It is an odd coincidence that Wuhan, China, ground zero for the latest iteration of the coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, is also home to one or more Chinese bio-weapons labs.
The Washington Times’s China expert, Bill Gertz, reports that the city is home to:
China’s most advanced virus research laboratory, known the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The laboratory is the only declared site in China capable of working with deadly viruses.
Dany Shoham, a former Israeli military intelligence officer who has studied Chinese biological warfare, said the institute is linked to Beijing’s covert bio-weapons program.
Locals worry that the totalitarian government isn’t telling them the truth about the disease:
“Imagine being a Wuhan citizen…they can't get any medical treatments, they can't even get a diagnosis. They can only sit and wait to die.”
— The Epoch Times – China Insider (@EpochTimesChina) January 29, 2020
Gertz also questions Chinese government officials, who have been particularly mum about the disease:
Suspicions about a link to a biological warfare leak in Wuhan have been raised because the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory handles deadly viruses and its civilian and military research are intertwined in China.
The Washington Times reported Friday that a former Israeli military intelligence analyst on the Chinese biological arms program said it is possible the disease escaped from one of two Chinese research facilities that are linked to China’s covert biological weapons program.
The virus could have escaped from a lab.
Here's a timelapse of a #Coronavirus grown in a lab, which scientists hope could help them find a vaccine.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) January 29, 2020
But it also could have come from exactly where Chinese health officials claimed, a live animal (with live bats) market:
— Dithira Wellappuli® (@DWellappuli) January 26, 2020
PJMedia’s Charlie Martin reported that eating live bats is a bad idea:
[The disease is not caused] because of eating bat soup. The virus can’t survive being boiled long enough to make bats tender. The first patients probably did get it from being around live bats.
[But] It’s (almost certainly) not some Communist Wuhan Secret Lab bioweapon. Basically, remember Occam’s Razor: the simplest explanation is to be preferred. This is another variant of a virus that’s probably been around forever and was probably killing people in Confucius’s time. The difference is that without gene sequencing and modern medicine, it was called “it’s so sad, grampa caught pneumonia and passed away” instead of “scary death-virus coronavirus.” But as a bioweapon, when it’s only got an R0 of 2-3 and a 5 percent mortality, it sucks.
The U.S. is reacting to the coronavirus by calling back its expats from Wuhan:
JUST IN: Flight from Wuhan, China, has landed at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside — 200+ American citizens onboard will be quarantined for 72 hours and screened for #coronavirus symptoms. #abc7eyewitness @ABC7 pic.twitter.com/cLe5hjswCs
— Marc Cota-Robles (@abc7marccr) January 29, 2020
Europe is being urged to do the same:
— Oliver Miočić (@olivermiocic) January 29, 2020
The World Health Organization will hold a special meeting this week to address the outbreak of the disease:
I have decided to reconvene the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on the new #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) tomorrow to advise me on whether the current outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. pic.twitter.com/993YBQ6hol
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) January 29, 2020
Alarm over the disease and its quick spread has resulted in airlines canceling flights in and out of China.
Lufthansa has announced that it is temporarily ceasing operations in China:
— DW News (@dwnews) January 29, 2020
American Airlines Suspends Flights To China, Amid #Coronavirus Outbreak
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) January 29, 2020
The Trump White House is considering ordering the cancelation of flights to China.
Indeed, Chinese airlines, such as Mandarin and Taiwan’s China Airlines will stop offering meals, blankets, and other personal effects to minimize contact with passengers.
China is fast-tracking building hospitals to accommodate all the people expected to come down with the virus.
In the meantime, it sure would be nice to know where the hell it came from.
Asked whether the new coronavirus may have leaked, Mr. Shoham said: “In principle, outward virus infiltration might take place either as leakage or as an indoor unnoticed infection of a person that normally went out of the concerned facility. This could have been the case with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but so far there isn’t evidence or indication for such incident.
Only after genome sequencing will there be a possibility of getting to the cause.