Shortly after Zero Hedge asked in the last week of January if the nVoC-2019 Coronavirus pandemic was not, as some early reports claimed, the product of a Wuhan seafood market, where people were allegedly eating infected bats (which we now know never happened) but instead a Chinese biological weapon that had escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (and one lab in particular), which in turn led to an immediate and permanent suspension of our account by the publisher also known as Twitter (and which should thus be subject to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act), none other than Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton echoed our concerns, tweeting that "China claimed—for almost two months—that coronavirus had originated in a Wuhan seafood market. That is not the case. @TheLancet published a study demonstrating that of the original 40 cases, 14 of them had no contact with the seafood market, including Patient Zero."
Senator Cotton followed up this tweet with another, in which he effectively suggested that the coronavirus had in fact escaped from China's only level four biohazard superlab (located conveniently in Wuhan), stating that "we still don’t know where coronavirus originated. Could have been a market, a farm, a food processing company. I would note that Wuhan has China’s only biosafety level-four super laboratory that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens to include, yes, coronavirus."
We still don’t know where coronavirus originated. Could have been a market, a farm, a food processing company.— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) January 30, 2020
I would note that Wuhan has China’s only biosafety level-four super laboratory that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens to include, yes, coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/CtuU2czBLp
And despite China's best efforts to downplay this scary possibility with countless articles written in China's state-owned press "disproving" that the virus was in fact an escaped Chinese bioweapon, such as this one from Caixin "Shi Zhengli responds to questioning experts agree that the new crown virus is not artificial", while censoring any allegation across its social medias that the Wuhan Institute was the origin of the virus, last Friday the White House finally stepped in and with more than a month's delay, and one week after Cotton's controversial tweet, the Trump administration formally asked scientists if the virus was indeed a Chinese man-made bioweapon (needless to say, an affirmative answer would put whoever it is at twitter that suspended our account in a rather unpleasant position).
That did not prevent China from theatrically getting increasingly more angry at the mere suggestion that the virus which some claim has now infected over 1.5 million people, was a product of the Wuhan Institute of Virology - as if by simply feigning outrage it could convince the world's population that it had nothing to do in the spread of nCoV despite clear and glaring evidence to the contrary - and on Sunday, the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai slammed Senator Cotton for doing just what we did first, namely suggesting the coronavirus could have been created in a Chinese biological warfare lab.
"I think it’s true that a lot is still unknown and our scientists, Chinese scientists, American scientists, scientists of other countries, are doing their best to learn more about the virus, but it’s very harmful, it’s very dangerous, to stir up suspicion, rumors and spread them among the people," he said.
It wasn't clear if the "suspicion" would be more dangerous than the consequences of arresting your own Whuan whistleblower doctor who tried to warn the world of the imminent danger from the Coronavirus (and who later died after a brief and unsuccessful battle with the virus)? Or maybe it was more dangerous than urging the world to ignore the fact that China has put 400 million of its own in people in over 60 cities on lockdown, and continue flying commercial to China, pretending nothing is happening and ignoring video clips from Wuhan showing local crematoria working 24/7 to dispose of bodies killed by the viral pandemic (without being add to the list of diseases casualties).
No, you see, what Tiankai was concerned about is that the possibility that China created a plague that is now killing its own population, could cause a panic: "For one thing, this will create panic,” Cui said, adding that it would also "fan up racial discrimination and xenophobia."
Here one also wonders what will create a bigger panic: the fact that China is arresting "whistleblower doctors", drags away and sequesters anyone who refuses to be put under forced quarantine, and appears to fabricate data involving the epidemic, or cracks down on anyone asking the most reasonable question - did China's top bioweapon institute, located in Wuhan, spark the deadliest pandemic in decades, which started in... Wuhan?
But yes, we are delighted to see that China has now also stooped to using the oldest trick in the liberal playbook: "...but it's racist."
