Chinese propaganda is now blaming Italy or India – or any other place other than Wuhan, China – as the origin for the global coronavirus pandemic.
The government and state media are pushing propaganda and twisting health experts' remarks to obscure and deflect the origins of the COVID-19 virus that past intelligence has pointed back to a Wuhan virology lab.
In fact, China is now claiming the lab merely discovered COVID-19 and did not originate it, but northern Italy or India might have, The New York Times reported.
Using out of context quotes from a German scientist, China news sites are declaring "China is innocent!" and "Not Wuhan," according to the report.
"This is pure propaganda," Institute for Biosecurity Research Director Alexander Kekulé of Halle, Germany, told the Times.
The disinformation campaign comes as the World Health Organization seeks to descend upon Wuhan for an investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus.
"Wuhan is not the place where human-to-human SARS-CoV-2 transmission first happened," state-run Chinese Academy of Sciences scientists wrote in a recent 22-page paper, which has since disappeared from online research sites, per the Times.
It remains important for China President Xi Jinping to deflect blame amid the country's economic struggles.
"If Xi is able to escape blame for the coronavirus, that reduces one major source of discontent with his rule," University of Southern California Professor Erin Baggott Carter told the Times.
Among the claims to deflect blame is frozen food imported to China as bringing the virus to Wuhan.
"More and more evidence suggests that the frozen seafood or meat products probably spread the virus from countries with the epidemic into our country," Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention Chief Epidemiologist Zunyou Wu said recently on its official website.
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