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China Spins Tale That the U.S. Army Started the Coronavirus Epidemic
After criticizing American officials for politicizing the pandemic, Chinese officials and news outlets have floated unfounded theories that the United States was the source of the virus.
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BEIJING — China is pushing a new theory about the origins of the coronavirus: It is an American disease that might have been introduced by members of the United States Army who visited Wuhan in October.

There is not a shred of evidence to support that, but the notion received an official endorsement from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose spokesman accused American officials of not coming clean about what they know about the disease.

The intentional spreading of an unfounded conspiracy theory — which recirculated on China’s tightly controlled internet on Friday — punctuated a downward spiral in relations between the two countries that has been fueled by the basest instincts of officials on both sides.

The insinuation came in a series of posts on Twitter by Zhao Lijian, a ministry spokesman who has made good use of the platform, which is blocked in China, to push a newly aggressive, and hawkish, diplomatic strategy. It is most likely intended to deflect attention from China’s own missteps in the early weeks of the epidemic by sowing confusion or, at least, uncertainty at home and abroad.

Mr. Zhao’s posts appeared to be a retort to similarly unsubstantiated theories about the origins of the outbreak that have spread in the United States. Senior officials there have called the epidemic the “Wuhan virus,” and at least one senator hinted darkly that the epidemic began with the leak of a Chinese biological weapon.

“The conspiracy theories are a new, low front in what they clearly perceive as a global competition over the narrative of this crisis,” said Julian B. Gewirtz, a scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard.

“There are a few Chinese officials who appear to have gone to the Donald J. Trump School of Diplomacy,” added Mr. Gewirtz, who recently published a paper on China’s handling of the AIDS epidemic, after a similar disinformation campaign. “This small cadre of high-volume Chinese officials don’t seem to realize that peddling conspiracy theories is totally self-defeating for China, at a moment when it wants to be seen as a positive contributor around the world.”

The circulation of disinformation is not a new tactic for the Communist Party state. The United States, in particular, is often a foil of Chinese propaganda efforts. Last year, Beijing explicitly accused the American government of supporting public protests in Hong Kong in an effort to weaken the party’s rule.

The old tactic has been amplified by more combative public diplomacy and a new embrace of a social media platform that is blocked in China to spread a message abroad.

Victor Shih, an associate professor at the University of California at San Diego who studies Chinese politics, said that while the campaign was very likely an attempt to distract and deflect blame, a more worrisome possibility was that some officials fabricated the idea and persuaded top leaders to believe it.

“If the leadership really believes in the culpability of the U.S. government,” he warned, “it may behave in a way that dramatically worsens the bilateral relationship.”

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  1. Biff says:

    When Chinese officials do it it’s called:

    The intentional spreading of an unfounded conspiracy theory

    When American officials do it it’s called:

    hinted darkly

    The rest of the schtick is pot meet kettle…

    • Agree: Oscar Peterson, d dan
  2. Just insufferable self-righteousness from a newspaper that functions almost as an official state organ on all weighty matters abroad.

    The world today knows that the American government lies all the time. Ceasely. Often viciously.

    Indeed, it has to lie, or it would be admitting to serious criminal behavior in every corner of the world.

    It lies about Venezuela.

    It lies about Bolivia.

    It lies about Cuba.

    It lies about Syria.

    It lies about Iraq.

    It lies about Yemen.

    It lies about Iran.

    It lies about Israel.

    It lies about Ukraine.

    It lies about Russia.

    It lies about China.

    And in all that churning sea of lies, what do the self-righteous journalists and editors of the New York Times do?

    Why, they lie to support the lies.

  3. The pandemic probably reflects mankind’s inability to control the simple microbe. We should not compare the coronavirus, with the potential to kill 2-3% of those infected with nuclear war that could plunge us back to pre-industrial age population levels. We must keep things in perspective and not go off on tangents. Worse dangers are lurking, and we must not have to pursue a cooler planet only to find ourselves in a nuclear winter.

