CHINA has sensationally claimed that Covid originated in America in a bid to shift the blame from Wuhan and said that "white supremacists" are bullying anti-lab leak scientists.
The nation has again pushed for an extensive investigation into tracing the virus back to the US and claimed international experts have been "threatened" to keep quiet.
The outlandish claims, published by Beijing's communist newspaper the Global Times, suggest the US are "politicising the origin-tracing research" and putting scientists at the centre of a "political storm".
"Prominent US and Australian scientists focused on the COVID-19 origins tracing are now facing tremendous political pressure, and some have been sidelined for not yielding to (the) politicians-driven conspiracy theory," it said.
Beijing claims respected global virologists and medical experts, including Dr Anthony Fauci, have been subject to a witch hunt after suggesting Covid came from animals and was transmitted to humans.
The publication claimed the US infectious disease chief "has been a target of the GOP," which they believe has prompted him to become "increasingly ambiguous on his rhetoric."
The World Health Organisation originally also suggested animal transmission was the most likely source of the virus – but US intelligence recently suggested Covid was either intentionally or unintentionally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The ruling has rattled China, who waited with bated breath for the results of the 90-day-review into the source of the virus after President Joe Biden ordered the investigation back in March.
Biden said the "intelligence community has ‘coalesced around two likely scenarios’ but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question."
He requested they "redouble their efforts to bring us closer to a definitive conclusion," with another 90-day deadline.
Citing research analysing antibodies in over 24,000 stored blood samples across all 50 states from the US National Institute of Health, China claims the results suggest the virus was in America much earlier than reported.
The samples, taken between January 2 and March 18, 2020, found two positive cases from January 7 – which they suggest shows the virus was in the US from as early as December 2019, when Wuhan reported their first cases.
According to a Wuhan virologist, the research proved the "epidemic in the US probably emerged earlier than in Wuhan," the Global Times reported.
"The US has nearly all the variants spreading around the world, based on this, the virus most likely originated in the US rather than the Wuhan lab," it continued.
But authors of the National Institute's report "noted several limitations to their study" such as the potential for false positives, queries whether and participants could have been "infected during travel or while in their own communities."
Among the other experts The Global Times alleged to have received death threats "if he continued expressing opinions on the origins of the virus" is an Australian scientist.
Most likely sent by people with "far-right and even white supremacism leanings," they claimed he was told he "may face even further crackdown."
The Global Times reported that another US scientist was being threatened by "emails, phone calls, and messages on social media" as part of a "coordinated political campaign to undermine anyone involved in the origins work if they do not fit the lab leak narrative."
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press conference on Monday: "We've seen many true scientists who uphold the truth-seeking spirit of science and an objective and just position being attacked and defamed by certain governments and radical forces, and even received death threats."
The publication then continued to defend claims about the Wuhan lab Covid was thought to have leaked from and dismissed claims researchers from the lab were hospitalised in November 2019 with flu-like symptoms.
In January 2020, at least 430,000 people arrived in the US from China and over 4,000 people travelled from Wuhan before health screenings were introduced later in the month.
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