The Wuhan virus—how are we doing? - Page 80 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15151810
And here's a feel-good story from the AP reprinted in the daily Washington Times of a big-time Good Samaritan:

    ‘Peanuts’ pen pals find joy in correspondence

    Even before she sees the name on the return address, Nancy Sloane knows who sent the letter — the Snoopy sticker that seals the envelope is a dead giveaway.

    It’s from Wesley Morgan, a 32-year-old fan of the comic strip “Peanuts” who has been sending Snoopy-themed cards and letters across the country to ease the solitude of older adults in isolation due to the coronavirus.

    “He’s kept me from being lonely,” said Ms. Sloane, 67, a retired teacher now quarantined at the Brookdale Senior Living Community in Denver. “I look forward to his letters.”

    After Mr. Morgan was furloughed from his job at the Denver International Airport in March, he soon ran out of shows to stream and items to craft.

    “The house was always clean, and I did ‘Tiger King,’ like the rest of the world,” he explained. “And then what?”

    Mr. Morgan learned of a friend’s efforts to write to people at a Denver nursing home and felt called to do the same, putting to use his beloved “Peanuts” cards and stationery sets, collected and hoarded over many years.

    “I couldn’t think of a better way to use this collection,” he said. “It was something I could do from home. I didn’t have to leave.”

    At first, Mr. Morgan simply went to Google, scouring the internet for places or people to whom he could write. He

    eventually stumbled upon several Facebook groups like “Forget Me Not” and “From the Heart” that take and share requests for letter correspondence. There he found lists of eager recipients, ranging from dozens of residents of a nursing home in New Hampshire to a single older woman recommended by her mail carrier.

    Since then, he has sent more than 500 letters, and has heard back from 142 people. Many of them have become regular correspondents — his “Peanuts” pen pals, as he calls them.

    “Almost every time I receive anything back it is pages,” he said, smiling. “They just have so much to share and talk about.”

    Ms. Sloane is one of his most regular correspondents. She lives alone, recovering from multiple ailments, and her only in-person interactions come twice a day with facility caregivers. She and Mr. Morgan began writing each other so frequently that they recently switched to email to speed the correspondence.

    “We write about our pets, I tell him about my travels and my journeys and the work I used to do,” she said. “I don’t know. Maybe because I’m so holed up in here, I love to tell about my past.”

    As her toothless rescue cat passed behind her head on the back of the couch, Ms. Sloane explained how important Mr. Morgan’s letters have been.

    “I’d read his letters and reread them,” she said. “It just cheers me up that there’s somebody, quite frankly, that cares about me.”

    They hope to meet in person someday.

    “When this is all over Wesley, I’m going to take you out to dinner,” she told him by email, while acknowledging with a laugh that she can’t drive due to a botched knee surgery, so he’ll have to take her instead.

    In early November, Mr. Morgan returned to work at the airport. But he continues his correspondence with anyone and everyone that writes him back. More recently he even included holiday gifts of socks and slippers — “Peanuts”-themed, of course.

    “They’ve been a bright spot for me this year,” Mr. Morgan said, “and I just wanted them to know that.”
#15152420
I think the Wuhan-virus came accidentaly from a laboratory.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/bies.202000240


HOW COULD THE VIRUS HAVE ESCAPED FROM A LAB?

The leak of highly dangerous pathogens from laboratories is not a rare event and occurrences have been documented in several countries. The most notable lab leak known is the 1977 H1N1 lab escape from China that caused a worldwide pandemic.[61] The most recent one is the November 2019 outbreak of brucellosis that occurred in two research centers in Lanzhou, China, infecting over 100 students and staff members.[62] Several lab escapes of the first SARS virus have been reported as well: in the summer of 2003 in Singapore,[63] then in December 2003 in Taiwan,xviii and in the spring of 2004 twice in China.xix
#15152518
Here's the latest update of inoculations distributed and administered per hundred thousand:

Image

I do have to wonder why Alaska has received so many doses.
#15152537
@Sandzak Don't delude yourself into believing conspiracy theories. Covid-19 wasn't created in a lab. That's a ridiculous assertion made by people trying to look for someone to blame for a disease.

Scientists: 'Exactly zero' evidence COVID-19 came from a lab
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Internet has been teeming with provocative conspiracy theories that the novel coronavirus was (1) created in a Wuhan, China, lab and deployed as a bioweapon or (2) derived from bats, grown on tissue culture, intentionally or accidentally transmitted to a researcher, and released into the community.

