Russian Defense Ministry: Spread of COVID-19 Pandemic Suggests Could Have Been Created by US
12:42 GMT 04.08.2022 (Updated: 13:30 GMT 04.08.2022)
© AFP 2022 / WATHIQ KHUZAIEDenise Herbol (C-R), deputy director of the United States Agency for International Development – Iraq (USAID), and Rear Adm. Gregory Smith (L), director of the Multi-National Force-Iraq's Communications Division hold a joint press conference at the heavily fortified Green Zone area in Baghdad, 13 January 2008
The World Health Organization's probe into the origins of the disease that sent countries across the globe into lockdowns returned inconclusive results. The US, in turn, attempted to pin the responsibility for the pandemic on China, but later admitted to having no concrete evidence to back up the claim.
The Russian Defense Ministry has stated that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) could have been involved in the creation of the COVID-19 pathogen and orchestrating the pandemic given the agency's research and the nature of the disease's spread.
The ministry pointed out that USAID had been funding the 'Predict' program focused on studying new coronaviruses, including in bats, but closed it right ahead of the pandemic's start.
"The implementation of the COVID-19 development scenario and USAID's emergency termination of the Predict program in 2019 suggest the deliberate nature of the pandemic and US involvement in its outbreak," Kirillov said.
The ministry also recalled 'Event-201' drills conducted at the Johns Hopkins University in the US in 2019. The drills were dedicated to a course of action in case of a hypothetic pandemic of a previously unknown coronavirus.
The Defense Ministry further recalled the May 2022 Lancet Journal article from expert Jeffrey Sachs, which stated that the COVID-19 pathogen was man-made and "highly likely" to have been manufactured with the use of US bioengineering research. The medical expert cited the virus genome's high volatility, untypically high rate of emergence of new variants, gaps in lethality and capability to infect, as well as its uneven spread, as the red flags potentially indicating foul play.
29 October 2021, 18:45 GMT
The arguments about the origin of the COVID-19 pathogen have been raging since 2020, with China and the US accusing each other of bioengineering and releasing the virus, either deliberately or accidentally. US President Joe Biden ordered the country's intelligence agencies to draw up a final report on the issue, but they failed to come to a consensus, with most agencies admitting that they had insufficient evidence to implicate Beijing of starting the pandemic.