Editor’s Note: This is a fine overview and summary of the film about the origins of the Wuhan virus.
By Jo-Est B. Tan
Part 1. The Story of The Seafood Market
The Wuhan Health Commission released an internal notice on December 30, 2019 saying, “There has been a continuous occurrence of pneumonia cases of unknown cause at Huanan Seafood Market”
Shortly afterward, the Wuhan Health Commission issued a public notice saying that new pneumonia cases were related to the seafood market, but did not transmit virus from human to human.
“Some medical institutions found a link between the pneumonia cases and the Huanan Seafood Market” but that “there was no evidence of ‘obvious human to human transmission’ and no infection among medical personnel.”
So on January 1, 2020, the Huanan Seafood market posted a notice of closure, and had a thorough clean up. Guan Yi, a Hong Kong expert mentioned that it was like they were trying to cover up a crime scene. Officials in Wuhan said that most of the pneumonia cases have had a history in the Huanan Seafood.
On January 26, 2020, the Institute of Virology of China, CDC said that 33 of the 585 environmental samples from Wuhan market had the novel coronavirus nucleic acid, and added that the virus came from wild animals in the market.
On January 24, The Lancet produced an article called Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China that suggested the virus might not have originated from the market.
The first author of the paper was Huang Chaolin, the Deputy Director of Jin Yin-tan Hospital, and this facility was the first to treat patients with the unknown pneumonia in Wuhan.
Dr. Sean Lin, former Lab Director of the Viral Disease Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research said the symptom onset of the first patient was on December 1, 2019, and had no relation to the Huanan Seafood Market, and no epidemiological link was found between the first patient and later cases.
On December 10, 2019, there were 3 more cases, and 2 of the 3 cases had no relation to the Huanan Seafood Market.
Since December 15, 2019, a cluster of cases with a history of seafood market exposure have been reported. Soon after the December 10, 2019 analysis of 3 patients, there were 14 of 41 patients studied that were found to not have been to the Huanan Seafood Market.
Judy A. Mikovits, Ph.D., a molecular biologist and former Director of Lab of Antiviral Mechanism NCI, pointed out that a Lancet article said that patient zero was did not even go to the seafood market, and that there are no bats at the market or anywhere close. However, a high similarity of SARS CoV-2 nucleotide sequences were found with bat-related viruses.
But reports from NBC and Fox News have stated that bats are a likely source of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
On Janaury 29, The Lancet said 50 of the 99 cases from Jin Yan-Tan, were unrelated to the market.
The New England Journal added that the 45 cases confirmed before January 1st have not been to the market. This information came from two authors who are doctors and medical experts from China.
Daniel Lucy, an epidemiologist from the University of Georgetown said that if the Lancet paper was accurate, the first case would have been infected as early as November 2019 because due to the incubation period of the virus.
This can only mean that the virus was spreading in different areas in Wuhan before the reports suggested that the pneumonia cases had a history of exposure to the seafood market that reportedly started on December 15.
The first panel of experts from the National Health Commission arrived in Wuhan on December 31, 2019. After investigating cases in Jin Yin-Tan hospital, they said that the initial criteria for a confirmed case are fever, history to the seafood market, and whole-genomer sequencing.
The second group of experts that consisted of Zhong Nanshan arrived on January 18th and revised the criteria. They questioned why exposure to the seafood market would be a criterion when one third of the cases were unrelated to that area.
Dr. Lin pointed out the existence of a clear outside source of the infection and possible malfeasance involved in the Chinese information that the CPP is trying to cover up.
“It can go a long way to covering up the actual source by imposing a false place and you’re not looking at the actual victims, then you’re only allowed to find your keys under the light post,” said Mikovits.
Asian Affairs Experts Columnist Gordon Chang thinks the reports of deaths and cases by China are highly ‘suspicious’.
“Beijing for six weeks, in December, in January, suppressed information of the epidemic and then when they officially acknowledged it on January 20, they then started a campaign of suppression of information.
“We know that because the central leading group that was announced on January 26 has a nine person roster, and it’s very heavy with propaganda officials.
