A Chinese state broadcaster revived a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a US military lab, and told its millions of viewers there is “something fishy” happening at Fort Detrick in Maryland.
A female anchor on China’s Central Television Station Thursday asked viewers: ”Exactly what fishy businesses were going on?,” the Daily Mail reported.
Her comments came three days after Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, urged the U.S to “open the biological lab at Fort Detrick” and “invite WHO experts to conduct origin-tracing in the United States.”
“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,” Hua said during a news briefing on Monday.
On Thursday morning, the country’s state broadcaster claimed that Fort Detrick was branded as “the darkest experiment centre of the US government” by American political news sites, without mentioning specific publications.
The Fort Detrick lab is officially named the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).
While the virus’s exact origin remains unknown, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan in December 2019, likely came from bats and jumped to humans through an intermediate host.
Hua made the assertions in response to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who released a “fact sheet” last week which details new evidence linking the virus’s origins to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The document alleged that the US government has “reason to believe” that researchers at a lab in Wuhan had become sick while working on “secret projects” with the Chinese military last fall before the disease spread globally.
Hua also branded the ‘fact sheet’ as part of the ‘”Last-day Madness” of “Mr Liar”‘, apparently referring to either Donald Trump or Mike Pompeo.