Chinese authorities attempted to switch the narrative surrounding the origin of COVID-19 this week after a spokesperson for the foreign affairs ministry revived an old conspiracy theory blaming the U.S. Army for starting the spread of the deadly virus.

Most researchers point to China as the most likely origin of Covid-19 given the virus was first identified in Wuhan. Hua Chunying accused the U.S. of spreading “conspiracy theories and lies” as part of the “last-day madness of Mr. Liar,” seemingly referring to Donald Trump. Hua added:

“I’d like to stress that if the United States truly respects facts, it should open the biological lab at Fort Detrick, give more transparency to issues like its 200-plus overseas bio-labs, invite WHO experts to conduct origin-tracing in the United States, and respond to the concerns from the international community with real actions.”

This comes as Chinese state media outlets have run a series of articles criticizing Western COVID-19 vaccines in the past week, including Pfizer, and stating that Chinese-made vaccines are safer and more accessible. Chinese companies Sinovac and Sinopharm have claimed their vaccines were more than 78% effective. However, a late-stage Sinovac trial in Brazil showed an efficacy rate of 50.38%, which is barely above the 50% efficacy threshold set by the World Health Organization for approval. The true efficacy rate for the vaccine has yet to be determined, as Turkey reported efficacy of 91.25%, while Indonesia reported 65.3%. Hu Xijin, the influential editor of the state-run tabloid Global Times, claimed that Western media is trying to destroy the reputation of Chinese-made vaccines. Hu wrote:

“If you look at the websites of major media in the US and the West, almost all the news you read about the Chinese-made vaccine is negative. The press is out to destroy the reputation of the Chinese vaccine, hoping that the world will wait for Pfizer and other American and Western companies to produce surplus vaccines and finally get vaccinated.”