“The vice chairman of the group is the Communist Party’s propaganda czar. It appears that the Party’s main goal here is suppression of information, controlling the narrative. That’s more important to them than actually ending the epidemic,” he said.
Part 2 The Mysterious Gene Sequence
China released the full genome sequence of the Wuhan novel coronavirus on January 10, and virologists worldwide started analyzing it.
On February 3, a paper by Zhang Yongzhen from the National Institute of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention and his team, along with the School of Public Health of Fudan University was published by Nature which claimed that the Wuhan coronavirus is closely related to CoVZC45 and CoVZXC21, which are viruses sampled from bats in Zhoushan by the People’s Liberation Army.
The Wuhan coronavirus has an 89.1% nucleotide similarity to the CoVZC45 and exhibits 100% amino acid similarity in the NSP7and E proteins.
Other scientists then used Blast, a program developed by the National Institute of Health and the National Center for Biotechnology Information to compare the viral sequence based on the data released by Chinese authorities on January 12, and the results match with Zhang’s findings.
Scientist Lu Roujian from Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a paper in The Lancet on January 30 saying the Wuhan Virus has an 88% similarity to two bat-derived SARS-like coronaviruses collected in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province.
Additionally, a 2018 paper says that scientists from the Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command have confirmed that there are many SARS-like coronavirus in Zhoushan City which are referred to as Zhoushan virus.
Philipp explains that the Wuhan coronavirus is highly similar to a bat SARS-like coronavirus discovered by the Nanjing Military Research Institute with 100% amino acid similarity in NSP7 and the envelope protein (e protein).
With that information out, Dr. Lin thinks that this might have been created somewhere, just not in a natural environment.
“Hard to see a protein is 100% identical when the virus jumps species. That’s suggesting maybe the virus could be generated with a reverse engineer process.”
Mikovits says the similarity “can’t possibly be a natural mutation.”
“It almost certainly is a recombination event that was laboratory driven,” she said.
Philipp discovered that on January 21, “researchers from the Institute Pasteur Shangai Chinese Academy of Sciences published a paper in Science China Life Sciences suggests that a key part of S protein of Wuhan virus has high homology with the SARS virus.”
The S proteins allow the virus to enter human cells.
“The S proteins are like little mushrooms attached to the surface of the virus. These are also known as spine proteins or spike proteins and are an important tool for the coronavirus to invade human cells.
“The S protein acts as a key which can unlock the lock on the surface of the cell and then invade the cell to propagate and destroy it.”
Dr. Lin says this is the reason for multiorgan failure.
“That’s probably one of the important reasons contributing to multiorgan failure. They can spread out in the human body much faster.”
Mikovits says the virus couldn’t possibly enter human cells without the S protein.
“That’s the lock and key. That’s going to be what drives it right through human cells.
“So now you’re allowing that access to human tissues because the spike proteins of the natural evolutionary strains don’t infect human cells at all.
“And clearly if that spike protein from SARS weren’t on the new COVID-19 or SARS2, it wouldn’t be able to enter human cells.”
This only shows that the virus was modified in a laboratory,
“This is evidence that it couldn’t’ go through the seafood market because how did you get that spike protein off the original SARS from bats or any other way.”
“It’s lab-derived,” she added.
The Shanghai P3 laboratory, which first shared the Wuhan coronavirus genome, was then ordered by authorities to stop operating on February 28. Professor Zhang Yongzhen and his team worked on this laboratory.
A February 26 report on Caixin, a media company associated with the CPP, says Zhang and his team isolated and completed the genome sequence of the unknown virus on January 5.
On the same day, the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center this to the National Health Commission, and recommended prevention measures.
No response was given as of January 11, so the team publicized the sequence on virological.org, which is the first worldwide.
On January 1, the Hubei Health Committee ordered genome sequencing organizations saying “Existing virus samples must be destroyed. Information about the samples, related papers and related data are all prohibited from release”
The Chinese science community was basically told to keep quiet.
Chang thinks that the CPP is just plain dangerous.
“It’s the response to this virus is extremely troubling. It ignored it for six weeks. It allowed it to spread around China. This is dangerous, irresponsible behavior.”
