People are beginning to wonder if the Chinese coronavirus really was a natural occurrence. You will recall that what was initially referred to as the Chinese or Wuhan coronavirus for the simple reason that it came from China – a nomenclature that was at least as old as the Spanish flu and as recent as Ebola – was renamed by the World Health Organisation as Covid-19 in order to appease the Chinese government.
President Trump, much to the annoyance of China, has called the virus the Chinese virus. When the Chinese foreign ministry complained of the negative effect of that name, he responded, “I have tPreview (opens in a new tab)o call it where it came from. I think it’s a very accurate term.”
Last week the issue became more serious when Nigel Farage tweeted that the Chinese caused this nightmare. To say it caused the problem immediately suggests that the virus is man-made. Obviously, suspicion must fall on the Chinese government given that it failed to notify anyone of the virus’s virulence for a period of three months and only after the 3000 dead people were noticed.
Farage, however, denies that the virus was man-made. “There is nothing to suggest that the Covid-19 virus is a deliberately created virus.” Why, if there is nothing, does Farage then go on to say:
This isn’t the same as saying that its emergence is free of all human involvement. Experts have warned of appalling hygiene conditions in Chinese wildlife markets for years, with living, dead or dying creatures as diverse as bats, pangolins and other are held in close proximity, their body fluids and all the bacteria, viruses and parasites they carry mixing and mutating in direct contact with human shoppers.
But the key to Farage’s suspicion is in the word, mutating. Where is his evidence of any viruses mutating in the wildlife markets? On the other hand, there are allegation that laboratory scientists have been selling laboratory animals to vendors at the wildlife markets and laboratory animals may have been infected.
We know that the coronavirus originated in Wuhan. We also know that in that city there are two biological weapons laboratories one of which, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, is a biosafety level-four (BSL-4) military laboratory which is linked to China’s covert biological weapons program. That institute holds samples of different coronaviruses. While its technical ability to manipulate a virus’s genetic code is unknown; an ability to manage natural mutation is the sine qua non of such military laboratories.
Another piece of the jigsaw is the fact that over the past twenty years, a number of very serious viruses have escaped mainland China and infected the rest of the world. The WHO website lists these viruses for the benefit of the public.
First in seriousness must be the coronavirus, Covid-19, if only because of its virulence. In terms of deaths, the influenza virus which annually mutates, kills a few hundred thousand people every year; 122,ooo in the USA alone this year. The avian influenza virus, A(H7N9) has been around in the Chinese poultry industry for most of the last twenty years but it was only in 2013 that it was found to have infected humans.
Surely, we cannot ignore the Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus which made headline news in March 2003, only a month or so after the acute respiratory syndrome was infecting the wider community. That is the extent of the evidence that is available.
When, however, we add the Chinese biological warfare laboratory to the jigsaw, a rational account of that evidence must surely acknowledge that the power of the viruses to cause economic disruption to Western democracies and harm to the peoples has been escalating in seriousness, a fact with military significance. The coronavirus infections have shown clearly both the virus’s capabilities and the weak human defences of republican politics.
Whether the coronavirus was purposefully released or not, the total social shutdown it has necessitated around the world will have shown the Chinese government exactly how to wage a future war. In a war of civilian attrition, such as one waged biologically, China, by virtue of her enormous population, must win. That is why the full pressure of the West must now be brought to bear on that government in order to deal with any future attacks.
Criticism of the Chinese government actions is not racist as this issue has nothing to do with any particular race. It has everything to do with a tyranny whose communist ideology does not admit that mistakes can be made, but uses every brutal means at its disposal to bury them when they are discovered.
Dr David Long is a retired solicitor and economist.
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