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Overwhelming majority of Americans hold Chinese government responsible for coronavirus

Andrew Kerr on April 8, 2020

A bipartisan consensus has emerged among Americans of all political stripes regarding the Chinese government’s culpability for the spread of coronavirus.

Some 90% of Republicans, 67% of Democrats and 75% of independents believe the Chinese government is responsible for the spread of the virus, according to a new Harris tracking poll of 1,993 American adults surveyed between April 3 and April 5.

“It’s as much of a consensus issue as you can get in today’s divided world,” Harris Poll chairman Mark Penn told The Washington Post.

“Overall, there’s very little trust for anything that the Chinese government says or does, especially its premier. Xi Jinping has less than half the credibility of President Trump in this poll.”

The poll shows that Americans are still split on President Donald Trump’s characterization of the outbreak as the “Chinese Virus,” however.

While 81% of surveyed Republicans agree with the president’s characterization, some 70% of Democrats and 54% of independents disagree with Trump’s portrayal.

An estimated 430,000 people from China were able to travel to the United States after Chinese officials disclosed the existence of the deadly virus in January.

Some virologists have questioned whether the virus could have been unleashed due to a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was studying bat-based SARS-like viruses prior to the outbreak in the city.

Richard H. Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that he believes there’s a real possibility that the virus could have entered the human population due to an accident from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Ebright says the possibility of a lab accident “cannot-and should not-be dismissed.”

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