In a new attack on China, President Jair Bolsonaro suggested on Wednesday (5) that the Asian country benefited economically from the pandemic and said that Covid might have been created in a laboratory—echoing a thesis that cannot be supported by a WHO investigation into the possible origins of the virus.
"It is a new virus, nobody knows if it was born in the laboratory or by some human being [who] ingested an inappropriate animal. But it is there. The military knows that it is chemical, bacteriological, and radiological warfare. Are we not facing a new war?" said the president at an event at the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia. "Which country has grown its GDP the most? I will not tell you."
Ben Embarek, who leads a World Health Organization research team on the origins of the coronavirus, has already stated that the hypothesis that the virus "leaked" from a laboratory is "extremely unlikely." Chinese authorities also refute the version. In fact, it is believed that the coronavirus was transmitted directly from a wild animal to a human or that the pathogen first circulated among an intermediate species before infecting a human.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon