This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the US, emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. (NIAID-RML VIA AP)
BEIJING – For some time, various lies and rumors concocted by the US side against China on origins tracing have been repeatedly refuted by China and the international community with detailed facts and data.
So far, more than 80 countries and over 300 political parties, social organizations and think tanks have opposed the politicization of COVID-19 origins tracing in various ways.
The US intelligence department recently released a declassified version of its assessment report on COVID-19 origins. Continuously disregarding science-based origins tracing, the report insinuated that "the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences leaked the virus", and accused China of lacking transparency and obstructing international investigations.
Origins tracing is a scientific matter, yet the US side is using intelligence agencies to trace the origins, and peddling the old lies that have been refuted under a cloak of intelligence. Washington's real purpose is attempting to confuse the public and deceive the world, and continuing to seek a "presumption of guilt" against China, politicize the origins tracing, shift the blame onto China, and suppress and contain it.
Based on the so-called US investigation report and public materials of all parties, the Chinese side once again lists all kinds of vicious slanders concocted by the US side on COVID-19 origins tracing, and presents to the international community facts and the truth, so the plots and tricks of "politicizing origins tracing" and "origins tracing by the intelligence community" can be exposed.
US vicious slanders on China over COVID-19 origins tracing and the truth
Disregarding science and facts, the United States has fabricated lies, and smeared and criticized China. China has put people's life safety and health first, decisively launched an all-out war against the pandemic, and adopted "hard core" prevention and control measures that are the most comprehensive, stringent and thorough, which have effectively blocked the chain of virus transmission.
Upholding the vision of building a global community of health for all, China has informed the international community of the outbreak as soon as possible, shared its experience in epidemic prevention, control and treatment with all parties without reservation, provided anti-epidemic assistance within its capacity, and taken the lead in launching the world's largest vaccine cooperation, making an outstanding contribution to global public health security.
China has always adhered to a scientific attitude and actively participated in the global cooperation in science-based origins tracing, and twice invited the World Health Organization (WHO) experts to China to carry out COVID-19 origins tracing studies, in order to make China's contribution to mankind's final defeat of the pandemic.
1. On the US claim that clusters of COVID-19 cases first appeared in Wuhan
Vicious slander 1: The earliest cluster of COVID-19 cases arose in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
Facts and truth: A growing number of clues, reports and studies have indicated that COVID-19 cases emerged in many places around the world as early as in the second half of 2019. The outbreak in the United States occurred earlier than the officially confirmed case. A study by Italian research institutes has revealed that the virus may have circulated in Italy as early as in late summer 2019.
◆On Dec 27, 2019, Hubei Provincial Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine reported cases of pneumonia of unknown cause to Wuhan Jianghan Center for Disease Prevention and Control. From Jan 3, 2020, China began to regularly inform the World Health Organization, relevant countries including the United States, and China's Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan of the outbreak.
In January 2021, the WHO-convened global study of origins of SARS-CoV-2 said that there was no indication of the transmission of the novel coronavirus before December 2019 in Wuhan, adding it was considered unlikely that any substantial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was occurring in Wuhan in October or November 2019.
◆The US National Institutes of Health's analysis of more than 24,000 stored blood samples of US citizens contributed to the agency in the first three months of 2020 suggested that the virus that causes COVID-19 was present in the United States as far back as December 2019, weeks before first US cases were officially confirmed.
A joint study by the University of California–Los Angeles and the University of Washington showed that the number of patients with respiratory symptoms and diseases from late December 2019 to February 2020 has increased significantly, indicating the virus had already spread in US communities before the country had clinical awareness and testing capabilities.
In March 2020, then US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield publicly acknowledged at a House committee hearing that some COVID-19 deaths have been diagnosed as flu-related in the United States. The US side said it would conduct a nationwide retrospective investigation and study across the country.
In May 2020, Michael Melham, mayor of Belleville in the US state of New Jersey, said he had probably been infected with the virus in November 2019, and that test results showed COVID-19 antibodies had been present in his body for a long time.
In May 2020, USA Today reported that 171 people in Florida showed symptoms of COVID-19 as early as in January 2020 and none of them reported any travel experience to China, two months before the first confirmed COVID-19 cases were officially recorded in the state.
In June 2021, News Medical cited a study to report that COVID-19 reactive antibodies were present in 106 residual archived samples from routine blood donations that were collected in nine US states between Dec 13, 2019 and Jan 17, 2020, and among them 84 samples exhibited neutralizing activity.
In July 2021, US Department of Agriculture reported on its website that its Plant Health Inspection Service recently completed a study, which showed that antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 33 percent of the 481 white-tailed deer serum samples collected from January 2020 through 2021 in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania states, and among them 67 percent of samples collected in Michigan contained antibodies. This was the first detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife, and the presence of the antibodies confirmed that a large number of white-tailed deer in the United States have already been exposed to the virus. The study also showed that SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detected in one of the 143 samples collected before January 2020, which means that the virus infections occurred in white-tailed deer populations in the country as early as in 2019.
In August 2021, the Mercury News, a daily of San Jose, California, published an exclusive report revealing that COVID-19 was present in the United States as early as December or even November 2019, and caused many deaths in early January 2020. These early deaths occurred in different US states, some of which were in remote locations where local residents barely had any physical contacts with China. Experts have said a deeper analysis of early deaths in the United States is needed.
Both The Palm Beach Post andf revealed that the Florida Department of Health posted on its website data of 171 patients who had experienced COVID-19 symptoms in January and February 2020 or eventually tested positive for the virus, but these data were once deleted for unexplained reasons.
Many comments on US social media posted in the first half of 2020 indicated that nearly more than 200 people in the United States or countries having close ties with the United States said people they knew or they themselves had been suspected to be infected with the virus as early as in November 2019, with COVID-19-like symptoms, and all these are real foreign netizens.
Ado Paglinawan, a former press attache at the Philippine embassy in Washington, released a book entitled No Vaccine for a Virus Called Racism, in which he sorted out the timeline of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and made the judgment that the disease started in June 2019 in the United States and later spread across the world.
In September 2021, ChinaXiv, an online publishing service operated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, published a study on dating the origins of COVID-19 based on big data modeling and analysis. The researchers set up an optimized model using the epidemic transmission model and big-data analysis method, and inferred the dates of the first infection cases in 12 northeastern US states and in China's Wuhan city and Zhejiang province, based on published data. The result indicated that, for the 12 US states, the possible dates of the first infection, with a probability of 50 percent, fall mostly between August and October 2019, while the earliest is April 26, 2019 on Rhode Island, and the latest is Nov 30, 2019 in Delaware. All of the dates indicated by the data are earlier than Jan 20, 2020, the officially announced date of the first confirmed case in the United States, showing that the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States started to spread around September 2019 with a high confidence probability.
◆In November 2020, institutions including the National Cancer Institute in Milan and the University of Milan published research findings showing that 11.6 percent of the blood serum samples collected between September 2019 to March 2020 had developed COVID-19 antibodies, with 23 samples collected in September 2019 being positive for antibodies.
In January 2021, news outlet The Local (Italy) reported that a SARS-CoV-2 in situ hybridization reaction was detected at multiple parts on the skin biopsy sample of an Italian female patient in November 2019.
In July 2021, the University of Milan and other institutions in Italy tested samples and found molecular evidence for SARS-CoV-2 infection in 13 out of 156 cases. Among them, 11 were collected from August 2019 to February 2020, earlier than the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy was officially recognized. Additionally, a urine sample collected on Sept 12, 2019 from a measles patient in Italy tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The sequencing result has been uploaded to open databases. These results suggested that the virus may have been circulating in Italy during the late summer of 2019.
◆In May 2020, French medical journal the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents published an essay titled SARS-CoV-2 was already spreading in France in late December 2019. The researchers selected 14 medical records of ICU patients admitted for influenza-like illness between Dec 2, 2019 and Jan16, 2020, performed COVID-19 PCR testing on the samples, and found that one sample taken from a 42-year-old male was positive. The absence of a link with China and the lack of recent foreign travel of the case suggested that the virus was already spreading in France in late December 2019. In addition, openly-available information showed that seroprevalence of neutralizing antibodies in France increased in mid-December 2019, while a throat swab of a French patient with hemoptysis from December 2019 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
◆In June 2020, the University of Barcelona in Spain said in a news release that researchers of the university's group on enteric virus detected the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in samples of waste water in Barcelona, collected on Jan 15, 2020.
2. On the US false claim of a possible virus leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Vicious slander 2: The COVID-19 outbreak may be directly linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Facts and truth: The COVID-19 outbreak has nothing to do with the WIV.
◆Wang Yanyi, director of the WIV, told CGTN in May 2020 and NBC in August that year in interviews that speculation of the virus leak from the WIV "is pure fabrication," and the WIV had never "encountered, researched or kept the virus."
◆In March 2021, the WIV issued a statement saying the institute had not been exposed to COVID-19 before Dec 30, 2019.
◆Authorities in the international scientific community have repeatedly refuted the so-called "Wuhan lab leak theory."
In February 2021, at the press conference of the China-WHO joint expert team on origins tracing of the novel coronavirus, Peter Ben Embarek, leader of the international team of experts to Wuhan, said they had in-depth and candid exchanges with relevant Chinese personnel, took a detailed look at the management of the laboratory, its working practices and recent virus research, and concluded that a "lab leak" was "extremely unlikely".
