Red Flags: Chinese Laboratory in Wuhan Cited Two Years Ago For Dangerous Research On Bats and Coronavirus

1600px-Coronaviruses_004_loresWhen the coronavirus first appeared in Wuhan, China, many people immediately raised the concern that it might have been the result of a lab release from a controversial Chinese Lab: the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The lab was working on coronavirus and had raised concerns over its containment protocols.  Then there was the fact that China hid the outbreak, arrested top doctors, and buried research on its origins.  However, a narrative quickly emerged in countering President Donald Trump’s references to the “China virus.”  People, including members of Congress, who referred to the lab were ridiculed on CNN and other outlets as conspiracy theorists.  For some of us, the overwhelming media narrative seemed odd and artificial. It would seem obvious that a lab working on viruses in this area would be an obvious possible source.  Now, after weeks of chastising those who mentioned the lab theory, another cache of documents and information shows that there are ample reasons to be suspicious and that concerns were raised two years ago within the State Department.

The Washington Post reported  that embassy officials in January 2018 alerted U.S. officials of serious problems in the lab which was conducting risky research on bats, the very source of COVIT-19. The United Kingdom has issued a statement  that they are seriously considering the lab as a possible source.

The first cable on Jan.19, 2018 flagged serious problems at a lab dealing with the world’s most dangerous viruses:  “During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory.”

The cables discuss Shi Zhengli, the head of the research project, who in November 2017 published a paper on horseshoe bats collected from a case in Yunnan province. That is the same bat population behind the first SARS coronavirus in 2003.  The cable stated

“the researchers also showed that various SARS-like coronaviruses can interact with ACE2, the human receptor identified for SARS-coronavirus. This finding strongly suggests that SARS-like coronaviruses from bats can be transmitted to humans to cause SARS-like diseases. From a public health perspective, this makes the continued surveillance of SARS-like coronaviruses in bats and study of the animal-human interface critical to future emerging coronavirus outbreak prediction and prevention.”

Sound familiar?
The point is not that this proves that the virus originated in the lab. Rather, my interest is the overwhelming media narrative that emerged to deny that this was a credible potential source.  That narrative emerged around the time that the media was hammering Trump for his use of “China virus” and “Wuhan virus.”  That criticism was enhanced by the argument that the virus developed naturally.  That could still be the case but it never seemed rational to me to discount the lab theory.
What is most amazing is that, if the Chinese allowed this virus to escape and then arrested doctors raising the alarm over the spread, it would be one of the greatest stories of our lifetime: a world pandemic caused by human error.  Millions have been infected and thousands have died. If the cause was negligence by a totalitarian nation (that ignored warnings and punished doctors), this would be a story of the century. Suddenly magazines care saying that they are now thinking about the “unthinkable.”  Yet, it was never truly unthinkable was it?
Yesterday, CNN aired stories on the cables without acknowledging that its prior coverage dismissing the theory.  CNN was not alone.  This is why the public has lost such faith in the media.  It is not because the media has confronted Trump, who often makes reckless and false statements.  It is the sense of the coverage is being shaped constantly shaped an agenda separate from the merits of these stories.  Many commentators and journalists worked too hard to dismiss the lab as a potential source.  When members of Congress raised the theory, they were mocked as “still” talking about a theory that groups declared as wholly invalid.

There is a story here. Not just on whether the lab was the source of the outbreak but whether the media blinded itself to that possibility.

229 thoughts on “Red Flags: Chinese Laboratory in Wuhan Cited Two Years Ago For Dangerous Research On Bats and Coronavirus”

    1. Like the UN, the WHO is influenced too deeply by human rights abusers.

      The West isn’t perfect. It’s not heaven, after all. But there is no comparison for human rights.

  1. Because Trump said it, Trump sycophants need to find evidence or speculate that it is either true or might be true.

    The Hurricane headed to Alabama is an example of that.

    The simpler explanation is that Trump is either lying or has no idea what he is talking about. If he somehow once turns out to be telling the truth, it will be his fault most of us do not believe him because he lies so much about everything.

    1. Because Trump said it, Trump sycophants need to find evidence or speculate that it is either true or might be true.

      Well duh. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be sycophants, now would they? Those not sycophants, but President Trump supporters, would not speculate, but rather look for evidence to prove what was said to be either true or false. Conversely, sycophants of the Lefty ideology and/or anti-Trumpers eliminate the requirement for evidence entirely. They also don’t merely speculate, they adamantly assert their feelings prove President Trump lying.

      You can try again, but I suspect that was your best shot. Oops.


    China clamping down on coronavirus research, deleted pages suggest
    Move is likely to be part of attempt to control the narrative surrounding the pandemic

    Wed 15 Apr 2020

    China is cracking down on publication of academic research about the origins of the novel coronavirus, in what is likely to be part of a wider attempt to control the narrative surrounding the pandemic, documents published online by Chinese universities appear to show.

    Two websites for leading Chinese universities appear to have recently published and then removed pages that reference a new policy requiring academic papers dealing with Covid-19 to undergo extra vetting before they are submitted for publication.

    Research on the origins of the virus is particularly sensitive and subject to checks by government officials, the notices posted on the websites of Fudan University and the China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) said. Both the deleted pages were accessed from online caches.

    Prof Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute in London, said the Chinese government had a heavy focus on how the evolution and management of the virus is perceived since the early days of the outbreak.

    “In terms of priority, controlling the narrative is more important than the public health or the economic fallout,” he said. “It doesn’t mean the economy and public health aren’t important. But the narrative is paramount.”

    With the virus having infected more than a million people worldwide and caused heavy casualties particularly across Europe and the US, details about its origin and the first weeks of the pandemic – when there was a cover-up by local officials – may be considered particularly sensitive.

    “If these documents are authentic it would suggest the government really wants to control the narrative about the origins of Covid-19 very tightly,” said Tsang of the reports of new regulations.

