As China rejected the World Health Organization's (WHO) plan for the second phase of an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, it has demanded to investigate the Fort Detrick Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. The social media platforms in China have gone abuzz with the demand of investigating the role of Fort Detrick Institute for the possible origin of novel coronavirus.

The emphasis on Fort Detrick is a counterpoint to the theory that the Covid-19 outbreak was triggered by a virus escape or accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, one of the world's premier research facilities investigating bat coronaviruses, the same disease family that caused Covid-19.

Wuhan institute of virology

China at the center allegations

When the Covid-19 disease, caused by the Sars-CoV-2 virus, first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan towards the end of 2019, the general consensus was that it had migrated from animals, similar to its progenitor in the coronavirus family, Sars, in 2003.

Now, as a rising number of scientists and politicians push for a more thorough independent investigation into Covid-19's origins, including the Wuhan lab leak idea, China contends that Fort Detrick should be included in that study.

corona virus

Fort Detrick Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

Fort Detrick was the home of the United States' bioweapons program from 1943 to 1969 when it was shut down. The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the country's biodefense department, is presently housed on the US Army base. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shut down Fort Detrick's BSL-4, or maximum security, facility in August 2019 for safety violations connected to the disposal of dangerous items. It was reopened in April 2020, but in China's strictly regulated domestic information environment, the closure became fodder for the mill.