CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Jon Husted, Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, took to his personal Twitter account Friday afternoon with a comment on the origin of the coronavirus.
Husted is now facing criticism. The response is overwhelmingly negative.
Ohio State Senator Tina Maharath (D) shared this photo. She is the first Asian-American woman elected to the Ohio Senate.
Ohio State Representative Casey Weinstein (D) called Husted’s tweet pathetic.
The article Husted shared is about comments Robert Redfield, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, made in an interview with CNN.
Redfield claims the coronavirus “escaped” from a laboratory in Wuhan and was spreading in September or October of 2019. He said in the interview that these are his opinions and did not provide scientific evidence to back up his claims.
CNN reports that the World Health Organization calls the lab leak theory Redfield is proposing “extremely unlikely.”
Redfield served as director of the CDC from 2018 to 2021 under former President Donald Trump.
You can watch a clip of CNN’s interview with Redfield here.
As the response to Husted’s original tweet grew, he posted follow-up tweets for clarification.
These tweets come after what experts are calling a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes.
Stop AAPI Hate, a California reporting organization, received 3,795 reports of anti-Asian violence between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021.
A co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate spoke before lawmakers Thursday and said that in 30% percent of these violent acts, perpetrators used anti-Chinese rhetoric like “Wuhan virus,” “China virus” or “kung flu,” according to Newsweek.
19 News received this statement upon asking Husted’s office for further comment or clarification:
“The Lt. Governor was highlighting an article in which the former CDC director questioned the Chinese government’s account of its origin of COVID-19 and if it had actually escaped from a Wuhan lab.
The Chinese government has not been cooperative as journalists and the Trump and Biden administrations have sought more facts. Recently, an international group of scientists and researchers issued an open letter calling for an independent investigation, separate from the WHO effort, which they say has lacked the independence, expertise, and access needed to adequately investigate the source of the pandemic, including the potential for a lab accident. ‘Efforts to date do not constitute a thorough, credible, and transparent investigation,’ the letter, published by The Wall Street Journal, said.
This virus has killed 2.7 million people worldwide, and the Lt. Governor believes the public deserves the facts and an independent investigation.”