Wuhan lab researchers handle bats in 2017 promo footage
Beijing‘s communist newspaper the Global Times has attempted to lay the blame for the global pandemic on America over a year-and-a-half after the virus was detected. The paper, which is an arm of People’s Daily, the Communist Party‘s mouthpiece, said the Americans were “politicising the origin-tracing research” and putting scientists at the centre of a “political storm”.
In the piece, the Global Times cited research analysing antibodies in over 24,000 blood samples across all 50 states from the US National Institute of Health.
China has said the results show that the virus was in the US much earlier than reported.
The samples were taken between January 2 and March 18, 2020.
Two positive cases of Covid were detected from January 7, which the Global Times said suggested the virus was in America as early as December 2019, when the first infections were reported in Wuhan.
China said scientists who don’t believe Covid escaped from the Wuhan lab are being threatened
Vendors wearing masks at the Wuhan wet market
The paper quoted a Wuhan virologist saying the research proved the “epidemic in the US probably emerged earlier than in Wuhan”.
The story continued: “The US has nearly all the variants spreading around the world, based on this, the virus most likely originated in the US rather than the Wuhan lab.”
And the Global Times said Western scientist who dare to speak out about the origin of the virus are being threatened.
The paper said a US scientist who was a member of the WHO-China joint team investigating the source of the virus has been one such “target”.
Donald Trump was criticised for calling Covid the ‘China virus’
It claimed a source had claimed the expert is being “personally threatened by emails, phone calls and messages on social media”.
Far-right followers are to blame, according to the Communist paper which pointed the finger at the Republican Party.
It said “people who attacked him generally have far-right and even white supremacism leanings”, adding: “GOP members of Congress are whipping those extremists up now.”
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People in Wuhan queue up for vaccines
Former US President Donald Trump came under fire for calling Covid the “China virus”.
He repeatedly blamed Beijing for unleashing the virus around the world and was also harshly critical of how the WHO handled the epidemic.
Last month when world leaders met in Cornwall for the G7 summit they “compared notes” over the theory that the virus may have been leaked from a lab in Wuhan, according to Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary.
But he said the UK’s “best information” remained that it “jumped” from animals to humans but admitted they did not have “all the answers”.
UK Covid map
He added: “That’s why internationally we wanted the review to be able to go into China to get all the answers, so that we have the full picture rather than these possible, potential, plausible options.
“But, on balance, we do not believe that it came from a laboratory.
“We think it is much more likely to have jumped from animal species.”
Meanwhile, a group of scientists who rejected the Wuhan lab theory has doubled down on their claim in a fresh letter.
The virus was first detected in Wuhan but China claims it was found in the US
In the letter published in the Lancet, they wrote: “Recently, many of us have individually received inquiries asking whether we still support what we said in early 2020.
“The answer is clear: we reaffirm our expression of solidarity with those in China who confronted the outbreak then, and the many health professionals around the world who have since worked to exhaustion, and at personal risk, in the relentless and continuing battle against this virus.
“Our respect and gratitude have only grown with time.”
Signatories of the letter include Dr Peter Daszak, the British president of EcoHealth Alliance, and UK Government scientific adviser Sir Jeremy Farrar.