The Horn of Africa Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The Wuhan Coronavirus Epidemic and Conspiracy Theories [Part 1] by Prof. Anthony Hall, Dr. Li Wenliang is a martyr.

The Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic of 2019-20 is moving many markers where life merges into death, where truth merges into lies. At age 34, Dr. Li Wenliang drew attention in Wuhan to these moving markers. The disease Dr. Li sought to warn against ended up taking his life as the epidemic gained fatal traction.

Before going down himself in the line of duty, Dr. Li faced a harsh reprimand from representatives of the Chinese Communist Party. Dr. Li was accused of spreading rumors and illegally threatening the social order with his tweets and posts and personal interventions. Nevertheless, Dr. Li was soon vindicated in calling attention to the coming plague.

It did not take long before the appalling force of the illness demonstrated that Dr. Li was anything but a wayward conspiracy theorist. Instead, the evidence proved him right even as it proved his powerful detractors were both wrong and negligent in the face of a genuine menace.

Dr. Li Wenliang is a martyr. It remains to be seen, however, how far the shadow of Dr. Li’s martyrdom will be cast.

The Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, is cutting a broad and deep swath though epidemiological history with uncertain impact on the viability of many families, communities, institutions, economies, and even countries starting with the most heavily populated nation on earth. Many fates are hanging in the balance, not the least of which is that of the communist government that has ruled China since the Maoist Revolution brought it to power in 1949.

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The new strain of Coronavirus has added novel genetic features to the same family of pathogens that brought the world the SARS crisis in 2002-3 and, a decade later, the less lethal MERS outbreak. This Novel Coronavirus strain, COVID-19, is showing itself to be much more contagious and lethal than was SARS and MERS.

Some have anticipated that, if not dramatically countered, the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic could be headed in the direction of the Spanish flu outbreak of 2018. This prediction flows from the assessment of, for instance, Prof. Gabriel Leung, Chair of Public Health Medicine at Hong King University. Looking at the very fast rate of COVID-19’s spread from human to human through the air, Dr. Leung challenged any residual sense of complacency. He anticipated a possible 60 per cent infection rate of the world’s entire population with deaths numbering in the many tens of millions.

The so-called Spanish flu has set the bar for how severe and widespread a contagious plague can become. The pandemic of 1918 took more lives in one year than all deaths due to World War II. The Spanish flu of 1918 engendered more mortality in one year than the four peak years of the notorious Black Death Bubonic Plague that decimated Europe in the middle years of the fourteenth century. The worldwide pandemic of 1918 infected over a quarter of all people on earth. About 65 million people died from the illness.

News reports from the ground zero area of the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic demonstrate that the effects of the viral infection cut far and wide. Every facet of Chinese society is being challenged to the limit by a fast-spreading plague disseminating germs of destruction disrupting many biological, political, economic, and knowledge systems simultaneously.

Questions about how to interpret the epidemic and how to explain to the public what is known or not known are quickly coming into focus. Who should be believed? Who is credible and who is not credible as the epidemic unfolds. What should be the role of social media and of whistle blowers in the process of deciding how to respond? What happens when genuine whistle blowers like Dr. Li are too quickly dismissed and reprimanded by ruling authorities as “conspiracy theorists”?

An essential task that must be faced in this initial phase of this crisis is to develop an accurate explanation of where contagion came from and how the first victims of the Novel Coronavirus came to be infected. The need for some degree of certainty about the origins of the virus and its subsequent genesis is absolutely essential to the development of sound and appropriate responses. It would be highly irresponsible to rush ahead with the development of an overall strategy for dealing with the plague without making an honest attempt to get at the truth of how the contagion first came into existence.

The importance of getting to the factual roots of what happened to put humanity on this epidemiological trajectory should be especially clear after the debacle of September 11, 2001. Without any sustained investigation of the 9/11 crimes, Americans were rushed into cycles of seemingly perpetual warfare abroad, police state and surveillance state interventions at home. This cycle of fast responses began within a month of 9/11 with a full-fledge military invasion of Afghanistan, an invasion that continues yet.