  4. Svevlad says:

    Well what did the Americans expect?

    They constantly go ooga booga at every smallest thing looking for an excuse to start shit, so when others see through their lies and start suspecting they are behind everything then it’s cry cry sob sob muh conspiracy. The glowies should just shut their dirty mouths

  5. People need to visit lewrockwell dot com today to read all the articles on the virus.

    There’s just too much manufactured panic around this issue to not cause my BS detector to go off. Yes there’s a virus, but all the hype has been manufactured for a reason. Read and come to your own conclusions, not those of TPTB.

  6. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    Don’t fear, Tubby the Grifter is here to save us from Corona chan!

    Not true, @realDonaldTrump. I wrote to you more than 600 days ago demanding answers after you fired the entire White House pandemic team.

    • Replies: @Wally
  7. SteveK9 says:

    This is my last ‘bioweapon’ article. It is either natural, or an accidental release, most likely from the lab in Wuhan. This conclusion = Evidence (or lack thereof) + simplest explanation (Occam’s Razor).

    • Replies: @NPleeze
    , @Anon
  8. The Chinese have decided that if the US media is going to vilify them constantly, then they might as well get into the game too.

    The “US Army in Wuhan” seems to refer to an international military athletic event late last year. Of course, barring some evidence of some kind, it’s quite implausible. But it does remind one that “Spanish Influenza” actually originated in Kansas. Maybe the allegation is designed to evoke that episode. Not clear if the Chinese are alleging a conspiracy or merely transmission from the US. Of course, Tom Cotton’s op-ed set the ball rolling for this kind of thing.

    It’s fascinating to watch how relentlessly hypocritical US media coverage of the virus is. The Li Wenliang case is a perfect example. He was a ophthalmologist in Wuhan who became aware of a SARS diagnosis and then send a message to a group of his medical school classmates to warn them. Inevitably, this warning ended up going beyond the intended recipients, and he was chastised by the authorities.

    Now it’s perfectly normal human behavior to warn friends of threats to their health. But it’s not whistle blowing and it’s not exactly heroic. In fact, Li was apparently upset to find that his message has gone beyond those to whom he had sent it. Yet, the western media immediately distorted this incident and Li’s subsequent death from the disease to make his “whistle blowing” the basis for a martyr myth and unceasing criticism of the Chinese government.

    That’s just how things roll these days in our ludicrous media. Now we’re outraged that China is sending out counter battery fire.

    • Agree: d dan
  9. NPleeze says:

    Occam’s Razor CLEARLY does not apply to human behavior. Dooohhhhhh!

    In any event the most obvious designation of the virus is bio-engineered, which makes it impossible to rule out bio-weapon.

  10. Anon[369] • Disclaimer says:

    Nah, why bother with Occam’s Razor when it needs no explanation?? Just chalk it up to pure luck!!

    The Jerusalem Post

    Israeli scientists: ‘In a few weeks, we will have coronavirus vaccine’

    Once the vaccine is developed, it will take at least 90 days to complete the regulatory process and potentially more to enter the marketplace.

    By MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN MARCH 10, 2020 15:52

    “Let’s call it pure luck,” he said. “We decided to choose coronavirus as a model for our system just as a proof of concept for our technology.”

    • Replies: @NPleeze
    , @anon
  11. NPleeze says:

    There is not a shred of evidence to support that

    1) That describes about 90% of Jew York Slimes “reporting”. Oh, right, they consider “comments” by US “intelligence”, etc. as “evidence”, but comments by anyone else is … a “conspiracy theory”.

    2) Even if there were mountains of evidence, the Jew York Slimes wouldn’t report a single shred of it. That much we know.

    How can anyone take that imbecilic, corrupt propaganda rag seriously?

    • Agree: GazaPlanet
  12. China Spins Tale That the U.S. Army Started the Coronavirus Epidemic

    No, it’s not spin. It’s just a hypothesis, as some hypocritical Americans would argue.

