The Chinese Virus that has infected more than two million people across the planet, killing some 140,000, might not, after all, have originated in filthy wet markets of Wuhan. Nor might it be a bioweapon that escaped the lab as some have speculated.
Citing U.S. intelligence sources, Fox News’s Brett Baer reported late yesterday that the “outbreak likely originated in a Wuhan laboratory, though not as a bioweapon but as part of China’s attempt to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States.”
In other words, the Chinese Communists, trying to prove they were global masters of virus control, inadvertently loosed the Asian pathogen upon an unsuspecting planet.
The price Americans have paid? At this writing, nearly 650,000 cases and 31,000 dead, along with major stock-market loss and millions of unemployed.
Though SARS-CoV-2 might not have sprung from the wet markets that retail bats, wildlife, and even dogs and cats for human consumption, it did jump from animal to man.
“The sources believe the initial transmission of the virus — a naturally occurring strain that was being studied there — was bat-to-human and that ‘patient zero’ worked at the laboratory, then went into the population in Wuhan,” Baer reported:
The “increasing confidence” comes from classified and open-source documents and evidence, the sources said. Fox News has requested to see the evidence directly. Sources emphasized — as is often the case with intelligence — that it’s not definitive and should not be characterized as such. Some inside the administration and the intelligence and epidemiological communities are more skeptical, and the investigation is continuing.
Asked by Fox News’s John Roberts about the reporting, President Trump remarked at Wednesday’s coronavirus press briefing, “More and more we’re hearing the story.... We are doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation.”
But now we know that China might also have lied about the origin of the deadly pathogen.
“Documents detail early efforts by doctors at the lab and early efforts at containment,” Baer reported:
The Wuhan wet market initially identified as a possible point of origin never sold bats, and the sources tell Fox News that blaming the wet market was an effort by China to deflect blame from the laboratory, along with the country’s propaganda efforts targeting the U.S. and Italy.
On Tuesday, as Baer noted, the Washington Post disclosed that American diplomats who visited the Wuhan lab “sent two official warnings back to Washington about inadequate safety at the lab, which was conducting risky studies on coronaviruses from bats.”
The officials “dispatched two diplomatic cables categorized as Sensitive But Unclassified back to Washington about safety problems at the lab,” the Post reported, and “proposed more attention and help. The first cable, which I obtained, also warns that the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic”:
“During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory,” states the Jan. 19, 2018, cable, which was drafted by two officials from the embassy’s environment, science and health sections who met with the WIV scientists. (The State Department declined to comment on this and other details of the story.)
The Chinese researchers at WIV were receiving assistance from the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch and other U.S. organizations, but the Chinese requested additional help. The cables argued that the United States should give the Wuhan lab further support, mainly because its research on bat coronaviruses was important but also dangerous.
The lab showed that myriad SARS viruses can infect humans, “but was taking unnecessary risks,” the Post reported of the officials’ concerns.
Multiple Lies and Coverup
Speaking on Fox’s America’s Newsroom, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Baer noted, said the Chinese are “withholding information.” Also, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on Fox’s The Story, stating, “What we do know is we know that this virus originated in Wuhan, China.... We know there is the Wuhan Institute of Virology just a handful of miles away from where the wet market was.”
The Chinese Reds are “citing statements from the World Health Organization that there is no evidence the coronavirus came from a laboratory,” Baer reported, a dubious claim given the disclosures in the Post.
China “100 percent” suppressed data and changed data, the sources tell Fox News. Samples were destroyed, contaminated areas scrubbed, some early reports erased, and academic articles stifled.
There were doctors and journalists who were “disappeared” warning of the spread of the virus and its contagious nature and human-to-human transmission. China moved quickly to shut down travel domestically from Wuhan to the rest of China, but did not stop international flights from Wuhan.
Additionally, the sources tell Fox News the World Health Organization (WHO) was complicit from the beginning in helping China cover its tracks.
That might be one reason President Trump is defunding the global health agency.
The Chinese also suppressed news about the pandemic as it began.
During the six days after they knew it had started, they permitted Wuhan to host “a mass banquet for tens of thousands of people; millions began traveling through for Lunar New Year celebrations,” Baer reported. More than 3,000 people were infected before President Xi Jinping warned the public January 20.
Added one of Baer’s sources: The Chinese government’s lies are the “costliest government cover-up of all time.”
Image: Naeblys/iStock/Getty Images Plus
R. Cort Kirkwood is a long-time contributor to The New American and a former newspaper editor.