China’s state TV anchor tells the Arabic world that coronavirus pandemic started in the US and suggests it escaped from an American lab
The anchor, who calls herself ‘Ms V’, referred to several conspiracy theories in an opinion show on CGTN to prove ‘it is clear that the virus in China was transmitted from abroad’.
The Arabic-speaking reporter hinted that the contagion could have escaped from a US lab or been brought into China during the Military World Games in Wuhan last October. These claims have been debunked by researchers.
The host’s comment comes as the ties between China and the Arab world have been increasingly strong after China mapped out its trillion-pounds Belt and Road Initiative to build infrastructures in the Middle West region.
Politicians from China and the US have been in a consistent war of words over the source of the COVID-19.
In one episode of her show called ‘China View’, Ms V first quoted unidentified research and claimed that the coronavirus started spreading after the Wuhan Military World Games in October last year, an annual sports event attended by over 100 countries.
The research also reported that the virus had started spreading after the Wuhan International Military Games ended in October 2019.
‘So, it is expected that the ‘patient zero’ in China has come from outside China,’ said Ms V in the video uploaded on YouTube on March 17.
Zhao Lijian, a Chinese government spokesperson, also echoed the conspiracy theory in a tweet in March, claiming ‘it might be the US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan’.
The comment was slammed by the Pentagon, who called it ‘false and absurd’.
Zhao billed his post as ‘a reaction to some US politicians stigmatising China’.
The CGTN presenter also referred to an alleged news report made by the Asahi Corp. of Japan to support her claim.
‘The Asahi Corp. of Japan published a report in the past days indicating the possibility of new cases of coronavirus in the United States among deaths caused by influenza infection and the US government recently recognized this possibility,’ said Ms V.
‘This news has caused a widespread debate on social media about the possibility of the virus being transmitted to China from abroad during the period of the Military Olympic Games in Wuhan, which was attended by 109 countries, including the United States.’
The Japanese broadcaster has denied the existence of such news report, according to the South China Morning Post.
Another conspiracy theory raised by the state anchor is that the contagion could have escaped from a lab in the US.
Ms V suggested that that the ‘CDC suddenly and completely shut down’ the Fort Detrick Biological Weapons Laboratory in September after failing to ‘fully prevent the loss of pathogens’.
The Maryland lab was in fact partially closed in July last year by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention over sanitation concerns, according to the press.
The lab, which has reopened in April, had been operating under partial capacity since last November.
Other claims made by Ms V in the video, which have all been aligned to the official narrative of the state media, have shown a lack of scientific evidence, according to various media reports.
But Ms V claimed: ‘It is concluded that the new coronavirus has started outbreaks in the United States for a while and its symptoms were like symptoms of other diseases, so it was easy to hide the truth.’
The controversial video was uploaded on several social media platforms and amassed millions of views.
The CGTN anchor, whose official Facebook page has nearly one million followers, has been uploading videos almost daily on her social media platforms, discussing coronavirus-related topics and documenting her life during the pandemic.
The Chinese host, who speaks fluent Arabic, was mainly featured in videos about food and culture in China before the outbreak.
The video comes as politicians from China and the US have been in a consistent war of words over the source of the deadly disease, which has infected over 2.2 million people worldwide.