Politicians have touted these theories in an attempt to blame China for the pandemic, and a discredited US scientist recently released a book and now-banned video claiming that wealthy people deliberately spread COVID-19 to boost vaccination rates. And late last week, an unsubstantiated NBC News report on cell phone location data suggested that the Wuhan lab temporarily shut down after a "hazardous event" in October.

Even Kristian Andersen, PhD, a professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and lead author of a research letter published Mar 17 in Nature Medicine on the origins of the virus, first thought that COVID-19 was just as likely to have been accidentally released from a lab as it was to have come from nature.

But that was before he learned more about COVID-19 and related coronaviruses, which have features already seen in nature. "There are lots of data and lots of evidence, as well as previous examples of this coming from nature," he said. "We have exactly zero evidence or data of this having any connection to a lab."

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspec ... 9-came-lab

Research shows COVID-19 was not manufactured in a lab
CLAIM: COVID-19 is a man-made virus intentionally manufactured in a lab and released to the public.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Scientists say the molecular structure of SARS-CoV-2 rules out the possibility that the virus was created in a lab.

THE FACTS: A draft study associated with a group founded by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon is giving new life to social media claims that the coronavirus was manufactured intentionally in a Chinese lab.

The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, was released Monday by Chinese virologist Li-Meng Yan and three colleagues. It claims to show evidence the virus did not originate in nature.

The four authors list their affiliation as the Rule of Law Society, a group founded by Bannon that says its mission is to expose corruption, obstruction, illegality, brutality, false imprisonment, excessive sentencing, harassment, and inhumanity pervasive in the political, legal, business and financial systems of China.” It is not a scientific organization.

Twitter suspended Yan’s account on Monday and declined to comment on the reason for the suspension. The same evening, Yan appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, claiming the coronavirus is a Frankenstein-like virus manufactured and released intentionally by the Chinese government.

The video of her Fox News appearance, shared widely on social media and retweeted by the president, sparked a swell of social media posts backing the theory. Carlson has been speculating on the virus’s origins since the outset of the pandemic in the U.S.

Despite top medical officials and researchers debunking the conspiracy theory that the virus originated in a lab, it continues to thrive. Scientists have repeatedly said that the genetic sequence of the virus and its similarities to SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, prove that the virus was not made in a lab or engineered. In a paper titled “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2” published in Nature in March, scientists with Scripps Research who studied the genome sequence of the virus concluded that it originated through natural processes. By looking at the virus’s molecular structure, they were able to determine that the backbone of the virus differed from coronaviruses already known to scientists and rather it resembled viruses found in bats and pangolins.

Scientists have said that if the virus was made in a lab then its structure would reveal that it would have been created from viruses that are already known and there would be signs of manipulation.

“These two features of the virus, the mutations in the RBD portion of the spike protein and its distinct backbone, rules out laboratory manipulation as a potential origin for SARS-CoV-2,” Kristian Andersen, an associate professor of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research and one of the authors of the paper, said in a news release in March.

https://apnews.com/article/9391149002
#15152560
Just because the Wuhan virus might not have been created in a lab doesn't mean it didn't come from the lab in Wuhan. IIRC, the bats that carry the virus aren't native to the area around Wuhan, and I haven't seen any evidence that any were sold in the animal market there. But I have heard that the lab there had bats. It's possible that one or more individuals working at the lab were infected and passed it on, some of the bats might have been sold to the market when they were done with them, or both. Having the market be the sole source of the infection is problematic, because most of the earliest victims--including the earliest by something like a week (it's been months since I've looked at the Lancet article)--didn't have any contact with the market.
#15152566
Doug64 wrote:Just because the Wuhan virus might not have been created in a lab doesn't mean it didn't come from the lab in Wuhan.
:lol: Fucked up doublespeak. That's simply idiotic and you know it.

Conspiracy theory bullshit. Sheer dumbassery.

Keep it up. It makes you look even more foolish, in the face of facts.
#15152606
@Godstud, if so, it's "conspiracy theory bullshit" that the Washington Post considered a real possibility back in April. And here's the Lancet article about the earliest patients in Wuhan. You'll note that of the first four patients, well before any of the rest, three had no exposure to the Huanan seafood market (which didn't sell bats, anyway), including the first--nine days before the other three. Though I had misremembered the amount of exposure to the market, it was 1/3 of December's victims that had no exposure.