When two US Senators, Patrick Leahy and Tom Daschle, sought to slow the rush of the US executive into emergency measures and war, they and the US Congress they served were hit hard by a military grade bioweapon, anthrax. The violent tactic of the saboteurs proved effective in easing aside close scrutiny that might have slowed down the fast approval by the end of October of Congress’s massive Patriot Act.

Since then a seemingly endless cycle of military invasions has been pushed forward in the Middle East and Eurasia. The emergency measure powers claimed by the executive branch of the US government extended to widespread illegal torture, domestic spying, media censorship and a meteoric rise in extrajudicial murders especially by drones. This list is far from complete.

All of these crimes against humanity were justified on the basis of an unproven official explanation of 9/11. Subsequent scholarly investigations have demonstrated unequivocally for the attentive that officialdom’s explanations of what transpired on the fateful day in September were wrong, severely wrong. The initial interpretations are strongly at variance with the evidentiary record available on the public record.

We must not allow ourselves to be hoodwinked in the same manner once again. The stakes are too large, maybe even larger than was the case in 2001. The misinterpreted and misrepresented events of 9/11 were exploited in conformity with the “Shock Doctrine,” a strategy for instituting litanies of invasive state actions that the public would not otherwise have accepted.

The conscientious portion of humanity, many of whose members have done independent homework of their own on the events of 9/11, will well understand the importance of identifying the actual originating source of the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic.

No less than in the wake of the 9/11 debacle, there are grave dangers entailed in being too quick or too naïve or too trustful in immediately accepting as gospel fact the Chinese government’s initial explanations of the COVID-19 outbreak. Why not take the time to investigate and test the current interpretations of the authorities that proved themselves to be so wrong in their decision to reprimand Dr. Li?

Especially when the stakes are extremely high, the need is great for objective, third-party adjudication to establish what really happened irrespective of official interpretations. History provides abundant evidence to demonstrate that official interpretations of transformative events often veer away from the truth in order to serve and protect the interests of entrenched power.

All semblance of due process and the rule of law can quickly evaporate when powerful institutions advance interpretations of catastrophic events used to justify their own open-ended invocation of unlimited emergency measure powers. The well-documented examples of the misrepresentation and exploitation of the 9/11 debacle demonstrate well the severity of the current danger. The origins of the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic have yet to be adequately addressed and explained by a panel of genuinely independent investigators.

The Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, acknowledged on Feb. 9 on CBS’s Face the Nation that there is no certainty about the origins of COVID-19. When asked by CBS’s Margaret Brennan where the virus came from, the Chinese Ambassador responded, “We still don’t know yet.”

Although media giants like the Washington Post have run interference to justify the claims of established authority in this fiasco, there is still a high level of uncertainty about what COVID-19 is, where it came from, and why it spread so quickly. What factors resulted in the genetic modifications determining the biological structure of the new Coronavirus strain? What happened in the biological journey from the SARS Coronavirus to the Coronavirus strain that triggered the epidemiological bombshell starting in Wuhan?

Did the Chinese communist government have a role in creating COVID-19 either purposely or inadvertently? What did the Chinese government know when did its leadership know it? Such basic questions have yet to be objectively considered by a panel of genuinely independent experts not beholden to any centers of established authority, funding, publicity and political networking.

The need to transcend all conflict of interest in the formal investigation of this matter must somehow be realized if objectivity is to prevail in the process of unearthing, organizing and assessing the evidence. The primary objective of this process must be to bring out the truth, no matter how embarrassing such illuminations might be to the interests of entrenched power. A process must be initiated without any pandering to the political biases of institutions and individuals with much to protect, with major interests in determining the outcome of the investigations.

One version of events is that the contagion began when some mutated viral disease strain jumped from a bat or a snake into the biological workings of one of more humans. This animal to human leap is supposed to have taken place in the precincts of Wuhan’s open-air traditional food market where bats, snakes, cats, raccoons, fish, possums and the like can be bought and sold.

A growing perception of disbelief is developing in the face of the idea that all this mayhem started with a few people chomping down on some fatally infected critters purchased an open-air market. In fact, this explanation is becoming the subject of much satire and ridicule even as the horrifying nature of the unfolding of events is intensifying.

