This isn’t new behavior on China’s part. The CCP has been suggesting the coronavirus originated in the United States since early last year. But in the past month or so state media is really doubling down on the message:
“On the origins-tracing work, the Chinese Foreign Ministry recently said the US should start with four things, including publishing and examining the data of its early cases, inviting WHO experts to investigate Fort Detrick and its 200-plus Biolabs overseas, inviting WHO experts to investigate the University of North Carolina and release the data concerning the sickened American military athletes who attended the world military games in Wuhan,” a report in state-run Global Times said…
In another article, Global Times said there was a possibility “that some of the patients of the mysterious vaping-related lung disease that swept through all of the 50 US states in 2019 were actually COVID-19 patients”. It cited a group of Chinese scientists and radiologists, who apparently reviewed “some 250 chest CT scans from published papers”.
One of the Global Times pieces published this week included that cartoon above of President Biden ordering the intelligence agencies to find evidence of a lab leak in China while sitting with a glowing box labeled Fort Detrick under his desk. The same piece ends with a huge infographic which attempts to recycle a bunch of conspiracy nonsense including the claim that Maatje Benassi is patient zero. The infographic attributes that story to “an American journalist.” What it doesn’t tell you is that the “journalist” was a YouTuber named George Webb who retracted the claim in a statement last April: “I am officially retracting my earlier reporting that Maatje Benassi tested positive for CoronaVirus. I realize now I was being fed bad information to entrap me…”
Today, CNN reports that state media has also recently aired a 30-minute special attempting to tie the virus to Fort Detrick:
China’s state broadcaster CCTV, meanwhile, aired a 30-minute report this week titled the “dark inside story of Fort Detrick.” On Weibo, China’s heavily censored version of Twitter, a hashtag related to the report was the top trending topic on Tuesday morning. It has since been viewed 420 million times.
On social media, some government and state media accounts promoted yet another groundless theory from an obscure Italian tabloid, which alleged the US military had spread the coronavirus to Italy through a blood donation program. “Damning evidence! The coronavirus entered Europe from Fort Detrick via a US army blood donation program,” read the headline of a widely read story posted by the Communist Youth League, the youth branch of China’s ruling Communist Party.
You can watch the report on Fort Detrick for yourself. There are large portions of it which rely on news reports in English. For instance, China is suggesting that a respiratory outbreak that happened at a retirement community in Virginia back in July of 2019 may have been caused by the coronavirus.
China’s propaganda is obviously aimed at one thing: taking the heat off China, especially in light of the fact that researchers there have so far failed to uncover a convincing origin point for the virus. None of that proves that the virus originated in a lab leak but China’s defensiveness really is pathological and very suspicious.
President Biden’s 90-day intelligence review of the matter should be complete later this month. Recent reports have suggested those agencies have become more rather than less convinced a lab leak is a viable possibility. Hopefully we’ll know more in a couple of weeks. And when we do you can probably expect a big outburst of fresh nonsense from Chinese state media.