0115 GMT August 15, 2022
The Chinese petition drafted by a group of Chinese netizens, received half a million signatures in 24 hours and 1 million in 48 hours. It concluded after garnering 25 million signatures in three weeks, according to the Global Times.
The petition website suffered severe cyberattacks from multiple US IP addresses as signatures approached 10 million.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press conference on July 26 that the US owes Chinese netizens an explanation on why it remains silent on opening the Fort Detrick lab to an investigation and why it launched cyberattacks on an online petition demanding the WHO to probe the lab.
Herman Laurel, a columnist for social news website Sovereign P.H., said the World Health Organization should probe the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland, Xinhua reported.
"This biological laboratory suffered a laboratory incident in July 2019, causing the US Centers for Disease Control to shut down the facility in August 2019 due to 'serious safety violations,'" Laurel said.
He said the facility was ordered closed after it disposed of "dangerous materials believed to have caused strange 'vaping sickness' and the 'strange flu' in the US at that time".