It’s impossible to refer to COVID-19’s geographical origin without a tinge of “racism” – no country or region wants to be named after a global viral outbreak. Spain fought, and still fights, the 1918 flu’s official moniker despite the fact there is strong suspicion that virus originated in Kansas, of all places.
Viruses do not have agendas or races. They are wildlife residents of Earth, global in origin and the cold, indifferent hands of biological evolution do not cater to borders or flags or Donald Trump. COVID-19’s birthplace has been a trivial matter of dispute since the first known cases were detected in Wuhan, so guess what? It didn’t help accentuate the piercing objectivity of science that Trump and China responded in less than objective manners. China’s global economic tendrils have subdued most China skepticism and have even served to create a collective presumption in which even expressing such doubts is akin to racism or Sinophobia. China’s immense wealth, and more importantly, its promise of future wealth, has dampened global hesitations about China. The economic reach of China dispels apprehensions and healthy weariness of its motives.
What’s that you say about a virus that sickened and killed millions?
It came from China’s BSL-4 Institute of Virology in Wuhan, a complex that has a long history of specialization in feral and domesticated Coronaviruses? No way! China will brutishly perpetuate the narrative that there is no substantial scientific proof this is true.
Not mentioned is the fact that there is also no substantial scientific proof it is not true, either. When conclusions are manipulated and artificially ambiguous (what lawyers specialize in), you can only rely on critical thinking and educated inference to pave your opinion. The earliest cases of SARS-2 were in Wuhan in the vicinity of a BSL4 laboratory very familiar with Coronaviruses and the nearest bat colonies are of such a distance that natural bat infection in Wuhan does not sound feasible.
President Trump’s pandemic schtick became tiresome by June, if not sooner. The China flu he repeated, mockingly hammering the semantics into the popular dialogue and he was ridiculed for it. His dependable and oft-repeated psychological ploy of semantic attack sought to neutralize China’s global public relations spin of self-professed innocence. I personally found much hilarity in the “Kung flu” but that borders the fringes of offensive so it didn’t have legs. Many right-wingers circumvent the rote bigotry by denigrating political allegiance over race and defer to the “CCP virus” instead.
President Trump is winding down a turbulent 4 years amid much grief and despair. His capsized ship has vomited him out and he is limping back to shore on his tattered, leaking life boat. Will he make it to dry land by January 20?
We don’t know, but it appears his last gesture of truculence before he goes underwater will be a last fit of China hate.
America is set to present dramatic new evidence that the virus leaked from a Wuhan lab – in the final act of the Trump administration.
Senior officials in Washington say that outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to make a ‘bombshell intervention’.
They say he will reveal evidence that SARS-CoV-2 did not leap naturally from bats, pangolins or other species to humans.
Instead he will claim it was cultured by scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology – where Chinese and foreign experts have warned of poor bio-security for years.
I’m curious about the purported “evidence.” Such clear tracing of viral origins halfway around the world is not likely. The technology of “serial passaging,” essentially lab-amplified viral evolution (I think of it as “fruit-fly science” for viruses) leaves little footprint of its human-made origins.
British Foreign Office and security sources confirmed they were expecting the claims from Washington but dismissed them in advance, saying ‘all the credible scientific evidence does not point to a leak from the laboratory’.
They said this view was backed up intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic, adding: ‘The established view of the US intelligence community suggests the pandemic was natural in origin.’
Yesterday Boris Johnson backed the theory the virus first infected humans at the Wuhan wet market, where pangolins were among the live species on offer.
But Mr Pompeo is also set to cite close links between the Institute and the People’s Liberation Army.
He will point out its highest security section has always had a ‘dual use’ military and civilian purpose.
He is also expected to accuse the World Health Organisation of assisting in a Chinese cover-up by refusing to probe the lab’s possible role.
The wet market is a red herring. While infections certainly occurred there, it’s misleading to prop the argument that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan wet market because it detracts from the most logical suspicion. The implication from the Trump team hints at sinister efforts but conspiracies are complicated and the coordination required is unlikely. The idealized Western assumption that the Chinese are assuredly efficient and Tiger-driven wizards of capability is clearly unwarranted.
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis said it was ‘vital’ the WHO team probe the institute as the possible origin of the pandemic.
He said: ‘We don’t know whether this virus was natural or artificially created, and if it came from the lab, whether this was an accident or deliberate. It would be immoral and foolish to allow any sort of cover-up.
‘If it emerges the virus did come from the lab, China will become the pariah of the world.’
And that is precisely the reason we’ll never know.
China, and its global bidders, will perpetuate the subterfuge. This was not an act of malice, it was an inaction of sloppiness. That smoking SARS-2 gun with China’s fingerprints has not been allowed to exist, and if it ever did, was melted down long ago. There is no way China will own the destruction COVID-19 has brought. It’s too big to fail.