Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced on Wednesday that the novel COVID-19 may have been created to wage “biological warfare” in a veiled reference to China.
The remarks became even sharper when Bolsonaro talked about the country whose GDP has “grown the most,” suggesting towards China, the only country among the G20 nations whose economy increased last year with a 2.3% expansion.
“It’s a new virus. Nobody knows whether it was born in a laboratory or because a human ate some animal they shouldn’t have,” Bolsonaro was quoted as saying by AFP.
“But the military knows all about chemical, biological and radiological warfare. Could we be fighting a new war? I wonder. Which country’s GDP has grown the most?”
In the past also, Bolsonaro and his close aides had slammed China, which has strained relations with Brazil’s biggest trading partner.
Supporters of right-wing leaders like Brazilian President Bolsonaro and former U.S. President Donald Trump have backed the theory that the coronavirus originated in a lab in China’s Wuhan, the virus’s first epicenter.
Nonetheless, World Health Organization (WHO) in its March report concluded that it’s “extremely unlikely” that COVID-19 originated in a lab.