A virus sprang from a bat to another mammal in China. The mammal is sold at a wildlife market in Wuhan. The infection spreads to humans and a pandemic explodes.
That is the theory which largely endorsed the international health community on the first outbreak of Covid-19.
But U.S. President Donald Trump, who mocks the World Health Organization as a PR branch of China, is now trying to trace the origins of the pandemic elsewhere in Wuhan – in the city’s laboratories.
Last week, without going into further detail, Trump suggested that he firmly believed that the coronavirus emerged from Chinese laboratories.
“Have you seen anything at this point that gives you a high degree of confidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the source of this virus?” a reporter asked the US president on Thursday.
‘Yes I have. Yes, I have, ”Trump replied. “And I think the World Health Organization should be ashamed of themselves for being some kind of PR agency for China.”
But that doesn’t mean the Trump administration believes in theories that coronavirus was developed in a lab as part of the Chinese bioweapon program.
US INTEL EXAMINES LAB LINK
Before the US President spoke at the White House event on Thursday, his country’s top spy agent issued an unprecedented one pronunciation.
On April 30, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence ruled out the possibility that Covid-19 was man-made or genetically modified.
“The entire intelligence community has consistently provided critical support to US policy makers and those responding to the Covid-19 virus, which has its origins in China. The intelligence community also shares the broad scientific consensus that the Covid-19 virus is not altered by human hands or genetically made, “the statement noted.
But it did not rule out the possibility of a virus being released in a laboratory accident.
“The IC (intelligence community),” it added, “will continue to scrutinize emerging information and intelligence to determine if the outbreak was caused by contact with infected animals or whether it was the result of a laboratory accident in Wuhan. “
It’s no secret that Wuhan’s Biosafety Laboratory treats pathogens, including bat coronaviruses.
But her team leader, Shi Zhengli, a renowned virologist, has insisted that her facility never had the virus behind the pandemic.
Whether the new coronavirus leaked from a Chinese laboratory or not, the theory circulated by the Trump administration has now become a new geopolitical shuttle that jumps back and forth between rivals Washington and Beijing.
In an interview with an American media department on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed Trump’s claim that the Covid-19 outbreak originated in a Chinese laboratory.
“We said from the beginning that this is a virus that originated in Wuhan, China. We took a lot of grief from outside for that, but I think the whole world can see it now, ”he said. “There is a lot of evidence that this comes from that laboratory in Wuhan.”
Under US antiaircraft anti-pandemic treatment in its earlier stages, China has vigorously defended its research programs and accused the Trump administration of using diversions.
Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, insisted that the Wuhan laboratory strictly implement biosafety procedures.
“I would like to reiterate that the origin of the virus is a complex scientific issue and that it should be studied by scientists and professionals,” said Geng last week. “I would like to emphasize that finding out the origin of the virus is a complex matter of science that should be studied by scientists and professionals. We urge American politicians to stop shifting debt to China and divert attention from the international community. They should focus on controlling the epidemics at home. ‘
Since the outbreak, a new horizon of creepy concepts has opened up on social and mainstream media, some pushed by state actors.
Example: On March 12, the spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian be with a finger to the US military, suggesting that the virus may have been exported to Wuhan.
In January, YouTuber Jordan Sather tweeted a link that seems to claim that coronavirus is man-made.
And last month New Agers, QAnoners and Right Winger merged to promote theories that global elites use 5G to propagate Covid-19.