The GOP senator has spread misinformation and panic in a weeks-long meltdown over the disease. 这位共和党议员在过去一周散播谣言、制造恐慌。
Cotton suggested the coronavirus could have come from a Chinese “super laboratory that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens,” boosting a debunked fringe theory circulating among tabloids and conservative media outlets.
Despite little public evidence, the theory has spread widely on social media, to conspiracy theory websites and in some international news outlets. 尽管尚无公开证据，但类似于《华盛顿时报》传播的这种谣言，现在在社交媒体上和阴谋论网站上到处都是。
“All signs point to a pathogen that has been circulating in animals and jumped to humans. It’s pretty common for these viruses and there’s no good reason for him to be saying something like that.” “所有迹象都指向一种病原体，该病原体已在动物体内传播并且传染给了人类。这样的传播方式对此类病毒而言很常见，他没有任何理由可以这样说。”
“Based on the virus genome and properties there is no indication whatsoever that it was an engineered virus,” said Richard Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University.
“The vast majority of new, nasty diseases … come from nature,” he said.
Milton Leitenberg and other analysts around the world had discussed the possibility that weapons development at the Wuhan lab could have led to the coronavirus outbreak in a private email chain but that no one had found convincing evidence to support the theory.
Hypothetically, a bioweapon would be designed to be highly targeted in its effects, whereas since its outbreak the coronavirus is already on track to become widespread in China and worldwide,” she said.
…a good bioweapon “in theory has high lethality but low, not [high], communicability” and that spreading such ideas would be “incredibly irresponsible”.
… many infectious disease experts have urged patience while they assess the true dangers of the outbreak and cautioned against the kind of fearmongering that Cotton has embraced.
The outbreak has resulted in massive amounts of disinformation, viral social media falsehoods and online grifters attempting to cash in on the virus. Some conspiracy theorists have even promoted drinking dangerous bleach as a cure. 疫情暴发衍生了大量虚假信息，社交媒体疯狂转发虚假报道，网络诈骗人员企图利用疫情获利，一些阴谋论者甚至提倡饮用危险的漂白剂作为治疗药物。
The virus has also led to anti-Chinese sentiment in numerous countries, prompting local officials and community organizations to denounce surging racism against Chinese communities.
“Misinformation around these outbreaks is definitely a problem,” said Dr. Tara Kirk Sell, senior scholar at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “When we undermine trust and get in the way of a public health response, those things can be really dangerous and really bad for trying to stop an outbreak.” “围绕疫情出现的这些虚假信息绝对是个问题。”约翰霍普金斯大学健康安全中心高级学者塔拉·柯克·赛尔博士说道，“如果我们破坏信任，妨碍人们应对公共安全事件，那么，这对于阻止疫情暴发是非常危险、非常有害的。”
“Panic is never a useful thing to elicit in a population …” Mina said. 哈佛大学流行病学和免疫学副教授迈克·米纳表示，“在人群中引发恐慌，从来都不是一件有用的事情……”
But China has actually been fairly quick to address the virus and to alert international officials to the problem, according to health experts, and has as shared information on the virus that has helped epidemiologists study and track it. 卫生专家称，事实上，中国已经相当迅速地采取措施应对新型冠状病毒，并提醒国际组织官员注意该问题，此外，还分享该病毒的信息帮助流行病学专家进行研究和追踪。 …international health organizations and US officials have largely praised China’s reaction to the crisis. 国际卫生组织和美国官员在很大程度上赞扬中国对这场危机的迅速反应。
“They have done everything that you could hope for and is current-day standard practice that would be done in any other country,” Mina said.
“Every time there’s an emerging disease, a new virus, the same story comes out: This is a spillover or the release of an agent or a bioengineered virus,” Daszak says. “It’s just a shame.”