Chinese Government Official Spreads Conspiracy Theory that U.S. to blame for coronavirus

A Chinese government official is sparking backlash on social media for spreading a conspiracy theory that the U.S. is to blame for bringing coronavirus to the city of Wuhan.

The Hill reports a spokesman for the Chinese government on Thursday promoted a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus was brought to the city of Wuhan by the U.S. military.

“It might be US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan,” said Zhao Lijian, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Business Insider reported.

The comment, an alternate explanation Beijing is pushing amid global criticism of the country’s failure to mitigate the virus, comes as the Chinese government has increasingly disputed widespread international reporting that the virus was first detected in Wuhan.

The conspiracy theory, which has recently gained steam in China, instead suggests the virus was brought to the country in 2019 by U.S. athletes participating in the Military World Games that were held in Wuhan.

Zhao pointed to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield’s acknowledgement in congressional testimony Wednesday that some Americans who appeared to have died from the flu may have died from the virus due to a lack of testing.

“What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!” Zhao said in a series of tweets.

Per TCO, many fired back at the conspiracy theory.