Tehran University lecturer Foad Izadi said in a March 31, 2020 episode of Iranian filmmaker Nader Talebzadeh's show on Ofogh TV (Iran) that he does not know whether COVID-19 was manufactured in the United States, but that some Americans reported symptoms of coronavirus before the virus officially spread to the United States. He speculated that this, along with President Trump's statement that 40,000 Americans had died of the flu in the previous year, may be an indication that the coronavirus started in the United States before spreading to China and other parts of the world. He said that this is what had happened with the Spanish Flu, which he said originated in Kansas but was given its name because of a conflict between the U.S. and Spain and because America's propaganda had been more effective than Spain's.
Foad Izadi: "The question about whether America created [the coronavirus] requires a certain kind of expertise, I do not know. With that being said, there's a point or two here. If it isn't man-made, and if it spread in society naturally, then which country got the disease first is an important detail. It appears – you know, some of our friends are in America. Since December, we have been asking some of them how they are doing. They told us that people were getting sick with a disease that nobody had had before."
Interviewer: "Before January."
Foad Izadi: "Right. This was before it became a serious matter even in China.
Foad Izadi: "You know that there have been such cases in the past. One hundred years ago, there was a flu called the Spanish Flu."
Interviewer: "In 1918."
Foad Izadi: "Right. It was first transferred to humans in Kansas. They say that this flu infected humans at a pig farm in Kansas. The reason it was called "the Spanish flu" was because there was a conflict between America and Spain. The U.S. had better propaganda, and Spain wasn't doing so well, so this is the name that [the disease] as given. [The Spanish Flu] infected a lot of people in Spain, like today's [virus]. Spain has the second-highest infection rate in Europe, but the truth is that the problem had been created in America, and that the [Spanish Flu] had started in America. It may be that [the coronavirus] also started in America before being transferred to China and spreading. You probably remember that when this all started, Trump said in a speech that last year, 40,000 people died from the flu. It could be that some of them [died] from coronavirus, but were listed as having died from the flu.
Foad Izadi: "It seems that what we are seeing, both in terms of the number of deaths and the number of infected people, the virus has suddenly started [to spread] quickly in America... The reason for this may be that this is an American virus that started in America before spreading to China and other places."