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US Reporter Hyping on Wuhan Lab 'Leak' Claims Pushed Iraqi WMD Lies

CC BY-SA 4.0 / Ureem2805 / Wuhan Institute of Virology Wuhan Institute of Virology
Wuhan Institute of Virology  - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.03.2023
After having seemingly settled the issue for nearly 18 months, the US government has dusted off the COVID-19 “lab leak” theory from early in the pandemic suggesting that the SARS-CoV-2 virus somehow escaped from a Wuhan biolab and set off the global outbreak.
The US Department of Energy (DoE) and FBI have both released statements in recent days saying their investigations have concluded that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, escaped from containment at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and triggered the pandemic in late December 2019.

While the DoE report expressed “low confidence” in the conclusion, FBI Director Christopher Wray told US media the federal law enforcement agency had “for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan.”

In May 2021, US President Joe Biden ordered US intelligence agencies to assess the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 being either the subject or product of Chinese laboratory experiments; the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said that August that the virus was definitely not a bioweapon and had "probably emerged and infected humans through an initial small-scale exposure that occurred no later than November 2019 with the first known cluster of COVID-19 cases arising in Wuhan, China in December 2019."
The ODNI said it was “plausible” the virus had escaped from the Wuhan biolab, but there was no evidence to support any claims it had actually occurred.
Speaking on Radio Sputnik's Political Misfits program, KJ Noh, a scholar, educator and journalist focusing on the political economy and geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific, said that the belated report was “part of an ongoing attempt to demonize China, to show that China is a global security threat.”
“And this has continued for three years nonstop. Covid has been a key part of this, along with allegations of mistreatment of ethnic minorities, etc,” he noted.
Noh noted the Wall Street Journal article revealing the DoE’s claims was written by Michael Gordon. “This was the journalist who, along with Judith Miller, were the team that created the fraudulent WMD [weapons of mass destruction] case against Iraq that led us to war” in 2003, he pointed out.
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“There's a follow up article today in The Washington Post, and they followed up because the [WSJ] article is so weak and because Gordon's cover has been blown, and the fact that they gave no evidence. So they still haven't produced any evidence they haven't even hinted at what they were looking at that made them change their evaluation from ‘no probability’ to ‘low probability.’”
“But just to go over the basics, the fundamental fact is that if you say ‘it is a leak’, you have to explain what the progenitor was. If it was engineered and leaked, show us how it was engineered. If it was serial presaged that is naturally engineered, then you have to show us what the precursor progenitor was,” Noh urged.
The expert noted that whether it is accusations of genocide in Xinjiang, or sending spy balloons over the US, or covering up a virus escaping from a biolab, “China is always being asked to prove a negative.”
This, he said, “it cannot do, logically, while the US continues to throw accusations against the wall to see if anything sticks.”
The "lab leak" accusations resurfaced as China presented a 12-point peace plan for Ukraine that included the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, the resumption of direct dialogue between Moscow and Kiev, and a call to prevent further escalation.
"China has the possibility to create the ground for a positive outcome. It's a very modest proposal, but it's talking about what the ground conditions are that we can enact to begin the process of moving towards a ceasefire and then an armistice, and then to really hash out and negotiate the details," Noh said, adding that the Ukraine-Russia settlement proposal is actually "groundbreaking in terms of realism and neorealist IR theories."
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The scholar explained that China traditionally has had good relations both with Russia and Ukraine, and Beijing is working "to pivot the world towards a more neutral win-win approach to resolving situations through diplomacy and without the use of kinetic force."
"And, of course, the US and NATO are severely and deeply opposed to this because, as I said before, they want a continued war. They want to grind down Russia and the Ukrainians, use them as a kamikaze state against Russia to the horrific suffering and tragedy of all the parties involved," he concluded.
The "lab leak" theory first arose in right-wing anti-China circles in early 2020 and was used by then-US President Donald Trump to deflect blame from his own policies, which contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans within a few months of the first cases being detected in the country. While US corporate media at the time dismissed it as a conspiracy theory, after Trump left office, they revived the claims, which built into a storm of accusations in early 2021 by both Republicans and Democrats alike, including that China was supposedly refusing to cooperate with a World Health Organization mission to Wuhan to exchange data.
Biden ordered the US Intelligence Community, which is comprised of 18 intelligence agencies scattered across five departments, plus the independent CIA, to investigate the origins of the virus. They concluded it was not a bioweapon and that there was no proof it had escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Listen to more of KJ Noh's analysis here.
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