With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting different parts of the world, the virus has become the common enemy of mankind. The world should stand in solidarity to combat the pandemic. However, some Western politicians and media, especially those from the United States, came up with groundless lies. Disinformation, rumors and conspiracy theories about China were making a great clamor. Here are the 18 most common allegations against China and the corresponding facts.
Allegation No.1: China is the origin of COVID-19. It is the “Chinese virus.”
Fact: The origin of COVID-19 remains uncertain. The name of a virus should not be associated with specific countries or regions.
The origin of COVID-19 is a scientific issue which should be determined by scientists instead of politicians. Where the disease was first reported in history was often not the place it originated. The article in the medical journal International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents says that COVID-19 was already spreading in France in late December 2019, and the case is not related to China. WHO points out that scientists are still researching the origin of the virus. It remains unclear where COVID-19 first appeared.
As for naming new human diseases and viruses, WHO guidelines advise against including geographic locations and cultural/population references in the disease name. In February 2020, WHO announced the official names of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes – SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. According to some Western media reports, anti-Asian racism is on the rise due to the improper correlation between the virus and the Asians in the US. British journal Nature published three editorials in April, apologizing for falsely relating the virus to China and Wuhan. The magazine stands against COVID-19 stigmatization and irresponsible actions that associate viruses with specific locations.
Allegation No.2: COVID-19 is man-made at the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab.
Fact: All scientific evidence indicates that the COVID-19 originates in nature rather than man-made.
The idea that the SARS-CoV-2 is man-made has been criticized by international agencies and scholars specialized in virology and immunology. Science journals, such as The Lancet and Nature Medicine, published articles proving SARS-CoV-2 is natural in origin. On May 1, Dr Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said they have listened to numerous scientists who've looked at the sequences and they were assured that this virus is natural in origin. The hypothesis that the virus was created in a Wuhan lab is “a conspiracy vision that does not relate to the real science,” said Jean-Francois Delfraissy, a French immunologist and head of the scientific council that advises the government on the COVID-19 pandemic.