A spokesman for the Chinese government on Thursday has accused that the coronavirus was brought to the city of Wuhan by the U.S. military.
A conspiracy theory, which has recently gained popularity in China, suggests the virus was brought to the country in 2019 by U.S. athletes participating in the Military World Games that were held in Wuhan.
“It might be US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan,” said Zhao Lijian, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman.
Zhao pointed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield’s acknowledgment in congressional testimony Wednesday that some Americans who appeared to have died from the flu may have died from the virus due to a lack of testing.
“What are the names of the hospitals? It might be the US Army that brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! The US owes us an explanation!” , Zhao claimed in a series of tweets.
2/2 CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation! pic.twitter.com/vYNZRFPWo3
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) March 12, 2020
Ever since the statement went public, the topic of Wuhan is trending on social media, many adding more to the conspiracy theory, as US and China relations are known to be sour.
On Wednesday, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien described China’s response to the virus as a cover-up, saying Beijing’s response had cost the international community months that could have been used to prepare for the coronavirus.
“Unfortunately, rather than use best practices, this outbreak in Wuhan was covered up,” O’Brien said. “There are lots of open sources reporting from Chinese nationals that the doctors involved were either silenced or put in isolation … so the word of this virus could not get out.”
In the meantime, several Republican lawmakers have referred to the illness as the “Chinese virus” or the “Wuhan virus.”
China refused to allow the CDC into Wuhan and locked up doctors for warning people, but this is actually all the fault of Trump's racism https://t.co/A7At5cCK2a
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) March 12, 2020
Indeed. Too many in the media have mistook criticism of the Chinese Communist Party as of criticism of the Chinese people.
The CCP attempted to cover up the spread of Corona in Wuhan. The Chinese people are the victims of their lies – and now so is much of the world. https://t.co/RpBo8kbTzT
— John Noonan (@noonanjo) March 12, 2020
China is saying, “It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.” @chrislhayes, did you attack @RepGosar for using “Wuhan virus” as a way to amplify Chinese propaganda? https://t.co/QzmuywMGnj
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) March 12, 2020
I elected President Trump to fight foreign threats like Wuhan virus
— Ashley St. Clair 🇺🇸 (@stclairashley) March 12, 2020