Michael Flynn, ex-Trump official, boosts theory alleging China created COVID-19; experts disagree

Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, touted a report Wednesday that alleges the Chinese government created COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Flynn shared an article on Twitter about an interview that aired the night before on Fox News in which Chinese virologist Dr. Li-Meng Yan called COVID-19 a “man-made virus created in the lab.”

“When something is so vital to America’s survival…’Everyone needs to know the truth,’ ” Flynn said in the tweet. “China has no other intention than to be THE single global super power.”

Prominent scientists in the U.S. and elsewhere have assessed that COVID-19 originated naturally in wildlife and was not created in a lab as alleged in the article Flynn shared on social media.

“We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” a group of more than two dozen public health scientists said in February.

Indeed, the U.S. intelligence community which Flynn was previously a part of has said it “concurs with the scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.”

Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, left the Trump administration within weeks of the president taking office. He later pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.

The virologist who alleged China manufactured COVID-19 made the claim during an interview conducted by Fox News host and conservative commentator Tucker Carlson.

“You’re saying that the Chinese government manufactured this virus, if I’m hearing you correctly,” Mr. Carlson said during the interview.

“Yes, exactly,” his guest responded.

Flynn’s tweet promoting the article about the interview was shared on Twitter, or retweeted, more than 13,000 times within four hours Wednesday morning.

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