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During the February 21 episode of his radio show War Room: Pandemic, former White House adviser Steve Bannon hosted Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire and fugitive who employs him, without disclosing their business relationship. In the episode, Guo claimed, without evidence, that he has “no doubt” the coronavirus is “man-made” and that it’s “ridiculous” for people to claim otherwise.

As BuzzFeed News and other outlets have noted, Bannon has significant financial ties to Guo, known as “Miles Guo” on War Room: Pandemic and by multiple other names elsewhere.

Axios reported in October that in August 2018, Bannon and Guo inked a $1 million deal for Bannon’s “strategic consulting services” for a year. Axios’ report noted that a second contract, which was set to begin August 2019 and had at the time of publication not been signed, was for another $1 million and listed specific duties that included Bannon serving as a senior editor for Guo’s news outfit, G News.

During the February 21 episode of Bannon’s show Guo said he has “no doubt” that COVID-19, the World Health Organization’s name for the coronavirus at the heart of a global pandemic, is “man-made.” 

As noted in the BuzzFeed report, G News has made false claims about COVID-19, including that China is on the precipice of admitting that the virus “leaked” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology located in the city where the coronavirus outbreak first occurred. In a recent two-part video posted to the G News website, Guo also claimed that the Chinese Communist Party “is spreading the virus around the world.”  

BuzzFeed also noted that the exiled Chinese billionaire is a “critic of the ruling Communist Party” and has a checkered history in both China and the United States, including “accusations of both financial and sexual misconduct, including a rape allegation from a former assistant.” Guo denies the allegations, the report added, and claims they are “politically motivated.”

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