    China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) appears to have published and then deleted new requirements that academic papers dealing with the origins of the virus be approved by China’s ministry of science and technology before publication.

    The university’s academic committee was expected to first go through the research “with an emphasis on checking the accuracy of the thesis, as well as whether it is suitable for publication,” the regulation said.

    “When the checks have been completed, the school should report to the Ministry of Science and Technology [MOST], and it should only be published after it has [also] been checked by MOST,” it said.

    Despite its name, the geosciences university announced elsewhere on its website that it was carrying out coronavirus research.

    A separate document obtained by the Guardian, which could not be independently verified, appears to be from the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University and also said publication of research into the origins of Covid-19 would need approval from the science and technology ministry.

    Another notice, which appears to have been published on 9 April by the school of information science and technology at Fudan University in Shanghai, called for “strict and serious” management of papers investigating the source of the outbreak.

    Papers could only be submitted for publication after being approved by a special office. Email, names and phone numbers provided on the notice suggested that office was part of China’s ministry of education.

    A source who alerted the Guardian to cached versions of the websites, and who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they were concerned by what appeared to be an attempt by Chinese authorities to intervene in the independence of the scientific process.

    The person said researchers submitting academic papers on other medical topics did not have to vet their work with government ministries before seeking publication.

    A technical analysis of the cached websites indicated that the posts were published on verified university websites before they were removed. The Guardian could not independently verify that they reflected a new government policy.

    The notices appear to be part of a broader push to manage research on the virus. The science and technology ministry said on 3 April that ongoing clinical research on the coronavirus must be reported to authorities within three days or be halted.

    In March China’s president, Xi Jinping, published an essay that included “tracing the origin of the virus” on a list of national priorities. It was referenced by the science and technology ministry shortly before the universities posted their orders.

    The Chinese government did not reply to a request for comment sent by the Guardian to the Chinese embassy in Washington.

    While the exact origin of the pandemic is still not certain, one commonly held hypothesis is that it began following an interaction between a human and an animal at the Huanan seafood “wet market” in Wuhan.

    Scientists have said the virus probably originated in bats and then passed through an intermediary animal before infecting the first human.

    Scientists believe the transmission was similar to that in the 2002 outbreak of Sars. Some criticism of China has focused on why the government did not shut down wet markets after the previous outbreaks of coronaviruses.

    Kevin Carrico, a senior research fellow of Chinese studies at Monash University, said he was not aware of any specific recent change to rules for academic research in China in connection to Covid-19, but the documents were generally consistent with efforts by China to control the narrative of the pandemic.

    “They are seeking to transform it from a massive disaster to one where the government did everything right and gave the rest of the world time to prepare,” Carrico said.

    Carrico said those efforts had been evident in communications ranging from government pronouncements at the highest level to public sentiment on social media.

    “There is a desire to a degree to deny realities that are staring at us in the face … that this is a massive pandemic that originated in a place that the Chinese government really should have cleaned up after Sars,” he said.

    Around a month ago senior Chinese diplomats, officials and state media all publicly encouraged speculation that the new coronavirus could have come from outside the country. The foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian suggested without evidence that the US military might have brought the virus to Wuhan.

  3. Turley claims that media aren’t credible because they don’t report some “possibility” that a lab error in China is the source of COVID-19. First of all, what should media actually report? What, exactly, are there facts? How did it get out of the lab? When, where, and who was patient zero? Turley claims that the lab is a “credible possible source”. Based on what facts, exactly? Nothing but pure speculation, and an attempt to pivot blame away from Trump. Is there a way to trace this infection back to that lab? Probably not. But, in any event, what does that have to do with this pandemic and Trump’s monumental failures and constant lying?

    A huge point Turley always overlooks is the constant harping by Trump News Network (that goes by the name “Fox News”) that media cannot be trusted, primarily because they report the truth about him. I see this piece as some feeble attempt to feed into that narrative–trying to provide non-Trump fodder that media cannot be trusted by claiming that a lab cited for safety issues could be a “credible possible source” of this infection.

    The big story is the fact that a pandemic was predicted, and a playbook was created for dealing with it, all of which Trump ignored while he lied about a vaccine being available “very quickly”, lied about the efficacy of an untested and unproven drug, and played down the seriousness of this crisis, all of which cost American lives. Speculating about sloppy lab procedures as a “possible credible source” of this pandemic without any evidence is a waste of time at this point. COVID-19 is here to stay.

    1. HA! Wow. The arrogance which allows a harridan to unleash a torrent of scolding at the mote in Turley’s eye and not even see the smear of feces on her own face.

      Natacha doesn’t get it. catch up on the news before you dig yourself into the hole any deeper.

      and it is most certainly NOT a waste of time. the sars cov 2 virus, emergent from nature, may have been captured and under study at the wuhan bsl 4 lab, which made an accidental release to a social vector. this absolutely must be studied

      likewise, related to the epidemiological and virological study of other coronaviruses and their zoonotic potential, President Obama wisely paused “Gain of function” studies which were considered dangerous, and yet, restarted in late 2017. While these may not be related to the covid-19 disease emergence, guess what?


      and the fact that studies COULD cook one up in a lab, is definitely something to ‘worry” about.

      1. Prove it. Or, as they used to say when I was a child: “put up or shut up.” I don’t know, and neither do you, what the origin of this virus was, and at this point, given the crisis we are facing, it really doesn’t matter. According to Turley, media should report some vague “possibility” that a lab error caused this infection. All that would do is cause more acts of violence against Asian Americans.

        Previous administrations put together plans for how to deal with this foreseeable crisis, which Trump repudiated. He also misled the American people by claiming that 15 cases would soon be 0 cases, that we’d have a vaccine “very quickly”, that it would be over by April, and he touted an unproven and untested drug, which, so far, has not proven to help cure or shorten the course of the disease, and which may have dangerous side-effects. It may have some anti-inflammatory properties, but it doesn’t cure the patient. We have other anti-inflammatories.