Another possible source of the contagion is the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, one of China’s most high-tech installations designed for biological research into the most deadly forms of viruses known to humankind. This research facility, with top level 4 containment capacities, emerged from the expansion and elaboration of an older agency known as the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory 160ef

*(Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory)

As shall be demonstrated, the Wuhan Institute of Virology is thought by some experts, including a prestigious group at the South China Technological University in Guangzhou, to be the probable source of the contaminant. As shall be demonstrated below, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and its outgrowth, The National Biosafety Laboratory, are thought by some to be integrated with more secretive sites where the military operations of China’s alleged biological warfare program are centered.

A focus on the kind of procedures that take place at the Wuhan Institute of Virology begs the question of whether an accidental viral escape from this agency forms the primary origin of the epidemic. Another possibility is that some sort of power play within China’s ruling elite might have led to the decision to create and release a bioweapon in the heart of one of the most heavily populated zones on earth.

Yet another possibility is that the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic is part of some agenda of “hybrid warfare” by the US government against China. Speculation surrounding this scenario emphasizes that hundreds of US soldiers were in Wuhan in late October of 2019 for the World Military Games.

As Mark Episkopos has argued in The National Interest, the theory that the US government is behind the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus has been well reported in some mainstream media venues in Russia. This “rumor” is also one that Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, specifically referred on CBS’s Face the Nation when he fended off the allegation that China’s biological warfare program was somehow implicated in the epidemic’s origins.

One of those interviewed on the subject is Igor Nikulin. Mr Nikulin has argued, “Wuhan was chosen for the attack [by US military officials] because the local presence of the Wuhun Institute of Virology offers the Pentagon and CIA a convenient cover story about bio-experiments gone awry.”

If it turns out the source of the Novel Coronavirus epidemic is a biological warfare weapon, yet another question concerns whether the attack germ is genetically engineered to target a specific ethnic group. Drawing on his observations of US biological research in some of the former republics of the Soviet Union, Nikulin remarked,

the supposedly Pentagon-funded U.S. laboratories in Eurasia have been collecting and treating genetic material from Russian and Chinese populations to allegedly create an “ethnically specific” virus that only targets certain peoples.

Episkopos adds that Nikulin’s observation are consistent with the position of Russian military expert, Viktor Baranets. Baranets has affirmed that biological warfare has become a new weapon “in the American fight for global supremacy against its main adversaries.” There is much evidence to indicate that one of the main thrusts of genetic research in biological warfare has long involved efforts to target specific ethnic groups for sickness and death. There are obvious reasons why those engaged in the development of biological weaponry would want to narrow their aim to envisaged enemies rather than breed germs to kill indiscriminately all humans in their path whether friend or foe.

Lance Welton covers some supposedly unmentionable yet nevertheless contested topics in an article entitled, “Asians Far More Susceptible to Coronavirus Than Other Races, More Likely to Die.”

Welton leaves aside the question of why it is that the COVID-19 seems to pack a much more virulent and lethal punch when it comes to the targeting of people sharing Chinese-Asian ancestry. The other side of the same coin is people of predominately European ancestry seem statistically to be much less at risk when it comes to succumbing to the epidemiological force of COVID-19.

Welton has observed how difficult it is has become in the Occident even to raise issues publicly concerning the different vulnerabilities of different ethnic groups to certain diseases. He cites anecdotal evidence that, so far at least, all the deaths outside China have mostly taken the lives of ethnic Chinese people. From this observation Welton concludes that racial characteristics are a significant factor in determining vulnerability to COVID-19-inflicted disease.

The fact that this subject is being so assiduously ignored by those engaged in the quest for political correctness leads Welton to comment,

“It only goes to show how pathological our taboo on “race” has become. Race denial is so strong that possible race differences in the incidence of a disease cannot be mentioned, or even suggested.”

*Part 2: Establishing New Domains of Hybrid Warfare

Prof. Anthony Hall

Anthony James Hall has been Editor In Chief of the American Herald Tribune since its inception. Between 1990 and 2018 Dr. Hall was Professor of Globalization Studies and Liberal Education at the University of Lethbridge where he is now Professor Emeritus. The focus of Dr. Hall’s teaching, research, and community service came to highlight the conditions of the colonization of Indigenous peoples in imperial globalization since 1492.

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