Monkeypox is not understood to travel easily between humans. There has been a lot of speculation regarding it’s origins and one of the more prevalent ones is the origin of monkeypox according to China.
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In the wake of the monkeypox outbreak, Chinese state media and social media influencers have alleged that the virus originated in a U.S. facility. They have also claimed that monkeypox will be the next pandemic, despite European and American scientists stating that the risk of a pandemic is extremely low due to the close contact required to spread the virus.
Patients are currently infected with a natural monkeypox virus with no ties to a laboratory, according to the researchers.
On May 23, the state-run Hubei Daily Group’s “Jimu News” published an article indicating that escaped monkeys from a truck engaged in a traffic accident in Pennsylvania on Jan. 21 have something to do with the current monkeypox outbreak in the United States and Europe.
The four monkeys who fled from the truck’s load of 100 were recovered the next day.
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On May 18, the first verified case of monkeypox in the United States was discovered in Massachusetts. After returning to the United States from Canada, the patient was diagnosed. Since then, cases have been reported in New York City, Florida, and Utah.
Meanwhile, pro-communist Chinese social media influencers have echoed official state media allegations.
On May 20, a blogger known as “Guyan Muchan” shared a few images of a document claiming to be a “monkeypox biochemical pandemic plan leaked by the United States” on Chinese social media Weibo, hinting that the US government was conscious of the breakout ahead of time.
On Weibo, “Guyan Muchan” has 6.41 million followers, and the post has been liked by over 7,500 people and has garnered over 660 responses. Somebody even remarked, prompted by this post, that the United States is “evil beyond human imagination.”
The document was taken from a 2021 research report by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which described a hypothetical biohazard situation. The document can be viewed on the company’s website.
“Pandemic preparedness scenarios and symposiums are not proof that pandemics are planned, nor are these scenarios a new occurrence,” according to major global news organizations such as Reuters and Bloomberg.
Following the debunking of the bogus allegation, “Guyan Muchan” proceeded to circulate similar accusations accusing the United States for the spread of monkeypox.
“Sweet Potato Bear Lao Liu,” a self-described “patriotic” cartoonist, similarly claimed that the transmission of the monkeypox virus was linked to a U.S. facility. He claimed on his Weibo account on May 21 that the US may have tweaked and improved the monkeypox virus to create a more virulent and transmissible form, resulting in the next pandemic.
Zhao Shengye, an internet technology blogger, also claimed on his Weibo account that after studying the monkeypox virus that spread over Europe and the United States, he thinks the possibility of monkeypox being manufactured in a lab through virus gain-of-function research is higher than 99.9%. Zhao has a Weibo following of 4 million people.
On May 23, NetEase News, a prominent mainland Chinese news portal, released a story titled “Is the Monkeypox Virus Man-made? The United States wrote the data on the outbreak of monkeypox last year, which is terrible .” According to the article, monkeypox contains more than 50 mutations, which is more than the mutation rate of the COVID-19. It went on to say that no viral evolution in nature would have such a high rate of mutation.
International scientists have denied such assertions.
The assertions are false, according to David Robertson, head of viral genomes and bioinformatics at the University of Glasgow, who told Newsweek that “there’s no evidence for monkeypox being generated in a lab.”
“All indications are that the monkeypox outbreak involves a natural monkeypox virus,” said Richard Ebright, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
The risk of a monkeypox pandemic, according to Daniel Bausch, an infectious disease specialist and president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, is exceedingly minimal, as per Axios.
“I don’t think there’s a reason for panic, I don’t think we’re going to have tens of thousands of cases,” he said of the virus.
Monkeypox is not understood to travel easily between humans, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and requires close contact with bodily fluids, lesion fluids, or prolonged face-to-face contact.