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Cyber attacks fail to cover up truth about Fort Detrick

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-07-27 15:00
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Illustration by Cai Meng / China Daily

The server hosting an online petition by Chinese netizens calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate Fort Detrick lab came under cyber attacks from IP addresses in the United States. Such acts will not clear up suspicions and fail to cover up truth about Fort Detrick.

For some time, there have been mounting rational voices from the international community, criticizing the U.S. politicizing the virus origin-tracing and urging an investigation of the Fort Detrick bio lab.

Some Chinese netizens wrote an open letter to the WHO and later a petition was initiated to garner signatures from netizens. According to a report by Global Times, when the signatures to the petition were approaching 10 million, the petition came under cyber attacks from IP addresses in the United States.

It remains a mystery whether the closure of the biochemical research base at Fort Detrick, which stores the most deadly and infectious viruses including Ebola and SARS, has any connection with the pandemic and when the first infection occurred in the United States.

In June and July 2019, U.S. media started to report issues involving Fort Detrick. By the end of July, two retirement communities near the base witnessed outbreaks of pneumonia of unknown cause. In September, vaping-related lung illness cases doubled in Maryland where Fort Detrick is located.

In July 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a "cease and desist order" to halt most research at Fort Detrick. In the same month, there were reports on the unexplained outbreak of respiratory disease in northern Virginia, and the outbreak of the EVALI -- a pulmonary illness with symptoms highly similar to COVID-19 -- which swept through several U.S. states.

Despite facing mounting doubts, the United States has continued to refuse to release critical information regarding the base's closure under the pretext of "national security."

So China and other members of the international community have every reason to doubt Fort Detrick and call on the WHO to investigate Fort Detrick lab for origin-tracing of the novel coronavirus. Signing the petition, an action fighting for truth and justice, is a sacred right of Chinese netizens.

In fact, the United States is the largest source of cyber attacks targeting China. Data shows that in 2020, Chinese institutions captured 42 million malicious program samples. Of those originating overseas, 53 percent are from the United States. If there is a ranking of hacking states, nobody other than Uncle Sam can claim the top spot.

In this case, cyber attacks will lead to nowhere and only expose Uncle Sam's failure to clear up doubts about Fort Detrick. The United States should adopt a transparent and responsible attitude and invite WHO experts to investigate Fort Detrick lab for coronavirus origin tracing as soon as possible. It must do so to show the truth to the world.

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