◆Peter Daszak, a virologist and president of US-based EcoHealth Alliance who has worked with the WIV for 15 years, said in an interview with CNN that the WIV did not have the virus that caused the COVID-19 outbreak, so it is impossible the virus originated from the laboratory.
US media outlet Bloomberg reported in June 2021 that Australian virologist Danielle Anderson, who has worked in the WIV for months, was "dumbfounded by the portrayal of the lab by some media outside China, and the toxic attacks on scientists that have ensued."
In July 2021, 24 internationally-renowned scientists published an essay in The Lancet, noting there is no scientifically validated evidence directly supporting the theory that the virus could have leaked from a Chinese laboratory.
Also in July, scientists from the United States, Britain and Australia published a preprint paper on Zenodo, a European research data-sharing platform, pointing out that no evidence showed the virus originated from the Wuhan lab. It also said that there is no evidence that "any early cases had any connection to the Wuhan Institute of Virology," or that "the WIV possessed or worked on a progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 prior to the pandemic."
◆In August 2021, 21 virologists from the United States, Canada, Britain, China, Australia, and Austria published a paper in the Cell journal, concluding that "there is no evidence that any early cases had any connection to the WIV … nor evidence that the WIV possessed or worked on a progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 prior to the pandemic." Coronaviruses are more likely to have spread from animal hosts to humans, the paper said, adding "the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 bears several signatures of these prior zoonotic events."
◆In September 2021, a study posted on Research Square, a preprint platform of British journal Nature, found that coronaviruses in rhinolophus bats in some caves in northern Laos share key similarities with SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that there are viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 in nature. The paper said researchers took samples from rhinolophus bats in some caves in northern Laos, and found in the samples three coronaviruses whose receptor-binding domain (RBD) are highly identical to that of SARS-CoV-2.
Researchers pointed out that the viruses named BANAL-52, BANAL-103 and BANAL-236 are more similar to SARS-CoV-2 than any known viruses. Among them, BANAL-236 has almost identical RBD as SARS-CoV-2.
Marc Eloit, an author of the paper and a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, said the three coronaviruses may have contributed to the origin of SARS-CoV-2 and may intrinsically pose a future risk of direct transmission to humans.
◆In June 2021, an open letter written by former US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Ford was published, which revealed how the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (AVC) of the US Department of State have cooked up the lab leak theory. According to this open letter, from December 2020 to early January 2021, under the direction of then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Miles Maochun Yu, member of the US State Department's policy planning staff, instructed Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas DiNanno in the AVC and adviser David Asher to bypass biological scientists and biological weapon experts to brief the false argument inside the Department that the coronavirus is a biological weapon agent deliberately unleashed upon the world by the Chinese government. After Ford sent several emails to remind DiNanno and Asher to establish an "expert vetting group or process" that would involve scientists, the AVC held a panel discussion in January this year, where the panelists pointed out key flaws in relevant documents. Ford later sent emails about the panel to a number of his senior State Department colleagues, saying that the assertions AVC had been making seemed to have major problems. Ford suspected it is because of this that the argument about biological weapon was not mentioned in the "Fact Sheet: Activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology" issued on Jan 15 by the high-level officials of the State Department. Instead, they put forward in the fact sheet the speculative argument of whether COVID-19 had originated at the laboratory.
Vicious slander 3: The personnel of the Wuhan Institute of Virology were accidentally infected while collecting virus samples in the wild. Three staff members of the Wuhan Institute of Virology were infected with the epidemic in November 2019.
Facts and truth: None of the staff members or graduate students of the Wuhan Institute of Virology has been infected with the novel coronavirus.
◆In March 2021, the Wuhan Institute of Virology issued a statement stating that so far, its employees and graduate students have maintained zero infections.
◆The Western media reports of "three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology going to hospital in November 2019 with symptoms consistent with the novel coronavirus infections" were completely groundless. China has repeatedly asked the skeptics to reveal the names of these three people in order to make the reports clear, but no one has so far provided a name.
◆In June 2021, Bloomberg reported that Australian virologist Danielle Anderson, who had paid many visits to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for months of study, said that by the end of 2019, no one she knew in the institute got ill. Anderson also said that when many of her colleagues from Wuhan went to Singapore for a meeting in December 2019, no one was discussing the spread of any "disease" in the laboratory.
Vicious slander 4: The management of the P4 laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology is "unscientific" and there are "security loopholes."
Facts and truth: The P4 laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a Sino-French governmental cooperation project with strict protective facilities and measures.
◆As a laboratory with the highest level of biosafety protection, the Wuhan P4 laboratory has no record of pathogen leakage accidents or infection of its personnel since it was officially put into operation in 2018. The Wuhan P4 laboratory has been designed, constructed and operated in accordance with international requirements and national standards. It not only has stable and reliable biosafety protection facilities, but also has established a complete biosafety management system and a team of professional support and maintenance personnel. The hardware facilities, management level, staff, and working methods of the Wuhan P4 laboratory are the same as those of other P4 laboratories operating safely in the world.
Vicious slander 5: Satellite images show that in October 2019, the number of vehicles in the parking lots of several hospitals such as Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University and Maternal and Child Hospital of Hubei Province increased significantly compared with the same period in 2018. At the same time, the Baidu search engine recorded a soaring number of words such as "cough" and "diarrhea." Therefore, the novel coronavirus disease may begin to spread in Wuhan at the end of August 2019.
Facts and truth: The relevant inferences are purely subjective, and related evidence cannot lead to corresponding conclusions. The relevant reports and studies are very absurd.
◆In response, the World Health Organization stated that people should not over-interpret the changes in the number of cars in hospital parking lots, and "jump to" two or three inferences, and then link them to the COVID-19 epidemic.
◆Baidu, a Chinese hi-tech company, responded to this question with an index chart. The chart shows that the search volume for "cough" and "diarrhea" has not changed significantly from previous years, and the search for "diarrhea" has decreased slightly around December 2019.
◆Zeng Guang, a member of a high-level expert team on the prevention and control of COVID-19 from the National Health Commission of China, wrote an article refuting the study as a typical misuse of big data epidemiology and as very absurd in many respects. One absurd thing is about the time, referring to the study that dated the spread of the novel coronavirus back to August 2019 based on parking lot traffic and Baidu search data. In October of that year, the Wuhan Military World Games was held. If the virus had spread in August, it was impossible that the military athletes from all over the world that participated in the games felt nothing. It was also impossible that US military athletes who went to a local hospital in Wuhan for medical treatment at that time noticed nothing.
The second absurd thing is about the understanding of the disease, according to Zeng. The study used data from the Maternal and Child Hospital of Hubei Province as one of the main supporting evidence. This hospital is a major pediatric hospital in Wuhan. However, most people infected with COVID-19 were not children. The child infection rate of COVID-19 is relatively low.
Third, Zeng said, searching for "cough" and "diarrhea" as keywords is ridiculous. In the early stage, many patients infected with COVID-19 have the symptom of cough, but not many have diarrhea. Later, the early-stage symptoms will eventually develop into pneumonia symptoms. If the virus had spread in August 2019, why haven't these symptoms turned into pneumonia for such a long time?
Vicious slander 6: The Wuhan Institute of Virology is only about 300 yards (about 0.27 km) away from the Huanan seafood market.
Facts and truth: About 300 yards away from the Huanan seafood market lies the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is more than 10 km away from the Huanan seafood market, with the Yangtze River between their locations.
Vicious slander 7: The United States House Foreign Affairs Committee minority staff, led by Republican Representative Michael McCaul, published an investigation report targeting the Wuhan Institute of Virology, claiming that the institute had issued an air conditioning system renovation contract worth of $606 million. This contract made people suspect whether the air conditioning system could normally work before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Facts and truth: The actual value of this contract is $606,000. This low-level mistake in the decimal point of the data in McCaul's report was copied and spread by irresponsible mainstream US media, exposing a lack of independent and rigorous professionalism of the US side, which attempts to fabricate evidence in a rush.
◆McCaul's report also exaggerated the funding for the other six projects of the Wuhan Institute of Virology by 100 or 10 times. For example, according to the report, the costs of the security services of the Zhengdian Park of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the maintenance of the P3 laboratory and the laboratory animal center, and the transformation project of the hazardous waste treatment system are respectively $1.3 million (approximately 8.3 million yuan), $401,300 (approximately 2.6 million yuan), and $1.5213 million (approximately 9.86 million yuan), while the actual amounts are 830,000 yuan, 260,000 yuan and 986,000 yuan.
When citing relevant data, McCaul's "researchers" removed the decimal point from the data of the Chinese side, leading to huge mistakes. The US media including The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, without fact checking, cited and spread the report's mistakes.
Vicious slander 8: The Sierra Nevada Corporation, a main contractor of the US Department of Defense, has issued a report saying that the core evidence for the novel coronavirus originating from the Wuhan Institute of Virology was that in mid-October 2019, many "roadblocks" were set up on the roads around the institute.
Facts and truth: The US Daily Beast website pointed out that the so-called "roadblocks" were actually related to the road works around the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the traffic near the institute was no different.
Vicious slander 9: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has cooperated with the Chinese military to carry out the "gain-of-function" research of the coronavirus.
Facts and truth: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has never cooperated with any other parties, including the Chinese military, to conduct research on the "gain-of-function" research of the coronavirus.
◆In July 2021, Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the National Health Commission of China, stated at a press conference that the Wuhan Institute of Virology has not conducted any "gain-of-function" research of the coronavirus, and there is no so-called man-made virus there.
