China dredges up theory Covid came from US Army lab as it desperately attempts to deflect blame

CHINA has desperately tried to deflect blame for the coronavirus crisis by reigniting claims that the killer bug originated from a US Army lab.

A Chinese government spokeswoman reportedly accused the US of spreading "conspiracy theories and lies" as part of the "last-day madness of Mr Liar" – an apparent reference to Donald Trump.

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Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying was hitting back at Mike Pompeo's claims that the US has explosive new evidence which proves Covid-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

According to the Guardian, Hua said: "I’d like to stress that if the United States truly respects facts, it should open the biological lab at Fort Detrick, give more transparency to issues like its 200-plus overseas bio-labs, invite WHO experts to conduct origin-tracing in the United States, and respond to the concerns from the international community with real actions."

Fort Detrick is a US Army Medical Command facility in Maryland which was opened in 1931.

Following Hua's comments, the Chinese hashtag for "biological laboratory in US Fort Detrick" has been viewed more than 900 million times on Weibo.

Users on the microblogging platform have jumped behind the conspiracy theory that the US could be the source of the outbreak.

Chinese scientists have also claimed Australia and Europe should reject the "hasty" US vaccines following the elderly deaths in Norway, the Washington Post reports.

A state television presenter said Western media has refused to investigate the dangers of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, while the state-owned Global Times newspaper quoted Chinese experts who urged countries to halt its use.

China and the US have been playing the blame game since the pandemic started last year.

Accusations of a cover-up by the Chinese government have been repeatedly dismissed and pressures for a full investigation into the lab suspected of being the source of coronavirus have so far been resisted.

The Chinese government first accused the US military of bringing the coronavirus to Wuhan in March last year.

Hitting back at claims of a cover-up, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said: "When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals?

"It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!"

Another spokesperson criticised US officials for their "immoral and irresponsible" comments at the time.

Earlier this week, Pompeo revealed that new US studies suggest scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in the autumn of 2019 – earlier than previously believed – with Covid-like symptoms.

The former secretary of state has demanded the World Health Organisation (WHO) launch an investigation into the possibility that Covid was an "accidental" lab leak.

"Beijing continues today to withhold vital information that scientists need to protect the world from this deadly virus and the next one," Pompeo said on Saturday.


A WHO team has landed in Wuhan to investigate the origins of the virus, but there are not believed to be any plans to investigate whether the virus accidentally escaped from the lab – which houses zoonotic bat diseases.

Scientists at the lab have already revealed they were bitten while collecting samples in a cave packed with infected bats.

One researcher reportedly claimed fangs went through his rubber gloves "like a needle" leaving him spattered with blood.

The startling claims came after it was revealed the scientist dubbed “Patient Zero” who vanished from the Wuhan lab at the start of the Covid-19 outbreak is still missing despite a year-long search.

Virus expert Huang Yanling was named online in China during the first worrying reports of the deadly pandemic back in February of last year.

The US State Department believes she was the first of several working at the controversial institute who fell ill in the autumn of 2019 – months before the virus was officially acknowledged.

The claims created a link between the pandemic and the lab, and sparked fears the virus was accidentally leaked during experiments.


Last year, The Sun also revealed how the lab lied about taking safety precautions when collecting bat samples.

Shocking leaked photos – which revealed a scandalous lack of safety – were deleted from the website of under-fire China science hub.

Online data related to the lab has also been deleted.

Hundreds of pages of information connected to studies carried out by the top-secret Wuhan Institute of Virology have been wiped alongside key data from a top virologist nicknamed "Batwoman".

More than 300 studies published by the National Natural Science Foundation of China – including investigations into diseases that transfer from animals to humans – are no longer available, The Mail on Sunday revealed.

China has now recorded a total of 88,557 Covid cases, with 4,635 deaths.

The government is hoping to vaccinate 50 million people against the virus by mid-February and has told citizens to stay put during the Lunar New Year travel rush which will begin in the next few days.

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