Fact-check: US discovers man who manufactured and sold coronavirus to China?

Fact-check: US discovers man who manufactured and sold coronavirus to China?

Fact-check: US discovers man who manufactured and sold coronavirus to China?

Claim: USA discovers the man who manufactured and sold coronavirus to China

Source: Unknown

Verdict: False

Researched by Rabiu Alhassan

A video clip by U.S. Television station, WCVB virtual channel 5, is being shared on messaging platform WhatsApp as proof that the USA has allegedly arrested “the man who manufactured and sold the coronavirus to China.”

The clip that comes with an introductory text further alleges that:” Dr Charles Lieber, head of the Chemistry and biology department at Harvard University,” was the culprit.

The 1-minute, 48-second long video starts with an announcement by US Attorney, Andrew Lelling that there are “three (3) separate cases highlighting the ongoing threat posed by Chinese economic espionage and research theft in the United State.”

GhanaFact upon an alert via WhatsApp, secured a copy of the video and text, and used Invid video verification application and google reverse image search- digital tools to authenticate the reliability of the video content being spread on social media.

Fact-check

GhanaFact uploaded the video onto the Invid digital tool, generated the keyframes in the video and subsequently used google reverse image search to search by image and find similar pictures online.

Our search showed the story had nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic.

The video is part of a news report filed by Journalist, Nichole Berlie for U.S. Television station, WCVB virtual channel 5.

The video clip shows US Federal prosecutors charging a Harvard scientist, Dr Charles Lieber and two Chinese nationals for allegedly hiding their ties to Chinese research entities and the Chinese government.

Charles Lieber, the chair of Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology is alleged to have lied about his contact with the Chinese program known as the Thousand Talents Plan, which the U.S. has labelled a serious intelligence concern.

He allegedly agreed to do research, write articles and apply for patents on behalf of Chinese school for US$50,000 per month and US$150,000 in living expenses

Two days after his arrest, Charles Lieber appeared in Boston’s federal court on January 30 where a judge ruled, he posts a US$1 million cash bond.

Conclusion

The claim that the USA has discovered the man who manufactured and sold coronavirus to China is False. Also, the depiction of the news report by Journalist, Nichole Berlie is misleading.