◆In June 2021, Shi Zhengli, a researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said in an interview with The New York Times that her laboratory had never conducted or cooperated in "gain-of-function" experiments to enhance the virulence of the coronavirus.
◆In June 2021, Australian virologist Danielle Anderson, who worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said in an interview with Bloomberg that there was no evidence that the institute carried out a viral gain-of-function experiment.
Vicious slander 10: The Wuhan Institute of Virology, through cooperation with Professor Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina, has acquired "the technique to modify a virus without leaving a trace," which "hides" the modification mark when artificially intervening in virus gene recombination.
Facts and truth: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has never designed, manufactured or leaked the novel coronavirus, nor does it have the ability to completely design and create new coronaviruses. The Wuhan Institute of Virology does not have the so-called technique of modifying a virus without leaving a trace.
Vicious slander 11: In 2015, Baric worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology to publish an article claiming that the bat coronavirus was successfully used to construct a chimeric virus that is highly pathogenic to humans.
Facts and truth: Baric acquired the technique to synthesize coronaviruses more than 10 years ago. He did obtain the genetic sequence of the biological samples collected from bat specimens from Shi Zhengli and her team, but the virus modification and mouse infection experiments were all carried out at the University of North Carolina in the United States. Baric did not provide the chimeric virus he constructed to Shi's team.
◆In 2008, Baric co-authored a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, detailing the method of designing, synthesizing and modifying a SARS-like coronavirus. "In this study, we have combined phylogenetic and bioinformatics analyses, large-scale cDNA synthesis, chimeric gene design, and reverse genetics to generate a consensus Bat-SCoV. Successful recovery of the infectious chimeric virus … demonstrates the plasticity of the CoV type I glycoprotein," read the abstract of the paper. "To test a possible route of emergence from the noncultivable Bat-SCoV to human SARS-CoV, we designed a consensus Bat-SCoV genome and replaced the Bat-SCoV Spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) with the SARS-CoV RBD (Bat-SRBD). Bat-SRBD was infectious in cell culture and in mice and was efficiently neutralized by antibodies specific for both bat and human CoV Spike proteins."
◆In 2013, when the team of Shi Zhengli detected the genome sequence of several coronaviruses from a bat cave in southwest China's Yunnan province, Baric approached her, expressing his hope to obtain the samples of these coronaviruses for research. Shi shared her findings with Baric. With his virus modification technique, Baric and his team created in his laboratory in the United States a new coronavirus that can infect humans. In this research, the modification and the mice infection experiments were all conducted in the University of North Carolina. The constructed chimeric virus was not provided for Shi's team. The finding of the research was published on the Nature Medicine journal in 2015.
◆In 2016, Baric and researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Harvard Medical School and other institutions published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The conclusion of the paper stated that the chimeric virus they created using SARS-like coronavirus as a template showed replicability in mouse experiments.
Vicious slander 12: In 2018, the Wuhan Institute of Virology planned to "release genetically modified coronaviruses" into a bat cave and applied for funding from the United States, but the application was rejected.
Facts and truth: What the Wuhan Institute of Virology planned to "release" into the bat cave were never "coronaviruses," but a kind of atomized particle "vaccines" against the coronaviruses produced through genetic engineering techniques. The atomized particles can cause immune responses in bats, thereby preventing bats from being infected with the coronaviruses and then spreading the viruses to humans. This is the bidding requirement of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US Department of Defense.
◆The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US Department of Defense once held a tender for its PREEMPT program, namely the "Preventing Emerging Pathogenic Threats" program which seeks to "preserve military readiness by protecting against the infectious disease threat" for US soldiers sent to overseas countries. Organized by the US EcoHealth Alliance, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, along with laboratories of scientists from the United States and other countries including Baric, participated in the bidding.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology has not participated in any experiments involving "genetic modification" of viruses and recombination of viral proteins in this bidding project. These molecular virological operations were mainly carried out by Baric and his laboratory. The role of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the bidding document was mainly to carry out "field work," namely collecting virus samples in the field, analyze which viruses are posing a threat of infecting humans after mutation, and then extract the genetic sequences of relevant viruses and give them to US laboratories such as Baric's to conduct further research on molecular virology.
3. On the US false claim of China covering up the truth at the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19
Vicious slander 13: On the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chinese government delayed the disease reporting and concealed the truth.
Facts and truth: By upholding a scientific attitude and following the laws of epidemiology, the Chinese government promptly shared the virus genetic sequence and epidemic information with the World Health Organization and the international community. It has also informed the international community including the United States about the epidemic situation in a timely, open and transparent manner.
◆The novel coronavirus was an unknown virus, and getting to know it needs a process. Any government must be very cautious when dealing with a public health crisis, and should go through studies, comparisons and scientific demonstrations. As the first country to report the COVID-19 epidemic, China needs more careful scientific research. To jump to conclusions without research is irresponsible to science and the people.
◆As a signatory of the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization, China has always performed its duties and obligations under the International Health Regulations in an open, transparent and responsible manner. In accordance with the "Frontier Health and Quarantine Law of the People's Republic of China" and the "Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases," China has scientifically adopted and adjusted health and quarantine measures at border exits in a timely manner to strictly prevent the spread of the epidemic across borders, without any concealment or delay.
◆As China owns experience in responding to SARS, it has been extremely vigilant about the epidemic. After discovering this unidentified pneumonia, it immediately began scientific investigation and comparison, promptly isolated the novel coronavirus strain, obtained the virus genetic sequence as early as possible, and reported the genetic sequence to the World Health Organization. After the experts made a scientific conclusion that the disease can spread from person to person, the Chinese government immediately declared lockdown of the city of Wuhan, which has a population of more than 10 million. International experts generally believe that China has acted in the quickest manner possible. (see the white paper Fighting COVID-19: China in Action for details.)
◆On Jan 3, 2020, China notified the United States of epidemic information and prevention and control measures for the first time.
On Jan 10, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other professional institutions have initially developed test kits, and Wuhan immediately tested all relevant cases admitted to the hospital. Heads of the National Health Commission and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention held phone conversations respectively with the chief of the World Health Organization on the epidemic response, and exchanged relevant information.
Starting from Jan 11, 2020, China reported the epidemic information to the World Health Organization and others on a daily basis.
On Jan 12, 2020, Wuhan's municipal health commission changed the name of "viral pneumonia of unknown cause" to "novel coronavirus pneumonia" for the first time in its information report. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as designated agencies by the National Health Commission, submitted the information of the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus to the World Health Organization, which was published in the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) and shared globally. The National Health Commission shared the genetic sequence information of the novel coronavirus with the World Health Organization.
On Jan 13, 2020, the National Health Commission held a meeting to guide Hubei province and the Wuhan city to further enhance epidemic control measures, strengthen temperature monitoring of personnel at ports and stations, and reduce crowd gatherings. The official website of the World Health Organization issued a statement on the discovery of the novel coronavirus cases in Thailand, pointing out that China has shared the results of genetic sequence, enabling more countries to quickly diagnose patients. Delegations from Chinfa's Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan went to Wuhan to study the epidemic prevention and control work.
On Jan 18-19, 2020, the National Health Commission of China organized a high-level national group of medical and prevention experts to Wuhan to inspect the epidemic prevention and control work. On Jan 19, the high-level expert group, through a careful study, confirmed in the midnight that the novel coronavirus can spread from person to person.
On Jan 27, 2020, then US President Donald Trump tweeted that the United States was in close communication with China on the virus (coronavirus).
On Feb 11, 2020, at the invitation of experts from the influenza department of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, experts from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention held a teleconference with them to communicate and share information on epidemic prevention and control.
On Feb 13, 2020, officials of the US Department of Health and Human Services wrote to heads of the National Health Commission of China to communicate on the arrangements for cooperation in health and epidemic prevention and control between the two sides.
Starting from Feb 16, 2020, a China-WHO joint expert inspection team composed of 25 experts from China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, the United States and the World Health Organization used nine days to visit Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan and other places to conduct field investigations.
◆When attending the 33rd African Union Summit in Ethiopia,Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, president of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly said that Chinese agencies stationed at the United Nations have reported details of the epidemic to the United Nations, and the Chinese government has released information on the epidemic in a timely and transparent manner, allowing the outside world to know clear of the ongoing epidemic situation in China, which has been conducive to multilateral cooperation to prevent the epidemic from spreading.
Vicious slander 14: The Chinese government has not handled the epidemic in a correct and timely manner.
Facts and truth: The Chinese government has adopted the most extensive, stringent and thorough prevention and control measures in the shortest time possible, containing the disease mainly within Wuhan and succeeding in cutting channels for the transmission.
◆The COVID-19 epidemic is a major public health emergency. The virus has spread faster and wider than any other since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, and has proven to be the most difficult to contain. Through painstaking efforts and tremendous sacrifice, and having paid a heavy price, China has succeeded in turning the situation around. It took about a month to initially contain the spread of the epidemic; in around two months, the daily increase in local coronavirus cases fell to single digits; in approximately three months, a decisive victory was secured in the battle to defend Hubei province and its capital city of Wuhan. With these achievements, China has protected its people's lives, safety and health, and made a significant contribution to safeguarding regional and global public health.
◆On Jan 23, 2020, Wuhan declared temporary closure of the city's outbound routes.
