U.S. and U.K intelligence agencies are carefully examining cell phone data that might show a shutdown in October of the high-security area of the Wuhan lab where bat coronaviruses were being studied.
Some analysts believe that this evidence suggests a “hazardous event” occurred at the lab right around the time that the coronavirus was first seen in Wuhan.
U.S. intelligence can’t confirm whether the lab was shut down during that time or not, and have been silent about any reason it might have happened if it did.
But the report, compiled using publicly available cellphone data, explains why it’s not so nutty to think that something very bad happened at the lab in Wuhan where the specific bat coronavirus that later was able to make the leap to infect humans, was being studied.
The report, obtained by the NBC News Verification unit in London, shows no cellphone activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology between Oct. 7 and Oct. 24, 2019 and says there may have been a “hazardous event” sometime between Oct. 6 and 11. But there is no hard proof either of a shutdown or that the virus mistakenly leaked from the lab.
Were there evidence of a lab shutdown, it would bolster theories alluded to by the Trump Administration and some scientists that the novel coronavirus accidentally came from the lab. Many scientists, as well as the World Health Organization, remain skeptical of the lab theory and still believe it came from the wet market in Wuhan.
It’s good to be skeptical. The burden of proof is on those making this very serious charge. But the media is allowing their anti-Trump hysteria to get in the way of what could be the most explosive story of the age and the biggest coverup in history.
Experts urged caution over the report, suggesting it may be based on only limited commercially available mobile phone data, and that there could be other reasons for varying levels of phone usage.
However, the document could be what Donald Trump was referring to when the president recently said he had seen evidence giving him a “high degree of confidence” the pandemic began accidentally at the Wuhan laboratory.
That caution may be well-founded.
A US official who has looked at the document told NBC News that the report’s data ‘looks really weak to me and some of the conclusions don’t make sense.’
US officials also said that US intelligence agencies had previously received other reports based on publicly-available cellphone and satellite data, also suggesting that there had been a shutdown at the lab.
But, those agencies later decided that the reports were ‘inconclusive’ after being unable to confirm the shutdown based on reviews of overhead imagry and their own data.
The investigation is just beginning. The agencies have reams of data on the lab, including intercepts and satellite imagery to go through from October. They may yet find evidence to confirm the theory of an accidental release or debunk it.
But the media has already made up its mind; Trump is pushing this story to deflect attention from his administration’s response to the pandemic. Never mind that it might be true. Don’t bother to investigate it. Just jump to your own conclusion and go from there.
Can you imagine if the media devoted the same amount of resources to look into a Wuhan lab-coronavirus pandemic connection that they devoted to the Trump-Russia collusion story?
We’d have the answer in no time.
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