And here's the latest statistics for the past week's deaths per million:

Image
#15152613
@Doug64 read the date of this, and stop being a mouthpiece for conspiracy theories.


Research shows COVID-19 was not manufactured in a lab
September 17, 2020
https://apnews.com/article/9391149002

Stop playing the fool and cheering on death-tolls.
#15152619
:roll: You are going by out-dated news or MSM media spin designed to cause as much drama as possible.

Read the article:
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was "very disappointed" that China had not yet finalised the permissions for the team's arrivals "given that two members had already begun their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last minute".

"I have been assured that China is speeding up the internal procedure for the earliest possible deployment," he told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday, explaining that he had been in contact with senior Chinese officials to stress "that the mission is a priority for WHO and the international team".

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told the BBC "there might be some misunderstanding" and "there's no need to read too much into it".

"Chinese authorities are in close co-operation with WHO but there has been some minor outbreaks in multiple places around the world and many countries and regions are busy in their work preventing the virus and we are also working on this," she said.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-55555466

I am sure if you go by Click-bait, you can find all sorts of things. :roll:

Sandzak wrote:I do not know, if it came from a lab.
You now know so saying otherwise is simply willful ignorance.
#15152674
@Godstud, as I pointed out, and you ignored, the Wuhan virus doesn’t need to have been manufactured in a lab to have come from a lab—especially one with safety procedures as poorly followed as the lab in Wuhan was reported to have been. So no, I’m not denying the evidence that the virus is a naturally-occurring, but that has nothing to do with the assertion that it may have been brought to Wuhan by the lab there, then spread to the rest of the city and on to the world.

And if it is the case that the lab is at fault, if you trust the CCP to allow any “investigation” to prove it you’re a fool.
#15152676
@Doug64 You and other idiots are simply looking for someone... anyone.. to blame, so that you can absolve Trump from blame, in the death of 400,000 Americans.

What does China gain by an investigation that might prove there was an accident at a lab(for example)? Do you think they would pay damages to anyone? Do you think that sanctions for an accident would be valid? Try being realistic, for a change.

More the fool you for thinking USA is any different from China, when it comes to protecting their own self interests.
#15152718
Agreed. At this point we have no idea where it origanated, but this does point to the efficacy of Chinese scientists.
#15152769
Maybe we're looking in the wrong place, and this should be called the Yankee Virus?

American study finds signs of coronavirus in US before China outbreak
US CDC says blood samples taken in nine states before cases were reported in Wuhan tested positive for antibodies for the pathogen
Results indicate that infections might have happened in the western US earlier than previously thought, scientists say
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science ... a-outbreak

So it all depends on who you want to believe, at this point.

Is there a point to finding out where the disease originated aside from casting some sort of blame???
#15152799
@Godstud
Is there a point to finding out where the disease originated aside from casting some sort of blame???


At this point, not really. We are like two people waist deep in gasoline, arguing about who has the most matches.

In the US and other countries without adult supervision (or I should say just starting with adult supervision in the US) it is critical that we not get distracted and get focused on fixing this.

The Republican have squandered our first-best course of action which was and IS to lock everything down for about three weeks. And I mean tightly. And that means that gun stores and indoor dining are NOT essential activities. Mask wear ought to be mandatory when outside of the home. Period.

There is a study out today from Denmark, a country with far better management than the US and most of Europe, that is nothing short of chilling. They are predicting that with the new strains their hospital system will be overwhelmed in April.

The new strains appear to be several orders of magnitude more transmissible than the before.

We, in the US and EU are in for a much worse time in the midst of a pandemic already of Biblical proportions.

I have hope that Biden will do much better. He could hardly do worse of course but he simply has to do much better. I would give anything to have been wrong about where this is going all along but sadly I have not been wrong except to maybe underestimate a little. In January of last year I posted this:

This is getting out of control.... The US is doing nothing that I can see to prepare. We are literally ignoring this other than for a few folks whose job it is and some of we boomers who remember measles outbreaks.

I see no problem with frightening a few if not all people. Sure we will see the usual 'worried well' coming in to be reassured but that is a small price to pay for vigilance. There is no excuse ever, and particularly now, for any clinic that does not mask every patient who presents with URI symptoms. Every practitioner should be the hand wash police in the clinics.

I am going to the clinic this AM and we will see perhaps 20-30 homeless people. Some will present with URI/influenza symptoms. I will put every one of them in a mask and have them use hand sanitizer. What could possibly be wrong with that corona virus or not?