On Jan 24, 2020, the Chinese New Year's Eve, the dispatch of national medical teams to Hubei and Wuhan began. In the ensuing period, a total of 346 medical teams, composed of 42,600 medical workers and 965 public health workers from across the country and the military, were dispatched to Hubei province and the city of Wuhan in particular.
On Jan 25, 2020, the first day of the Chinese New Year, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, chaired a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. He called for resolute efforts to win the battle to contain the virus with "confidence and solidarity, a science-based approach and targeted measures." He urged Hubei to make epidemic control its top priority and apply more rigorous measures to stem the spread of the virus within the province and beyond. All patients, he said, must be hospitalized without delay, and severe cases must be sent to designated hospitals with sufficient medical resources so that they could be treated by medical experts. By Jan 29, 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities had activated a level one public health emergency response for comprehensive and tight epidemic prevention and control.
On Jan 25, 2020, the National Health Commission (NHC) released six sets of guidelines on disease prevention: for general use, tourism, households, public places, public transport and home observation. All air ports were strictly inspected. Anyone with symptoms such as cough and fever was not allowed to pass. There were no so-called large number of COVID-19 patients fleeing overseas. In a short period of time thereafter, the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities outside Hubei where the epidemic was not savage still had outbound flights. Those travelers underwent nucleic acid tests after returning to China, and almost no one was infected with the virus.
China has identified four categories of people — confirmed cases, suspected cases, febrile patients who might be carriers, and close contacts — across the country, treated them in designated facilities, and redoubled efforts to increase the capacity of nucleic acid testing. China adopted and adjusted border exit health and quarantine measures in a scientific and timely fashion, and enforced strict health and quarantine measures at points of entry and exit across the country, conducting a strict check of health and body temperature, and carrying out medical inspection, epidemiological investigation, medical screening, and sample monitoring of all inbound and outbound travelers. Any traveler going abroad, who was either confirmed cases or suspected cases, or having symptoms and having contacts with confirmed cases, was transferred to local epidemic control facilities for quarantine and further examination, so as to prevent cross-border transmission. The strictest-ever measures were applied at the border control and non-urgent and nonessential outbound travels by Chinese citizens were suspended.
◆In February 2020, during a press conference in Beijing of a China-WHO joint mission on COVID-19, the expert delegation agreed that the Chinese government had taken timely and effective measures, and that China's strong interventions had significantly changed the epidemic curve, which had not only prevented the spread of the epidemic in China, but also bought precious time for the world. According to a Science report, thanks to those measures, the number of infections in China was reduced by more than 700,000.
Also in that same month, a report of the joint mission was released, according to which, in the face of a previously unknown virus, China has rolled out perhaps the most ambitious, agile and aggressive disease containment effort in history, so as to contain the virus as rapidly as possible. Strikingly, the report said, there has been the uncompromising rigor of strategy application that proved to be a hallmark in every setting and context where it was examined. Achieving China's exceptional coverage with and adherence to these containment measures has only been possible due to the deep commitment of the Chinese people to collective action in the face of this common threat, the report added, and at a community level this was reflected in the remarkable solidarity of provinces and cities in support of the most vulnerable populations and communities.
◆In May 2020, weekly scientific journal Nature published a study by experts from China, the United States and Britain, and according to their modeling framework, the three major groups of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) (inter-city travel restrictions, early identification and isolation of cases, and contact restrictions and social distancing) taken by China not only contained the spread of COVID-19 in China, but also bought precious time for the world. The study pointed out that without the combined NPIs, the COVID-19 cases in China would likely have shown a 67-fold increase to over 7 million.
◆In May 2020, a study conducted jointly by researchers from Yale University and China's Jinan University showed that measures like city lockdowns, closed community management, quarantine, and restrictions on outdoor activities significantly decreased the virus transmission rate. By mid-February, the spread of the virus had been largely contained in China, it said, adding that by Feb 29, over 1.4 million infections and 56,000 deaths outside Hubei might have been avoided because of the national and provincial public health measures.
◆In September 2021, US economist Jeffrey Sachs, also head of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission, told The Star, a newspaper in Malaysia, in an exclusive interview that China has done an excellent job of suppressing the COVID-19 epidemic and that the world could and should have learned a lot more from China's response. "The United States should learn some good manners to work cooperatively with China, rather than trying to impose its will on that nation," he said.
Vicious slander 15: The Chinese government oppressed "whistleblowers."
Facts and truth: China has provided timely information to the world in an open, transparent and responsible manner. There has been no oppression of so-called "whistleblowers."
◆Zhang Jixian, director of the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care at Hubei Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, was the first to report COVID-19 cases on Dec 27, 2019, and was awarded for this contribution.
◆On Dec 30, 2019, three days after Zhang reported cases of unknown infection, Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist, sent a message to his alumni WeChat group. He claimed that there were "seven confirmed SARS cases," and asked the group not to spread the information. However, leaked screenshots of the conversation spread quickly on the Internet and caused panic. On Jan 3, 2020, Wuhan's local police authorities asked Li to a police station for inquiry, and a letter of reprimand was issued. In mid-January, Li started to show symptoms of infection. And on Jan 31, he was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. On Feb 7, Li passed away after all rescue measures were exhausted. On the same day, the NHC publicly expressed condolences over his death. The National Supervisory Commission decided to send an inspection group to Wuhan to investigate issues related to Li. On March 19, the inspection group released its findings and held a press briefing. Wuhan's Public Security Bureau announced the decision on the matter, pointing to the misapplication of relevant legal provisions in Li's case, and revoked the reprimand letter.
Li was a CPC member. On March 5, 2020, he was named a "national model healthcare worker in fighting COVID-19." On April 2, he was honored as a martyr. Labeling Li as an "anti-establishment hero" or "awakener" is very disrespectful to Li and his family. It is purely political manipulation with no sense of decency.
The Independent Media Institute, a US organization, conducted a thorough investigation on how the media made unjust reporting about Li, and concluded that the attempt of Western media to describe what happened to Li as evidence of the Chinese government's suppression of information about the virus was simply not logical.
Vicious slander 16: The Chinese government instructed the destruction of the serum of early cases, making it impossible to determine when the spread of the virus started.
Facts and truth: China did not destroy the serum of early cases. The China-WHO joint team on origins tracing has agreed that some serum researches would be conducted once the blood from the Wuhan Blood Center meets the relevant regulatory requirements.
◆In July 2021, Liang Wannian, team leader of the Chinese side of the China-WHO joint team, said that when in Wuhan, the team once invited experts from the Wuhan Blood Center to have a full discussion. Experts from the center told the team that they had kept blood samples, but the samples were kept for the use of responding to possible medical disputes and lawsuits due to blood transfusion. A quite small amount of blood was preserved during the period. In accordance with the Article 31 of the Measures for the Administration of Blood Stations, the term of preservation of a blood sample shall be two years after the whole blood or the component blood is used, and it can only be available for use when there is a medical dispute or lawsuit.
The team agreed that once the blood from the center is used and after the two-year validity term, meaning the samples meet the requirements, they will carry out relevant works. The Chinese side is organizing related experts and institutions to make preparations for the work. So far, they have made several assessments and evaluations on the testing methods and action plan, which will be implemented after the expiry. Related institutions from the Chinese side have also said that once they have the results, they will deliver them to both the Chinese and foreign expert teams.
Vicious slander 17: In January 2020, an official at the Hubei Provincial Health Commission ordered gene sequencing companies and labs to stop testing and to destroy patient samples. On Jan 3, the NHC issued a nationwide order similar to the one put in place by the Hubei Provincial Health Commission, requiring that samples of the virus be destroyed.
Facts and truth: Since the epidemic broke out, the NHC immediately organized national high-level professional institutions to conduct the parallel identification of the pathogen and, meanwhile, managed the pathogen in accordance with laws and regulations.
◆According to the relevant requirements of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases and the Regulation on the Bio-safety Management of Pathogenic Microbe Labs, China's laws and regulations have set clear requirements for the storage, destruction and experimental activities of highly pathogenic microorganism samples. If the laboratory conditions cannot meet the requirements for the safe preservation of samples, the samples should be destroyed on the spot or transferred to a professional institution for safekeeping. The destruction of early virus samples by relevant agencies complied with relevant measures on infectious disease management.
◆China has always been an active contributor to the sharing of pathogenic microbial strains. In recent years, in order to prevent a global influenza pandemic, and under the World Health Organization framework, China has provided many highly pathogenic influenza virus strains to the United States, Japan, Britain, Australia, Canada and Russia. Regarding the sharing of novel coronavirus strains, China also has an active and open attitude.
4. On the US claim that China has obstructed international investigations and blamed other countries
Vicious slander 18: During the WHO experts' visit to China, China restricted them from entering relevant sites, prevented the team from obtaining "raw data," and refused to provide medical records of the first 174 COVID-19 cases.
Facts and truth: With an open and transparent attitude, China has maintained close communication and cooperation with the WHO on origins tracing and provided strong support and assistance for WHO experts' visit to China.
◆China is the first to earnestly implement World Health Assembly resolutions, and has twice invited WHO experts to China for origins tracing research. Especially in early 2021, 17 leading international experts formed a joint mission with Chinese experts to conduct a 28-day research in China. With the joint efforts of both sides, the WHO in March released a joint report containing the most authoritative, professional and science-based conclusions on origins tracing. China has actively participated in the entire process of origins tracing and played its due leadership role.
