Schellenberg: Expert on upholding of death penalty in China
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Numerous state media outlets quoted Swiss scientist “Wilson Edwards” – who was reported to have accused America of pressuring the World Health Organisation (WHO) to investigate the leak theory. The People’s Daily, China Daily and the state-run CGTN television network widely quoted the “scientist” rubbishing the theory – which he said was only designed to increase American influence.
He apparently told The People’s Day: “Unfortunately, Washington’s re-entry has brought geopolitical competition to the science-spearheaded world body.”
Dr Wilson allegedly even expressed “the disappointment of the international scientific community toward the US”.
Unfortunately it appears that Xi Jinping’s ruthless communist state didn’t do enough background checks on the biologist.
The Swiss embassy later said there was no citizen by that name and that it could find no academic articles by him.
The superpowers have clashed over the ‘lab leak’ theory (Image: Getty)
The city was put into lockdown for weeks after the virus emerged (Image: Getty)
A spokesman told the Times: “If you exist, we would like to meet you! But it is more likely that this is a [piece of] fake news, and we call on the Chinese press and netizens to take down the posts.”
A Facebook page created on July 24 suggested that he was from Bern, the Swiss capital.
It also featured a profile picture of the Radcliffe Camera building at Oxford University.
But the recently created profile only had one post, published the same day, in which he reiterated the comments he made to Chinese state media.
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US President Joe Biden (Image: Getty)
The post also claimed that US President Joe Biden would “spare no efforts” to rebuild US influences in the organisation.
Since doubts were cast on his authenticity, the profile has been removed.
Chinese media have also scrubbed any quotes or mention of the “biologist” from their reports.
The news emerged amid growing animosity between the two superpowers.
Wuhan is the city at the centre of the virus outbreak (Image: Getty)
Observers had hoped that when former president Donald Trump left office, his successor would seek to mention relations.
But Mr Biden has taken a stern stance against Mr Xi and his increasingly aggressive regime.
One major bone of contention is the US government alleging that the so-called “lab leak” – where a man-made virus escaped from a Chinese laboratory – scenario is likely.
Beijing has firmly denied this and says the virus must have spread to humans naturally.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (Image: Getty)
It has also rejected plans by the WHO to send a second team of experts to the country to investigate the possibility that the virus might have emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
It was studying coronaviruses in bats and other animals when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in late 2019.
Instead the Chinese Government has called for an inquiry into US biological labs, claiming that COVID-19 may have emerged in Fort Detrick in Maryland.