China, the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Virus and the West’s Demand for Accountability and Transparency

China, the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Virus and the West’s Demand for Accountability and Transparency

Sunday, March 15, 2020, Washington, DC — This past week China’s foreign ministry spokesman issued a public statement suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 — the corona virus sweeping through the world was planted by the U.S. Army in Wuhan during the Military World Games in October last year.

While Twitter is banned in China, the Foreign Ministry’s new spokesman Lijian Zhao (formerly served at the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan) tweeted the following statement in both Chinese and English on Thursday based on the briefing on Capitol Hill presented by Dr. Robert Redfield, director, Centers for Disease Control:

“When did patient zero begin in U.S.? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! U.S. owe us an explanation!”

The twitter post came shortly after his boss and the ministry’s Director General, Department of Information, Hua Chunying, retweeted the same video of Dr. Redfield, featuring a post which read: “It is absolutely WRONG and INAPPROPRIATE to call this the Chinese coronavirus.”

@CDCDirector Dr. Robert Redfield: Some cases that were previously diagnosed as Flu in the US were actually #COVID19. It is absolutely WRONG and INAPPROPRIATE to call this the Chinese coronavirus. https://t.co/Mk4RB7XYq0

CNN reported: “US Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell summoned China’s ambassador in Washington to the State Department Friday morning, hours after a prominent Chinese official suggested that the US military may have been responsible for bringing the coronavirus to Wuhan, the epicenter of the global pandemic.”

CNN — US summons Chinese ambassador over coronavirus conspiracy theory

Reuters reported:

David Stillwell, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, delivered a very “stern representation” to China’s ambassador Cui Tiankai, a State Department official said, adding that Beijing’s envoy was “very defensive.”

The State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said China was seeking to deflect criticism of its role in “starting a global pandemic and not telling the world.”

“Spreading conspiracy theories is dangerous and ridiculous. We wanted to put the government on notice we won’t tolerate it for the good of the Chinese people and the world.”

Defense Department Spokeswoman Alyssa Farah wrote on Twitter on Friday that “the Communist Party of China has chosen to promulgate false & absurd conspiracy theories about the origin of COVID-19 blaming U.S. service members. #ChinaPropaganda”

News reports from Asia and the United States question China’s claim that the virus was first noticed in late December 2019.

South China Morning Post:

The first case of someone in China suffering from Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, can be traced back to November 17, according to government data seen by the South China Morning Post.

Chinese authorities have so far identified at least 266 people who were infected last year, all of whom came under medical surveillance at some point.

Some of the cases were likely backdated after health authorities had tested specimens taken from suspected patients.

Interviews with whistle-blowers from the medical community suggest Chinese doctors only realised they were dealing with a new disease in late December.

Senator Tom Cotton Questions the Origins of SARS-CoV-2

Senator Tom Cotton and other sources including The Washington Times have raised questions about the origins of of SARS-CoV-2, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The Fox News report stated,

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. stood by his earlier suggestion that the deadly coronavirus may have originated in a high-security biochemical lab in Wuhan, China, telling “The Story” Tuesday that we “need to be open to all possibilities” in exploring the origins of the outbreak that has sickened more than 75,000 people around the world.

In The Washington Times, Senator Tom Cotton said,

“I don’t know where this virus originated. Natural causes somewhere other than that food market is still the most likely hypothesis. The Chinese Communist Party needs to be transparent about exactly what transpired in Wuhan in the November-December time frame. And the way to do that is to open itself up completely to a team of international scientists to study the matter.”

Senator Cotton based his remarks on a study published by Chinese scientists in the Lancet.

The Lancet Findings

“Epidemiologically, eight of the nine patients in our study had a history of exposure to the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, suggesting that they might have been in close contact with the infection source at the market. However, one patient had never visited the market, although he had stayed in a hotel near the market before the onset of their illness. This finding suggests either possible droplet transmission or that the patient was infected by a currently unknown source. Evidence of clusters of infected family members and medical workers has now confirmed the presence of human-to-human transmission.” The Lancet, Volume 395, ISSUE 10224, P565–574, February 22, 2020

US needs to reevaluate its relationship with China after coronavirus, Sen. Cotton says

“We rise to every challenge, we vanquish every foe, and we come through adversity even better than before. I have every confidence America will once again marshal the resolve, toughness, and genius of our people to overcome the serious threat to our health and well-being posed by the Wuhan coronavirus. We will emerge stronger from this challenge, we will hold accountable those who inflicted it on the world, and we will prosper in the new day.” — US Senator Tom Cotton, March 12, 2020

Further reading:

The Guardian: ‘They’re chasing me’: the journalist who wouldn’t stay quiet on Covid-19

The Wall Street Journal: Strategic Partnership With China Lies at Root of Iran’s Coronavirus Outbreak

Pathogen spread rapidly from Qom, where Chinese-backed projects helped prop up nation’s sanctions-hit economy

South China Morning Post — Coronavirus: China’s first confirmed Covid-19 case traced back to November 17

The Jerusalem Post: Chinese businessman missing after criticizing Xi’s handling of coronavirus

He [Ren Zhiqiang] also said it revealed a “crisis of governance” within the party, and that a lack of free press and speech had prevented the outbreak from being tackled sooner, causing the situation to worsen.

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