China is under criticism again after a new investigation report has found its links with promoting Covid-19 conspiracies, calling other countries responsible for it. This nine-month investigation completed by the Associated Press in association with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab calls out Beijing for its propaganda during the early months of the pandemic. Before this report, many countries including the US, Iran, and Russia have ramped up China for its suspected role in Covid-19 pandemic. The former US President Donald Trump shared many statements saying that he has seen ‘evidence’ on China’s involvement in this pandemic. However, this report is the first to investigate this link and found some information that is now published online.
Within the first three months of the pandemic, nearly half of the world’s population was convinced that coronavirus is a genetically engineered bioweapon launched by China to maintain its hegemony. Many survey reports from that time confirm how most people believe it is possibly a bioweapon, and human-made.
A report from the Pew Research Center reported that nearly 1 in 3 US citizens are sure that coronavirus is made or leaked from a lab. And most of them believe it has been formulated intentionally. Many groups, from China to Russia and Iran have tried to control the disinformation on the origin of coronavirus but during the early months, China has reportedly played some role in spreading coronavirus disinformation, linking its origin to other countries.
The whole world saw how coronavirus was spread from Wuhan’s seafood market. Although China blamed it on the frozen beef from Australia, World Health Organization researchers believe it’s highly unlikely, saying that it is most probably linked with bats. Any evidence on coronavirus coming from another country to China is very limited. Furthermore, other viruses that share a resemblance with coronavirus are mostly found in bats such as SARS and MERS, so there are good chances that the novel coronavirus also jumped from bats to humans.
Most of the Covid-19 conspiracies were an attempt to wipe the blame from China which was somehow completed as many people started to believe it has come from any other country to Wuhan. This report is based on the views of millions of people, shared on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Weibo, YouTube, UK, WeChat, and many others.
China’s role is probably because of the international pressure and blames especially after Trump bluntly called coronavirus the Chinese virus. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (China), it has always worked on promoting good relations with other countries, and it is just trying to defend the apparent politicization of the on-going pandemic.
Despite spending nearly one year in the pandemic, there is still no clear evidence of what made this virus jump from bats to humans, who was the patient zero in this case and if its origin is non-Chinese, how did it end up at a seafood market. Research teams are still trying to find out and before they find something conclusive, it is too early to blame one person, act, or country for the Covid-19 pandemic.