COVID-19 accusations against China distracts American public from failure in Afghanistan.
Written by Paul Antonopoulos, independent geopolitical analyst
A new report from American intelligence services has failed to specify the origin of COVID-19. Despite this, U.S. President Joe Biden still found a way to accuse Beijing of starting the pandemic. Effectively, China is still a scapegoat for the U.S. because of their own initial failure to properly deal with the health crisis.
Commissioned by Biden, the classified document was handed over to the White House last week. The U.S. President then took the opportunity on August 27 to accuse China of concealing “crucial information” on the causes of the pandemic.
Only a summary was made to the public and it gave glimpses into the conclusions made by the American intelligence community. Although the report does not specify which intelligence agencies were involved, it was compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The report not only found that COVID-19 was not developed as a biological weapon, as was commonly espoused, but it was also assessed that Chinese officials did not have foreknowledge of the virus before the initial outbreak that led to the global pandemic.
“After examining all available intelligence reporting and other information, though, the [Intelligence Community] remains divided on the most likely origin of COVID-19. All agencies assess that two hypotheses are plausible: natural exposure to an infected animal and a laboratory-associated incident,” the 18 intelligence agencies wrote in the report.
Biden however was not satisfied and insisted that China withheld critical information and “worked to prevent international investigators and members of the global public health community from accessing it. The world deserves answers, and I will not rest until we get them.”
His accusations vis-à-vis Beijing have only contributed to the further deterioration of Sino-American relations that has been occurring at a rapid pace since Donald Trump’s presidency. It is recalled that the former president bluntly labelled COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus.”
China has emerged as the U.S.’ number one global economic adversary and the two countries compete for influence over the Asia-Pacific region. As China is now positioned as the U.S.’ greatest competitor in the 21st century, media campaigns against the Asian country have intensified. However, even the U.S. intelligence community had to concede that the origins of COVID-19 is unknown.
It must then bring to question why Biden insists on lambasting China. Undoubtedly it is part of the U.S. propaganda campaign against the country, but it also serves in distracting the American public from the Afghanistan withdrawal fiasco. In this way, by bringing attention back to China’s supposed culpability in the pandemic, it serves as a diversion for domestic political purposes.
Although the American people may be distracted from Afghanistan as the focus has been shifted back onto China, Beijing has made it clear that Biden is drawing conclusions that are different from what was found in the report that he commissioned.
China’s newly appointed Ambassador to the U.S., Qin Gang, also said in a Twitter post that the “report by the US intelligence community has not produced a clear answer the US side wanted. Continuing such an effort will also be in vain, because its subject is simply anti-science and non-existent.”
The Chinese Embassy added in a statement that the U.S. accuses Beijing of having a lack of evidence but that it is Washington that has been shying away from allowing any origins-tracing research on its territory. The Embassy then challenged the U.S. to be “transparent and responsible” by making all of its data on COVID-19 publicly accessible – something the U.S. has refused to do but receives no global condemnation for.
Director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, told CNBC’s that it was unclear whether the virus leaked out of a Wuhan lab.
“The vast evidence from other perspectives says no, this was a naturally occurring virus,” Collins said. “Not to say that it could not have been under study secretly at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and got out of there, we don’t know about that. But the virus itself does not have the earmarks of having been created intentionally by human work.”
He of course added that China was refusing investigations, but had to ultimately concede that there was no evidence for COVID-19 spawning out of the infamous Wuhan Lab. Collins’ announcement is not standing alone though, and there is huge global doubt that COVID-19 originated from Wuhan. Yet, Biden insists on maintaining that China is responsible for the pandemic, demonstrating that he is not softening his stance towards Beijing since taking over the presidency from Trump, but is rather escalating tensions between the two countries.
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