China's state-owned broadcaster CCTV attacked Monday's "insane and evasive remarks" by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the causes of the coronavirus pandemic, further exacerbating tensions between China and the United States.
Pompeo said on Sunday that "tremendous evidence" showed the virus came from a laboratory in China and doubled over previous claims that have been repeatedly contested by the World Health Organization and various scientific experts.
The theory has been fueled by the Trump administration, which has increasingly criticized China's handling of the outbreak that first occurred in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of last year.
Since then, the virus has killed more than 247,000 people and 3.5 million have been infected worldwide.
Under the title "Evil Pompeo Willfully Spits Out Poison and Spreads Lies," the sharp commentary quoted WHO Executive Director Mike Ryan and Columbia University virologist W. Ian Lipkin, who claimed the virus was natural and not from Humans caused or leaked from a laboratory.
"These erroneous and unreasonable statements by American politicians are making more and more people realize that there is no" evidence "," the comment said.
"The so-called & # 39; virus that has emerged from a Wuhan laboratory hype & # 39; is a complete lie. American politicians are rushing to shift the blame, cheat voices and suppress China if their own efforts to Tackling the domestic epidemic are a mess. "
Two other comments released Monday by the state’s People’s Daily newspaper attacked Pompeo and former White House strategist Steve Bannon as a “couple of lying clowns” and blew up Bannon as a “living Cold War fossil ".
Bannon said on a far-right US talk show last week that China had committed a "biological Chernobyl" against America and supported the theory that the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and reiterated the White House's recent rhetoric.
Over the past week, CCTV has repeatedly described Pompeo as "the common enemy of humanity" and accused him of "spreading a political virus" for repeatedly claiming that the pandemic was caused by a laboratory.
China and the United States have repeatedly exchanged barbs for the origins of the virus in an escalating word war after State Department spokesman Zhao Lijian argued in March that the U.S. military may have brought the virus to China, according to conspiracy theory.
Since then, the two superpowers have accused each other of spreading misinformation because US President Donald Trump has also attacked China for its alleged lack of transparency.
Trump claimed last week that he had evidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the source, and seemed to repeat speculation fueled by right-wing U.S. radio commentators about a secret laboratory.
Trump has hired US spies to find out more about the origins of the virus, according to US news reports, since it makes China's pandemic response a key part of its November presidential campaign.
Most scientists believe the virus jumped from animal to human after it was created in China, possibly from a market in Wuhan that sells exotic animals for meat.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)