Republican Senator Tom Cotton is slamming the Chinese Communist Party over the coronavirus outbreak. He suggests the deadly disease could be a man-made bioweapon that leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He’s challenging Chinese authorities to prove him wrong.
While China initially claimed that the deadly disease originated in a Wuhan fish market, a growing body of evidence disputes these claims. Chinese officials themselves are beginning to look increasingly unsure of the viruses’ origins – emboldening Senator Cotton and others like him.
Whatever its origins, the Wuhan coronavirus is real. And it is deadly. The novel virus, provisionally known as 2019-nCov, has grown to infect over 40,500 people with 910 recorded fatalities. Many believe the disease is worse than Chinese authorities are reporting due to the massive strain on Wuhan’s healthcare system and crematoriums.
According to The Epoch Times, crematorium workers claim to be working day and night to burn bodies in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
On top of this, apocalyptic videos out of China portray a situation that looks to be rapidly slipping out of control. Videos purport to show citizens collapsing in the streets or being rounded up by authorities. Videos also purport to show mass disinfection attempts as officials spray unknown chemicals in public places.
Images like these may have led Senator Cotton and others like him to conclude that the virus doesn’t have a natural origin.
Senator Cotton is one of Washington’s most vocal speakers on the coronavirus issue. He is also a firm critic of the Chinese government in general – lashing out at telecom giant Huawei, which he calls a “spy company” and criticizing China’s Xinjiang camps as the “ultimate breeding ground for coronavirus.”
Senator Cotton suggests the Wuhan coronavirus may have originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which he called a “super laboratory” in a Jan. 30 speech to American military leaders.
The senator stated the following:
Of the original forty cases, fourteen of them had no contact with the seafood market, including patient zero. I would note that Wuhan also has China’s only bio-safety level four ‘super laboratory’ that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens to include, yes, coronavirus.
If the coronavirus did leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, it wouldn’t be the first time a deadly virus has emerged out of a Chinese research institution.
In 2004, a SARS leak occurred at the Beijing Institute of Virology where researchers were conducting live and inactive experiments on the disease. Two technicians became infected who later spread SARS to several others. In light of these facts, Cotton’s suggestions are not as outlandish as they may seem on the surface.
Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, has responded to Tom Cotton’s claims on Face the Nation. When pressed, he called the suggestions “crazy,” but he also admitted that his government “doesn’t know” where the virus originated.
This isn’t a good look for the Chinese authorities. Cui Tiankai has provided no evidence to dispute Cotton’s claims. Until the Chinese government provides convincing evidence, people will continue to flock to conspiracies.
Whether or not the coronavirus is a bioweapon, Tom Cotton brings up valid points. Many experts agree that the 2019-nCoV didn’t start in a Wuhan wet market. The notoriously secretive Chinese authorities may be hiding its true origin. It’s up to the Chinese government to provide more information if it wants these theories to go away.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflected the views of CCN.com.
Last modified: February 10, 2020 6:31 PM UTC