Three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill with Covid-like symptoms in November 2019. The analysis by Federico Punzi, director of Atlantico Quotidiano
In November 2019, three Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers fell ill with Covid-like symptoms to the point of having to seek hospital treatment, according to a US intelligence report quoted by the Wall Street Journal.
The news is not entirely new to the most attentive readers of Atlantico Quotidiano, because unlike the mainstream media we had already reported and analyzed it a couple of months ago. And despite being dismissed as a conspiracy theory, from the very beginning we took the hypothesis of the origin of the virus in the Wuhan laboratories very seriously.
It was the last days of the Trump administration, to be precise last January 15, when the State Department, led by Mike Pompeo, published a note in which several researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were mentioned for the first time. they study coronaviruses very similar to the one responsible for the pandemic, with "symptoms compatible with both Covid and common seasonal diseases", such as the flu. A fact that "raises doubts about the credibility" of Dr. Shi, the State Department added in the note, criticizing the communist regime for "deceit and misinformation". The note also mentioned the cooperation on some projects between the WIV and the Beijing armed forces and recalled the previous incidents in Chinese laboratories. Claims that the Biden administration has not so far questioned, merely observing that no conclusions can be drawn about the origins of the virus and calling for an independent and transparent investigation.
At the time, the news went virtually unnoticed. About a year ago, then US President Donald Trump said he had seen intelligence evidence that supported the hypothesis of the virus origin from Chinese laboratories, but obviously his words were greeted with the usual sufficiency, if not with open mockery. Twitter had begun to censor those who dared to support the hypothesis.
Now, however, notes the WSJ , we have the number of infected researchers (three), the precise period of their illness and their hospitalizations (the month before the first confirmed case of Covid, on December 8, 2019). All just on the eve of a meeting of the board of the World Health Organization which should discuss the next phase of the investigation into the origins of Covid-19.
And coincidentally, even the famous virologist Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and White House advisor on Covid, whose differences with former President Trump are well known, changes his version. Now he says he is "not convinced" that the virus developed naturally: "I'm not convinced, I think we should investigate what happened in China," he replied to Fox News.
A sensational turnaround, one of the many by Fauci, one of the most authoritative scientists to exclude with arrogance the theories of the virus created by man and / or accidentally released from a Chinese laboratory, dismissing them as illogical ("I don't spend a lot of time going in on this circular argument ") just in the days when President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo were trying to put pressure on Beijing on the origin of the virus.
The WSJ also reports differing views from former and current officials aware of the intelligence report. For some, the information would come from an international partner, it is potentially significant but still needs further investigation and verification, while according to other sources it would be more solid: “The information we received from the various sources was of the highest quality. Very accurate. What he didn't say was exactly why they got sick, ”the researchers.
The timing, however, is more than suspicious: November 2019 is precisely the month in which many epidemiologists and virologists believe that the virus has started to circulate in Wuhan, while the Chinese authorities have always claimed that the first case dates back to 8 December 2019 and – let us remember – the first Chinese communication to the WHO was on December 31st – at the request of the latter.
As is known, during the mission-walkway conducted by a WHO team in the Chinese city, between the end of January and the beginning of February 2021, the Wuhan Institute did not share the raw data, safety records and laboratory archives of the his extensive research with bat coronaviruses. Blood samples collected in Wuhan before December 2019 have also been denied so far.
In the final report of their mission (written together with their Chinese colleagues!) WHO experts defined the escape from the laboratory as "extremely unlikely", noting that the hypothesis did not deserve further investigation, while they stated that the virus "most likely" was spread naturally, passing from a bat to man through another animal, but without being able to indicate which one.
But following the perplexities expressed by the Biden administration regarding the Chinese influence on the report and the lack of transparency in Beijing, the WHO director himself Tedros had to acknowledge that the team had not adequately examined the hypothesis of a laboratory leak. , himself urging a more complete investigation.
Beijing has repeatedly denied and yesterday sharply denied the report cited by the WSJ : "completely false", the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, Zhao Lijian, branded it, urging the United States not to continue spreading conspiracy theories: " to identify the origin or are they just trying to distract attention? ”. "We continue to have serious questions about the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, including its origins in the People's Republic of China," a spokesman for the US National Security Council told the WSJ .
Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans, who took part in the controversial WHO mission, confirmed to NBC that indeed some WIV employees fell ill in the fall of 2019, attributing their illness to a normal seasonal flu: "Nothing noteworthy… Maybe one or two, not much ”.
In contrast, David Asher, who led a State Department task force on the origins of the virus for then-secretary Mike Pompeo, explained at a Hudson Institute seminar last March that WIV researchers are unlikely to have suffering from a normal flu: "I doubt that three people in highly protected circumstances, in a level 3 laboratory, working on coronaviruses, would all fall ill with the flu, end up in hospital or in a serious condition all in the same week, and that they have not nothing to do with the coronavirus, "he said, adding that the researchers' disease could represent" the first known cluster "of Covid-19.
Pompeo is confident of the evidence he has seen: the Chinese Communist Party, he tweeted yesterday, was “actively engaged in research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Every piece of evidence points to an escape from this laboratory ”, even though“ the CCP has done everything to conceal and deflect the blame… They must be held accountable ”.
Of course, at the moment it is still circumstantial evidence, it is good to keep this in mind, but the proven cover-up attempts implemented by the Beijing regime in the first weeks of the spread of the virus, its repeated lack of transparency, the still absence of theories alternatives on natural origin, the passage of the virus from bats to humans, direct or through another animal (at the fish market no one believes anymore), lead to take the hypothesis of origin very seriously in the laboratories of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
That the US intelligence report cited first by the State Department and then by the WSJ does not contain decisive information, observes on Twitter Josh Rogin, a reporter for the Washington Post, does not mean that the hypothesis is less plausible. But it is a hypothesis, he adds, that calls into question the US intelligence community, because, if confirmed, it would mean that "they totally missed it": "80 billion dollars a year and no one was monitoring this network of Chinese laboratories that worked with the military in research on dangerous viruses "… would be" the biggest intelligence scandal since September 11 ".
Article published on Atlantico Quotidiano, here the full version.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/mondo/perche-non-e-piu-cosi-assurdo-che-il-virus-sia-nato-in-un-laboratorio-di-wuhan/ on Sat, 29 May 2021 05:46:47 +0000.