  13. Vaterland says:

    “This small cadre of high-volume Chinese officials don’t seem to realize that peddling conspiracy theories is totally self-defeating for China, at a moment when it wants to be seen as a positive contributor around the world.”

    Allow me to translate: “Don’t you dare bring this up again, goy! Or else…”

    But everyone in China knows now the “else” is coming anyway. And will (re)act accordingly.

  14. SafeNow says:

    Regarding poor Dr. Li, everything might well have turned-out differently for him and for the planet if he had reported his concerns to a senior medical administrator or official. He could have said, “I am only a practicing doctor. This matter raises issues that have to do with health policy and government and medical management. These are beyond me, so I bring my information to you. I am only a practicing doctor.” Instead, he goes on an app to report his information to his buddies. You don’t do this anywhere, least of all in China.

  15. Of course it did. Isn’t even a question.

  16. I posted this in Karlin’s thread, but it got [more]’d:

    In this study, a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-based pseudovirus system was employed to address these issues. Our results indicated that the SL-CoV S protein is unable to use ACE2 proteins of different species for cell entry and that SARS-CoV S protein also failed to bind the ACE2 molecule of the horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus pearsonii. However, when the RBD of SL-CoV S was replaced with that from the SARS-CoV S, the hybrid S protein was able to use the huACE2 for cell entry, implying that the SL-CoV S proteins are structurally and functionally very similar to the SARS-CoV S. These results suggest that although the SL-CoVs discovered in bats so far are unlikely to infect humans using ACE2 as a receptor, it remains to be seen whether they are able to use other surface molecules of certain human cell types to gain entry. It is also conceivable that these viruses may become infectious to humans if they undergo N-terminal sequence variation, for example, through recombination with other CoVs, which in turn might lead to a productive interaction with ACE2 or other surface proteins on human cells.

    Essentially, in 2007 Shi Zhengli, lead researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (only 20 miles from the wet market: was creating synthetic bat coronavirus strains capable of utilizing human pulmonary ACE2 receptors–which is exactly what COVID-19 does.

    COVID-19 (or whatever the politically correct name is) was either a bioweapon, or some theoretical recombinant strain they were studying (to preempt the next SARS), when someone released it, either intentionally or not. Perhaps a researcher got infected and then spread it throughout Wuhan, or perhaps a lab tech stole infected lab animals to sell at the wet market.

    Now, because of this lab, millions of people will die.

    The CCP is well aware that this information is being disseminated (eg on 4chan), and is trying to contain the impending backlash by preemptively blaming America.

    • Replies: @NPleeze
  17. Americans have a track record of deception as does the New York Times Inc. Nothing goes into print at the NYT without first being censored by the CIA. Serial felon marquee investment banks on Wall Street depend on official USA fraud under the guise of state & God’s work.

    Fiat currency tells you everything you need to know about the fraud.


    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  18. NPleeze says:

    It much more likely came from Fort Detrick.

    1) Aug. 2019: CDC shutters Fort Detrick, US’ foremost bioweapons lab, due to “security breaches” and “safety lapses”.
    2) Oct. 2019: Five Americans participating in the World Military Games in Wuhan, China are hospitalized with an unknown “infection”.
    3) Nov. 2019: First patient known to have contacted coronavirus in Wuhan.
    4) Dec. 2019: A fish market in Wuhan is exposed to the virus, from where it quickly spreads.

    More evidence (aside from the fact the Pentagon and “intelligence” agencies have been managing the US response to coronavirus, which makes sense only if it is a bioweapon:


    • Replies: @anon (from 4chan)
  19. NPleeze says:
    @anon (from 4chan)

    trying to contain the impending backlash by preemptively blaming America.

    The US seems to be the source. See my post above.

    It’s the US that has been pointing the finger at China to blame. And, not so coincidentally, it has come out that the Pentagon and “intel” agencies have been spearheading the US response to COVID-19. Now why would that be? Hmmmm?


