In a bizarre twist in the ongoing the quest for accurate information about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swiss embassy in China has declared that a biologist cited by Chinese media who supposedly hailed from Switzerland likely does not even exist, according to The Telegraph.
In a detailed Twitter post, the embassy also urged Chinese media outlets that had referenced so-called Swiss biologist “Wilson Edwards” to retract and remove posts and articles that mentioned him and therefore contain “false” news, as the BBC noted.
Looking for Wilson Edwards, alleged 🇨🇭 biologist, cited in press and social media in China over the last several days. If you exist, we would like to meet you! But it is more likely that this is a fake news, and we call on the Chinese press and netizens to take down the posts. pic.twitter.com/U6ku5EGibm
— Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing (@SwissEmbChina) August 10, 2021
One example in which the identity “Wilson Edwards” was used by a Chinese media outlet in the coronavirus context was found in the China Daily, which posted, “[Wilson Edwards] said on his Facebook account: ‘As a biologist, I’ve witnessed in consternation over the past months how the origin-tracing of COVID-19 was politicized.’”
Shanghai Daily, via its Shine digital platform, reported, “A European biologist has come to the fore with a startling claim that a World Health Organization (WHO) advisory group on tracing the origins of pathogens including the virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, would become a ‘political tool,’” as the BBC further noted.
The scientist supposedly known as Wilson Edwards was further said to have opined that “the U.S. is so obsessed with attacking China on the origin-tracing issue that it is reluctant to open its eyes to the data and findings.”
According to the Swiss embassy, there is simply no record of registration of a Swiss citizen going by the name Wilson Edwards, and no academic papers have been published under that moniker. Furthermore, the Facebook page referenced in the Chinese media mentions of the supposed biologist dated back just two weeks prior to the citations and boasted a mere three friends.
The Swiss diplomatic installation noted that it was going on the assumption that the articles in which “Wilson Edwards” was used as a source were disseminated in good faith and was simply asking that those who publicized or amplified them take steps to issue corrections.
That overly charitable view, however, may not be so readily accepted by those who have spent the last 17 months both frustrated and infuriated by the deception and obfuscation emanating from China on all things COVID-19 and the seeming unwillingness of leaders in our own country to press harder for the answers every American deserves about the origins of this scourge.