◆In February 2021, British zoologist Peter Daszak, also a member of the WHO expert team, said in an interview with The Associated Press that the Chinese side had extensive and candid exchanges with the WHO team. "We've been to all the key places," Daszak said. "Every place we asked to see, everyone we wanted to meet." Daszak also tweeted that he has found trust and openness with the staff of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and that all important questions raised about origins tracing were answered.
◆In July 2021, Liang Wannian said some foreign voices have said that the Chinese side did not provide the data of the first 174 COVID-19 cases. In fact, he said, these patients' data were all displayed and shared during the WHO team's stay in Wuhan. At the time, Liang added, the experts read the materials, did a lot of work to centralize these databases, conducted analysis and research, and together drew the conclusions in the final report. However, China has relevant standing regulations regarding patients' clinical data, including epidemiological survey data and laboratory test data, which involve personal privacy and must not be leaked. At the time, Liang said, the international experts fully understood and believed that this was international routine.
Vicious slander 19: China pressured the WHO into revising the report's conclusions, changing its assessment of the likelihood of "introduction through a laboratory incident" from "unlikely" to "extremely unlikely."
Facts and truth: China has never put pressure on the WHO, and the report's conclusions have been drawn after thorough scientific demonstration.
◆In March 2021, the WHO released the China-WHO joint mission report on origins study. Peter Ben Embarek, foreign head of the international team, said during a news conference that the team was never pressed to remove critical elements in the report, adding that this was something all the scientists on the team stood behind and supported.
◆In July 2021, Liang Wannian said laboratory incidents may occur most likely in two cases. One is artificial synthesis, which scientists explicitly find impossible. The other is leakage and the most important point in this regard is whether the laboratory had the virus or not. The answer is that the Wuhan Institute of Virology did not engage in such research before, Liang said, and the Wuhan side has made it clear. However, for further validation, the expert team specially went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to get details, and conducted field inspections with relevant researchers and management staff. They obtained information particularly about the institute's implementation of standard processes, management and security systems, and about research projects the institute was and is engaged in. With the knowledge, they then talked about evidence that supported the lab incident and evidence that did not. The detailed information was recorded in the joint report. The team finally concluded that the introduction through a laboratory incident was "extremely unlikely."
Vicious slander 20: After the United States restarted the "origins tracing," China has obstructed international investigations and refused to share information.
Facts and truth: Tracing the origins of the virus is a matter of science. China has all along supported and will continue to take part in science-based origins tracing efforts. It opposes using origins tracing as a tool or politicizing scientific issues.
◆With a scientific attitude, China has actively participated in the global origins study, and it has twice invited WHO experts to China for origins tracing research. Chinese experts also voluntarily submitted to the WHO a Chinese proposal for the next phase of origins studies. What China disagrees with is the highly politicized origins tracing, what China refuses is the origins tracing that deviates from the requirements of the WHO resolution, and what China refuses to participate in is the origins tracing that disregards the conclusions and recommendations of the first phase of the study. China is actively implementing the recommendations of the first-phase joint mission report, and conducting follow-up complementary studies.
◆Origins tracing is a complex scientific issue, and it is up to scientists around the world to conduct international scientific research and cooperation. Some in the United States have been clamoring for intelligence-led investigation in disregard of science and facts. The deployment of the intelligence community in origins tracing is in itself a compelling evidence of the politicization of the issue. The international community generally opposes the US actions. More than 80 countries have written to the WHO director-general, issued statements, or sent diplomatic notes to voice their objection to the politicization attempts. Over 300 political parties, social organizations and think tanks from more than 100 countries and regions have submitted a joint statement to the WHO secretariat on opposing the politicization of origins tracing.
Vicious slander 21: China tried to conceal information through various means, and asked the US National Institute of Health (NIH) to delete the genome sequences of early COVID-19 cases.
Facts and truth: China has never covered up the information, and the relevant allegations have no factual basis, which are purely conspiracy theories.
◆It was reported that Chinese researchers in 2020 deleted some genome sequences of cases from the early stage of the outbreak, which had been uploaded onto the database maintained by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a branch of the NIH. It was speculated that China has concealed some information about the origins of the virus. The Chinese side has conducted a thorough investigation. The report mentions the deletion of SARS-CoV-2 sequences, which is relevant to a paper titled Nanopore target sequencing for accurate and comprehensive detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses published by researchers from Wuhan University in the international scientific journal Small. When they made a submission in March 2020, the sequencing results were needed. Therefore, the researchers uploaded their concrete sequencing results of the virus onto the database of the NCBI.
On June 9, 2020, the journal sent back to the researchers the proofread paper, where they found the information about where they had uploaded the sequencing results of samples from confirmed cases had been deleted. The researchers thought that since the information about the sequencing was deleted, it was unnecessary to keep those sequencing results on the NCBI. They sent an email to the NIH on June 16 to request the removal of the data. The NIH followed the protocol and deleted the data without notice. The researchers had absolutely no need, or intention, to hide or conceal any information. Recently, they uploaded all 242 pieces of sequencing data of 61 COVID-19 samples onto the GSA database built by the China National Center for Bioinformation, which is open to global researchers.
It is also understood that the earliest sampling in the case was done on Jan 30, 2020, some time after the initial outbreak. So the sequences cannot count as early ones and thus have limited value or information regarding the study of SARS-CoV-2 origins. However, Jesse Bloom, a US researcher with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, fabricated the conspiracy theory that this was an attempted cover-up, without any confirmation from the Chinese researchers and with absolutely no understanding the background context of the matter. His actions deviated from the truth and violated scientific ethics, and have been criticized by experts from various countries.
Vicious slander 22: China has suppressed the origins tracing by domestic scientists, censored the publication of papers related to origins tracing, and prohibited the staff of the Wuhan Institute of Virology from freely accepting interviews.
Facts and truth: China has never suppressed its scientists or reviewed papers involving origins tracing, but actively organized scientists to carry out origins-tracing work instead. Chinese scientists have actively published papers on origins tracing, and the staff of the Wuhan Institute of Virology have accepted interviews many times.
◆Following the outbreak of the epidemic, Chinese scientists carried out extensive and in-depth origins-tracing work under the leadership of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the NHC and other relevant departments before the joint research launched by the WHO.
◆In June 2020, Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang said that by the end of May 2020, Chinese scientists had published 206 papers, overseas research teams published 282 papers, and Chinese, US and British scientists jointly published 19 papers on the origins tracing. A global information database has been built, collecting 36,442 COVID-19 gene sequences shared worldwide, of which 18,967 are high-quality virus sequences.
◆Since 2020, Director of the Wuhan Branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Yuan Zhiming, Director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology Wang Yanyi, and researcher with the institute Shi Zhengli, among others, have accepted many interviews, including in-depth ones with foreign media outlets like Reuters, Science and NBC.
Facts about the United States failing to address the COVID-19 pandemic, spreading the virus, and shifting blame
To divert the attention of the international community from the origins tracing of the virus, the US side has repeatedly accused China of interfering with the investigations by launching an information war and spreading fake information. In fact, China's request for the United States to accept the WHO's origins-tracing investigation is based entirely on public reports by US media. According to these reports, it is an indisputable fact that the United States has failed to address the pandemic.
During the fight against COVID-19, a series of problems emerged within the United States: politics overrode science; the government made mistakes in terms of decision-making; there was lack of coordination on a national level; measures against COVID-19 were not implemented well; there was also inadequate testing; and there was lack of information disclosure.
Internationally, the United States has become the largest spreader of COVID-19, suspect source of the pandemic, and disruptor of the global fight against COVID-19. On the issue of COVID-19 origins tracing, the United States has so far refused to respond to reasonable concerns raised by the international community over such issues as Fort Detrick, the biological laboratory of the University of North Carolina, and more than 200 overseas US biological labs, in an attempt to cover up the truth and evade responsibility. The United States owes the world a fair explanation. Here are just a few cases in point.
1. Fort Detrick in the United States is the base of the US biological militarization activities. The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in the base has the most prominent problem, with many suspicions related to SARS-CoV-2. The military base has inherited the devilish legacy of Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army, which waged an aggression war against China. The international community has long had concerns over Fort Detrick's illegal, non-transparent, and unsafe activities.
◆Fort Detrick was the center of the US biological weapons program in history, with the USAMRIID as the main research entity. Fort Detrick, also known as the US government's darkest experiment center, continued the development and storage of biological warfare agents even after the United States renounced all offensive biological weapons programs in 1969 and ratified the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1975.
The USAMRIID, which has the US military's sole BSL-4 lab, stores almost all known deadly pathogens, such as Ebola, anthrax, smallpox, yersinia pestis, and coronaviruses including SARS. Several members of the USAMRIID staff have conducted researches related to SARS, MERS, and other coronaviruses. In 2003, after the SARS outbreak, the USAMRIID worked with Ralph Baric's team from the University of North Carolina and developed a novel reverse genetic system for synthesis of a full-length cDNA of the SARS-CoV, which was published in a paper. The paper claimed that within two months after obtaining the RNA of the SARS virus, the full-length cDNA of the virus was successfully synthesized, which shows that as early as 2003, these institutes already had advanced capabilities to synthesize and modify SARS-related coronavirus.
Academic papers: Methods for Producing Recombinant Coronavirus, Cynomolgus Macaque as an Animal Model for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, MERS-CoV Pathogenesis and Antiviral Efficacy of Licensed Drugs in Human Monocyte-Derived Antigen- Presenting Cells, Reverse Genetics with a Full-length Infections cDNA of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus.
