Conspiracy theories that the United States let Monkey Cups swirl loose in China
Conspiracy theories that the United States let Monkey Cups swirl loose in China

Conspiracy theories that the United States let Monkey Cups swirl loose in China

The rare cousin of the smallpox virus is traditionally confined to regions of Africa.

Chinese social media users speculate that the United States may be the source of monkeypox infections, which are now reported in at least a dozen countries, including Britain, Spain and Australia.

The virus infection has been highlighted as a popular topic on the popular social media platform Weibo for the past three days with a hashtag on the US reporting two suspected monkey pox attracting more than 51 million views as of Monday.

While Chinese state media have refrained from accusing the United States of deliberately spreading monkey pox – an accusation it made about Covid-19 – many social media users have not held back.

A 2021 report on biosafety planning from a U.S. non-governmental organization, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which included a scenario with a monkey pox pandemic, has been taken out of context to suggest the U.S. government knew the outbreak was on its way.

Nationalist influencer Shu Chang, who has 6.41 million Weibo supporters, deliberately misunderstood the report, saying it showed “a plan by the United States to leak bioconstructed monkey pox virus.”

The post was liked by more than 7,500 users and received more than 660 comments, many of them agreeing with her. One said the United States was “evil beyond the imagination of mankind.”

Posts that push this conspiracy theory have been liked tens of thousands of times on Weibo.

The rare and potentially deadly cousin of the smallpox virus is traditionally confined to regions of Africa, but health authorities are concerned about its recent wider spread in Europe, North America and elsewhere. No cases have been found in China.

Health misinformation has been widespread in China and the United States during the Covid pandemic. The two countries had engaged in a quarrel over the origin of the virus. Beijing made unfounded allegations that the United States constructed the virus on a military base, while some US media questioned whether the virus might have leaked from a research facility in Wuhan, the city where Covid was first discovered.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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