China Throws Tantrum After Elon Musk Appears To Support Lab Leak Theory

Comes as Energy Department determines pandemic likely emerged from Wuhan lab

(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
March 1, 2023

The Chinese Communist Party on Monday lashed out at Elon Musk after the Tesla CEO appeared to support the theory that COVID-19 leaked from a Chinese laboratory.

The warning came after Musk replied to a Twitter post about the Department of Energy's conclusion that the virus likely emerged from a lab accident in China. Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times published an editorial threatening Musk, who in his tweet questioned whether Anthony Fauci funded the development of the coronavirus at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, saying, "Elon Musk, are you breaking the pot of China?"

"Breaking the pot" means roughly the same as "biting the hand that feeds you," CNBC reported. China is the second-largest market for Musk’s electric car company Tesla, which also runs a massive production factory in Shanghai.

China is sensitive to reports on the coronavirus originating in its country, whose economy was hit hard by severe lockdowns imposed by the regime, and has faced heightened scrutiny following the Energy Department report. The department joined the FBI as the only two federal agencies to support the so-called lab leak theory.

In an interview Tuesday, FBI director Christopher Wray said his agency "for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan."

The Energy Department reached its conclusion after "new intelligence, further study of academic literature, and consultation with experts outside government," the Wall Street Journal reported.