A Hong Kong microbiologist retracted an op-ed in which he expressed views that aligned with the Trump administration’s assertions over the origin of the CCP Virus (Wuhan coronavirus) and splintered China’s propaganda campaign.

Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Hong Kong, co-wrote the piece with his colleague, titled, “The pandemic originated from Wuhan and the lessons from 17 years ago have been forgotten.” They issued the retraction on Wednesday, March 18, reported the South China Morning Post.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has started spreading ideas that the virus originated in the United States, as part of its efforts to shift responsibility after letting the virus outbreak become a global pandemic. They went so far as to blame the U.S. Army for bringing the virus to Wuhan during the Military World Games event held in the city in October. 

In the article, the two professors condemned the idea as “unsubstantiated,” adding, “It amounts to self-deceit and please don’t spread it recklessly. It would only invite ridicule.”

Yuen, who also works for the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was invited to Wuhan in mid-January by the regime as part of an expert group that confirmed the CCP Virus’s human-to-human transmission, according to the Post.

They wrote that epidemiological studies indicated that the Wuhan Seafood Market was where the virus spread and criticized China for failing to shut it down after the SARS outbreak in 2003.

Upon retracting the piece, they apologized for “inappropriate” comments and “some wrong use of words.” 

The U.S. officials have criticized the communist regime for its mishandling of the CCP Virus outbreak by trying to cover up the information of the deadly virus at its early stages.

“It took an awful long time for the world to become aware of this risk that was sitting there residing inside of China,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday.

“Every nation has a responsibility to share all of their data, all of their information in as timely and accurate fashion as they have the ability to do, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because that’s how you save lives for your own people as well,” he added. “The Chinese Communist Party had a responsibility to do this not only for Americans and Italians and South Koreans and Iranians who are now suffering but for their own people as well.”

Until 1997, Hong Kong was ruled by Britain as a colony but then returned to China. Under the “one country, two systems” arrangement, Hongkongers have some autonomy. In the past six months, millions of Hongkongers took to the streets to protest against the Chinese regime, triggered by an extradition bill that proposed allowing extradition to mainland China. The bill was ultimately withdrawn in September but demonstrations continue to demand full democracy. 

Despite its close proximity to China, Hong Kong has become a lodestar for its ability to seemingly keep the CCP Virus at bay, for now at least. As of Saturday, Hong Kong reported 274 cases of the CCP Virus and 4 deaths.