Several primitive but jaw dropping mistakes in the US GOP report on COVID-19 origins, which were widely cited by major US media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, could be the "tip of the iceberg" in the US made-up evidence in framing China on the virus origins-tracing issue, with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) as their major target.
A recent opinion article published by the Wall Street Journal echoing the lab leak conspiracy theory questioned why a new ventilation system at the WIV cost as much as $606 million. Also, the Washington Post cited an archived version of a contract competition for a new $1.3 million "Security Service Procurement Project" issued by the WIV in September 2019.
Puzzled by how an air conditioning system could cost $606 million in the WSJ report, Wang Zichen, a reporter from the Xinhua News Agency, traced where the number came from and found out that the figure was from the GOP virus origins report released in August.
Surprisingly, the report, touted as a preponderance of evidence by the US Republican Party to prove that the novel coronavirus leaked from the WIV, is found full of mistakes.
For example, the original archive in Chinese said the budget for the security project was 830,000 yuan (0.83 million yuan); however, the GOP report said the amount was $1.3 million, which equals about 8.3 million yuan – exaggerated 10 times of the actual amount.
The budget for the air conditioning system was 3.9268764 million yuan, or about 3.93 million yuan, according to the Chinese archive. But the GOP report said the amount was over $606 million, which equals about 3.93 billion yuan – 1,000 times bigger than the actual amount. Such incredibly wrong figures were then cited by major US media like the WSJ and the WP in the reports that echo the virus lab leak theory.
After the revelation of such mistakes, netizens asked whether US officials are incompetent in math or used Google Translate to translate the original archive from Chinese.
Wang also found several other mistakes concerning numbers in the report. And another netizen with the name "Darin Friedrichs" on Twitter said that the report got the numbers in Chinese all wrong "because they don't know Chinese or how to use Google Translate."
While the WSJ and the WP made the correction later, such mistakes in the US report show how credible the upcoming 90-day virus origins intelligence report ordered by the Biden administration could be, observers said.
US intelligence agencies have notorious records. And their so-called origins-tracing report is not based on facts but uses made-up "evidences" to frame China, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.