And just like that, anyone accusing China's Level-4 lab, which as Nature wrote in 2017 was studying the "world's most dangerous pathogens", of sparking what may be the world's worst pandemic in decades, is now a racist, and subject to immediate and permanent suspension by the free speech overlords at twitter such as the company's associate General Counsel, Jeff Rich (his LinkedIn page is here) who one week ago urged his 1,400 followers to "cull" and "excise" the "cancerous" president Trump from the herd. One wonders, Rich, does this violate Twitter's "Abuse and harassment" rules?
YES!! Again, this 👇 Excise the Trump cancer, then deliberate over policy differences. He is the single most destructive force against our system of government, way of life and American values EVER! He must be culled from the herd. ASAP! https://t.co/MVfdAylV2H— Jeff Rich (@jeffrich) February 1, 2020
Anyway, back to China's rather sensitive ambassador who, instead of promising to look into whether any of the allegations that China created the Coronavirus, simply lashed out at anyone daring to ask the question: "There are all kinds of speculation and rumors,” he added, noting that there were also conspiracy theories about the virus originating in the United States. “How can we believe all these crazy things?”
Well, Cui, "we can believe all these crazy things", because China has yet to reveal just what animal was responsible for the spread of the virus at the Huanan Seafood Market, as per the official Chinese narrative. Maybe the reason why it can't is that as scientists have already observed, no animal was capable of actually spreading the virus in such a way as to put the blame on a meat market that had existed for decades and never sparked a deadly pandemic.
Or maybe China can finally allow members of the US CDC to go to Wuhan and inspect the Virology Institute and observe just what went on in there, and whether, as so many have now speculated, it wasn't one of your public workers who accidentally (or not) spread the virus?
But that wasn't all: Cui also defended how the Chinese government handled the case of Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who died last week after warning about the virus weeks before the government, with the government arresting him and forcing him to retract his warnings.
"He was a doctor, and a doctor could be alarmed by some individual cases, but as for the government, you have to base your decisions on more solid evidence and signs,” Cui said. "I don't know who tried to silence him, but there was certainly disagreement...on what exactly the virus, is how it is affecting people."
"I don't know who tried to silence him, but there was certainly disagreement...on what exactly the virus, is how it is affecting people," @AmbCuiTiankai says in the wake of the death of Dr. Li Wenliang who first made public warnings of the #Coronavirus weeks before the government pic.twitter.com/CaQLoz1gOi— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) February 9, 2020
Here is a guess who "tried to silence" him - your government, the same government that was responsible for the disappearance of Chen Qiushi, a citizen journalist who has covered the outbreak in China and has since vanished. Asked about Cui responded "I have never heard of this guy, so I don’t have any information to share with you."
We'll conclude with what we said earlier today, namely that "there have been serious questions on whether this Wuhan coronavirus outbreak was due to a leak or mishandling of laboratory animals used in coronavirus studies. This is a reasonable public inquiry regarding the source of the outbreak and it warrants a transparent investigation from the Chinese authorities and foreign disease control and laboratory operation experts. This is not just about the accountability of medical ethics or laboratory safety operations, it is directly related to the current endeavors to contain the virus outbreak.
While the animal host of 2019-nCoV is yet to be identified, the data and information from possible animal hosts and potential zoonic infection is imperative for prevention and controlling disease on an international scale.
The Huanan seafood market has a high potential of harboring the animal host. Animal data and profiling results from the Huanan seafood market need to be disclosed immediately by Chinese authorities even if they are negative results. It is imperative for U.S. CDC and WHO officers to demand that Chinese authorities release the information about animal testing data.
If Chinese authorities refuse to disclose testing data for animal samples, it could imply an intentional cover-up of the true origin of the 2019-nCoV outbreak.
Sadly, we doubt we will ever get an answer to this question, because - as the Chinese ambassador made it clear - any line of inquiry into whether there was an "intentional cover-up of the true origin of the 2019-nCoV outbreak" is now, well... racist.