China rejects US claims that coronavirus originates from the Wuhan laboratory

Pompeo: 'Enormous evidence' virus started in Chinese lab
American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo he said on Sunday in an interview with ABC that there was “enormous evidence” that Covid-19 originated in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the epidemic was first discovered last December. He did not provide any details to support the complaint.
In response to Pompeo’s comments, the Chinese state-owned Global Times newspaper said in an editorial Monday that the former CIA director had “stunned the world with unfounded accusations”.

“Since Pompeo has claimed that his claims are backed by” enormous evidence “, he should then present these so-called evidence to the world, and in particular to the American public who are continually trying to deceive,” said the editorial.

“The truth is, Pompey has no proof, and during the Sunday interview, he was bluffing.”

CNN contacted the Chinese Foreign Ministry for comment on Pompeo’s claims, but received no response. The country is in the midst of a five-day vacation that lasts Tuesday.

Scientists around the world have condemned conspiracy theories that suggest that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin, indicating studies that suggest that it originated in wildlife.
China has faced criticism at home and abroad for managing the virus, especially during the initial outbreak. He was accused of silencing whistleblowers and delay in informing public opinion on the seriousness of the crisis.

But critics say Washington has stepped up efforts to blame China for the global spread of the virus as it faces growing criticism at home for its pandemic management. To date, the United States has recorded over 1.1 million cases and at least 67,000 Covid-19-related deaths.

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Beijing has reacted with its propaganda efforts, accusing the United States of shifting the blame and discarding the accusations of deliberate cover-up in the early critical stages.

Last Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused “American politicians” to tell lies about the pandemic.

“They have only one goal: to try to escape responsibility for their own epidemic and preventive and control measures and to divert public attention,” he said.

On April 30, the Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua published an animated video with Lego-like figures who mocked the U.S. response to the pandemic. It has been viewed 1.9 million times on Twitter.

On Monday, the Global Times editorial accused the White House of continuing “to engage in an unprecedented propaganda war while trying to prevent global efforts in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“While the US presidential election campaign is underway, the Trump administration has implemented a strategy designed to divert attention from the incompetence it has shown in fighting the pandemic. It is clear that their goal is to blame China for the pandemic by identifying the country as the source of Covid-19, “he said.

Origins of the virus

Coronavirus has infected over 3.5 million people worldwide, with at least 247,000 deaths. The United States accounts for almost a third of confirmed cases worldwide and over a quarter of deaths.

Pompeo’s comments followed Thursday statements by US President Donald Trump that he had seen evidence that gave him a “high degree of confidence” that the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory. Trump refused to provide details in support of his claim.

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Scientists in China and the West have indicated research that the virus is likely to have originated in bats and jumped on humans from an intermediate host, just like his cousin who caused the SARS epidemic in 2002 and 2003 .

Also the office of the director of national intelligence said in a statement Thursday that “the intelligence community also agrees with the broad scientific consensus that the Covid-19 virus was not created by humans or genetically modified.”

Asked about this conclusion, Pompeo said he had “no reason not to believe” in the intelligence community, despite previous comments in the same interview that “the best experts so far seem to think they were made by man. I have no reason not to believe that at this point. “

Chinese officials and state media repeatedly pointed out that there were no conclusions as to the exact origin of the virus, while they pushed their baseless claims claiming that it did not originate in China. In March, Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, promoted a conspiracy Twitter theory that the virus originated in the United States and was brought to China by the U.S. military.

The wrath of Beijing

So far, Chinese officials and state media have largely avoided naming Trump directly in his space coverage. Instead, much of Beijing’s wrath has been directed to Pompey – and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who holds no current position in the administration.

Last week, the state broadcaster CGTN accused Pompeo of “turning his back on humanity by spreading a political virus”. The official spokesman for the Chinese Communist Party, the People’s Daily, also stated in an editorial that Pompeo’s rhetoric will bring a “colossal moral deficit” to the United States.

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On Monday, the Global Times said that Pompeo “was indulging in a solo performance that did not meet the professional standards set for a chief diplomat” and accused him of losing “his moral compass.”

State media also got irritated in Bannon after criticizing Chinese epidemic management in an interview with CNBC Thursday and suggested that Beijing should be held financially responsible for the pandemic.
On Sunday evening, a CCTV state broadcaster was broadcast a comment during his evening news which broke loose against Bannon, calling him a “stubborn anti-Chinese figure” with “zero moral integrity”.


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