A top Russian general has blamed the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for a possible role in the emergence of COVID-19 through its program on bat control.

“We consider a possibility that the USAID is involved in the emergency of the novel coronavirus,” Russian Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops commander General Igor Kirillov said on Thursday.

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He further described Johns Hopkins University Event 201 as another factor that can raise the possibility of US involvement in the coronavirus outbreak.

Event 201 was an exercise organized in October 2019 to simulate what might happen if there was a “high-level” pandemic.

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