The panel on “The Five” responded Friday to a Chinese government official who took to Twitter to question whether the U.S. Army “brought the epidemic [of the coronavirus] to Wuhan.”
Lijian Zhao, whose Twitter profile identifies him as the “spokesperson and deputy director-general” of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s information department, posted a clip of Rep. Harley Rouda, D-Calif., and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield talking about the virus.
“CDC was caught on the spot,” Zhao claims. “When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe[s] us an explanation!”
“The Five” host Jesse Watters called the claim a “bogus conspiracy theory.”
He said the U.S. State Department summoned the Chinese ambassador after Zhao’s comments went public.
“[State] gave him a little tongue lashing about some of these things that have come out of the country’s foreign ministry about America starting the virus in Wuhan,” Watters said.
Panelist Shannon Bream called the claim “cuckoo,” adding that another concern of hers is threats from Beijing on the Sino-American supply chain as the virus intensifies.
With much of the components of American pharmaceuticals being made in China, the nation has become dependent on their output, the panel said.
“The fact that they are now openly threatening us like we can shut this down and you would be in the stew of the Wuhan virus as they are calling it. I think China has got to settle,” Bream said.
Watters praised Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for taking a strong stand against that idea during a Senate hearing.
“We are dangerously reliant particularly on China for the production of critical goods. That includes goods that I have already outlined that are needed to fight the coronavirus. And I think we rely on far more goods than we know,” Rubio said.
Juan Williams agreed with Watters that Rubio’s point is very important.