In 2007, the USAMRIID published a paper on the Journal of Virology about using the Ebola virus to conduct animal testing on rhesus monkeys. The virus strains used in the experiment were obtained through reverse genetics techniques with the furin cleavage site specifically removed so as to observe changes in virulence of the viruses. The furin cleavage site is believed to be one of the reasons that makes SARS-CoV-2 highly virulent. In 2018, the USAMRIID carried out experiments on African green monkeys, which were experimentally infected with MERS-CoV to help study viral pathogenesis and develop vaccines. After the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the USAMRIID and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research worked together to develop a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.
Academic papers: Proteolytic Processing of the Ebola Virus Glycoprotein is not Critical for Ebola Virus Replication in Nonhuman Primates, African Green Monkey Model of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Infection.
◆Multiple bio-safety incidents have occurred in the USAMRIID.
In 2001, five people were killed in an anthrax attack in the United States, and the suspect was a former employee of the USAMRIID. In 2009, US officials found during an inspection of the USAMRIID that some pathogens studied in the facility were not listed in its database. Part of the lab's research was suspended as a result.
In May 2014, the US Army was sued for loopholes in Fort Detrick's disposal of toxic waste, which caused the level of trichloroethylene in the area to be 42 times as high as the federal standard. In February 2015, 106 families and individuals from Frederic County of Maryland filed a class action lawsuit against Fort Detrick for harm and death caused by exposure to hazardous materials from Fort Detrick and asked for $750 million in compensation. However, the US government and the Army have consistently denied wrongdoing.
During an inspection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the USAMRIID's BSL-4 lab in June 2019, serious violations were found. The CDC asked the lab to be shut down in July 2019, with all research work halted. The CDC report laid out seven violations:
First: The USAMRIID systematically failed to ensure implementation of biosafety and containment procedures. Specifically, lab personnel were found to leave a door open while removing large amounts of biohazardous waste, greatly increasing the risk of pathogens escape and environment contamination.
Second: An individual partially entered a room multiple times without the required respiratory protection while other people in that room were performing procedures with a non-human primate on a necropsy table, resulting in a respiratory occupational exposure to select agent aerosols.
Third: The lab did not ensure that employee training was properly verified when it came to toxins and select agents, making it unable to assess whether lab personnel understood and commanded necessary skills.
Fourth: Lab personnel did not wear gloves when disposing of biohazardous waste.
Fifth: The lab failed to safeguard against unauthorized access to lab waste. Contaminated personal protective equipment was stored in specific area, but such area did not limit access to those with access approval.
Sixth: Lab personnel did not maintain an accurate or current inventory for a toxin.
Seventh: A lab building and its interior facilities did not have a sealed surface to facilitate cleaning and decontamination. Cracks were found around a conduit box, in the ceiling, and in the seam above a biological safety cabinet.
The lab resumed operation in November 2019, but what had been done to address the violations was not made public.
◆After the lab was shut down, outbreaks of respiratory diseases occurred in nearby communities. In July 2019, 54 people in Greenspring, Virginia displayed respiratory symptoms including cough and pneumonia. The community is only one hour's drive from Fort Detrick. According to a Virginia state health official, the number of reported respiratory cases in the area went up nearly 50 percent in the summer of 2019.
◆In July 2019, a mysterious pneumonia outbreak associated with e-cigarette use was reported in US state of Wisconsin. Symptoms included shortness of breath, fever, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and chest pain. Starting from then, an unprecedented outbreak of lung disease spread across the country. As of Dec 17, 2019, more than 2,500 hospitalizations had been reported across 50 states. Experts believe this type of disease might represent one or more new clinical syndromes, and more research is needed to determine the cause.
Academic paper: Pulmonary Illness Related to E-Cigarette Use in Illinois and Wisconsin – Final Report.
Articles published on mainstream international journals and media, such as the Lancet, said that it was difficult to distinguish between e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) and COVID-19, which was later discovered, because some of their symptoms are similar, which could added difficulties to diagnosis.
After studying 250 chest CT scans and clinical information from 142 EVALI patients selected from some 60 related studies that have been published, some leading Chinese experts who once fought the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan found that 16 of the EVALI patients were part of a viral infection chain, which indicates that they could have had COVID-19. Five of the cases were determined as "moderately suspicious," who have relatively complete clinical symptom and treatment information. In 12 of the 16 EVALI patients, symptoms started before 2020.
◆In March 2020, the public initiated a petition on the White House petition website, asking the US government to disclose information related to Fort Detrick, especially the reason why the USAMRIID lab was shut down in 2019 and whether it had anything to do with COVID-19. The US government made no response, and the petition website was taken offline.
2. Safety accidents occur frequently in the University of North Carolina's biological laboratory.
◆From January 2015 to June 2020, the University of North Carolina reported 28 lab incidents involving genetically engineered organisms to the US National Institutes of Health. Six of these incidents involved coronaviruses including SARS, MERS, and SARS-CoV-2. Many of the viruses had undergone genetic engineering. Eight researchers may have got infected. Except for a researcher quarantined for 14 days at home after a mouse bite caused potential exposure to a strain of SARS-CoV-2 in April 2020, other members of staff facing risks of infection continued their work and life as normal. Besides, key details like the nature of the genetic modifications and how the incidents were handled were deliberately removed from the incident reports, and the public was not informed of the potential risks.
3. The United States has the world's largest number of biological labs with the least transparency.
◆The United States has over 200 overseas bio-labs in 25 countries and regions including Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the former Soviet Union. The sites where some bio-labs are based have seen outbreaks of large-scale infectious diseases. A Russian official has said that Russia believes that labs under US control along the Russia-China border are developing biological weapons. Officials from Ukraine, Georgia, Iran, and other countries have all expressed concern about the security of US labs overseas and the clandestine activities they have been engaging in.
◆In September 2021, Russia's Sputnik news agency reported that the Korea Fire Safety Education Culture Association (KFSECA) sued the Fort Detrick biological laboratory and the US Forces Korea (USFK). South Korean military figures have revealed that the USFK had brought in anthrax samples 15 times from Fort Detrick, and the US forces even set up a biochemical lab at the Busan port. Sources said the South Korean civic group sued the US army and Fort Detrick out of fear that anthrax bacteria had been used as a biological weapon. Fort Detrick shipped the dangerous substances to the US biochemical lab in South Korea, indicating that the United States is working on something big.
4. Professor of the University of North Carolina Ralph Baric, known as the "Coronavirus Hunter," has acquired a technique to modify a virus without leaving a trace, and has long been conducting close collaboration with the US military.
◆Baric said in an interview with an Italian media outlet in September 2020 that "it is possible to engineer a virus without leaving a trace."
◆In 2003, a paper of which Baric was a co-author showcased the power of this technique. In the research, scientists successfully resurrected a SARS virus. Later Baric and others applied for a patent for this achievement, which was approved in 2007, with the patent code US7279327B2.
◆With this technique, Baric began collecting samples of various coronaviruses around the world for research. According to the MIT Technology Review, Baric aims to resurrect and create more coronaviruses in a bid to develop drugs against the viruses.
◆In May 2020, WRAL, a local channel of NBC News, reported that Baric's research on coronavirus was seen by some as groundbreaking, but by others as reckless. They fear that if Baric's technique is not used properly, or if the viruses that he researched were leaked, there could be dreadful consequences.
◆The United States is the biggest sponsor and experimenter of gain-of-function studies on coronaviruses in the world. The method of chimeric virus required for the gain-of-function experiment is the exclusive patent of Baric, and the auxiliary software and gene comparison equipment required for this technology are also unique to the United States. Anyone who uses the technology needs to obtain authorization and will leave traces. Baric has mastered a method to modify and even enhance coronavirus through reverse genetic technique. According to MIT Technology Review, with the help of this technique, Baric can not only "bring an actual virus to life from its genetic code," but also "mix and match parts of multiple viruses" to create a new one.
◆Baric has collaborated closely with two institutes at Fort Detrick involving in research on high-risk viruses, including coronaviruses, which are the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and the Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick (IRF-Frederick). A large number of scientific papers showed that Baric has conducted many studies about coronaviruses with the USAMRIID. In a paper carried by Nature in 2018, Lisa Torzewski, a researcher at the Fort Detrick Complex Research Facility, worked with Baric to infect some monkeys with genetically modified MERS viruses.
◆Lisa Hensley, one of Baric's students, was a scientist with the USAMRIID. She worked with Baric for many times and later joined IRF-Frederick as the deputy director of this US government research institution. Baric's rich resources on coronaviruses and his technique of transforming and creating the viruses have been widely used in Fort Detrick through those cooperation and contacts. However, the USAMRIID, IRF-Frederick and even Baric's own laboratory at the University of North Carolina in the United States all had bad safety records, and they are all directly related to P4 laboratories engaging in the research of the most dangerous viruses.
5.The United States has the most advanced medical technology and the most complete medical system in the world, but it has become one of the countries with the largest number of confirmed cases and virus-related deaths, which fully reflects the country's impotent response to the epidemic.
◆The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on Jan 30, 2020, but the United States did not declare a national emergency until March 13 that year. While many countries encountering the COVID-19 outbreaks concurrently with the United States have effectively controlled the epidemic, the situation in the United States is still worsening. Although the United States stays far away from Wuhan, the capital of central China's Hubei province, the country has been lagging far behind the neighboring provinces of Hubei in epidemic prevention and control.
