But this week the questions over whether the virus is linked to a dangerous weapons program belonging to Beijing are getting a second look, and from none other than a Republican senator not noted for crazy conspiracies or hyperbole.
As Zero Hedge reports, Sen. Tom Cotton, a former U.S. Army infantry officer with two combat tours and a law degree from Harvard, raised the issue anew as China continues to try to contain the spread of the virus, which has now reached the United States.
Indeed, adding further credence to the theory, a pair of ‘mainstream’ financial publications have also raised the question, the news site noted: Is coronavirus a Chinese bioweapon?
Zero Hedge noted:
Is it merely a coincidence that the Canadian scientist at the center of a bio-espionage probe was recently found dead in Africa, as we reported last week? Or that a doctor who helped draft a critical international bioweapons convention has said that the virus might be tied to "biological warfare?"
Cotton believes that Chinese leaders must step up and answer these and other questions, especially after he was accused of engaging in “xenophobia” against Chinese people — a ridiculous assertion and one meant only to deflect — by China’s Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai.
In fact, as The National Sentinel reported this week, Cui was asked about Cotton’s concerns regarding a potential bioweapon on a Sunday network news magazine and pointedly did not directly deny it.
CBS News’ Margaret Brennan said to the ambassador, “That’s an extraordinary charge. How do you respond to that?”
“I think it’s true that a lot is still unknown and our scientists, Chinese scientists, American scientists, scientists of other countries are doing their best to learn more about the virus, but it’s very harmful,” Cui said.
“It’s very dangerous to stir up suspicion, rumors and spread them among the people. For one thing, this will create panic. Another thing that it will fend up racial discrimination, xenophobia, all these things, that will really harm our joint efforts to combat the virus,” he continued.
“Of course, there are all kinds of speculation and rumors,” Cui said. “There are people who are saying that these virus are coming from some- some military lab, not of China, maybe in the United States. How — how can we believe all these crazy things?”
When pressed by Brennan as to where the virus did come form, Cui answered, “We still don’t know yet."
So — not a real denial.
On a separate-but-related subject, Cui was also asked by Brennan about what happened to Chen Qiushi, a citizen journalist who disappeared after he began covering the outbreak of the virus at ground zero in Wuhan City.
His response: “I have never heard of this guy, so I don’t have any information to share with you.”
But a U.S. journalist knew about ‘this guy.’
As for Cotton, he took to Twitter to make some statements of his own. For instance, he pointed out the “fact” the Chinese government lied about the coronavirus starting in a Wuhan food market.
He also noted another “fact” that a “super-lab” just happens to be located a few miles from the market.
“Where did it start? We don’t know. But the burden of proof is on you & fellow communists,” he wrote.”