Deep Think: China Says America Drawn to Bat Coronavirus Research Because of Vampire Movies
China’s state-run Global Times propaganda newspaper mused on Thursday that the Chinese coronavirus may have originated in America because Americans love “vampire-themed movies,” leading them to have a “cultural” inclination to experiment with bat coronaviruses.
An editorial by the Communist Party propaganda site made the assertion in a discussion on unsubstantiated accusations by the Russian government against America, accusing the United States of experimenting on “bat coronavirus” in laboratories in Ukraine. Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, but greatly expanded its war on that country on February 24 and has since seized significant blocks of territory in the country. Moscow claimed this week that it captured a biological laboratory in the country funded by America.
The Russian government used its leverage at the United Nations Security Council to call for an emergency meeting Friday to discuss alleged American “military biological programs” in Ukraine, according to Russian government site RT.
While the Russian government has not openly accused Ukraine or the United States of being the origin country of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, China has been much more liberal in making the suggestion. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has repeatedly called for a global investigation into the alleged Ukrainian laboratories this week, calling them “the tip of the iceberg” of supposed American biological weapons research. The Global Times compared the alleged laboratories to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a viral research laboratory located in the origin location of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic that World Health Organization (W.H.O.) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called to investigate more thoroughly for clues regarding how the pandemic began.
On Thursday, the Times expanded its unsubstantiated argument blaming America for the Wuhan pandemic by claiming Americans have a “cultural” interest in experimenting with coronaviruses.
“There is no smoke without fire. Some netizens commented that the Americans seem to have a special preference for making vampire-themed movies, and the prototype of the vampire comes from bat,” the Global Times declared. “The Americans’ experiments with bat coronavirus have cultural origins.”
“US officials and media accused China of pushing conspiracy, but it is the US that is the No.1 player of conspiracy,” the editorial continued. “In 2020, the Trump administration and conservative US media made the conspiracy theory of [Chinese coronavirus] escaping from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. The hype of the lab leak theory has been an integral part of the US’ overall China containment strategy.”
“With the revelation that US-funded biological labs in Ukraine were conducting experiments with bat coronavirus samples, the US owes the world an explanation,” the Global Times claimed.
The state newspaper editorial followed an alleged revelation by the Russian Defense Ministry that Russian soldiers had found coronavirus samples in a seized Ukrainian laboratory.
“According to the documents [obtained in the seized laboratories], the American side planned to conduct work on pathogens of birds, bats, and reptiles in Ukraine in 2022, with a further transition to studying the possibility of carrying African swine fever and anthrax,” Ministry of Defence Major General Igor Konashenkov, a top spokesman, claimed on Thursday. “The purpose of this – and other Pentagon-funded biological research in Ukraine, was to create a mechanism for the covert spread of deadly pathogens.”
The Russian state outlet Sputnik claimed that Konashenkov listed “bat coronavirus” among the discovered pathogens.
“The United States does not own or operate any chemical or biological laboratories in Ukraine, it is in full compliance with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention, and it does not develop or possess such weapons anywhere,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in response to the original accusations that America possessed a biological laboratory in Ukraine on Wednesday. “It is Russia that has active chemical and biological weapons programs and is in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention.”
The day before, U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland confirmed in a Congressional hearing that the U.S. had funded biological research in Ukraine but was not directly involved. She said her agency was “quite concerned” Russia would use laboratory contents for a biological attack.
The official position of the Chinese government, as articulated by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, is that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic began in Maryland as a result of an alleged laboratory leak at the U.S. Army’s Fort Detrick facility. Beijing has held this position even while promoting the W.H.O.’s conclusions, following an investigation largely contained by China in Wuhan, that a laboratory leak causing the pandemic was “extremely unlikely” (Tedros criticized this conclusion, saying the investigation into the WIV was not “extensive enough”).
No evidence exists of any Chinese coronavirus infections in humans prior to November 17, 2019, the date that leaked Chinese government documents identify as when doctors diagnosed the first case in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located. No evidence suggests any coronavirus infections occurring in either Ukraine or the United States before then, or anywhere else in the world.
Zhao and other Foreign Ministry spokespeople, such as top mouthpiece Hua Chunying, have argued that America obscured its early coronavirus cases by diagnosing them as e-cigarette lung injuries. The Chinese coronavirus is a highly infectious disease, while injuries are not transmissible from person to person. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has yet to explain why no health workers or others exposed to those diagnosed with lung injuries did not “contract” lung injuries from exposure, if these injuries were, in fact, coronavirus infections.
China appears to be promoting the Fort Detrick conspiracy theory allowing with demanding an investigation into coronavirus “origins” in Ukraine.
“Regarding US bio labs across the world, many questions remain to be answered. The international community has no idea whether the US’ 336 overseas bio labs and the labs on its soil such as Fort Detrick conform to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC),” the Global Times claimed, “while what is conducted inside these bio labs involves human security.”
Zhao, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, similarly demanded simultaneous international investigations into Fort Detrick and Ukrainian labs during Thursday’s regular press briefing.
“The world has no knowledge about what the US has been doing at Fort Detrick on its territory and the 336 biological labs overseas, or whether the activities conform to the stipulations of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC),” Zhao said, a remark the Global Times echoed almost verbatim. “This is not something you can muddle through in a few words. It is even irresponsible to dismiss the concerns of the international community as ‘disinformation.'”
“We once again urge the US to earnestly fulfill its international obligations, give a clear account of its bio-military activities both at home and abroad and accept multilateral verification, and complete the destruction of its chemical weapons arsenal as soon as possible,” Zhao said, not directly mentioning the coronavirus pandemic.