        And, BTW, Trump tried to re-name the virus to stigmatize the Chinese because his little tariff war went nowhere. Nevertheless, he still sent them our PPE.

        1. sorry, I don’t shut up because you say so lady

          you’re the one who claims the origin does not matter

          I elaborated sufficiently why the question does matter.

          if you’re too dim witted to get it, ok. feel free to keep on considering yourself so superior and have a nice day

        2. The issue is it does matter. It mattered originally because if half of trumps idiot supporters knew it had anything to do with a lab gathering infected bats and didn’t just appear randomly in nature they’d have stopped acting like it was some hoax or this years flu bug and gone into lockdown mode early. This country and others would have taken preventive measures in January and not the moment it landed (he’ll if China didn’t lock up the scientists blowing the whistle in November and December this may have played out very differently). And we’d be taking action now to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

          Instead the wet market is open again. The lab is open with no additional controls and China is trying to claim it came from anywhere else, including the United States and pressuring publications from here to the U.K. to retract any stories claiming Wuhan as a source as lacking proof, same as you said with the lab…

        3. Natacha – the estimates that Trump was giving were given to him by Facie (sp). He followed his recommendations.
          When we sent them materials (as did Canada) WHO was saying it could not be transmitted human to human. We did not expect to need those PPE.
          The ChiCom virus was transmitted human to human and when we got out first case Trump shut down travel to Wuhan, then later travel to all China.

          BTW, prove the unproven and tested (2 trials now) doesn’t cure the patient. We are all waiting for your informed answer, Nurse Rachett

    2. Natacha, you’re right about Trump’s complete negligence. Even the one thing he did right, the ban on flights from China was handled in a piss poor manner. You still had 430k arrive since January as of April 2 and he did nothing else to prepare.

      That aside, touting that a lab in walking distance from the supposed epicenter is being investigated for their role when they’ve been cited by the state department for being likely to cause a pandemic due to their poor hygienic practices in dealing with bats with coronaviruses is common sense.

      The fact that you’re fine with the media pushing China’s coverup story that it came from a wet market, even when China themselves ruled it out rings of hypocrisy. The right was foolish to label covid a hoax, and trump switches positions so much, he implemented a travel ban, then went with it being a hoax, then sent 18 tons of PPE to China then claimed we’d have no cases by April all within a month. That doesn’t mean the left has been much better in their rampant denial of any possibility that the lab could be related, acting with indignation and outrage as if anyone who mentions it is a knuckle dragging flat earther Cro-magnon. It makes sense why China would protest so much if anyone would try to associate them with it, but why would the media? It reminds me of the NBAers calling them out for the human rights violations in Hong Kong only to run it back and then bow before the CCP overlords.

      1. “The right was foolish to label covid a hoax”

        For my part I NEVER said it was a hoax whatsoever. And Steve Bannon is supposedly the farthest right figure recognizable in national politics and he called it early as serious problem and potential pandemic. Late January. Anyhow he calls himself an “economic nationalist” and I admit I like him and I was listening to him early on about it. I was also getting direct communications from my network inside the lockdown zone in Central China. I dont know if CK was reading here back then or not so I repeat this at the risk of sounding like a broken record.

        There are some people out there, perhaps religious right? who thought it was a hoax. maybe still do., I am not part of the religious right, not sure what people mean by that, but I am pretty sure i’m outside of it. I don’t spend any time reading that stuff as there has been a lot of information to keep on top of without pretending the disease was illusory.

        I try to avoid groupthink on emerging trends. I advocated social distancing to flatten the curve, i adopted facemasks early, but I advocate weighing the economic impact of continuing it too long, as well. There are tradeoffs. I resist the herding of people into a diametric on these questions. Public health should be something that unites all of us in a geographic area and all the factions take the provable risks and tradeoffs seriously, however their valuations of various negative possible outcomes may differ.

        1. “For my part I NEVER said it was a hoax whatsoever.”

          Kurtz, you never called Covid a hoax and neither did the President. Anyone that believes differently is just plain stupid.

    3. Natacha – The big story is the fact that a pandemic was predicted, and a playbook was created for dealing with it, all of which Trump ignored while he lied about a vaccine being available “very quickly”, lied about the efficacy of an untested and unproven drug, and played down the seriousness of this crisis, all of which cost American lives. Speculating about sloppy lab procedures as a “possible credible source” of this pandemic without any evidence is a waste of time at this point. COVID-19 is here to stay.

      Trump reacted to the pandemic before WHO did and just what pandemic was predicted? WHO was feeding the world bad info.
      The drugs being used are tested, as you well know, since you supposed were a nurse. They are now be used, as often happens, for a non-intended disease. I take one of those myself.
      Sloppy labs are a real problem and is the reason the FBI almost lost its accreditation for its lab. My next door neighbor supervises the lab in a major hospital and keeping it clean to prevent cross-contamination is a major problem all the time.
      Speaking of sloopy labs, it appears that Fredo Cuomo did not have the ChiCom virus. So, either Fredo was lying or the labs were wrong.

      The people who cdst unnecessary lives were people like Pelosi who wanted people to go to Chinatown or de Blasio to have everybody go to work on the packed subway.

      1. “The Great American Pandemic Panic And Melodrama Of 2020”


        Would You Believe???

        “There Ain’t No Time To Wonder Why,

        We’re All Gonna Die!”

        – Country Joe and the Fish, 1968

    4. “Turley claims that the lab is a “credible possible source”. Based on what facts, exactly?”

      He listed those facts. The cables from our embassy that indicated that a tour of Wuhan Institute of Virology showed the lab lacked sufficient training and biocontainment protocols. The lab was studying SARS-relted coronaviruses in bats that were zoonotic. That’s what that human receptor meant. And it lacked training and biosecurity. Those cables are evidence.