  20. anon[206] • Disclaimer says:

    China seems to have it under control. If it was the US that created the virus it seems that it has come back and bit them in the butt. Is Italy collateral damage? Is it affecting Italy because Italians have a similar genetic sequence that the creators targetted when they made it for the Iranians? Are all Mediterranean people’s more succeptable than perhaps central and northern Europeans? A lot of unanswered questions.

    • Agree: GazaPlanet
  21. MOG says:

    So …. explain to me one more time, why did the CDC force the shutdown of the Fort Detrick biolab last September?

    • Replies: @NPleeze
  22. anon[206] • Disclaimer says:

    Oy Veh! Goyem! Ve create the problem and zen ve sell you a solution to your problem!

  23. The Lancet

    Statement in support of the scientists, public health professionals, and medical professionals of China combatting COVID-19

    We are public health scientists who have closely followed the emergence of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and are deeply concerned about its impact on global health and wellbeing. We have watched as the scientists, public health professionals, and medical professionals of China, in particular, have worked diligently and effectively to rapidly identify the pathogen behind this outbreak, put in place significant measures to reduce its impact, and share their results transparently with the global health community. This effort has been remarkable….

    We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife as have so many other emerging pathogens.

  24. The United States Air Force started this epidemic…oops…I talk too much. Bye.

  25. @NPleeze

    This is the Unz Review, isn’t it? I thought Occam’s razor was preferred here over Occam’s butterknife.

    The epicenter of the Chinese outbreak is a few minutes’ drive from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where we know researchers were studying and engineering bat coronavirus strains capable of infecting humans. And before this crisis, Trump was winning the trade war (which China started with its mercantilist policies and IP theft), and the US economy was extremely strong, and his reelection seemed likely. Now, due to “social distancing” and other containment measure, the US economy is tanking, and the stock market–Trump’s favorite reelection talking point–is now in a full-on correction, putting an end to the longest bull market in US history and erasing all of the gains made since he took office.

    If it turns out Shi Zhengli and her Institute have nothing to do with this (which I doubt), then the next most probable scenario is the official story: zoonotic spread from bat to pangolin to human via the wet market. Regardless, it’s clear that despite the CCP’s efforts (which I suspect you’re a part of), the rest of the world will (rightly) blame China for this.

    • Replies: @NPleeze
    , @Chinaman
    , @TRM
  26. NPleeze says:

    Here’s another “coincidence” (similar to US simulating civilian airline strikes on buildings on 9/11 and UK simulating backpack bombs on buses/subways on 7/11): in October 2019, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a John Hopkins Group and the World Economic Forum held a conference to simulate, and I quote:

    Event 201 simulates an outbreak of a novel zoonotic coronavirus transmitted from bats to pigs to people that eventually becomes efficiently transmissible from person to person, leading to a severe pandemic. The pathogen and the disease it causes are modeled largely on SARS, but it is more transmissible in the community setting by people with mild symptoms.

    Sound familiar? Now, what it goes on to say:

    The disease starts in pig farms in Brazil, quietly and slowly at first, but then it starts to spread more rapidly in healthcare settings. When it starts to spread efficiently from person to person in the low-income, densely packed neighborhoods of some of the megacities in South America, the epidemic explodes. It is first exported by air travel to Portugal, the United States, and China and then to many other countries. Although at first some countries are able to control it, it continues to spread and be reintroduced, and eventually no country can maintain control.

  27. NPleeze says:
    @anon (from 4chan)

    I thought Occam’s razor was preferred here over Occam’s butterknife.

    You obviously do not understand Occam’s razor. When it comes to human behavior, it doesn’t apply, b/c humans act irrationally, deceptively, fraudulently, etc. I.e., a person can frame another person, even if it is a more complex explanation – in your world, framing would NEVER happen. It applies to explanations of natural phenomenon.