In contrast to China's response to the epidemic, the US government squandered 70 days before declaring a national emergency until March 13, though it was notified by China of the new virus on Jan 3. If counting from Feb 2, when the United States closed its border to all Chinese citizens and foreign nationals who had traveled in China within the previous 14 days, 40 days had been wasted before March 13.
◆On Oct 7, 2020, US media quoted an internal government memo as saying that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 related to the White House had risen to 34, and that the source of the infection was probably the Supreme Court nomination ceremony held by then US president Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept 26, which was defined as a "super-spreading event." There are videos and photos showing that less than a third of people attending the event wore face masks, and almost no one maintained safe social distancing.
On Oct 8, 2020, the New England Journal of Medicine said in an editorial that leaders of the United States have failed the test produced by the COVID-19 crisis, and they "have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy."
In October 2020, the Independent Task Force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, a well-known US think tank, released a special report titled Improving Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons from COVID-19, which reflected on the problems and defects in the US response to the pandemic. The report said that the US government "lacks a strong focal point and expertise at the White House for ensuring pandemic readiness and coordinating an effective response," adding that "despite intelligence and public health warnings of an imminent pandemic," the country did not "act quickly enough in mobilizing a coherent nationwide response, wasting precious weeks that could otherwise have been used to implement a nationwide strategy and capacity for testing and contact tracing to identify new infections and reduce their spread."
Without clear federal guidance, "many states relaxed these public health measures prematurely, resulting in new spikes," the report said, mentioning that the Trump administration was in error in terms of public health risk communication. The report continued that US officials failed to offer the public "clear, reliable, and science-based information about the risk of infection; to adequately defend public health officials against harassment and personal attacks; and to release timely guidance on the utility of the public health measures implemented to combat the spread of the disease."
The report said the COVID-19 pandemic showed "tremendous confusion over the respective responsibilities" of federal, state, local, and tribal governments, adding that the pandemic exposed "the nation's inadequate investment in state and local health systems." There is a lack of coordination in the US and global pandemic preparedness and response, said the report, adding that the pandemic "has exposed the lack of a multilateral mechanism to encourage the joint development and globally equitable distribution of lifesaving vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics." Besides, the pandemic revealed "the limitations of existing national and global systems of epidemic threat surveillance and assessment, which left public health officials and researchers without access to timely data," it wrote.
◆In August 2021, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, Taihe Think Tank and Intellisia Institute jointly released a research report entitled 'America Ranked First'? ! The Truth about America's Fight against COVID-19. The report said the United States is a "failed country in fighting the pandemic," which resorted to covering up the truth using anti-science and common sense fallacies, politicizing, and using monetary measures to fight the pandemic. During the process, the wealth of the rich has "ballooned," whereas the lives of ordinary people have "deteriorated, said the report, continuing that the US society has been "torn apart and racial tensions have intensified." The US federal system under the partisan contest "failed to take on responsibilities, giving prevarications at different levels," which constituted a "Disunited America" image in the fight against the pandemic, said the report.
The United States, the report said, has an unshirkable responsibility for the global spread of the pandemic, because in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, more than 20 million US citizens traveled abroad. In addition, the United States exported less than one percent of its vaccine production by practicing "vaccine nationalism," said the report. Besides a refusal to international vaccine cooperation, Washington has engaged in "virus origin tracing terrorism," putting the presumption of guilt against other countries, and disrupted the international order of pandemic responses by "withdrawing from the WHO and rejoining the WHO."
◆The blame game between the two parties in the United States on anti-epidemic issues has never stopped. Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, some politicians from both parties have been fighting over how to treat and respond to the pandemic, politicizing anti-epidemic measures and prioritizing "party rivalry." As a result, the US federal government and local governments, even states dominated by different parties, have taken different measures to fight the pandemic and made uneven distribution of resources. Even the simple question of whether to wear a face mask or not has sparked a political battle. Some US media said that the response of the US people to the pandemic has laid bare the political lines of Red-Blue divide.
In June 2021, 16 Republicans in the House of Representatives jointly proposed a bill to prohibit commercial companies, hospitals, nursing homes, universities, insurance companies and others from forcing or otherwise requiring their employees, customers or students to be vaccinated.
In late June in 2021, Ted Cruz, Susan Collins and other senior Republican senators jointly launched a motion urging the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) to lift the mask mandate, which took effect in February 2021. The mandate, one of President Joe Biden's new policies, requires all people taking public transportation to wear masks, and stipulates that offenders may face criminal punishment. However, Cruz and other Republicans said that vaccinated people do not need to follow the mask order.
6. The US government downplayed the epidemic, delayed reporting and concealed the facts, which led to the massive spread of the pandemic.
◆Bob Woodward, a US investigative journalist, revealed part of the interview recordings of then US president Trump in his new book Rage, confirming that Trump had known the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of the crisis but still deliberately downplayed it in public. On Feb 7, 2020, Trump told Woodward that he thought the novel coronavirus was thorny, while on Feb 10 that year, Trump said at a public event at the White House that the United States was in good shape, and the virus would go away by April due to the warming weather. "I wanted to always play it down," the president told Woodward on March 19, adding that "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic." On March 25, Trump said at the White House press conference that no one could have predicted the epidemic situation. In an interview in July, Trump cleared himself of responsibility for the outbreak, saying that it was not his fault. Trump, Woodward said, could have underscored the COVID-19 threat in his State of the Union address in early February, but he failed to seize the opportunity. If Trump had told the US people the truth in the first place and done a better job in fighting against the virus, so many innocent lives would not have been lost.
◆In early March 2020, the US CDCP stopped updating and deleted data related to the COVID-19 tests and deaths on its official website.
◆In an op-ed published in August 2020 by British newspaper The Guardian, Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of medical journal The Lancet, said that Chinese doctors rapidly gave early warnings to the Chinese government, which quickly issued warnings to the whole world, but Western countries did not listen to these warnings. To blame China for this pandemic is to rewrite the history of COVID-19 and to marginalize the failings of Western nations, said Horton.
◆In May 2020, Rebekah Jones, who was a Geographic Information Systems manager for the Florida Department of Health and managed Florida's COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard, said in an interview that she was repeatedly instructed by the government to revise the confirmed COVID-19 cases, delete the data showing suspected cases earlier than the confirmed cases, and create false public opinion for the state to restart economic activities. As she refused to "manually change data," she was fired for "insubordination" and for being "disruptive."
7. The United States has muted the voices of professionals on the epidemic, and silenced scientists who hold different viewpoints, causing serious consequences.
◆On March 10, 2020, The New York Times published a report, titled 'It's Just Everywhere Already': How Delays in Testing Set Back the US Coronavirus Response. The report recorded a series of efforts made by Helen Chu, an infectious disease expert in Seattle, at the beginning of the outbreak in the country, and the constant obstacles and suppression against her during that period.
In late January 2020, the first confirmed COVID-19 case occurred in where she lived. As Chu's lab was not certified for clinical work, she needed to apply for the authorities' approval to carry out the COVID-19 tests. But almost all the officials she approached rejected her request, and state regulators even asked her to stop testing altogether.
"We felt like we were sitting, waiting for the pandemic to emerge," Chu was quoted by The New York Times as saying. "We could help. We couldn't do anything." On Feb 25 2020, Chu and her colleagues began performing COVID-19 tests without the government's approval. The outcome confirmed their worst fear. They quickly had a positive test from a local teenager with no recent travel history or contact record with a confirmed case. "It must have been here this entire time," Chu said. "It's just everywhere already."
◆Captain Brett Crozier was removed by the Pentagon on the grounds of "misjudgment" from his post as commanding officer of aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, after he boldly decided to disembark and isolate the crew who were grappling with the spread of COVID-19, so as to avoid the death of sailors out of a war. Later, Democratic members of the House Armed Services Committee issued a statement saying that "the COVID pandemic presents a set of new challenges and there is much we still do not know. Captain Crozier was justifiably concerned about the health and safety of his crew, but he did not handle the immense pressure appropriately. However, relieving him of his command is an overreaction."
◆Anthony Fauci, who has led the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has advised six US presidents on matters of public health, was frequently criticized by the White House for refuting the absurd remarks from Republicans. Fauci disclosed that his family had received death threats and had to seek help from the security services. More than 3,000 US health experts signed a joint open letter criticizing the White House for deliberately damaging Fauci's reputation. The letter said that the COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge the United States has ever faced, while the White House deliberately "discredited" Fauci, "marginalized" him and diverted the public's attention, all of which were "very dangerous."
◆Australian virologist Danielle Anderson received an email telling her to "eat a bat and die" after critiquing the "lab leak" theory based on her own experience in China. As she was attacked and sworn at by "vile" extremists from the United States, the expert had to call the police.
◆Rick Bright, who was abruptly dismissed as the director of US Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, said he believes his removal is a retaliation for his resistance to expand the scope of drug use in compliance with the demand by the government, and that his professional medical advice has received hostile response from senior officials at the Department of Health.
◆A group of ultra-conservative US congressmen and far-right public officials are launching an organized and well-coordinated attack targeting prominent US biological scientists, said Peter J. Hotez, a medical specialist, in an article published on Scientific American.
◆The US experts working at the Lancet COVID-19 Commission were threatened to give up the widely proven natural origins hypothesis and turn to the lab-leak theory.
8. To serve its own political interests, the US government kept resorting to scapegoating, spreading false information, and smearing other countries.
