Jiangsu Provincial People's Hospital medical team performs ECMO operation on a COVID-19 patient in Wuhan First Hospital on March 3. (Photo: Global Times)
China on Thursday rebuked the Henry Jackson Society, saying that the video that the British think tank claimed to uncover from inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) which adds more evidence to allegations of the lab not observing essential bio-security actually comes from a science documentary.
Matthew Henderson, director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society, said that this video adds more evidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology - which was handling lethal new coronavirus strains - was not observing basic bio-security, media reported.
"Given what we now know about lax bio-security standards, it is at the very least plausible that human error at a virology lab contributed to the spread of the pandemic," Henderson said.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at Thursday's routine press conference that the society's attitude toward China has always been the voice and imagination of extreme anti-China forces. "As for media reports, we have conducted some investigation."
The video comes from the fourth episode of a popular science documentary, Wild Youth, and the people involved are not from the Wuhan lab, Hua said.
It does not involve any staff member from the Wuhan lab nor their scientific research activities. The information in the video has never been posted on the lab's official website, Hua stressed.
There were also photos in media reports, which turned out to be taken in the summer of 2007 in South China's Hainan Province, Hua added.
"We're not new to this kind of graft. We have seen it on issues related to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Do we have more effective ways to deal with these kinds of lies? Can we sue them?" asked Hua.
Claims that the novel coronavirus came from China's National Bio-safety Laboratory at the WIV were groundless and contradicted all available evidence, said lab director Yuan Zhiming in a recent interview with Reuters.
Yuan said "malicious" claims about the lab had been "pulled out of thin air." "The WIV does not have the intention and ability to design and construct a new coronavirus," and "there is no information within the SARS-CoV-2 genome indicating it was man-made," he told Reuters.
Yuan also rejected theories that the lab had accidentally released a coronavirus it had harvested from bats for research purposes, saying the lab's bio-security procedures were strictly enforced.
"High-level bio-safety labs have sophisticated protective facilities and strict measures to ensure the safety of laboratory staff and protect the environment from contamination," he said.