Did Russia just prove that the COVID-19 virus was created in US biolabs in Ukraine?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : COVID-19 Virus Was Created By US Biolabs In Ukraine!
People are sharing this message on WhatsApp, claiming that Russia has proven that the COVID-19 virus was created by US biolabs in Ukraine!
It’s rather long, and we removed the links, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!
Truth : COVID-19 Virus Was NOT Created By US Biolabs In Ukraine!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and promoted by pro-Russian and pro-CCP netizens, including the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛).
It is really a hodgepodge of different false claims that try to shift the blame for the COVID-19 virus from China to the United States, while offering Russia a “legitimate reason” to invade Ukraine.
Fact #1 : UN Members Did Not Call For Investigation
On 11 March 2022, Russia accused the US and Ukraine of plotting to use migratory birds, bats and insects to spread pathogens across Europe.
The Russian permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, however, provided no actual evidence to back up those claims.
The fake news falsely claimed that China, Brazil, Mexico and India called for an immediate investigation. Only China called for “clarification” by the US and Ukraine, in an attempt to support Russia’s claims.
The UN High Representative for Disarmament, Izumi Nakamitsu said that the United Nations was “not aware of any biological weapons programme” in Ukraine.
The UN Security Council certainly did not call for any investigation. In fact, many UN members publicly said that they are worried that this was merely a pretext for Russia to use its own biological / chemical weapons.
Fact #2 : US Does Not Have Biological Labs In Ukraine
Igor Kirillov, the Chief of the Russian Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Protection Force, claimed that the US has 30 biological weapons laboratories in Ukraine.
The truth is – they are Ukrainian biological laboratories, some of which receive financial and other support from the US, the European Union and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This is not unique to Ukraine – biological labs in many countries receive similar support from the US, EU and the WHO.
Fact #3 : Biological Labs Are Essential To All Countries
Biological labs do not conduct biological warfare research, because that is banned in 183 countries under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).
Instead, they are on the forefront of a country’s biosecurity defences, and are absolutely essential in developing tests and cures (including vaccines) for new and emerging diseases, like the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
In fact, both Russia and China have a number of biological labs, including the famous Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is located right at the epicentre of the first COVID-19 outbreak.
It would be hypocritical (and intentionally?) misleading for both Russia and China to demonise biological labs. After all, they are ESSENTIAL to every country’s national security, including their own.
Fact #4 : Biological Threat Reduction Program Is Designed To Reduce Threats
Igor Kirillov’s “evidence” of US biological warfare program in Ukraine centred around the “Biological Threat Reduction” program.
Just in case the name isn’t descriptive enough, the Biological Threat Reduction Program is a US Department of Defense initiative to counter the threat of infectious diseases, whether they are deliberate, accidental or natural.
In other words, the bioweapon programme that Kirillov was ranting about is designed to identify and prevent or mitigate threats from biological weapons, as well as natural diseases.
I should also point out that whatever Kirillov mentioned was already publicly stated on the US Embassy in Ukraine’s website.
Fact #5 : US Biological Threat Reduction Program Started In Russia
The US Biological Threat Reduction Program actually started in Russia in 1998.
Russia was the program’s original partner country, and the Program spent the first ten years working with former Soviet Union partner countries.
The Russians are fully aware of what the US Biological Threat Reduction Program is all about, so their claims are outright, shameless lies.
This is even more egregious when they personally benefited from the Program for so many years, at the US government’s expense.
Fact #6 : WHO Warned Ukraine About Risk From Russian Bombing
All biological labs have to work with pathogens, which are by nature, dangerous. That is their purpose. A biological lab without pathogens would be like an airport without airplanes.
It is only logical for the WHO to remind Ukraine that they should destroy their samples of pathogens at their biological labs, after Russia invaded them.
Russian bombing could inadvertently or intentionally “free” those pathogens from their laboratory storage facilities, and disperse them into the nearby area.
Not only would that be dangerous for the nearby population, it could serve as a pretext for Russia to use its own biological or chemical weapons to “retaliate”.
Fact #7 : COVID-19 Pandemic Originated In China
But the truth is – the COVID-19 virus originated in Wuhan, China. The first cases were reported there, not in the United States or in Ukraine.
Genomic analysis of COVID-19 variants also prove that SARS-CoV-2 did indeed originate in China.
This does not mean China should be blamed for COVID-19. It only means that it is wrong for the Chinese to repeatedly blame other countries for the virus.
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