Tom Cotton demands ‘answers’ after China state newspaper says coronavirus originated outside wildlife market

By | February 23, 2020

A Republican senator says it’s time for the Chinese Communist Party to reveal what it knows about the new coronavirus after the country’s state-run newspaper reported that the mystery illness may not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan.

On Saturday, Sen. Tom Cotton demanded “answers” while sharing a report from the Global Times, a Chinese daily newspaper operated by the CCP, citing new research that claims the virus is transmitted from human to human and didn’t originate from animals at the seafood market. Although early reports claimed the illness was spread through food such as bat soup, snakes, or pangolins, researchers now believe “patient zero,” the original person with the infection, brought the disease to the Wuhan market from “another location.”

The English-language Global Times confirmed the data show the infection was “introduced” to the market, adding fuel to skeptics who believe the CCP is failing to explain the full scope of the epidemic. The study was done by ChinaXiv, an “open repository for scientific researchers” who believe one infected person accelerated the virus’s spread during a visit to the market.

Cotton has repeatedly challenged the prevailing narrative surrounding the coronavirus outbreak as it has infected and killed patients in countries as widespread as Iran, Italy, and Japan.

In January, the Washington Times reported that Wuhan is home to China’s most advanced virus research laboratory, the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The New York Post reported Saturday that Chinese Maj. Gen. Chen Wei, the country’s top expert in biological warfare, was sent to Wuhan last month to deal with the crisis.

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More than 2,000 people have died, and over 75,000 have been infected since the outbreak began earlier this year. However, it is difficult to ascertain the full size and scope of the illness.

Cotton has noted on several occasions that Wuhan contains the only biosafety level 4 superlaboratory in China that deals with serious infectious diseases. The Arkansas senator has led calls to ban travel with China and on Friday told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham the country’s leaders were “lying to the world.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda rag finally admits what I’ve said for a month: coronavirus didn’t start in Wuhan food market. So where did it originate? Time for answers from CCP,” Cotton tweeted late on Saturday.

China has been accused of silencing dissenting voices after a whistleblower was punished for warning about the outbreak before catching the illness himself and dying in Wuhan. Videos circulated on social media show scenes of convulsing patients and people being tended to by doctors wearing hazmat suits.

Healthcare