On Friday, Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, held a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressing "grave concerns" about "fabricated and peddled absurd stories claiming a Wuhan lab leak." According to Xinhua, Yang urged Washington "to respect facts and science, refrain from politicising COVID-19 origin tracing and concentrate on international anti-pandemic cooperation."
Biden's push for a renewed investigation into the roots of COVID followed a release of a previously undisclosed US intelligence report claiming that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology "became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care."
Although the Wuhan lab leak theory, advocated by Donald Trump, was previously dismissed as a crackpot idea by Big Media and Big Tech, it has since garnered more approving headlines. The proponents of the idea draw attention to the fact that scientists have yet to find the natural reservoir for SARS-CoV-2. However, there is no direct evidence supporting the lab leak hypothesis either.
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To complicate matters further, the lab leak theory is getting "wilder and wilder" with recent media stories, according to the author. While, initially it was rumoured to be just an accident, now "the media narrative is going with the story that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) not only manufactured it in the Wuhan Virus Lab but leaked it intentionally," Pauken notes.
The fact that many people believe such strange narratives makes the author wonder about "how dangerous the Western media and the anti-China thought leaders have become that they can make ordinary people believe such nonsense about Beijing." Meanwhile, anti-China sentiment has already resulted in a spike in hate crimes against Asian people in the US.
Pauken hopes that neutral and responsible scientists will get to the bottom of the pandemic's true origin. He does not rule out that the Wuhan lab leak narrative is nothing short of "a CIA-inspired 'propaganda prank" to smear China’s reputation to distract the public from the utter incompetence of how Western governments had responded to the pandemic in the early months of last year."
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