Y'all do what you want but I have laid in a supply of stuff. If there is a pandemic before a vaccine I am probably screwed anyway. I am an old man. I think that many Americans believe that our medical system is superior to China's with regard to dealing with a Pandemic. I disagree with this assessment. In many ways we are far worse.


Then this in Feb 8 2020: Drlee wrote:

The guy who is in charge suggested we nuke a hurricane, rake the forests in California and water bomb an 800 year old cathedral. What could possibly go wrong?


On March 10, when IIR there were less than 100 dead in the US I posted this:

DrLee
Look. Trump's plan to let the virus run its course not caring who it kills and relying on a do-nothing message while pretending to do a lot is working perfectly right here. Look at how many of you are perfectly willing to accept a huge death rate in those over 65. No outrage. Just a combination of selfishness and complete disregard for your fellow citizens. The "OK Boomer" fuckwits on this forum alone should frighten all of us.

So you combine the absurd notion that this disease is harmless to the young with some extremely loud doing nothing and pretty soon you have a half a million dead and everyone shaking their heads. Well, many of them were old anyway. Never mind that a 60 year old should still have 20-25% of his/her life left to be lived. The murderous attitude that we see in many here will just allow the government to just write them off.


same day

Drlee wrote:
Epidemiologists are not panicking. They are just doing the math. There is virtually no dissension about what ought to be done among them.

rlee wrote:
Epidemiologists are not panicking. They are just doing the math. There is virtually no dissension about what ought to be done among them.

I am in an area with cases of the virus. I went out to the store, bank and to ship some stuff today. Guess how many common precautions I saw? One bottle of hand sanitizer in the bank but it was on my personal bankers desk. Otherwise not a goddam thing. It is pathetic and we will pay a high price.

Let me tell you for the record that I hope I am wrong. A whole life of experience and a boat load of school and training tells me I am not.


I would give anything to have been wrong. But here is the deal. Want another prediction? Not going to do it. If everyone has not "gotten it" by now they are never going to. This is not getting better. It is getting worse. Right now there have been FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY THOUSAND deaths and counting. I predicted half a million dead a year ago. Sadly. Oh so sadly, I was probably wrong. I was probably too low. I sincerely hope with all my heart that the Biden administration can get the vaccine out there NOW. I hope he achieves his 100 million in 100 days. I really do. That will start to make a dent in it God willing.

So here is the deal folks. You just have to stay home. All of the time. You just have to avoid stores and order grocery pickup or delivery. If you must go to work do not even THINK about not wearing a mask all of the time. Wear it from the moment you leave your car until you get back into it and even better when you get home and can instantly wash up. If you need a drink of water go outside. Quickly pull your mask aside and drink. Then wash your hands. When you fill up your car, wear gloves, take them off carefully and sanitize after. DO NOT GO INTO RESTAURANTS PERIOD. Order take out if you must. Don't go to bars and don't go to gyms. Ever. Stay the fuck home and don't let anyone in. Keep your kids home. Wash your hands like Lady Macbeth. Look. We knew it a year ago when there were only 8 cases in the US that we knew of. Imagine what it would be like if we had just followed this advice. But we didn't.

My Sister in Law. Under 60. No co morbidity. Fit. Spent 15 days in the ICU and a few in step down. Will be on home O2 24/7 if she is lucky for a few weeks but quite possibly many months. She was fanatically careful. Wore the KN95 masks I gave her all of the freaking time. Except once. She went to a friend's house where they social distanced and only removed their masks to eat. A few days later the friend called to tell her that she had tested positive. A few days after that my sister-in-law was in ICU, sats in the low 70's fighting for her life. Only because she was fortunate enough to go to a hospital administering monoclonal antibodies and possessed of a new O2 regimen was she able to avoid a ventilator. Barley.

My murderer of a Governor won't even mandate masks. My genocidal state legislature even took away the local authority to shut down and demand masks. These Republicans are cold blooded killers. No other way to put it.

So sorry about the rant. It breaks my heart that we are not doing what it takes. So many are dying a very ugly death. And what are we arguing about? How to fight the virus better and keep fewer people from dying? Nope. We are arguing about where the virus came from. It is truly pathetic. What are you thinking people. In the 15 minutes that it took me to write this and the time it took you to read it 50 Americans died in agony, alone, and needlessly.

