The Straits Times
Date: MAR 13, 2020
BEIJING (REUTERS) – A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry suggested on Thursday (March 12) that the US military might have brought the coronavirus to the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has been hardest hit by the outbreak, doubling down on a war of words with Washington.
China has taken great offence at comments by US officials accusing it of being slow to react to the virus, first detected in Wuhan late last year, and of not being sufficiently transparent.
On Wednesday, US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said the speed of China's reaction to the emergence of the coronavirus had probably cost the world two months when it could have been preparing for the outbreak.
In a strongly worded tweet, written in English on his verified Twitter account, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said it was the United States that lacked transparency.
"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, an avid and often combative Twitter user, did not offer any evidence for his suggestion that the US military might be to blame for the outbreak in China. [FULL STORY]