In an interview Thursday, Nikolai Patrushev, Russia Security Council
secretary, said American “military biology research” may account for the Chinese
coronavirus eruption in Wuhan, China.
Patrushev accused the United States of experiments near the
borders of China and Russia with biological weapons. When asked for a comment
by Russian newspaper Kommersant regarding World Health Organizations (W.H.O.)
failure to identify the Chinese coronavirus source. At the beginning of 2021, the W.H.O. sent a
team to Wuhan, over a year after the initial epidemic began there, seeking evidence
to answer how the pandemic started. In the report published after W.H.O.,
experts visit China; not a single animal was found carrying the Chinese coronavirus. Tens of thousands of animals in Hubei province
Patrushev responded to the lack of evidence of the prevalent
existence in nature where the pandemic began “the fact” that American
biological laboratories exist in Asia, according to a translation of the
Kommersant interview Russia’s Foreign Ministry published on Facebook.
“Please note the fact that the number of U.S.-controlled
biological laboratories is growing by leaps and bounds around the world.
Strangely, they are built near Russian and Chinese borders,” Patrushev said.
“They assure us that these are research centers where the Americans help local
researchers develop new medications to combat dangerous diseases. Truth be
told, the authorities of the countries where these sites are located have no
idea what is happening behind their walls.”
we, and our Chinese partners, have questions in this regard,” he continued. “We
are being told that peaceful sanitary and epidemiological stations are
operating near our borders, but for some reason, they seem more reminiscent of
Fort Detrick in Maryland, where the Americans have been working on military
biology research for decades. Importantly, outbreaks of diseases that are not
typical of these regions are being recorded in neighboring areas.”
No examples of alleged suspicious “outbreaks of disease” his government
had documented were not offered by Patrushev.
Maryland, houses a U.S. Army laboratory temporarily shut down in November 2019
over a “failure of Fort Detrick’s steam sterilization plant,” according to
military officials. It resumed operations in March 2020. The Chinese Communist
Party has, for over a year, accused the Fort Detrick site of unleashing the
Chinese coronavirus on the world, falsely claiming that cases of lung injuries
tied to the use of e-cigarettes, or vapes, in 2019 were secret Chinese
coronavirus cases. No evidence suggests any relationship between the lung
injuries and Chinese coronavirus and lung injuries are, unlike the Chinese
coronavirus, not contagious, meaning no health workers were diagnosed with
these injuries after treating patients despite not using infectious disease
Kommersant asked Patrushev to clarify the alleged Asian
biological research sites: “Are you saying that the Americans are
developing biological warfare agents there?”
“We have good reasons to believe that this is
exactly the case,” Patrushev answered. The senior Russian official did not
identify any site that he considered to be a potential origin source for the
Chinese coronavirus or explain how biological weapons testing near the Chinese
border would result in a disease outbreak in the heart of the country, nearly a thousand
miles from the closest border, without infecting anyone along the way.
Patrushev said Russia would “work with our
partners … in the post-Soviet space” to address the issue, adding ominously
that “the Americans have issues with chemical weapons, as well.”
Zhao Lijian, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman who first
floated the conspiracy theory that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic was the product
of U.S. Army work, embraced Patrushev’s remarks during his regular press
briefing on Thursday. Zhao, unlike Patrushev, identified Ukraine as a potential
location for suspect U.S. Army research facilities.
“I noticed that Russia recently expressed concern once again over the bio-military activities by the U.S. on its own territory, including at Fort Detrick and in other countries like Ukraine. This concern is actually shared by many other countries,” Zhao said. “As China has said repeatedly, relevant U.S. activities are not transparent, safe or justified.”
may take Ukraine, for example, which was mentioned by the Russian side.
According to openly available reports, the U.S. has set up 16 bio-labs in
Ukraine alone,” Zhao claimed. “Why does it need to build so many labs all over
the world? What activities has the U.S. military been conducting in these labs
and the base at Fort Detrick?”
W.H.O. report, written in conjunction with Chinese-approved scientists and
heavily supervised by authorities with ties to Beijing, addressed the
possibility of the virus leaking from a research laboratory but dismissed it as
highly unlikely. Wuhan, where the pandemic began, is home to one of the most
advanced virology centers in the world, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which
was known to be studying coronaviruses at the time of the outbreak. The W.H.O.
explicitly rejected the idea of a laboratory accident and stated it did not
address the potential of a deliberate pathogen release.
Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the W.H.O., dismissed the agency’s
research on the laboratory leak theory in a press conference intended to debut
“The team also
visited several laboratories in Wuhan and considered the possibility that the
virus entered the human population as a result of a laboratory incident,”
Tedros told reporters. “However, I do not believe that this
assessment was extensive enough. Further data and studies will be needed to
reach more robust conclusions.”
previously highly supportive of Tedros, accused him of trying to “appease Washington” following the remarks.
Certain Russian media commentators don’t share the Kremlin’s sense of
restraint. Zvezda, a news outlet funded by the Russian Defense Ministry, published
an article late last month titled “Coronavirus: American biological
warfare against Russia and China.” The author establishes alleged intent: the
virus dealt a blow to the Chinese economy, which weakens Beijing’s negotiating
hand in the next round of trade talks to follow the recent signing of the phase
one deal between Washington and Beijing.
The famous Russian politician and leader of
the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), Vladimir Zhirinvoky, told a
Moscow radio station that the coronavirus is an experiment by the Pentagon pharmaceutical
companies to create localized pandemics that can devastate a select population
without spilling over into other countries.