Chinese Embassy: Pushing Covid-19 Lab Leak Theory No Different from Iraq WMD Lies

The renewed U.S. attempts to blame China for the Covid-19 emergence propelling ‘lab leak’ theory has  provoked the Chinese  embassy in the U.S. to blast Biden’s administration, comparing their moves with how the George W. Bush administration pushed the false claims about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.

Bush administration propelled and used the claim that Saddam Hussein possessed a clandestine advanced WMD program and posed an imminent to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The accusations were later proven false, but were initially endorsed uncritically and enthusiastically by the U.S. media establishment, the institution that is supposed to keep politicians in check by digging for the truth.

The embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu tweeted that the origin of Covid-19 is a subject of scientific inquiry that should not be politicized since politicizing the study of origins and smear China is no different from the lies about Iraq possessing WMD 12 years ago.

Pengyu was evidently referring to the origin hypothesis that the virus causing Covid-19 did not emerge naturally but was rather a product of gain-of-function experiments at a virus laboratory in Wuhan, China, but managed to escape, starting the devastating pandemic.

Proponents of the theory believe that China obstructed the investigation and pressured the World Health Organization for an exculpatory report. WHO also investigated the origin of Covid-19 but said there’s not much evidence to back the ‘lab leak’ theory and that natural evolution was more plausible.

The lab leak theory was favored by former U.S. President Donald Trump but the U.S. press and the Democrats discarded it at the time as a conspiracy theory, but made a U-turn after Biden’s order in late May for U.S. intelligence report on the issue.

The Wall Street Journal published an article last Sunday, arguing that the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus carries clear markers of splicing, which means it had been produced in a lab. The situation gets higher level of complexity due to the fact that the gain-of-function research conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology was funded by U.S. money, partly from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is headed by Anthony Fauci.

This type of research that some experts consider highly dangerous, is aimed at producing dangerous strains of infections in a lab and finding ways to counter them before they can emerge naturally, but can also be used for bioterrorism.

Many people have called the treatment of the lab leak theory this generation’s ‘Iraqi WMDs moment’, though some believe, like J Stephen Morrison, director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, that the failure was in dismissing the claim just because journalists loathed Trump.

According to Mathew Burrows, the Atlantic Council director of Foresight, Strategy and Risks Initiative, the decision to release a statement calling for further investigation on ‘lab leak’ theory serves a domestic purpose for Biden – to not appear weak on China and head off Republican criticism going into Congressional midterm elections in 2022. He also pointed that releasing the statement during the World Health Assembly also puts Beijing and the WHO on notice.

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