Former US Air Force brigadier general Robert S. Spalding says that China is responsible for every COVID-19 case.
“Every person that it harms is directly attributable to the Chinese Communist Party.”
Part 3 The Discoveries of Dr. Shi Zhengli
Dr. Shi Zhengli, virologist from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, has been studying bats and coronaviruses for many years and was the first to locate the key to how cross-species transmission can happen that would infect humans.
Zhengli has been researching about coronavirus since the 2003 outbreak. Since 2010, Zhengli and her team have been studying how coronaviruses can be transmitted to humans.
In 2010, Zhengli and her team finally published a paper showing how they discovered “the passageway for coronaviruses to enter human bodies.”
Another paper published by the same team in 2013 showed that they were able to successfully isolate 3 viruses from bats, and one of those had an S protein that integrated with human ACE-2 receptors, which only suggested that “direct human infection of SARS-like viruses to humans without the need for an intermediate host.”
Furthermore, in a 2015 paper, her team discussed a synthetic, and self-replicating Chimeric virus. This virus basically had the ability to allow for cross-species infection. Animals trials were also done on mice and subjects had lung damage that had no cure.
“Zhengli’s successful splicing of the SARS virus was a key to open the door to the cross-species transmission.”
Zhengli then mentioned she wanted experiments on primates.
“Her move to research on primates suggest this was to more closely simulate the infection of humans, with this new synthetic virus.”
This had the academic community concerned.
Simon Wain-Hobson of the Pasteur Institute in France told Nature, “If the new virus escaped, nobody could project the trajectory.”
Mikovits thinks that this is just evidence that the virus was made in a laboratory.
“Her work proves the hypothesis that it could not possibly have been generated in a natural, zoonotic transmission but had to come from a hospital setting, the laboratory setting, the bio safety level 4 Wuhan research facility.”
On November 14, 2018, Zhengli gave a presentation called “Studies on Bat Coronavirus and its cross-species infection”. The Shanghai Jiao Tong University has since deleted reports of the study on their website.
Chang thinks that since China is blaming the US for the virus, the latter should just lay out the facts.
“The US needs to defend itself because China is propagating this narrative that we [US] spread the coronavirus to China.”
“The US needs to just come out with the facts about how China took coronavirus samples from Canada and the US, they sent them to Wuhan.”
Part 4 The Secret of the Wuhan P4 Laboratory
On February 3, Zhengli published a paper on Nature on February 3 saying the virus was of “probable bat origin”, and used the same key as SARS to infiltrate human bodies.
Zhengli added that the 2019-nCov genome sequence was 96.2% consistent with a bat coronavirus originating in Yunnan, China called RaTG13, suggesting the Wuhan virus comes from a natural source.
But it drew skepticism, as the outbreak started in Wuhan, the place where the P4 laboratory is located that has various similar viruses and might leakage might have happened. But the government decided to blame the seafood market, which doesn’t even sell bats.
Chinese authorities prevented international experts from joining the investigation and attacked doctors such as Li Wenliang who disclosed the outbreak for spreading rumors.
The big question is why would the CCP censor information if the virus did actually come from a natural source?
Chang says that the alleged origin of the virus is peculiar to say the least.
“Almost every disease that starts in China begins in Guangdong Province that surrounds Hong Kong in the south, but Wuhan is in the central portion of the country, and so this was extremely unusual.”
The Lab Origin theory can’t even be considered a conspiracy since no there is no definitive answer regarding the origin of the virus.
“It’s not a conspiracy theory to think that the coronavirus came from the Wuhan lab. And until we know [the truth], the theory about the lab origin is certainly something that we should consider.”
On January 2, an email from the Director-General from the institute said, “Notice regarding the strict prohibition of disclosure of any information related to the Wuhan unknown pneumonia. “
“National Health Commission clearly mandates that all detection, empirical data, results, and conclusions related to this outbreak cannot be published on self-media or social media, nor disclosed to any media (including state media) or collaborative organizations (including any technical services companies”
On January 21, ”a new drug, “Remdesivir” provided to China by the US for Wuhan Coronavirus treatment was patented by the Wuhan Institute of Virology”
During the month of February, a lot of things happened regarding the P4 laboratory.
