China’s repeated attempts to obscure the origins of the novel coronavirus have been a striking callback to the Soviet Union’s efforts to downplay the Chernobyl meltdown.
In the immediate aftermath of Chernobyl, the Soviet Union kept the truth from even the residents they forced to evacuate — and many were told they’d be allowed to return home in three days time. By the time officials did allow for a full evacuation, the radiation levels were so high that evacuees carried the contamination with them over thousands of miles and a number had already been stricken with radiation sickness.
China’s initial response to the coronavirus pandemic that started in Wuhan appears to have followed a similar pattern of government-supplied disinformation and the ensuing catastrophic collateral damage.
According to a report from Australia’s Telegraph, a new dossier compiled by the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance has shed damning new light on what the Chinese Communist Party may have known about the origins of the virus and how long that information was either hidden from the rest of the world or actively destroyed.
China deliberately suppressed or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak in an “assault on international transparency’’ that cost tens of thousands of lives, according to a dossier prepared by concerned Western governments on the COVID-19 contagion. https://t.co/mC8dAeu6Qh
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) May 2, 2020
Intelligence officials from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand all contributed to the dossier, which addressed a number of topics with regard to the origins and spread of SARS-COV2, now known as COVID-19.
Among the main points were the CCP’s efforts to destroy laboratory evidence, silence any who tried to sound the alarm and perpetuate the lie that the virus was not transmissible from human to human.
The World Health Organization, for example, publicly stated that the virus could only be passed to humans from its original bat hosts — a statement they based entirely on the party line that China had delivered. (RELATED: FLASHBACK Jan. 14: WHO Tells Everyone Don’t Worry Because China Says Coronavirus Isn’t Contagious)
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China????????. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020
China continued to insist that was the case until the third week in January, despite conflicting reports from Taiwan as early as December 31 and from Hong Kong on January 4.
Despite evidence of human-human transmission from early December, PRC authorities deny it until January 20. The World Health Organisation does the same. Yet officials in Taiwan raised concerns as early as December 31, as did experts in Hong Kong on January 4.
According to the dossier, however, Chinese authorities were well-aware by mid-January that the virus was highly contagious. In fact, it alleges that search terms related to the novel coronavirus were already being censored.
On December 31, Chinese authorities started censoring news of the virus from search engines, deleting terms including ‘SARS variation,’ ‘Wuhan Seafood market’ and ‘Wuhan Unknown Pneumonia.’
Other measures were reportedly being taken in late December and early January to erase any evidence that the virus had even been studied. The Wuhan Wet Market that many believe was the source of the earliest cases was closed on January 1 and disinfected without an investigation. Samples were not taken from the stalls and animals on site at the time of the closure.
One day later, reports circulated that eight doctors who had attempted to sound the alarm with regard to the new virus had been arrested. The next day, China’s National Health Commission ordered the destruction of any “Wuhan pneumonia” samples that had already been collected.
By January 12, a Shanghai lab had been shuttered for sharing data relating to the virus’ DNA sequence. Less than two weeks later, the Chinese government barred the Wuhan Institute of Virology from sharing samples of the virus with researchers from the University of Texas.
China has continued to be less than forthcoming, denying access to anyone — even the WHO — investigating the origins of the virus.
While all those contributing to the 15-page dossier appear to be in agreement with most of the experts — that China’s lack of transparency has caused the spread to be much worse than it might have been otherwise — what they don’t all agree on is the initial source.
Some still believe that the wet market was the most likely origin of the virus. U.S. officials, especially in recent days, have voiced more and more confidence that it originated in a lab but was most likely released by accident.
China lied about origin of coronavirus from the Wuhan lab and attempted to cover it up. The WHO was complicit.
Simplest explanation is usually the correct one. Probably an accident according to U.S. intel but questions remain. https://t.co/M7ZXKSGXmp
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) May 2, 2020
According to the most recent data, the coronavirus pandemic has sickened nearly 3.5 million people worldwide, killing nearly 250,000.