UK media is reporting that a China-linked network of social media accounts is claiming that Covid-19 could have been imported to China from the United States through a batch of Maine lobsters shipped to a seafood market in Wuhan. According to a report in The Independent:
October 22, 2021 A disinformation researcher has uncovered a network of accounts making the claim that Covid-19 could have been imported to China from the United States through a batch of Maine lobsters shipped to a seafood market in Wuhan in November 2019. In mid-September, Zha Liyou, the Chinese consul general in Kolkata, India, also tweeted the theory, one of many shared by pro-China accounts since the start of the Covid outbreak. Marcel Schliebs, a disinformation researcher at the University of Oxford, said he found more than 550 Twitter accounts spreading a nearly identical message translated into multiple languages and posted each morning by China Standard Time, reports NBC News. “Attribution is really difficult,” said Mr Schliebs, adding: “But we can see there’s a coordinated effort, and that it’s a pro-Chinese narrative.” Chinese media outlets have repeatedly suggested that Covid may have originated from frozen-food imports.
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The report notes that this is the third or fourth redirection effort Chinese officials have made to blame the Covid outbreak on the US. We have extensively covered China’s various attempts to spread Covid-19 conspiracy theories.