I don't give a fuck if this came from Cleveland. Not one flying fuck.
#15153168
Xi Jinping wrote: There are some bored foreigners, with full stomachs, who have nothing better to do than point fingers at us. First, China doesn't export revolution; second, China doesn't export hunger and poverty; third, China doesn't come and cause you headaches. What more is there to be said?


Godstud wrote:You and other idiots are simply looking for someone... anyone.. to blame, so that you can absolve Trump from blame, in the death of 400,000 Americans.

I agree, Godstud. Only an idiot (like you say) would believe that one person was the cause of our economic collapse or social disorder.
#15153169
I never said Trump was solely responsible, you asinine twit. Leaders of countries are significant factors, however, or are you, in your abject stupidity, going to argue that point?
#15153176
Godstud wrote:Is there a point to finding out where the disease originated aside from casting some sort of blame?

If you want to prevent something like this from happening again, yes.

Meanwhile, it seems that among those giving serious consideration to the "wild-eyed conspiracy theory" that the Wuhan virus got to Wuhann via the lab there is US Intelligence:

Declassified U.S. intelligence bolsters Wuhan lab theory in coronavirus outbreak
U.S. intelligence findings recently declassified by the State Department provide fresh evidence for the theory that the COVID-19 pandemic likely began at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, China’s sole high-security laboratory that has links to the country’s military.

The department, in a report made public this month by the outgoing Trump administration, disclosed for the first time that several workers at the Wuhan institute, where research on deadly viruses is conducted, were sickened in the autumn of 2019 with COVID-19-like symptoms.

The report also made public U.S. intelligence that the People’s Liberation Army conducted secret research on covert biological warfare at the institute. Chinese leaders have consistently denied any link between the lab and the outbreak of COVID-19 and have even promoted speculation that the United States or some other foreign source brought the virus to China.

The lab illnesses were detected prior to the first publicized case of COVID-19 in Wuhan in early December 2019, but China has refused to disclose what happened to the workers.

“Accidental infections in labs have caused several previous virus outbreaks in China and elsewhere, including a 2004 SARS outbreak in Beijing that infected nine people, killing one,” the report states.

“This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was ‘zero infection’ among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.”

“Based on my experience and understanding of the science, it’s hard to believe this is a naturally occurring phenomenon,” said Robert G. Darling, a medical doctor and expert on biological weapons formerly with the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

“I think somebody [in Wuhan] caught their experiment,” said Dr. Darling, now chief medical officer for Patronus Medical.

William Lang, a former associate chief medical officer at the Homeland Security Department, noted that the State Department report does not accuse China’s communist leadership of releasing the virus intentionally.

“But the circumstantial — and more than circumstantial — evidence of some relation to WIV is very strong,” said Dr. Lang, now with the health service WorldClinic.

Ms. Shi, the WIV scientist dubbed the “bat woman of China” for her work on bat coronaviruses similar to the one that causes COVID-19, co-authored a scientific study in 2015 that mentions the laboratory manipulation of bat viruses as part of studying how they infect humans.

The U.S. intelligence reports said Chinese authorities for more than a year have systematically prevented a thorough investigation into the origins of the pandemic and instead devoted “enormous resources to deceit and disinformation.”

A World Health Organization delegation to China was blocked from entering the country first in the spring of 2020 and again this month. Beijing then relented and permitted a team to visit. The investigators currently are in China.

Likely origins

The State Department report acknowledges that the U.S. government has been unable to determine “exactly where, when, or how the COVID-19 virus — known as SARS-CoV-2 — was transmitted initially to humans.”

The two most likely sources are contact with infected animals or “an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China.”

China initially said the virus began at a wild animal “wet market” in Wuhan, but Beijing authorities have been unable to identify an animal host that transmitted the pathogen to humans.

The failure to find the host has led many virus experts and intelligence analysts to examine more closely the idea that the virus leaked from the Wuhan laboratory. Skeptics of China’s official version say Beijing authorities have actively tried to keep the world from knowing what happened.

“The Chinese government has destroyed all the evidence from the outbreak because they want to avoid saying it began from a laboratory leak,” said a U.S. official familiar with intelligence reports. “China is trying to sell a story to the world that it began as a naturally occurring event from a wet market in Wuhan.”

Chinese authorities have tried to get WHO investigators to identify a credible animal source during their inquiry.

“Instead of focusing on an animal host that probably doesn’t exist, the WHO team should be focusing on the labs and biosafety,” the official said.

The official said, “It is very likely this was PLA secret work that went awry.”

