China’s Foreign Ministry blasted the resurgent interest in the Covid-19 lab-origin theory, noting that the journalist behind a report about Wuhan scientists falling ill is the same one who peddled lies that led to the Iraq War.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin took aim at Michael R. Gordon, a national security correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and one of the authors of the report that added fuel to speculation about Covid-19’s lab origin.
“Not long ago, Michael R. Gordon, an American journalist, by quoting a so-called ‘previously undisclosed US intelligence report,’ hinted [at] a far-fetched connection between the ‘three sick staff’ at the Wuhan lab and the Covid-19 outbreak,” Wang said at a briefing on Friday.
The people who hypes up the #Wuhan lab-leak hypothesis is the same people who fabricated the fake information about #Iraq‘s “attempt to acquire nuclear weapons” 19 years ago. pic.twitter.com/5tfbRioB2D— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) June 4, 2021
“Nineteen years ago, it was this very reporter who concocted false information by citing unsubstantiated sources about Iraq’s ‘attempt to acquire nuclear weapons,’ which directly led to the Iraq War,” he charged, referring to the 2003 US invasion.
The WSJ piece, published on May 23, cites “a previously undisclosed US intelligence report” as saying that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell seriously ill in November 2019 with symptoms “consistent” with Covid-19 as well as a seasonal flu.
The report got picked up by other mainstream media, which recently began shifting their coverage on Covid-19’s origins from outright dismissing theories that the virus was man-made to admitting that a lab leak remains a possibility.
Read More: Same hype, different day? Beijing says US reporter pushing Covid lab-leak theory also fueled debunked Iraq WMD narrative