China is flipping the script on the United States when it comes to who to blame for the Coronavirus outbreak, now claiming it could have started within the U.S.
The U.S. (and most of the world) believes the disease started in Wuhan, China, though specific details are speculative. China is vehemently denying they carry any responsibility, instead claiming the U.S. military or Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is responsible for planting the virus.
China Daily, a news outlet owned by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China, reports Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian claims the U.S. is intentionally blocking international health groups from investigating a possible origin of the coronavirus within the U.S.
Lijian cited a volume of deaths that happened during the flu season and asked why the U.S. was not more transparent.
“If US is so transparent, why not invite @WHO experts to investigate how many #Covid_19 cases there are among 20000 people who passed away during flu season?” Lijian said per the outlet.
"If US is so transparent, why not invite @WHO experts to investigate how many #Covid_19 cases there are among 20000 people who passed away during flu season?" Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian @zlj517 asked in his tweet. @MFA_China pic.twitter.com/15zpvuycua
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) March 21, 2020
The tweet comes as President Trump and his administration are blaming the severity of the outbreak on China and its own lack of transparency. China denies these claims.
Instead of being more cooperative, however, the Chinese government has used the coronavirus outbreak to criticize Trump and voice support for his critics within the U.S.
Chinese Ambassador Lin Songtian backed Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 presidential rival, and her most recent critique of Trump.
Trump is calling the ongoing pandemic the “Chinese virus,” rather than the more commonly acceptable “Coronavirus” — something Clinton described as “racist.”
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) March 21, 2020
In a tweet, the former first lady and secretary of state said Trump was using the new name “to distract from his failures to take the coronavirus seriously early on, make tests widely available, and adequately prepare the country for a period of crisis.”
“Don’t fall for it. Don’t let your friends and family fall for it,” Clinton added.
The Chinese Ambassador to South Africa agreed with Clinton, writing: “It is true.”
Lin continued: “Justice always speaks loudly.”
It is true. Justice always speak loudly. https://t.co/kZjcYccFPg
— Chinese Embassy in South Africa (@ChineseEmbSA) March 20, 2020
When the flu broke out in US, we never called it “American Flu”. Unfortunately American is American! Some US politicians’ blame game by calling it “Chinese virus” is groundless and unacceptable. Scientists with justice in the world will show us the evidence of its true origin. https://t.co/zsgyjhvU7n
— Chinese Embassy in South Africa (@ChineseEmbSA) March 18, 2020
The Washington Examiner reports:
Trump’s insistence on noting the origin of the coronavirus has led to criticism from media outlets who only one month ago used similar language to describe the flu-like illness. The disease is believed to have first appeared in a seafood market in Wuhan, China, but the language the president has used to describe the geographical home of the virus has created a bitterly partisan political debate.
The war of words comes at a time when officials in the United States and China have amplified conspiracies and doubt about the timeline of the virus and where it came from. On March 12, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao suggested that “it might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.”
But top officials in the Trump administration have pushed back on the claim that the U.S. played any role in spreading the disease in China.