    The epicenter of the Chinese outbreak is a few minutes’ drive from the Wuhan Institute of Virology

    And this is conclusive proof to you? lol

    where we know researchers were studying and engineering bat coronavirus strains capable of infecting humans

    We also know Fort Detrick was studying the same thing. As was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Johns Hopkins.

    Trump was winning the trade war

    LMFAO. He was losing, big time – all he was doing is taxing US consumers, in order to give tax breaks to his billionaire buddies.

    the US economy was extremely strong

    LMFAO! Funniest things you write. Like a true TrumpTARD. All credibility gone. Hint: in 1950s one wage earner after high school could buy a new home, support a wife and kids and earn a pension, in addition to having job security. Today, two wage earners can’t afford that. It’s only strong in your brainwashed mind. Yeah, the Fed juiced the stock market, and there’s lots of minimum wage service jobs with zero benefits, zero retirement, and zero job security.

    You write too much nonsense.

  28. Chinaman says:

    Conspiracy theories aside, no one is actually addressing the genetic evidence.

    The fact that all 5 strains of the coronavirus are already in the US and that the strain in Japan and Australia could not have arise or been imported from China is worth investigation.

    It is America’s staunch allies in Asia, Japan and Taiwan which is questioning the official narrative.

  29. Chinese officials and news outlets have floated unfounded theories that the United States was the source of the virus.

    Unlike well-founded theories like Russia Collusion and Hussein is making nukes.

  30. Chinaman says:
    @anon (from 4chan)

    Duh…yes, this is Unz, not CNN. We all question our reality here. Occam’s razor are for simpletons like you.

    You obviously are one of those people who believe everything the media feeds you.

    This is not a conspiracy theory. We have DATA and genetic evidence which might suggest a US origin.

    The bat-eating Chinaman the media have being selling you is a narrative with nothing to substantiate it. People want to believe it so badly since it fits with their racist ideology.

    Just as we might be able to trace your ancestry from Europe ( or wherever) , the evolutionary history of the virus can be traced based on how its mutation accumulates. Nothing is conclusive now and it might indeed arise in China but we should all be agnostic and hold our judgement on this.

  31. Sean says:
    @John Chuckman

    The Chinese one party totalitarian state are the biggest source of lies about China. They said on 7 Jan that they had identified the virus as Coronavirus, but it did not spread between people. They will not hesitate to lie to the West again about the virus because human life means nothing to them. Ask the 3 million in China’s concentration camps, especially the ones having their organs harvested.

  32. Neoconned says:
    @John Chuckman

    I’m not sure i believe the conspiracy theory BUT “if the US military or CIA was behind it i wouldn’t be surprised

  33. @Sean

    I can see why british have tiny brains

  34. Anon[112] • Disclaimer says:

    Absurd, Chinese human lives means perhaps more to the Chinese government than American lives mean to the US government. Otherwise, there would not have been the lockdown in Wuhan.

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  35. TRM says:
    @anon (from 4chan)

    There are 5 haplotypes and the only place with all 5 is the USA. It is NOT just PRC saying that. If it were it could be written off as propaganda but it is also reported by 2 USA allies who are not friendly with China namely Japan and Taiwan.

    The place with the most is almost always the source. Not impossible for it to go the other way but highly unlikely. You would also have to wonder why the USA delayed the testing and the death certificates showing “coronavirus” when the family was told it was the “flu”. That was before the outbreak in Wuhan.

    • Replies: @NPleeze
  36. NPleeze says:

    it is also reported by 2 USA allies who are not friendly with China namely Japan and Taiwan

    To be fair, those are not official government reports, and those researchers have freedom of speech. You don’t know to whom those scientists in particular have “loyalty”, in case you want to challenge their studies based on credibility.

    • Replies: @d dan
  37. d dan says:

    “To be fair, those are not official government reports, and those researchers have freedom of speech. “

    Fair comment. I did recall reading that PM Abe of Japan mentioned that a Japanese was infected through a trip from Hawaii before the Wuhan outbreak (can’t find the link now). Does that seem “official”, in your opinion?

