A Chinese official is pointing fingers at the U.S. military for being the possible origin of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Responding to criticism of U.S. officials on China’s handling of the outbreak, Zhao Lijian, a representative of China’s Foreign Ministry, insinuated that the U.S. military might have had a hand in bringing the novel coronavirus to Wuhan.
The Chinese city has been hit the hardest by the illness, and over 140,000 have been infected by the coronavirus globally, as of this writing.
U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien pointed out that China’s reaction to the outbreak cost the world two months for not being transparent enough, Reuters reports.
The comment did not go unnoticed as Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao responded with a tweet, saying it was the U.S. that failed in being transparent.
“When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? 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!” Zhao wrote.
Zhao’s fellow Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also criticized U.S. officials for their “immoral and irresponsible” comments and criticizing Beijing’s actions against the pandemic, Reuters reported.
Geng argued that the world had time to prepare against the epidemic due to China’s efforts to slow its spread. He added that the U.S. officials’ comments do nothing to help the fight against the virus.
“We wish that a few officials in the U.S. would at this time concentrate their energy on responding to the virus and promoting cooperation, and not on shifting the blame to China,” Geng said.