      2 years later, in that city, there was a SARS-related coronavirus outbreak that was suspected of being zoonotic.

      The other credible suspect is the wet market, which China had also been warned about for years. It’s probably one of the two.

      China has been deleting records. In order to determine, with certainty, if it originated in WIV would require sending an extraction team to Wuhan, kidnapping Chinese scientists from WIV, administering sodium pentathal, and then questioning them. There is no way to recover deleted documents, if they were wiped professionally. That seems a bit heavy handed, however, and so unlikely to be accomplished.

      Otherwise, someone inside China would have to talk. The doctors who did so were incarcerated and some died.

      Other than that, I doubt the source will ever be proven with certainty. The UK deems it a credible possible source. Perhaps you think they are all crackpots, too.

      You seem very eager to help Russians and Chinese with their propaganda.

  4. jpl,
    “It also seems doubtful that it was purposefully released, because why would you do that in the same city where the lab is.”

    It’s a good cover for an “accident”. However, last summer, people in Wuhan protested the government because the pollution is so bad there. Perhaps it was purposely released to punish the upstart citizenry.

    1. The Communist leaders of China care as much for the people of China as Hitlary DNC clones care about Americans in midwesterner states and Whites who believe in God, own guns and work blue collar jobs

      The only reason the Liberals stay in the USA is to eat Cheez Wiz and the heads of newborn babies just for shi!ts and giggles

      1. Excuse me, Mister Huxley, our blog is under siege by sock puppets. Could you step into the light? We’d like to have a look at you.

        1. Mr. Shill, you do know that when you quote the New York Slimes, you quote the communist party headquarters propaganda and indoctrination materials, right? I should think you would do well to hide your sources, to be opaque like the communist enemy, communist China, the Board of the New York Slimes.

  5. It’s No Conspiracy Theory

    Virus May Have Originated In Wuhan Laboratory

    It was early January, and the call with a Hong Kong epidemiologist left Matthew Pottinger rattled.

    Mr. Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser and a hawk on China, took a blunt warning away from the call with the doctor, a longtime friend: A ferocious, new outbreak that on the surface appeared similar to the SARS epidemic of 2003 had emerged in China. It had spread far more quickly than the government was admitting to, and it wouldn’t be long before it reached other parts of the world.

    Mr. Pottinger had worked as a Wall Street Journal correspondent in Hong Kong during the SARS epidemic, and was still scarred by his experience documenting the death spread by that highly contagious virus.

    Now, seventeen years later, his friend had a blunt message: You need to be ready. The virus, he warned, which originated in the city of Wuhan, was being transmitted by people who were showing no symptoms — an insight that American health officials had not yet accepted. Mr. Pottinger declined through a spokesman to comment.

    It was one of the earliest warnings to the White House, and it echoed the intelligence reports making their way to the National Security Council. While most of the early assessments from the C.I.A. had little more information than was available publicly, some of the more specialized corners of the intelligence world were producing sophisticated and chilling warnings.

    In a report to the director of national intelligence, the State Department’s epidemiologist wrote in early January that the virus was likely to spread across the globe, and warned that the coronavirus could develop into a pandemic. Working independently, a small outpost of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Center for Medical Intelligence, came to the same conclusion. Within weeks after getting initial information about the virus early in the year, biodefense experts inside the National Security Council, looking at what was happening in Wuhan, started urging officials to think about what would be needed to quarantine a city the size of Chicago.

    By mid-January there was growing evidence of the virus spreading outside China. Mr. Pottinger began convening daily meetings about the coronavirus. He alerted his boss, Robert C. O’Brien, the national security adviser.

    The early alarms sounded by Mr. Pottinger and other China hawks were freighted with ideology — including a push to publicly blame China that critics in the administration say was a distraction as the coronavirus spread to Western Europe and eventually the United States.

    And they ran into opposition from Mr. Trump’s economic advisers, who worried a tough approach toward China could scuttle a trade deal that was a pillar of Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.

    Edited From: “He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure On The Virus”

    The New York Times, 4/11/20 Update 4/14

    1. It’s No Conspiracy: Part 2

      With his skeptical — some might even say conspiratorial — view of China’s ruling Communist Party, Mr. Pottinger initially suspected that President Xi Jinping’s government was keeping a dark secret: that the virus may have originated in one of the laboratories in Wuhan studying deadly pathogens. In his view, it might have even been a deadly accident unleashed on an unsuspecting Chinese population.

      During meetings and telephone calls, Mr. Pottinger asked intelligence agencies — including officers at the C.I.A. working on Asia and on weapons of mass destruction — to search for evidence that might bolster his theory.

      They didn’t have any evidence. Intelligence agencies did not detect any alarm inside the Chinese government that analysts presumed would accompany the accidental leak of a deadly virus from a government laboratory. But Mr. Pottinger continued to believe the coronavirus problem was far worse than the Chinese were acknowledging. Inside the West Wing, the director of the Domestic Policy Council, Joe Grogan, also tried to sound alarms that the threat from China was growing.

      Mr. Pottinger, backed by Mr. O’Brien, became one of the driving forces of a campaign in the final weeks of January to convince Mr. Trump to impose limits on travel from China — the first substantive step taken to impede the spread of the virus and one that the president has repeatedly cited as evidence that he was on top of the problem.

      In addition to the opposition from the economic team, Mr. Pottinger and his allies among the China hawks had to overcome initial skepticism from the administration’s public health experts.

      Edited From: “He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure On The Virus”

      The New York Times, 4/11/20 Update 4/14


        This New York Times story was the link within the link in Professor Turley’s column. It’s quite possible Turley’s column is primarily based on the NYT story. But said article is generally critical of Trump.

        1. I suspect that the word may have leaked out to Steve Bannon, perhaps a connection of Mr Pottinger? Which is why Steve Bannon set up the “pandemic broadcast” which has been the source of much solid information since late January.

