Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday she believed the study was evidence of coordinated efforts in the US to “deliberately create and disseminate disinformation against China.”
“Some US politicians and media acted like they found buried treasure and wantonly spread (the study), treating it like new proof that China concealed the epidemic,” Hua told reporters at a regular briefing.
According to China’s official chronology of the pandemic, the first cases of COVID-19 were spotted by doctors in Wuhan in December and they shared the genome sequence with the World Health Organization (WHO) in early January.
Imperial College London, in collaboration with the WHO, has also traced the virus’ family tree, estimating that it appeared in China around December 5.
Governments — including the US and Australia — have called in recent months for an investigation into the COVID-19’s origins, with President Donald Trump repeatedly pushing the conspiracy theory that the virus originated at a Chinese laboratory.
On Wednesday Trump tweeted a Fox News video segment about the Harvard study without any additional comment.