COVID-19, recently declared the world’s newest pandemic by the World Health Organization, has infected nearly 68,000 people in the United States, with the worldwide number of cases reaching over 170,000 in the 4 months. These numbers don’t take into consideration untested cases and previous instances of the disease.
Alongside the coronavirus’ sudden outbreak came a slew of articles from various media sources questioning, investigating, and claiming the source of the disease’s origins, in that order. A majority of sources, of course, state that the coronavirus pandemic began in Wuhan, China, backed by Chinese government records documenting cases as early as November 2019, among other evidence. However, the Chinese government has pushed back against these claims with one of their own: the United States Army is to blame, and not simply for the pandemic.
The origins of the pandemic are important to understanding why China’s claims are false.
Similar to SARS in late 2002 and early 2003, COVID-19 originated in Central China, specifically in the city of Wuhan. From there, the virus spread mainly through travel, which led to the first cases outside of China in Thailand and Japan. Within the first month of the virus’ known existence, China’s death toll rose to 170, and several leading European nations alongside the U.S. confirmed their first cases of the virus.
The issue was quickly politicized by both sides of the American political aisle, as well as the nations of the world. Despite even the President’s calls to “put politics aside…and unify together as one nation and one family,” the political sphere wasted no time dividing over the issue. Democrats and Republicans differed significantly in relief provisions, and Democrats continue to rally around the idea that President Trump is in fact racist for calling the coronavirus a “Chinese” virus. However, one further level of division exists in this pandemic: the Chinese government’s attempt to blame the United States Army for the start of the pandemic.
In a series of posts on his Twitter account, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Lijian Zhao, proposed the idea that the coronavirus actually originated in the United States. This series of posts was made in response to statements made by U.S. government officials that China’s response to the virus was slow and inefficient, leading to the pandemic. Zhao’s claims have been backed up by several studies and sources, all of which are based on purely coincidental “evidence.”
An article from the Centre for Research on Globalization claims that a small pneumonia outbreak in the U.S. around August 2019 was actually coronavirus, based solely on the fact that the outbreak was not caused by e-cigarettes, as was commonly believed at the time. The piece goes on to imply that because the CDC shut down the bio-lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland days before the epidemic arose, the United States Army is to blame for the spread of the virus. Another theory, pushed forward by the Chinese magazine People’s Daily Online claims that American delegates to the Military World Games in October 2019 brought the coronavirus to Wuhan.
Data from the Chinese government has always been unreliable to say the least, mainly because of bureaucratic inefficiency leading to inflated statistics and blame reflected onto other nations. The Chinese government also has solid motives to falsify studies and place undue blame on organizations such as the United States Army. However, because the theory contradicts known facts concerning the origins of the virus, it’s clear that the Chinese government is simply attempting to reflect blame onto the United States government and edify itself in the global spotlight.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.