U.S. intelligence analysts noted that China’s military is engaged in covert development of biological weapons and initial research on such arms would include developing vaccines. At least 2,016 Wuhan lab researchers experimented with a virus called RaTG13, a bat coronavirus similar to the SARS-CoV-2, the report said.

“The WIV has a published record of conducting ‘gain-of-function’ research to engineer chimeric viruses,” the report said, using the term for synthetic viruses.

“But the WIV has not been transparent or consistent about its record of studying viruses most similar to the COVID-19 virus, including RaTG13, which it sampled from a cave in Yunnan Province in 2013 after several miners died of SARS-like illness.”

According to the report, a laboratory accident could appear as a natural outbreak if those initially exposed were limited to a few people and spread more easily by those with a lack of initial symptoms.

“Scientists in China have researched animal-derived coronaviruses under conditions that increased the risk for accidental and potentially unwitting exposure,” the report said.

The report also revealed that the Wuhan Institute of Virology has links to the People’s Liberation Army, China’s military, and has conducted secret lab research at the institute since 2017.

American virus experts who have conducted research at the institute denied those claims as a conspiracy theory. Many private virus experts originally dismissed reports that the institute was linked to China’s covert biological weapons program.

“Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the United States has determined that the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military,” the report said. “The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.”

The report said the U.S. government “for many years” has publicly voiced concerns about China’s biological weapons work that Beijing has failed to fully document and has not shown that it had eliminated, despite the requirement to do so under the Biological Weapons Convention.

The report said the intelligence disclosures about the WIV “scratch the surface of what is still hidden about COVID-19’s origin in China.”

“Any credible investigation into the origin of COVID-19 demands complete, transparent access to the research labs in Wuhan, including their facilities, samples, personnel, and records,” the report said, as well as interviews with Wuhan researchers and access to worker health records.

China’s government blocked all efforts to interview researchers at the WIV, including those who became ill in the fall of 2019.

The detailed State Department report concluded that excessive Chinese government secrecy prevented international investigators from determining the origin of the pandemic.

Rising skepticism

Outside experts critical of China say the Trump administration findings only increase the skepticism of Beijing’s denials that the virus leaked from the laboratory through an infection of a worker or through a research animal that was sold illicitly to a wild animal market.

“That was a lie. And the Chinese government knew very early on that that was a lie,” said Jamie Metzl, a WHO adviser and a former Senate aide to President Biden.

“And so in the face of overwhelming evidence in May of last year, the Chinese government shifted its position,” he told the Toronto Sun last week.

China’s government instead sought to promote conspiracy theories. Beijing officials even floated the idea that the virus was first introduced to China by the U.S. Army. The U.S. government vehemently denied that charge.

The Chinese government later cited what it said were reports of an outbreak in southern Europe before it appeared in Wuhan at the end of 2019.

A more recent theory pushed by Chinese officials is that the virus was introduced into the country on frozen food packaging. Virus experts have dismissed that theory as highly unlikely.

Mr. Metzl, the WHO adviser, said in an email that U.S. intelligence reports “suggest the Chinese People’s Liberation Army was conducting secret animal research with highly contagious viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, without notifying the World Health Organization even after the pandemic began.”

He said WHO investigators must be given full access to the workers and labs at WIV, including notes, a list of all viruses studied both past and present, and all records.

“If the Chinese government fails to immediately change course, however, the Biden administration should bring allies and partners around the world together to demand an impartial and unrestricted international forensic investigation into the origins of COVID-19, with full access to all necessary records, databases, biological samples and key personnel,” he said.

Yan Li-meng, an exiled Chinese virology expert who believes the coronavirus was an engineered bioweapon, said the State Department report shows the WIV has been “lying from the beginning” about the virus origin.

She said the report bolsters her contention that the “backbone” virus behind SARS-CoV-2 was discovered by China’s military in the 2015 to 2017 time frame and that “its gain-of-function process involved humanized animal experiments.”

“Intelligence here shows researchers in WIV were sick last fall, while WIV has denied it in public,” she said. “Then it is important to investigate whether the patients were infected with the same original strain of SARS-CoV-2 or similar strains from the lab,” Ms. Yan said.

WorldClinic’s Dr. Lang said the goal of the international community, including China, “should be to get to the root cause” of the pandemic.

“If it turns out that the root cause does lead to WIV, that means that the international community and [China] need to know that and then work collaboratively to make sure that nothing like this, which has had mortality and economic impact of a scale unseen outside of wartime, ever happens again.”
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