          And yet Bannon was evicted from the NSC years ago. By who?

          Oh,. Jared Kushner, they say. That’s just a rumor, I don’t know it’s true, but one wonders if the pencil necked geek hasnt been a slimy ganelon messing things up in the rear with the gear all along.

          My main grudge against Jared? he just looks like a pencil necked geek, on a good day. On a bad one, like Cassius, with a lean and hungry look. potential backstabber if you ask me, if not one already

          probably Trump can’t fire that weasel because then he would do him in even worse. pathetic situation.

  6. Obama endeavored mightily against America while “…fundamentally transforming…” and diluting the United States into a weakened equivalent of third world nations around the world, culminating in Obama’s delivery of $1.8 billion and pallets of untraceable cash to the terrorist state of Iran and the execution of a failed coup d’etat in America.

    Obama is the son of an anti-Colonialist, anti-American, radical extremist who was jailed for six months by the British. Obama carried forward and perpetrated the “Dreams from My Father” against America. Obama is the adversarial archetype for the requirement by the Framers “…to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners…” into government.

    “Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the

    administration of our national Government,…”

    – John Jay – New York, 25 July 1787

    Unfortunately, the son of a foreign citizen with blatant, glaring foreign allegiances, and enemy of the West and America, now appears to have funded the source of the cataclysm, “Wuhan Flu,” including its pervasive pathological and economic apocalypse.

    “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”

    – Sun Tzu

    Obama and China –

    The two have brought America to its knees.

  7. Quite a number of typos: “COVIT-19” which should presumably COVID-19, “collected from a case in Yunnan” s/b “cave”, etc.

    1. Quite a number of typos: “COVIT-19” which should presumably [be] COVID-19,

      Wow, thanks Tom. I’m sure if it weren’t for you grammatical sleuths, this blog would be a ghost town.

  8. “The Wuhan virus was originally developed by Chinese scientists at the University of North Carolina by NIH grants approved by the Obama administration in 2012. ”

    – Tierney RNN

  9. Umm no .. the fact that the release could have come from the lab was accepted quite some time back, though not immediately. What was and is still disputed is that the Chinese government deliberately did it.

    But hey, our the backup goat president assured us President Xi is doing a great job. Perhaps another of Ivanka’s business license approvals were pending on Xi’s desk.

    1. No it wasnt accepted that it might have had a causal link to the lab in wuhan, that was passed off as crackpot conspiracy theory and mere coincidence.

      many many people were banned from Twitter over that very thing including Zerohedge

      Now it’s under serious discussion. Don’t try and push all that into the “memory hole” “Hutom” it wont fly here.,

  10. The Chinese Communist Party Coronavirus is a bio-weapon.

    I’m cynical enough to believe it was released on purpose for many reasons. Marxists don’t value human life. The Marxists history of the Twentieth Century verifies it.

      1. a bioweapon that only cripples and causes mostly just economic damage, could be a potent tool of war

        however, the problem with any sort of bioweapon, is blowback. it harms the own-side forces as well as the enemy.

        for this reason alone, I do not believe it was released intentionally as a bioweapon

        I do suspect that it was a) emergent naturally but b) under covert study at the Wuhan lab, which then c) accidentally released it, and d) the CCP covered that up, to the detriment of the PRC citizens and the world alike.

        of course I could be wrong and the story may be even worse than that. we shall see.

      2. Bythebook,
        Killing large numbers of people does not have to be the goal. While other countries are wounded economically, they are ahead on the recovery curve. They can try to fill various power/economic vacuums.

        1. Maybe, but they have shot themselves as well and a study I linked shows the genetics indicate a naturally occurring virus.

          1. bythebook,
            They have a billion people. If they did shoot themselves, they shot themselves with a Lego cannon. Tis nothing but a flesh wound. They are far ahead on the recovery curve.

            Also, perhaps it does not have to be specifically ‘engineered’ in a lab. What of speeding up natural selection in a lab?

            I bring this up with no pleasure. It would be better for the whole world if some silly person got sick because they decided they wanted bat soup from a “petri-dish” wet market.

            “The studies that have now hit the news have succeeded where other experiments have failed. The difference is that instead of trying rational tweaks, the scientists sat back and let evolution do the tweaking.

            According to the news reports, the scientists used a tried-and-true method known as serial passage. You infect an animal. It gets sick. You wait for the virus to replicate inside its animal host–as new mutants arise and natural selection favors some mutants over others–and then take some viruses from the sick animal and infect a healthy one. You repeat this, moving the virus from host to host.

            Interesting things can happen when you let viruses evolve under these conditions. Natural selection can produce viruses with many new mutations, which together let them reproduce faster in the lab than their ancestors. And those viruses, in some cases, can be a lot more dangerous than their ancestors.

            Back in 2007, for example, a virologist named Kanta Subbarao and her colleagues transformed the SARS virus this way. SARS evolved from a bat virus, crossing over into humans in 2003. It killed over 900 people before it mysteriously disappeared. Subbarao wanted to find a way to study SARS in lab animals, such as mice. Mice normally don’t get sick from human SARS viruses, though, even though the virus can replicate at a low rate inside them. Even when mice are genetically engineered so that they can’t develop an immune system, SARS can’t harm them.

            So Subbarao and her colleagues that instead of changing the mice, they’d change the virus. They inoculated mice with the SARS virus, gave it a chance to replicate inside them, and then isolated the new viruses to infect new mice.

            Over the course of just 15 passages, it changed from a harmless virus into a fatal one. One sniff of SARS was now enough to kill a mouse.

            As Martin Enserink reports in Science, the new experiments on bird flu were similarly effective. They turned H5N1 into a ferret flu in just 10 generations. By the time the scientists were done, they no longer had to ferry the flu from one ferret to the next. A healthy ferret just had to be placed near a sick one; the virus could travel through the air. When they examined the new strain, they discovered five mutations in two genes. All five mutations have been found in natural H5N1 viruses–just not all in one virus.