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  38. ” an unfounded conspiracy theory”

    “There is not a shred of evidence to support that”

    So not like his ” unfounded conspiracy theory” then?

    How does he know what evidence the Chinese government has?

    And not like the USA made Anthrax post 9/11.

  39. @John Chuckman

    Wrong button: should be “Agree”

  40. Tusk says:

    Well if you hate US lies, I don’t see why Chinese lies are much better.

  41. Paul says:

    As the Chinese coronavirus spreads, expect China’s rulers and racists to try to deflect blame elsewhere.

  42. @John Chuckman

    Business as usual for the Chosenburgs.

  43. @d dan

    If this is the Jap, apparently he caught it in Japan (probably in mid-January) before going to Hawaii.

  44. MEH 0910 says:

  45. A project of the magnitude of a new mass bio weapon would have had to have had its origins, at the most recent, during the Obama administration. That explains the NYT’s new found religion.

  46. MEH 0910 says:

  47. To all of you out there worrying and panicking: Don’t fear the reaper! BOC:

  48. BEIJING — China is pushing a new theory about the origins of the coronavirus: It is an American disease that might have been introduced by members of the United States Army who visited Wuhan in October.

    There is not a shred of evidence to support that, but the notion received an official endorsement from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose spokesman accused American officials of not coming clean about what they know about the disease.

    This is my wumao:

    This is what I think was the origin of the corona virus epidemic. I think it is virtually certain that the US military developed a corona virus, particularly adapted to attacking East Asian lungs. It is the sort of thing they are known to have been working on. Last September the US CDC closed down a number of US Bio-war labs as “dangerous, leaking”.
    They said that “no one” had been infected, that there was “no danger” to the public, but they would say that. Wouldn’t they? Closing these labs down was a pretty drastic action and they must have had a pretty good reason for doing so. I think, someone or some people were infected and two of them went to the World Military games in Wuhan, where they were treated for “high fevers”. I.e. They did not infect the Chinese deliberately, because they did not know that they were infected when they went.. They were billeted about 200 yards from the Wet Food market. They were there until late October. The reason I think it was not a deliberate attack is that the US and its allies seem to have been totally unprepared. The reason I am fairly sure it started in the US are these videos:
    I also note that the US authorities cannot deny that some people who died before the epidemic really got under weigh in China and were originally thought to have died of ‘flu, in fact are now known to have died of corona virus.
    This video is also worth watching in this context:

  49. Wally says:
    @Greg Bacon

    You blew it.

    The ‘pandemic team’ was highly redundant & fiscally wasteful compared to the existing agency, the CDC, with it’s numerous specialists.

    Trudeau Trumps Trump, Bans ALL Foreigners From Entering Canada:

  50. Here is an interesting and highly readable article on the Chinese charges:

    I am not a Gordon Duff fan, but this is well done.

    Definitely worth a read.

  51. MEH 0910 says:

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  52. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

  53. anaccount says:

    Elite Jewish writer cites Jewish ‘scholar’ in order to downplay news that is unhelpful to the Jewish agenda.

  54. @Robert White

    Thats not how Operation Mockingbird was meant. They are far more skillfull than that. They dont control the entire narrative as that is too obvious. They plant seeds here and there to make them grow. Nowadays they also pick and choose which stories to open up comments too. They study the comment section to feel public sentiment so they know how to maneuver.
    Pardon the current pun – but its herd immunity alright. Herd immunity to common sense and factual knowledge. Its kind of like throwing a fight in boxing back in the day. Cant make it too obvious.

  55. @Anon

    Yeah it shows you stupid the narrative is. Wuhan is a prominent city. If they didnt care then they wouldn’t shut it down and build brand new hospitals. The bias is people’s thinking is plain stupid. The Chinese government obsesses over economic growth. Locking down major cities assuredly will slow their growth.

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