US-China war of words escalates over COVID-19 origin

DelhiUpdated: May 04, 2020, 09:29 PM IST


Story highlights

The shrill exchanges show how bad things are between the United States and China.

The US government is now claiming that coronavirus came from a virology lab in Wuhan, China. 
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that there was "enormous evidence" that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a laboratory in Wuhan.

US President Donald Trump too has been publicly blaming China for the global spread of the "invisible enemy". The President has claimed that he had seen evidence that proved the novel coronavirus originated in a laboratory. 

However, the US intelligence community has ruled out the bio-weapon theory behind coronavirus spread. They say their report is work in progress and is based on public material. "The intelligence community will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was a result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan," the community statement said.

Pompeo said that China has a history of infecting the world and of running 'substandard labs'. The fact is, America was funding this very same 'substandard lab'.

Last month, the US National Institute of Health (NIH) gave $3.7 million dollars to this Wuhan lab. The funding has now been blocked, but it does raise questions on why Washington was supporting what it now calls 'substandard labs.'

Meanwhile, the country in question, China, has launched an all-out attack. Beijing has unleashed its entire state media machinery to discredit the Trump administration.

China is backing up its cartoons with harsh and tough statements from the foreign ministry. Broadcasts on the Chinese media are now devoting prime airtime to bash Mike Pompeo.

The state media is publishing one editorial after another to blast at the US Secretary of State. The shrill exchanges only show how bad things are between the United States and China and how much is at stake.

Relations between China and the United States are being seen to be at their worst point in decades.