            A mammal-ready flu virus was beyond human reason, in other words, but it was fairly easy for evolution to find, given the right conditions. That suggests that H5N1 may not have far to evolve to make us its host. Of course, a serial passage experiment is not identical to the flu’s natural world, where it circulates among millions of birds and sometimes encounters people. But it’s disturbingly close.”


    1. i think it was not a bioweapon, but I think the Wuhan bsl 4 lab had some causal nexus to the spread of the virus, not clear what.

      I also admit that “epidemiological” “gain of function” research can be dual-purpose bioweapons research engaged in to covertly skirt the letter of the law under bioweapons conventions.

      And sorry but it could be that both the PRC and the US have BOTH engaged in covert dual purpose research of this kind. Sad to say.

      1. Kurtz, as you have pointed out elsewhere, the US was aiding researchers at the Wuhan lab, so it would be strange indeed if that lab was working on bio-weapons.

        1. Yes strange but not impossible. it is possible that there are covert connections made secretly to researches in legit science programs. by the CIA here or the PLA or whatever there.

          the analogy might be to a covert mission given to a cosmonaut at space facility shared with Americans like the International space station. it might be hard to conceal, and it might be illegal, but that doesn’t mean it’s not been tried.

          offensive bioweapons research is illegal under the existing conventions of which both nations are signatories, to have certain kinds of bioweapons programs. and existing defensive labs like the one we have at Ft Detrick have to be subject to certain verifications; likewise I am sure there is some lawful counterpart on the Russian side for Ft Detrick and its limited annual operations concerning anthrax weapons and so forth.

          of course the nations can conduct illegal clandestine research too., the Russians claim the US is doing that in Georgia. Who knows, maybe so or perhaps not.

          But another way besides establishing an outright illegal lab operation, if a nation wanted to do offensive bioweapons research, they could try to find a way to do it “dual purpose” and the most secure way of doing that might just be to do it flat out illegally, off the books, by corrupting their own scientists, who are working on existing epidemiological studies that are not prohibited by treaties– even though they involve fiddling with pathogens to enhance their infectiousness.

          the lady who took over at some point in wuhan, i forget her chinese name, is accused of being a PLA confederate by Guo Wenggui.aka Miles Kwok. He has a feud with the CCP and hence some bias, and Im sure the CCP says he’s in cahoots with CIA himself; but, he has called some shots correctly before that were otherwise not foreseen in Western circles

          now this point about dual weapons research which law professor Francis boyle has been making. he is a little overboard in his presentation and i think sloppy in his language. but, the point about dual use research being possibly corrupted or infiltrated by covert weaponeers, is legit in theory.

          I dont have any evidence that the wuhan virus was lab made, the evidence is that it came from nature. there may be a connection to the Wuhan bsl 4 lab, and i suspect there was, but its not clear what. looks like more info has come to liight the past week and coming weeks may reveal more.

          one question on my mind: when Obama paused the gain of function research into coronaviruses in 2014– as too dangerous– why was this ban lifted by the NIH in late 2017?

          who was involved in that decision and why did it suddenly seem like a good idea?

          and did that renewed research have any connection to this mess?

          we may yet find out!

          1. KUrtz, there is disagreement on GOF research within the scientific community. It’s a good question how and why it was paused and then resumed, but it doesn’t suggest a conspiracy.

            1. I would not put it past some creepy bastids in the military industrial complex that they wanted to reboot offensive weapons research. and creeps like this are embedded ticks into that “Deep state” thing regardless of what presidents come and go. I genuinely believe that Obama had a few moments of bravery against certain factions operating inside the IC and the defense forces which produced some positive results. Results that were stronger under Kerry than they were under Hillary. I dont know if that research ban was such a thing or not. I just wonder.

              I also wonder to what extent Trump has been unable to deliver strong results on his promises of military de-escalation because of his other hundred troubles. In this particular instance, did some sneaky and creepy bureaucrats sneak this one past him? slide it under his pen and say “reverse this bad thing obama did” and then he got sucked into signing off on it without even so much as asking why. I love trump but I can imagine him getting suckered into something like that.

              i wouldnt put it past the PLA of the PRC to want to reboot illegal weapons programs either. these are merely suspicions for now.

              in my thinking, weapons treaties are good thing, of course “trust but verify,” and the movement away from them is not good. I am not a fan of “global” this and that but weapons treaties are an exception.

              Im hoping that the denouement of this covid disease will involve a stronger commitment among the great powers to avoid dangerous biological research of all kinds, and to regulate it somehow, not just virology but also genetics, technologies like CRISPR, before some worser Frankenstein than this one emerges in the future.

  11. Did Mr. Turley’s rough draft get accidentally posted here? This needs a proofread and cleanup and to be reposted. Good grief!

    1. Good grief!

      What a coincidence, we used to have a regular with the same name (or Inga) on this blog that used the same phrase quite often.

    2. Totally agree! It’s like he was dictating it into his phone and didn’t bother to proofread it before posting. Uncharacteristic for him.

  12. Everything the networks and the fake-news media does has as its overriding objective the desire to undermine the President. There is no lie too great, nor any smear too baseless, that will cause these scum to re-evaluate their methods and priorities.

    The fake-news press is no longer redeemable. To me, the most compelling question is how to destroy it, and start over. Journalism in the USA would be improved substantially if we stuffed every employee of the fake-news establishment into a large rocket and launched it on a one-way trip to Pluto.

    And finally, CK-07, Trump never said that the virus is a hoax. For you to keep believing this garbage is more a reflection on you than anyone else.

  13. “If the cause was negligence by a totalitarian nation (that ignored warnings and punished doctors)”

    There is a lot of misinformation in this article. This statement is just one example.

