Reports in May from a coalition of countries suggest that the Coronavirus likely escaped from a lab in Wuhan, where the naturally-occurring strain was being studied not as a bioweapon but as part of a Chinese effort to show that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than those of the U.S., rather than a nearby wet market.
The agencies have come down to two likely origins for the accident - animal-human transmission, or a mistake in the lab, but there is evidence of both options with most leaning toward the laboratory explanation -- although both scenarios are attributable to mistakes.
Unfortunately for the world, the Chinese have neglected to tell us about the vicious contagion called COVID-19.
Not only are we furious with the Chinese for their deception, but for the destruction it caused. We are tired of taking measures to protect ourselves by social isolating, politely called "social distancing."
The “Five Eyes” dossier reports that China began censoring news of the virus on search engines and social media beginning Dec. 31, deleting terms including “SARS variation," “Wuhan Seafood market” and “Wuhan Unknown Pneumonia.”
Three days later, on Jan. 3, China’s National Health Commission ordered virus samples to be either moved to designated testing facilities or destroyed, while simultaneously issuing a "no-publication order" related to the disease.
The Saturday Telegraph report includes a timeline of Chinese obfuscation. On Jan. 5, for example, Wuhan's Municipal Health Commission stopped releasing daily updates on the number of new cases and would not resume them for 13 days. On Jan. 10, Wang Guanga, a respiratory specialist at Peking University First Hospital who had been investigating the outbreak, said it was "under control" and largely a "mild condition." (Wang himself would disclose 12 days later that he had been infected with the virus.)
Two days later, on Jan. 12, a Shanghai professor's lab was closed down after it shared data on the virus' genetic sequence with the outside world. On Jan. 24, Chinese officials stopped the Wuhan Institute of Virology from sharing virus samples with a lab at the University of Texas.
The dossier also concludes that Chinese authorities denied that the virus could be spread between humans until Jan. 20, "despite evidence of human-human transmission from early December."
The file is similarly critical about the World Health Organization (WHO), stating that it toed the Chinese line about human-to-human transmission despite the fact that "officials in Taiwan raised concerns as early as December 31, as did experts in Hong Kong on January 4.”
At the same time, the file states: "Millions of people [left] Wuhan after the outbreak and before Beijing lock[ed] down the city on January 23."
On Friday, WHO officials said that it was assured that the virus is “natural in origin."