- On February 3, Dr. Wu Xiaohua blew the whistle using his real name that Shi Zhengli’s haphazard laboratory management may have led the Wuhan virus to leak from the lab.
- On February 4, Chairman of Duoyi, Xu Bo, blew the whistle using his real name that the by Wuhan Institute of Virology was suspected of manufacturing and leaking the Wuhan virus
- On February 7, “Top Biochemical Weapon Expert” of the People’s Liberation Army, Chen Wei, officially assumed control over the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s P4 laboratory.
- On February 14, Xi Jinping called for the inclusion of biosecurity into China’s national security framework, and to accelerate the introduction of a biosecurity law.
- On February 15, the Institute refuted widely spread rumors on Chinese social media that female graduate Huang Yanling was patient zero, and had perished. However, Huang’s photo, CV, and thesis were all removed from the institute’s website, leaving only her name.
- On February 17, Institute researcher Chen Quanjiao, blew the whistle using her real name that Director-General of the Institute, Wang Yanyi, was suspected of leaking the virus.
In addition, Dr. Francis Boyle, famous for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, said, “The novel coronavirus we’re facing here is an offensive biological warfare weapon.”
In 1999, the People’s Liberation Army published a book called “Unrestricted Warfare” discussing how weaker nations can fight against stronger nations in the context of modern warfare.
Author Qiao Liang wrote “After the first Taiwan Strait crisis, we realized that if Chinese and American military fought head on, we are at a disadvantage. Therefore we need a new strategy to help our military tilt the balance of power”
The Federation of American Scientists expressed concern saying that the CCP has advanced chemical warfare projects, including research, development, manufacturing, and weaponizing capabilities.
Spalding thinks China wants to be the best in biological weapons.
“I believe they have them. I think they want to be the most advanced nation on earth when it comes to biological weapons.”
Anthony Shaffer, former CIA trained officer says that China has some big plans.
“There’s a lot of concern about what China’s ambitions are regarding long term global domination.
“Their military doctrines indicated that they intend to be the dominant political and military force to Pacific Rim”
Chang says that the US should start defending itself since China has declared ‘war’,
“Last May, the communist party, through People’s Daily, carried a piece which said there was a “people’s war” against the United States. There is a war. China told us there’s one.”
Part 5 Facing The Pandemic
The virus has spread to 190 countries. Europe is now the center of the outbreak, and the US has called a state of national emergency.
Spalding emphasizes that China has a strong influence on many organizations, including the World Health Organization.
“All you have to do is look at the photo of Tedros (Adhanom, Director-General of WHO) and Xi (Jin Ping, Chinese president) shaking hands. It really is indicative of how China controls many of these international institutions.”
“You can see that the WHO is essentially following Chinese communist party’s guidelines.”
Chang similarly acknowledges how China is willing to go the extra mile to conceal essential information.
“From the very beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, the communist party has done its best to prevent the CDC and others from studying the origin of the disease.”
Mikovits says that the real fight is not against the virus, but against the CPP.
“The biggest issue is fighting a system that is determined to cover up and persecute anyone who reveals the truth behind.”
Chang thinks the same.
“Every country has diseases, but in China they become national emergencies and global emergencies because the real disease here is communism.”
Philipp also added that the scientists who suggested the lab theory declined to be interviewed and avoided questions regarding the virus.
Shaffer thinks the media such as those In the US have also been influenced by China because they wouldn’t discuss subjects that are sensitive to China being responsible for the deaths of thousands.
“In this case there is a lot of things not being said.”
Spalding says that this is because those media companies make a lot of money from China, and if they go against the country’s wishes, then they would suffer great consequences.
“Chinese communist party suppressing speech in the West because these companies make money from China. The CCP is going to punish them if they essentially publish this stuff. There is no other reason”
Chang thinks that China’s influence alone contributed to the spread of the virus.
“Communist Party is maligned and is grossly irresponsible. It has pressured governments to keep their borders open and it had to know that would result in the fast spread of coronavirus to other countries.”
“Chinese communism is evil.”