In “Virus-hit Wuhan has two laboratories linked to Chinese bio-warfare program” (Web, Jan. 24), Bill Gertz claims the coronavirus “may have originated in a Wuhan laboratory linked to China’s covert biological weapons program,” and he cites a “biological warfare expert” without providing any evidence. These allegations are simply groundless, wrong and irresponsible, prompting media outlets such as The Washington Post, Foreign Policy and BBC to debunk them.
To say the least, such allegations are a clear example of what the World Health Organization (WHO) has called the “info-demic” that makes it difficult for people to find reliable guidance when they need it. The spread of disinformation is destructive and risks creating panic and thwarting the global community’s coordinated effort to contain the outbreak and treat the victims of the coronavirus. It could even be a “political virus” preventing China and the U.S. from joining hands to counter their common challenges.
The facts are clear for the world to see. China has been making an all-out effort to contain the epidemic and has maintained an open, transparent and highly responsible attitude when releasing information. China has also cooperated efficiently with other countries and international organizations. We have full confidence in our capability to win the battle against the outbreak.
As Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, said recently: “This is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for science, not rumors. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma,” and “The only way we will defeat the 2019nCov outbreak is for all countries to work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation.” In this shared community where all of us are interlinked and interdependent, let’s fight side by side. We’re all in this together.
Minister counselor & chief
Information and Public Affairs Section
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China