The Chinese Embassy in Australia has emailed local journalists, accusing them of “politicizing the coronavirus” by saying it originated in China, “without any supporting facts,” according to a journalist at the Australian Financial Review.
Smith explained that the letter was evidence of how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has pivoted its propaganda narrative, now insinuating that the virus originated in other countries.
In the press conference mentioned in the letter, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters it was “highly irresponsible for some media” to dub the novel coronavirus the “China virus.”
“We firmly oppose that,” he said, adding that “no conclusion has been reached yet on the origin of the virus.”
Zhao claimed that “some media clearly want China to take the blame and their ulterior motives are laid bare.”
Smith said that the Chinese authorities are continuing with their efforts to deflect all criticism and blame “for the fact that authorities in Wuhan failed to report the seriousness of the health crisis for those crucial weeks in January before millions left the city for Chinese New Year.”
A month after the head of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters that health experts believed the virus likely came from wild animals at the Wuhan wet market, although the source animal had not been identified, Zhong Nanshan, a Chinese epidemiologist and pulmonologist who researched the SARS coronavirus in 2003, told reporters that the novel coronavirus may not have originated from China.
“This is a human disease, not a national disease,” Zhong added.
The Chinese regime has since taken extreme measures to contain the virus after its slow initial reaction, including locking down entire cities and not allowing people to leave their homes.
But as the virus spread to more and more countries, the CCP has received criticism for covering-up the extent of the outbreak and underreporting the number of infections and the death toll.
The director said that in February, his funeral home received four or five bodies with cause of death as “unidentified pneumonia” from the city’s No 1. Hospital and No. 2 Hospital, adding that “hospitals have the capacity to write clearly the cause of death, but they didn’t label it [clearly].”