    The nation of China did not ignore warnings and punish doctors. Those were actions taken by the local Wuhan authorities. The nation of China regards the doctors that sounded the alarm as heroes.

    1. Anonymous is either joking, or, we have been visited by the wumao dang, the fifty cent army of CCP trolls

    2. The nation of China did not ignore warnings and punish doctors. Those were actions taken by the local Wuhan authorities. The nation of China regards the doctors that sounded the alarm as heroes.

      The nation didn’t, but Chinese authorities did. And if you’re stupid enough to believe Wuhan authorities function independent of the PRC, then you should remain anonymous.

  14. this is a remarkable piece:

    the world is in a dangerous place. Xi is careful, but he might just start a war to unite the PRC behind him more firmly.

    anger against Xi from the “one hundred old names” is growing. Xi has lost the mandate of heaven.

    The CPP caporegimes, will have to decide, do they let him drag them all down with him?

    the high level CCP factions should unite and replace him by the 100th anniversary of founding the CCP in 2021

    Xi can resign and safely go into retirement as have two living former top leaders who have before, Jiang Zemin 93 years old, and Hu Jintao 77 years old.

    关于要求习近平同志辞去党和国家领导职务的公开信 in 2016 was a letter from party cadres asking Xi to resign in 2016– but now he should really consider it, to help China save face, and to engage in necessary reforms against the corrupt officials who have so far hidden in Xi’s shadow. I suspect some of those corrupt officials, or perhaps a whole nest of them, are easily to be found in Hubei province.

    the world will be a safer place if Xi resigns gracefully, and an orderly transition of power is effectuated.

    at the very least, a return to the slightly more open atmosphere would also benefit the PRC, and the world. especially at this time when a transparent investigation of “What really happened” with the emergence and study of the sars cov 2 virus is critically necessary.

    if Xi will not resign in orderly fashion in the interests of the PRC and peace with the world, then Xi may need to be encouraged. Perhaps he too, will fall ill?

    And Wang Qishan and some other never do-wells on his coattails need to be purged as well.

    As an American, I have no voice in this. I can only wish them well. Likewise, neither do most Chinese, though perhaps they should. But at present, the CCP itself, in the one party state which is the PRC, will need to take the necessary steps to ensure accountability, a sound path forward, and peace with other nations. And take them soon, with dynamic energy, before Xi grows too defensive and seeks the sort of static entrenchments that bedeviled China in its past.

  15. A case of the far left defending their own… socialist China is more important than the citizens of the USA.

    1. The left in America, if you are talking about Noam Chomsky and his ilk, are a bunch of anarchists who did not support the USSR, because it purged their intellectual god Trotsky, and they don’t much like how the CCP maintains order, either.

      One might also argue that the PRC has a level of “deregulation” in certain industries, post Deng Xiaoping, that make it far LESS socialistic than even the United States.

      But Mike I DO believe the Democrat party leadership is often hauling ashes for the CCP, who they see as an overseas ally, not a rival.

      And definitely the mass media ,who take paid infomercials from the PRC and its cutouts like Huawei and run them like they are news.

      1. There are no communists in China. Marx left the building about 30 years ago and he took the communes with him. There is zero ideological appeal for any communists left anywhere in the world, and you’ll be struggling to find them.

        1. there is a small party of genuine marxists communists in the PRC but they are numerically insignificant. i forget the name.

          the overall strategic arc of communism in china and vietnam, and to some extent Korea, was to consolidate anti-foreigner nationalist sentiment among the workers and peasants into a one party authoritarian state, to be controlled by a native born national elite and not foreigners.

          this why they ‘hated” the Guomindang and Chiang Kai Shek; this is why they “hated” the RVN; and the ROK. because, most of all, they saw them, rightly or wrongly, as being controlled by foreigners, ie, the USA.

          this is why i have called asian communism, in its essence, merely nationalism.

          the degree to which china has “opened” to “capitalism” or social institutions like private property or contracts or free enterprise, is always discretionary. Chinese who think that their “rights’ to land and so forth which they enjoy now, are permanent and can’t be truncated at will if the state sees fit to do so, are under a delusion.

          lesser party officials will stomp all over property rights and contracts there just to extract bribes from litigants in court, and greater party officials will confiscate whatever they see fit if the national need arises.

          in my mind, the justification for expedient actions against private property, is always at the fingertips of the CCP if they need it. Xi has encouraged a renewal of Marxist thinking:

          Deng said that capitalism would be experimented with like a caged animal, to fatten up the economy and thus enrich its owner, the nation as such, which they obviously see as the CCP itself.

          But I suspect to some degree every nation-state is wiling to approach limiting private property rights and contracts and so forth with a view towards the common good, which is sometimes called socialism, other times just called regulation; so, the difference is mostly just a matter of degree.,

          1. You don’t know what you’re talking about. If it were just ‘nationalism’, there would have been no effort to collectivize agriculture (at a 7-digit cost in lives), no Great Leap Forward (for which the price tag was in 8-digits), no Cultural Revolution.

            1. Try to keep up TIA. That was 50-70 years ago and the communes ended about 25-30 years ago. The Chinese are now individually on their own.

              1. This comes from Anon who has little knowledge of the history or the definitions of the words socialism and communism.

            2. these three tragic episodes all have more to do with Mao’s failings as a leader which were personal to him as any supposed ideology. they also have to do with particular facts about China in those places and times.

              I know enough about what Im talking about to say that they’re more complicated than passing them all off as manifestations of “communism” a verbal bogeyman which is about as meaningless today as “fascism” has become.

              1. I know enough about what Im talking about to say that they’re more complicated than passing them all off as manifestations of “communism” a verbal bogeyman which is about as meaningless today as “fascism” has become.

