Chinese media accuses Fauci of 'fanning huge lie' of lab leak theory
Chinese media accuses Dr Fauci of ‘fanning a huge lie’ against Beijing after top US Covid expert fueled Wuhan lab leak theory by saying he was ‘not convinced’ disease originated naturally
- Dr Fauci added his voice to speculation that Covid did not originate naturally
- It comes as many outlets suddenly embrace Wuhan lab leak theory of Covid
- Wall Street Journal reported three researchers at the lab were hospitalised
- Chinese state media has turned on the US, accusing them of spreading ‘lies’
Chinese state media is turning on Dr Anthony Fauci after he said he was ‘not convinced’ Covid-19 started naturally.
The infectious disease expert added fuel to the fire amid increasing speculation that the virus was leaked from the Institute of Virology in Wuhan rather than the city’s wet market.
On the weekend, the Wall Street Journal brought to light a State Department report claiming three lab researchers were hospitalised in November 2019, months before the outbreak was confirmed.
Now China has fought back through its media, accusing Dr Fauci and American elites of ‘fanning a huge lie’.
The editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times, Hu Xijin, wrote a fierce opinion piece titled: ‘US elites degenerate further in morality, and Fauci is one of them.’
Chinese state media is turning on Dr Anthony Fauci after he said he was ‘not convinced’ Covid-19 started naturally
The editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times, Hu Xijin, wrote a fierce opinion piece titled: ‘US elites degenerate further in morality, and Fauci is one of them’
The article accuses Fauci and other health experts of peddling the ‘old and groundless narrative’ because of their ‘anti-China stance’.
Xijin also said the Wall Street Journal’s claims were ‘a blatant lie, a conspiracy created by US intelligence agencies and the media outlet to slander China’.
His fiery attack ends: ‘Their moral and professional standards do not match their reputation.’
Another article in the same newspaper said Fauci had ‘betrayed Chinese scientists’.
The backlash was prompted when the chief medical adviser explained his uncertainty over the origins of the virus during a PolitiFact event on May 11 entitled: United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking.
‘There’s a lot of cloudiness around the origins of COVID-19 still, so I wanted to ask, are you still confident that it developed naturally?’ PolitiFact managing editor Katie Sanders asked Fauci.
The infectious disease expert added fuel to the fire amid increasing speculation that the virus was leaked from the Institute of Virology in Wuhan
Fauci has since backtracked on his recent comments, saying he believes it is ‘highly likely’ the virus originated naturally before it spread from animals to humans
‘No actually,’ he replied. ‘I am not convinced about that, I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened.’
He later pulled back on his remarks, saying he believes it is ‘highly likely’ the virus originated naturally before it spread from animals to humans.
CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang said the medical adviser is still open to an investigation but does not believe COVID-19 was leaked from the laboratory.
She added: ‘He does not know anything about the three researchers at the Wuhan lab who sought hospital care in November 2019 as reported by the WSJ.’
The lab leak theory, which Donald Trump’s administration pushed during his presidency, was long ridiculed as ‘disinformation’ but is now gaining traction in the mainstream media.
COVID-19 spread quickly throughout the world, and now officials in the United States, Norway, Canada and Great Britain are calling for further investigation into its origins
In a statement on Tuesday, Trump said: ‘Now everybody is agreeing that I was right when I very early on called Wuhan as the source of COVID-19, sometimes referred to as the China Virus.
‘To me it was obvious from the beginning but I was badly criticized, as usual. Now they are all saying “He was right.” Thank you!’ he added.
Circumstantial evidence has long raised questions about the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers were known to be conducting experiments on bat coronavirus strains similar to the one responsible for COVID-19.
China insisted early and often that the virus did not leak from the lab, claiming that crossover must have occurred at a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan that sold live animals.
Trump’s remarks joined a chorus of commentary remarking on the astonishing turnaround, with those who once insisted that the lab leak theory was false, dangerous, and even racist now admitting that it is a likely possibility.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson also slammed Fauci and the mainstream media for spreading ‘lies’ about the origins of COVID-19.
‘Pretty much every sane person acknowledges at this point that the government of China likely caused the single worst man-made disaster in human history,’ he said on Monday.
On Monday, government sources told Reuters that U.S. intelligence agencies are examining reports that researchers at the Wuhan laboratory were seriously ill in 2019 a month before the first cases of COVID-19 were reported.
The lab is one of only a handful in the world that is cleared to handle Class 4 pathogens — dangerous viruses that pose a high risk of person-to-person transmission
A still-classified U.S. intelligence report circulated during Trump’s administration alleged that three Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) researchers became so ill in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, sources said.
It remained unclear what their symptoms were, one of the sources said. The virus was first reported in Wuhan in December 2019 and then spread worldwide.
In the final days of Trump’s term in office, the State Department issued a public statement saying that several WIV employees became sick in autumn 2019 with symptoms that could be consistent with flu or COVID-19.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said on Monday it was ‘completely untrue’ that three WIV staff members had fallen ill.
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