No, this isn't satire.
Remember the virology lab in Wuhan, China? The on that's widely believed to be ground zero for the pandemic?
China thinks they deserve a Nobel Prize.
Chinese state-run media last week eagerly amplified the foreign ministry's call for the Wuhan Institute of Virology to receive a Nobel Prize even as it faces mounting scrutiny as the potential origin of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Shi Zhengli, known as the "Bat Lady" virologist in China, angrily denied her lab was the source of the virus in an interview with the New York Times last week. The newspaper, one of many outlets to decry the lab-leak hypothesis as a crackpot fringe theory last year, noted "China’s habitual secrecy makes her claims hard to validate."
Seizing on the interview, the Chinese state media outlet Global Times reached out to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhao Lijiang to comment on Shi's response and reported she "said Chinese scientists in Wuhan were the earliest to discover the gene sequence of novel coronavirus but it does not mean that Wuhan was the source of coronavirus."
"If the first publication of a high quality virus sequence is blamed for the source of the novel coronavirus, then Professor Luc Antoine Montagnier, who first discovered HIV, should be the cause of the global AIDS pandemic, not the winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine," Zhao said.
The Global Times also said the lab-leak theory was "slander," and critics said the Chinese government's attitude was telling.
"Snark aside, the fact that the Chinese government insists the Wuhan Institute of Virology deserves celebration is another indicator that it intends to change nothing in the aftermath of the pandemic," National Review's Jim Geraghty wrote.
HotAir writer Jazz Shaw said he first thought the report was a "bad joke."
"The ongoing research into the original source of the virus has made it so obvious that the original explanation was flawed that even the NIH, the WHO, and Dr. Fauci have been forced to admit that the laboratory origin theory is at least worth studying. Add to that the fact that no one has yet found a single bat carrying a virus that’s a match for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. China’s protestations in this matter are looking increasingly pathetic," he wrote.
Here's a link to the Chinese state propaganda piece where the sentiment first began.
This general view shows the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province on February 3, 2021, as members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus, visit. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)