Since the start of the health crisis caused by the new coronavirus (Covid-19), the World Health Organization (WHO) has been certain: the pandemic started on an animal market in Wuhan, in the center-east of China, between mid-November and early December. But this hypothesis is now challenged by the Chinese government itself, which relays several questions and messages on social networks and media around the world: what if the Covid-19 finally came from the United States?
As noted by Liberation Sunday, this accusation is based on the hearing on March 12, before the House of Representatives (equivalent to our National Assembly), of Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC in original version). On this day, the head of this federal agency covering the entire American health system recognizes that due to an insufficient number of screening tests, some people who died from Covid-19 could not be identified as such. Their deaths have even been attributed to seasonal flu.
This statement is notably relayed by the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lijian Zhao, on his Twitter account, and everything gets carried away. “The director of the CDC recognizes that Americans declared dead from the flu have tested positive for the new coronavirus,” said the Chinese diplomat, believing that cases of Covid-19 could therefore have preceded the first cases in China. “When did the zero patient date in the United States?” How many people have been infected? […] Be transparent! The United States owes us an explanation, ”he said in his message.
This Monday, March 23, the Chinese Embassy in France, in turn, shared its doubts and its innuendo on the subject. In particular asking: “How many cases of COVID-19 were there among the 20,000 deaths from the flu which started last September?” “
In support of his accusation, China relies, in addition to the statement by the director of the CDC, on the fact that deaths attributed to seasonal flu could have been caused by Covid-19 (without even knowing when). But also on the fact that the Americans could have brought the Covid-19 with them directly to Wuhan during the World Military Games, at the end of October 2019.
China is also wondering about the temporary closure, last July, of Fort Detrick, one of the most important military medical research centers in the United States. Explanation from the Americans? A safety concern because of a lack of “sufficient systems to decontaminate wastewater”, as explained by the New York Times. Chinese theory suggests that a “series of cases of pneumonia or similar cases” appeared following the closure, linking the two facts without any evidence. Since then, the center has reopened and is dedicated to finding a vaccine against Covid-19, as shown by an ABC report.
China’s last argument, something troubling in his eyes: the holding of an event (“Event 201”) organized by the John Hopkins health security center, in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Carried out on October 18, 2019 in New York, it simulated the arrival of a serious pandemic in order to illustrate the needs necessary to cope with the large-scale economic and social consequences.
These are all factors which, according to Beijing, prove that the Americans could be behind the Covid-19. These innuendos and accusations occur in a tense context between the two nations, in particular around commercial battles. A strong resentment is also felt within the Chinese community across the Atlantic towards President Donald Trump and other political leaders who continue to designate Covid-19 as a “Chinese virus”.