence agencies at the behest of President Biden. Agencies submitted their reports origin of the pandemic President on Tuesday not yet concluded whether the virus originated naturally or was the result of an accidental leak from a laboratory.

“The point is to really saturate the airwaves with all that,” said Dali Yang, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. “Many anticipate and try to fend off this potential American research by the intelligence community.”

The Chinese government argued that Beijing was doing its part in seeking the origin of the pandemic by facilitating the visit of experts from WHO earlier this year, and that scientists should now look to other countries, including the United States. Beijing accuses those pushing for laboratory research in China of trying to undermine the country’s image at home and abroad.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin used routine news briefings this week to spread unfounded speculation that the virus originated in the United States before the first cases were reported in China. He spoke of a lung disease outbreak in Wisconsin in July 2019 that American health officials had already linked to vaping, not Covid. On Wednesday, he said WHO should investigate labs in Fort Detrick and elsewhere in the United States investigating coronaviruses.

“The United States accuses China of not being transparent in tracing the origins of the virus and falsely accusing China of using false propaganda,” Mr. Wang said on Tuesday. “Nevertheless, he makes excuses, carefully keeps secrets, passively avoids problems, and constantly puts up obstacles.”

In a report released this month, several Chinese policy research institutes accused the US of “manipulating global public opinion by tracing the origins of terrorism”. Fort Detrick.

One of the authors of the report, Wang Wen, a professor at Renmin University’s Chongyang Institute of Financial Research, said that unsubstantiated claims that the coronavirus was created in a laboratory are a form of terrorism, as they cause “unnecessary fear in society.”

He defended the report’s claims about the Fort Detrick laboratory, saying it was essentially the United States that started it.

“It was American politicians who were the first to say this and expand on the issue,” Mr. Wang said. “China may have been collaborative initially, but after facing such slander, it should also ask reasonable questions to the US.”

NS report arguing that the pandemic may have started in the USA, lab at Fort Detrick on security concerns Deaths in a nursing home in Virginia in August 2019 and July 2019 were considered suspicious.

Never mind that such claims are widely rejected by scientists. (“I don’t think these accusations have any validity,” said Prof. Huang of Seton Hall University.) In China, they were given an important role. This month, the state broadcaster aired several episodes of what it called the “dark history” of Fort Detrick. The People’s Daily recently ran a 16-part series on American failures to control the coronavirus, with repeated questions about the Fort Detrick conspiracy.

“Why didn’t the US invite WHO to visit Fort Detrick?” the newspaper wrote in a comment dated 6 August. “As for traceability, if you can come to China, why can’t you go to the United States?”

Efforts to highlight American abuse sometimes backfired. After Chinese state media quoted a Swiss biologist who warned that the WHO’s effort to examine the origins of the pandemic would become an instrument of the United States, the Swiss embassy in China said the expert seemed fictitious.

“If you are, we would love to meet you!” The Swiss Embassy tweeted. “However, this is more likely to be fake news and we urge Chinese media and netizens to remove these posts.”

Still, the coronavirus conspiracy has been widely circulated on social media.

On Weibo, a popular social media platform in China, hashtags such as “US must respond” and “Debunk Fort Detrick’s surprising inside story” have been viewed more than 100 million times.

Jenny Zhang, a 21-year-old student in the eastern city of Nanjing, said she signed the Global Times’ Fort Detrick investigation petition after reading numerous reports in Chinese media suggesting that the outbreak started much earlier in the United States.

Ms. Zhang said, “This is about the safety of all humanity.” “If it turns out that the virus didn’t come from China, I think it will change other people’s views about China.”


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