'Coronavirus made in lab to wage 'biological warfare': Brazilian President's dig at China over COVID-19
Brasilia, May 08: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has kicked up another controversy by claiming that COVID-19 was created as part of "biological warfare," in a veiled reference to China.
His latest comments likely to strain between the two countries, as Bolsonaro floated conspiracy theory regarding the origin of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.
"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 news agency 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?"
The Brazilian President reportedly did not mention China but his inner circle have a history of irking China.
Brazil's former foreign minister Ernesto Araujo was replaced after he criticised "Maoist China" and its aim for "world domination".
Leaders like Donald Trump and Bolsonaro have backed the theory that the virus originated in a lab in China's Wuhan, the virus's first epicentre.
However, a joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 concluded that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is "extremely unlikely."