A nationalist tabloid controlled by the Chinese Communist Party has dismissed claims by the Trump administration that the novel coronavirus originated from a laboratory, as the war of words over the pandemic escalates between Washington and Beijing.
Beijing has hit back with its own propaganda efforts, accusing the US of shifting blame and brushing aside accusations of a deliberate coverup in the critical early stages.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday in an interview with ABC that there was “enormous evidence” Covid-19 originated in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak was first detected last December. He did not provide details to support the claim.
Responding to Pompeo’s comments, China’s state owned Global Times newspaper said in an editorial Monday that the former CIA director had “stunned the world with groundless accusations.”
“Since Pompeo said his claims are supported by ‘enormous evidence,’ then he should present this so-called evidence to the world, and especially to the American public who he continually tries to fool,” the editorial said.
“The truth is that Pompeo does not have any evidence, and during Sunday’s interview, he was bluffing.”
CNN reached out to China’s foreign ministry for comment on Pompeo’s claims, but received no response. The country is in the middle of a five-day holiday that runs through Tuesday.
Scientists around the world have condemned conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin, pointing to studies that suggest it originated in wildlife.
China has faced criticism at home and abroad over its handling of the virus, especially during the initial outbreak. It was accused of silencing whistle-blowers and delaying in informing the public about the severity of the crisis.
News Credit: CNN