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Misinformation an enemy of all those fighting virus: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-02-10 18:50

When Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas made his baseless allegation that the novel coronavirus that has prompted the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency of international concern originated from a State-owned virology laboratory in Wuhan, he obviously felt no qualms about how such an irresponsible conjecture might affect the ongoing fight with the virus, and tarnish the image of the country that is fighting for not only itself, but also the world.

Or perhaps that was his intention.

Cotton has not been the only person fabricating and spreading such misinformation, as some have claimed that the epidemic is due to a mishap in China's "covert biological weapons program".

It is ridiculous that people can jump to such conclusions without any factual evidence to back them up. It is the same as those saying it was a US biochemical attack on China.

Which is why Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has called such suggestions "absolutely crazy", and warned such allegations could stir up racial discrimination and xenophobia.

China's efforts to be transparent in its fight against the virus since the very beginning of the outbreak in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, has won the recognition of the WHO and international medical experts, as well as the leaders of many countries. China reported the emergence of an unknown virus to the WHO the moment it spotted it, and immediately after getting samples from some who had been infected China reported its finding to the WHO.

And thanks to the rigorous measures China has taken to contain it, the growth of the number of people infected with the virus outside of Hubei province has decelerated for six days in a row, and the number of people infected in other countries is less than 1 percent of that in the country.

But those with an axe to grind against China simply choose to ignore the measures the country has taken and the hard-earned results, and they remain steadfast in fabricating and spreading such falsehoods in their attempts to splash dirty water on China.

Cotton's crude attempt to link the virus outbreak with the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory shows how irresponsible some are in their haste to attack China. The virology institute is the only P4-site in China. A designation that indicates the institute uses the strictest safety standards to prevent the spread of the dangerous pathogens being studied.

The malicious rumors spread by Cotton and others serve only to detract from the sacrifices China is making in its efforts to prevent the spread of the virus worldwide. But as mentioned above, that is probably their intention.

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