Bill Gates talked to the nation of China, glorifying their response to the Coronavirus pandemic—which may well have started in a Wuhan virology lab before leaking to the rest of the world. In a brief video with Chinese subtitles marking the Lunar New Year, Gates praised China for their pandemic approach, saying that "China has worked hard to not only contain the virus, but also contributed to closing the equity gap by supporting other countries with many different supplies, including great vaccines." [tweet_embed] January 26, 2022[/tweet_embed] "I want to wish everyone in China a very Happy Lunar New Year. Just as the tiger symbolizes vitality and health, our Foundation has continued work over this past year," Gates began his message. "The recent troubling, and highly contagious Omicron variant means the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over. Since the onset of the pandemic, China has worked hard to not only contain the virus, but also contributed to closing the equity gap by supporting other countries with many different supplies, including great vaccines," Gates said. Some say the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China. It has been deemed a "plausible" conspiracy by many scientists. There have also been claims that China covered up the initial reports of COVID and did not work to contain the virus before it spread globally. "I'm hopeful that by the end of this new year the COVID pandemic will largely be over," Gates said. [tweet_embed] January 26, 2022[/tweet_embed] "I was also thrilled to hear the news that in June, the WHO recognized China's remarkable success in defeating malaria, declaring the country officially free from the disease," Gates said. The Gates Foundation has made a mission of combating malaria worldwide. "So like many of you, I believe the world can become better. And I know innovation and collaboration are key to getting there. I look forward to once again being able to travel to China, to see all of you and this work, in person. But for now, have a wonderful holiday and a very healthy and happy new year," Gates concluded. Chinese authorities on Monday lifted a month-long pandemic lockdown in the city of Xi’an and its 13 million residents as COVID-19 cases in the region decreased, ending the most stringent pandemic measure taken since the 2020 lockdown in Wuhan as part of China’s zero-COVID strategy. An official announcement on the ending of restrictions was made Monday after commercial flights from the city resumed a day earlier, the Associated Press reported. [tweet_embed] January 26, 2022[/tweet_embed] According to the Chinese National Health Commission, of the 18 new local COVID-19 cases reported across China Monday, not one was from the Shaanxi province or its capital Xi’an.