◆The United States has been sparing no effort to assault China with disinformation for a long time.
According to an article published on US website Politico, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has sent campaigns a detailed, 57-page memo authored by a top Republican strategist advising GOP candidates to address the COVID-19 pandemic by aggressively attacking China.
The memo stressed three main lines of assault: That China caused the virus "by covering it up," that Democrats are "soft on China," and that Republicans will "push for sanctions on China for its role in spreading this pandemic," said the article. What's more, the memo said that Republicans have indicated they plan to make China a centerpiece of the 2020 campaign. Such cases show that scapegoating and assaulting China has become a whole-of-government approach amid the Republican Party's campaign.
◆According to US media reports, on March 20, 2020, the White House National Security Council asked all federal agencies to ensure continuity of their talking points and disseminate through various channels that China is planning to cover up the epidemic, leading to a global pandemic.
On the same day, then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told media that China, Russia and Iran are spreading misinformation to discredit the work done by the United States in epidemic prevention and control.
Such cases have laid bare the one who lies.
◆Jonathan D. Pollack, a senior fellow at the John L. Thornton China Center and Center for East Asia Policy at the Brookings Institution, said in an interview with US-China Perception Monitor that by comparison with China, the United States "has done poorly" in terms of controlling the spread of COVID-19, and former US president Donald Trump "is now blaming China and others for his own mistakes, but the virus is not a member of the Democratic Party or the Chinese government."
◆Since the onset of the pandemic, social media in the United States and Western countries have been flooded with conspiracy theories. Some US officials, congressmen, media, and institutions have concocted and disseminated a large number of fallacies against China, providing no evidence, ignoring basic facts and carrying out presumption-of-guilt kind of smears and attacks on China.
◆The Grayzone, an independent US news website, in April 2020 published an article revealing the process of how conservative journalists in the United States coordinate with the government to spread misinformation: The theory that COVID-19 escaped from a lab in Wuhan was fabricated by Josh Rogin, a journalist at The Washington Post. Using evasive rhetoric, Rogin based his article published on April 14 on a distorted cable from the US embassy in Beijing, and made up a research scientist who was in fact a US-backed anti-China activist. On April 15, the day after Rogin's op-ed appeared, Republican Senator Tom Cotton sold the conspiracy theory on Fox News, claiming that "the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for every single death, every job lost, every retirement nest egg lost, from this coronavirus." On April 17, then secretary of state Mike Pompeo elevated the baseless theory to the global stage when he stated, "We are still asking the Chinese Communist Party to allow experts to get into that virology lab so that we can determine precisely where this virus began."
◆In June 2020, a report by the Australian Institute, a Canberra-based independent think tank, found out that there are many bot-like accounts on social media spreading rumors that the coronavirus is "a bioweapon created by China."
◆By quoting a so-called undisclosed US intelligence, American correspondent Michael Gordon hyped up the fallacy that the virus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which he claimed was based on the information that "three personnel working at the lab were infected."
Nineteen years ago, it was this man who concocted the fake news that Iraq attempted to obtain nuclear weapons, which directly pushed the United States to launch the Iraq War. Nowadays, through similar maneuvers of quoting anonymous sources, he once again hyped up the baseless lab-leak theory of the virus, which is not to be trusted.
9. US failing to control outbound tourists leads to outbreaks in other countries.
◆According to data released by the National Tourism Office of the United States, from April 2020 to March 2021, a total of 23.195 million US citizens traveled abroad via air and land. The country was suffering the peak of the epidemic from Nov 2020 to Jan 2021, with its average daily confirmed new cases reaching 186,000. In the same period, the average number of US citizens going abroad was peaked at 87,000.
◆From February 2020 to early January 2021, New Zealand imported 182 cases from the United States, the number of which ranked second in New Zealand.
◆On March 20, 2020, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that about 80 percent of the COVID-19 cases in Australia are imported ones, most of which are from the United States.
◆A study done by Tel Aviv University in Israel in May 2020 showed that about 70 percent of confirmed cases in the country were infected with virus straining from the United States.
◆A research by the National Public Health Institute of Quebec and the McGill Genome Center showed that the source of the epidemic in Quebec mainly strains from Europe and the Americas instead of Asia.
◆In April 2020, an investigation by Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases showed that the second wave of large-scale COVID-19 infections starting from March may have been caused by the imported cases from Europe and the United States.
10. Large-scale repatriation of illegal immigrants by the United States has exported virus to countries in Latin America.
◆Quoting the Customs and Border Protection of US Department of Homeland Security, CNN reported that from March to September 2020, the United States had repatriated 160,000 illegal immigrants.
◆More than 60 institutions, including the Washington Office on Latin America in the United States, issued a joint statement condemning the US administration for expelling illegal immigrants during the pandemic, which has put the world at risk. Of the deported Colombian immigrants, one third were infected with the virus.
◆In April 2020, health minister of Guatemala said 50-75 percent of the people repatriated from the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19, accounting for 19 percent of the country's confirmed cases. On April 13, a total of 71 people on a flight carrying 76 repatriated people from the United States tested positive for COVID-19.
◆On June 18, 2020, an op-ed published by The New York Times titled Why Is the United States Exporting Coronavirus? pointed out that the United States, with the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, is now consciously spreading the pandemic beyond its borders by continuing to deport thousands of immigrants, many infected with the coronavirus, and that in this pandemic, mass deportations are not only cruel but also dangerous to public health abroad and at home.
11. The self-indulgence of US troops stationed abroad intensifies the risk of infection in Japan and Korea.
◆In early July 2020, the governor of Japan's Okinawa prefecture held a press conference saying that dozens of US military personnel stationed in Japan have been diagnosed with COVID-19, who, however, refused to abide by the quarantine measures and reveled outside the base.
◆On Feb 13, 2021, a soldier from the US Osan Air Base in South Korea, ignoring the country's epidemic prevention policy, held a gathering at home, which were attended by 19 foreigners and two South Koreans. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported shortly after, and as of Feb 22, nine participants had been diagnosed with the virus.
◆On May 31, 2021, a large number of US military personnel stationed in South Korea gathered at Haeundae Beach in Busan for vacation and refused to wear masks, leading to discontent among local people.
12. Military exercises led by the US may have led to infections in Britain and Thailand.
◆A spokesperson for the Royal Navy confirmed that the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth reported approximately 100 COVID-19 cases aboard the vessel two days after it joined forces with two US Navy task groups the USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group and USS Iwo Jima amphibious ready group for exercises.
◆According to a report by Reuters on Aug 2, 2020, Thailand has suspended plans for its army to undertake joint training with the US military after nine Thai soldiers tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon returning from Hawaii, said the country's defense ministry.
13. Upholding unilateralism, the United States turns away from international cooperation.
◆The United States, while clamoring to investigate national laboratories in other countries, is the only one opposing the establishment of a multilateral verification mechanism of biological weapons.
As early as 2001, as the international community was reaching an agreement on the verification protocol of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the United States made a sudden and unilateral withdrawal from the treaty, citing the reason that "the BWC is unverifiable due to the complex, dual-use nature of biological materials, equipment, and technologies," which set efforts by the international community adrift.
For 20 years, the United States has ignored the voice of the international community and exclusively opposed the resumption of negotiations on BWC verification protocol. Even if there is no origin-tracing issue, the United States should give an explanation to the international community.
◆On May 19, 2020, the 73rd World Health Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, requesting to identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population, including the possible role of intermediate hosts, to reduce the risk of similar events. The resolution was proposed by China along with 144 countries. The United States, however, were among the few countries that did not participate in the proposal.
◆In May 2020, Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO Health Emergencies Program, said that the body has not received any data or specific evidence from the US government relating to the purported origin of the virus.
14. The United States continues to pressure the WHO and conducts political manipulation against China.
◆In early 2020, at a critical time when the world was fighting against the pandemic, the United States, which initially announced a funding cut to the WHO, terminated its relationship with the body, another example of the country's craving for unilateralism.
Such acts by the United States undermined the efforts by the international community in the fight against the virus. Washington failed to fulfill its due international responsibilities and obligations, and failed to undertake its responsibilities as a major country. The US media condemned such acts for undermining international public health cooperation, which only bring harm and benefit no one.
◆In July 2021, Tom Fowdy, a British analyst of politics and international relations, said in an article published on Russia Today that US political maneuvers had subjugated the WHO, and that more than a year ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spiral out of control across the world, the United States had been setting out political narratives against China.
◆In Jan 2021, Peter Daszak, president of the US-based EcoHealth Alliance and a member of the WHO-led team investigating the origin of the pandemic, was threatened by US politicians and had to quit the team when he denounced the smears by US media that China was interfering in the WHO's research in Wuhan.
◆On July 28, 2021, at the briefing of the UN General Assembly independent panel for pandemic preparedness and response, the deputy permanent representative of the United States to the UN attacked China on the question of virus origin-tracing, which is irrelevant to the theme of the meeting, another example of the United States' interference in global health cooperation.
◆China proposed to conduct an inspection towards US biological laboratories under the UN biosafety framework, and has submitted to the WHO two copies of non-paper — Doubtful Points about Fort Detrick and Coronavirus Research Conducted by Dr. Ralph Baric's Team at University of North Carolina, together with a joint letter by thousands of Chinese netizens calling for an investigation on the lab, requesting the body to conduct formal origin-tracing investigations on US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease and University of North Carolina.
No clear reply has been received so far.