Rejecting a Covid inquiry, China peddles conspiracy theories blaming the U.S.

Gun News

When a conspiracy theory started circulating in China suggesting that the coronavirus had escaped from an American military lab, it largely stayed on the fringe. Now, the ruling Communist Party has propelled the idea firmly into the mainstream.

This week, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman repeatedly used an official podium to elevate unproven ideas that the coronavirus may have first leaked from a research facility in Fort Detrick, Md. A Communist Party publication, Global Times, started an online petition in July calling for that lab to be investigated and said it had gathered more than 25 million signatures.

Officials and state media have promoted a rap song by a patriotic Chinese hip-hop group that touted the same claim, with the lyrics: “How many plots came out of your labs? How many dead bodies hanging a tag?”

Beijing is peddling groundless theories that the United States may be the true source of the coronavirus as it pushes back against efforts to investigate the pandemic’s origins in China. The volume has risen in recent weeks, reflecting the authorities’ anxiety about being blamed for the pandemic that has killed millions globally.

“This not only contributes to the further deterioration of U.S.-China relations but also makes it even less likely for the two countries to work together to face a common challenge,” said Yanzhong Huang, director of the Center for Global Health Studies at Seton Hall University. “We haven’t seen any bilateral cooperation over the vaccines, tracing the trajectory of the virus or mutations, any of these kind of things.”

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