                No, it is not. ‘Communism’ refers to a recognizable menu of institutional practices and ideologies. Definitions of ‘fascism’ have to be bruited about by historians and political scientists abstracting from particular situations. The sort of nonsense usage the term ‘fascist’ has been routinely put for a period of 70 years hasn’t been seen in regard to the term ‘communism’ until the last dozen years ago.

                Any summary statement is lacking in detail and qualification, so complaining the true answer is more ‘complicated’ is a waste of words.

                all have more to do with Mao’s failings as a leader which were personal to him as any supposed ideology.

                His ‘failings as a leader’ were manifest in his policy judgments. This isn’t that difficult.

                1. your denial of my comparison shows that you actually understood my point about defining communism, which is good, glad I expressed myself at least that well, although you disagree with it.

                  i contend that at this time in history, communism is precisely not what you said– “recognizable” but rather it is what you said of fascism; “bruited about by historians and political scientists abstracting from particular situations.”

                  (btw I think there is one generalized theory of fascism which is worth examining, Roger Eatwell’s, and all the other interpretations are mostly useless).

                  anyhow, if you go down the list of things on the list of the 1848 communist manifesto’s demands, I see a lot of things that have been adopted in the United States. As George likes to remind us. Is the US then reflecting communist “recognizable menu of institutional practices” because it has universal suffrage, free public education, pension system, progressive income tax, etc?

                  If not then perhaps communism is as plastic and imprecise a notion as fascism.

                  communism like every other political ideology, evolves as it is adopted in name by new leadership in power here and there. it changes. all “particular situations” which have happened and of which we are aware, drag ideological names and any sort of along with them. Heidegger called this facticity

                  it would have been meaningless in 1875 to say the essence of asian communism was nationalism. that was my assertion. because there was no “communism” in asia then and nationalism and communism were pretty far apart in Europe back then anyways.

                  by 1975 I think it was a reasonable assertion as I laid it out, and now, even more so. For one, the officially communist nations of asia at this time are in some instances less regulated economies than the western liberal ones.

                  so the essence of communism as it exists now, or how we might use it gainfully now, is not about the dimension of socialism or regulation in an economy, or not. these differences are not profound anymore.

                  secondly, they are profoundly nationalistic and anti-foreigner. hence why the “communists” in Vietnam and the PRC are rivals. Because they are different nations. not only round-eyes like us, but each other, are considered foreigners. In their iteration of communism, the national identity persists, and trotskyite fantasies to the contrary were never credited.

                  it must then be about something else. a communal nationalism, which means, control of the nation by the natives and not foreigners, by cooperation between industrial workers and peasants, as a unifying political identity, within the context of a one party state. I think that is the essence of it in both Vietnam and the PRC at this time. maybe the DPRK too.

          2. Whatever motivates China’s rulers regarding foreign affairs – and you are correct that nationalism was always more important than Marx – they are now statists, not Marxists.

  16. The Post article correctly points out:

    “there is no evidence that the virus was engineered; But that is not the same as saying it didn’t come from the lab, which spent years testing bat coronaviruses in animals”

    While interesting to consider, none of it should diminish China’s criminal behavior regarding it’s actions after the virus spread past the lab or wet market.

    1. This is a great semantic point.

      Saying the virus originated from a lab can mean 4 things. It can mean the virus was engineered in a lab, or it can mean that the virus was being studied in a lab. It can also mean that the virus was then accidentally released, or that it was purposefully released.

      Saying that it was engineered in the lab would seem to be a baseless theory. I think scientists can find pretty evident markers if a virus is engineered. I think in most cases the media thought it was debunking this theory.

      It also seems doubtful that it was purposefully released, because why would you do that in the same city where the lab is.

      So that leaves the question of whether a virus was being legitimately studied and was accidentally released. I’m a liberal but that always seemed to me to be a legitimate question. And I rarely understood the media to be addressing that theory when it was debunking claims about the virus “originating in the lab.”

    2. Steve J– Good point. Whether the virus was released by accident from the lab or emerged naturally, the deceit of the Chinese government and WHO is criminal.

      I read one report that even when China locked down internal travel from Wuhan they were still allowing international travel from the city to seed the contagion around the globe.

      It took Trump–against strong opposition–to recognize the danger and stop international travel.

      It could have been much worse.

  17. Bat Virus.
    Chink Virus.
    Chenoble Virus.
    Verona Virus.
    Mao Virus.
    Marx Virus.
    Twain Virus.
    Clemons Virus.
    Obama Virus.
    Who Let The Chinks In Virus.

  18. JT I have believed from day one that this virus came from china. These nuts on CNN, MSNBC CBS, NBC, ABC ARE ALL TRUMP HATERS. They may have believed it also came from China but could not acknowledge it on the air. Would not fit their narrative to oust Trump at all cost
    They are the ones with blood on their hands. More people need to speak out about fake news. The company’s that are still advertising with them and their lies are responsible too!

    1. Deplorable… trump didn’t help his case when he helped push the “it’s a hoax” narrative either. Then he sent 18 tons of PPE to China as he said there were only 5 cases in the US soon to be 0. He’s the very definition of Bush’s flip flopper, completely erratic and unstable and besides George Conway, Matt Drudge and when he’s in the mood, Turley, few in the conservative press will take him to task for his BS. If Obama sent 18 tons of PPE to China just before doctors were struggling to find ventilators and N95 masks you know the conservative media and Trump in particular would have crucified him for it. Bye.

      1. ck yes perhaps now he seems foolish in this way.

        But– the question we dont know is did the State Department and brass withhold from him critical and timely information about this, just to let him make a fool of himself?

        There’s saboteurs in DC that have tried to replace him twice already. Maybe they’re willing to let us all suffer to see their designs eventually come to pass.

      2. CK07 hindsight is always better than foresight. I never said Trump is perfect. But he and his team has done a great job. you don’t have to wonder what he is doing, he is up front and says what’s on his mind. we never new or had any idea what the Obama administration was doing. all we new was what they wanted us to. very little. all was hush hush

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