Chinese official claims US may have brought coronavirus to China

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Chinese official claims US may have brought coronavirus to China

More than 130,000 people have been infected by the virus and nearly 5,000 have died across the world so far.

A Chinese official alleged that the US army may have brought the deadly Covid-19 coronavirus into China, without providing any evidence for his eyebrow-raising claim.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called attention to a comment on Wednesday from Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, acknowledging that some Americans who were said to have died from influenza may have actually died from COVID-19.

“When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected?” Zhao wrote on Twitter. “What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!”

As China has faced criticism, Chinese authorities have pushed back, suggesting that the virus may have originated somewhere else. Dr. Zhong Nanshan, a leading Chinese epidemiologist, said in late February that “though the COVID-19 was first discovered in China, it does not mean that it originated from China.”

The coronavirus first appeared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, and since then, the pandemic has claimed the lives of thousands of people, mostly in China.

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The new coronavirus was first reported to the World Health Organization in December last year, after emerging in the central city of Wuhan. Since then, COVID-19 has spread to more than 100 countries, infected over 100,000 people and killed at least 3,800 globally. Most of those infected and killed so far were in China.