China is calling for the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) to launch an investigation into whether or not the coronavirus pandemic began in America, the state-run propaganda outlet China Daily reported on Tuesday.
In an article titled “China Calls for [coronavirus] Origins Tracing in U.S.,” China Daily detailed comments on Monday by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning in response to the W.H.O. urging state actors to share any relevant information with the United Nations agency that could help it understand where the novel coronavirus came from and when it first started to infect people.
The first known cases of humans infected with the novel coronavirus were documented in central Wuhan, China, in late 2019. Chinese government data obtained by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post in 2020 identified the first confirmed infection to have been documented in Hubei, the province where Wuhan serves as a regional capital, on November 17, 2019. No evidence exists in the public sphere of any cases of Wuhan coronavirus infections confirmed prior to that case.
Despite this, the official stance of the Chinese government is that the pandemic began as a result of a laboratory leak at a U.S. Army facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Chinese officials have repeatedly accused American doctors of covering up early cases of coronavirus infection by diagnosing them as lung diseases associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping.