Covid 'cover-up': China lashes out at ‘smears and slanders’ after Wuhan lab leak claims

CHINA has reacted furiously to a damning report claiming the global pandemic which has engulfed the world was triggered by a virus which escaped from a lab in Wuhan in 2019 – instead accusing the document’s authors of “smears and lies”.

Boris Johnson discusses Wuhan lab theory

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However, Congressman Mike McCaul, who, together with Republican colleagues on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, prepared the dossier, has stuck by its conclusions – citing Beijing’s angry response as evidence of the Chinese Communist Party’s guilt. The report, published earlier this week, suggests it was time to “completely dismiss” ‘s wet market as the source of the disease, claiming a “preponderance of evidence” proved the virus which causes had leaked out of a lab at the Institute of Virology (WIV) during a botched attempt to improve air safety systems.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “The relevant report, totally based on the concocted lies and distorted facts without providing any evidence, is not credible or scientific.

“What the relevant US congressmen have done, smears and slanders China in pursuit of political gains.

“We express categorical opposition to and strong condemnation of such despicable acts that have no moral bottom line.”

China Xi Jinping Mike McCaul

China’s President Xi Jinping and Republican Congressman Mike McCaul (Image: GETTY)

Scientists Wuhan Institute of Virology

Scientists in a lab in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (Image: GETTY)

The spokesman insisted: “This February, a China-WHO joint expert team visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology and had in-depth and candid exchanges with experts there.

“Members of the joint expert team spoke highly of the Institute’s openness and transparency, and reached a major conclusion in the joint study report that the allegation of lab leaking is extremely unlikely.”

Referring to a widely debunked conspiracy suggesting the disease had in fact been imported from the United States, the spokesman added: “If these US congressmen do have a sense of responsibility, even a tinge of it, for their own people, they should urge the US government to release at the earliest the medical records of those infected in the unexplained outbreaks of respiratory disease in Virginia and the large-scale EVALI in Wisconsin and Maryland in 2019.

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US Representative Mike McCaul

US Representative Mike McCaul (Image: GETTY)

“And of US military personnel who fell ill during the Military World Games in Wuhan, and to allow a thorough international probe into Fort Detrick lab and the 200-plus US biological labs overseas.

“As to gain of function research on coronaviruses, the US has provided more funding and conducted more experiments in this area than anyone else.

“Why don’t the congressmen find out if there is such research at home and whether or not it may create the novel coronavirus?”


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Wuhan Institute of Virology

Wuhan Institute of Virology (Image: GETTY)

Mike McCaul tweet

Mike McCaul’s tweet (Image: Twitter)

After years of being a federal prosecutor I know that if a defendant has proof of their innocence they show it

Mike McCaul

Mr McCaul, a member of the US House of Representatives from Texas, was unmoved by criticism.

On Tuesday, he tweeted: “After years of being a federal prosecutor I know that if a defendant has proof of their innocence they show it.

“The ones that just bang on witness stand are the ones who are guilty.”

Coronavirus figures worldwide

Coronavirus figures worldwide (Image: Express)

In a statement issued on Sunday to coincide with the publication of the report, Mr McCaul said: “It is our belief the virus leaked sometime in late August or early September 2019.

“When they realised what happened, Chinese Communist Party officials and scientists at the WIV began frantically covering up the leak, including taking their virus database offline in the middle of the night and requesting more than $1 million for additional security.”

By that time their “cover-up” was too late, he argued, with the virus already spreading through Wuhan.

World Health Organization

The biggest contributors to the World Health Organization (Image: Express)

Mr McCaul added: “Within a month, satellite images show a significant uptick in the number of people at hospitals around the WIV with symptoms similar to COVID-19.

“Now is the time to use all of the tools the US government has to continue to root out the full truth of how this virus came to be.

“This was the greatest cover-up of all time and has caused the deaths of more than four million people around the world, and people must be held responsible.”

William Murphy

William Murphy

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