When China announced it was ready to open its first level 4 lab on mainland China — in Wuhan — the world was understandably nervous. In February 2017, Nature magazine reported:
“A laboratory in Wuhan is on the cusp of being cleared to work with the world’s most dangerous pathogens. The move is part of a plan to build between five and seven biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) labs across the Chinese mainland by 2025, and has generated much excitement, as well as some concerns. Some scientists outside China worry about pathogens escaping, and the addition of a biological dimension to geopolitical tensions between China and other nations.” [emphasis added] — Inside the Chinese lab poised to study the world’s most deadly pathogens, Nature
Such labs are controversial no matter where they are located, Nature explained: “The expansion of BSL-4-lab networks in the United States and Europe over the past 15 years — with more than a dozen now in operation or under construction in each region — also met with resistance, including questions about the need for so many facilities.”
But the opening of Level 4 labs in China was especially worrisome. The SARS virus has escaped from high-level containment facilities in Beijing multiple times, noted one expert. Another stressed that “an open culture is important to keeping BSL-4 labs safe, and he question[ed] how easy this will be in China, where society emphasizes hierarchy. ‘Diversity of viewpoint, flat structures where everyone feels free to speak up and openness of information are important,’ he says.”
Just three years later we can observe how little the Wuhan lab has helped in addressing the current coronavirus outbreak and how much the ongoing lack of transparency in China contributed to the virus’ spread.
According to the mayor of Wuhan, disclosure was delayed for six weeks because authorities had not given him permission to tell the public. He admitted 5 million people were able to leave Wuhan before the quarantine was initiated. Meanwhile many speculate that China has not been forthcoming with the true number of infected cases and deaths; the Wall Street Journal reported that multiple deaths have been documented as pneumonia though family members were told they were due to coronavirus.
Moreover, many are now questioning whether the Wuhan lab itself played a role in the coronavirus epidemic, intentionally or not. Though the official statements point to the Wuhan Seafood Market as the source of the outbreak, international experts have challenged that conclusion.
This week Science magazine reported on a new paper published Friday in The Lancet detailing the first recorded cases of novel coronavirus which indicate the first human contractions occurred in November 2019 or earlier. “If so, the virus possibly spread silently between people in Wuhan—and perhaps elsewhere—before the cluster of cases from the city’s now-infamous Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market was discovered in late December. ‘The virus came into that marketplace before it came out of that marketplace,’ [Georgetown University infectious disease specialist Daniel] Lucey asserts.”
If the Seafood Market was not in fact the source, that puts more scrutiny on the Wuhan lab itself as a potential vector in the outbreak. Zerohedge has been hot on this trail and demonstrated that the Wuhan Institute for Virology has indeed been actively working on coronavirus research.
As Zerohedge and others have already pointed out, last Spring a Chinese researcher at the University of Manitoba raised eyebrows for her twice yearly trips to the Wuhan lab and the transfer of biological samples to China during at least one such trip, in March 2019. She and her husband, along with their entourage of Chinese students, were subsequently expelled from the Winnipeg lab in July.
The following month, biowarfare experts publicly questioned the wisdom of sharing dangerous pathogens with China.
In a table-top pandemic exercise at Johns Hopkins University last year, a pathogen based on the emerging Nipah virus was released by fictional extremists, killing 150 million people. A less apocalyptic scenario mapped out by a blue-ribbon U.S. panel envisioned Nipah being dispersed by terrorists and claiming over 6,000 American lives. Scientists from Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) have also said the highly lethal bug is a potential bio-weapon. But this March that same lab shipped samples of the henipavirus family and of Ebola to China, which has long been suspected of running a secretive biological warfare (BW) program. — Bio-warfare experts question why Canada was sending lethal viruses to China, National Post
Policies of international-cooperation-for-the-greater-good aside, the nasty truth is that there is a covert bioweapons arms race underway, rationalized as biodefense. Officially, of course, no one develops bioweapons — they just study the possibilities so they can better understand the kinds of bioweapons that bad actors might be able to deploy. On the flip side of open collaboration is the deep mistrust of programs run by other governments and the aspirations of non-state actors, and the drive to stay ahead of the game in what could result in a self-fulfilling prophesy.
In 2014, Susan Scutti’s Newsweek article, “The Only Thing Scarier Than Bio-Weapons Is the Antidote,” offered chilling stories of high-risk biological research gone-awry. Scutti contends that “while the real threat of bio-terror is minimal…the threat of bio-error is actually quite high.” Focusing on America’s own BioShield Act which was written after 9/11 and passed after the 2003 SARS outbreak, Scutti writes:
“Much of the work funded under BioShield is bio-defensive—intended to be used in a biological emergency to cure those who have been infected, and to stop the spread of disease by preventing infection in others. The intriguing and potentially lethal paradox there is that in order to learn how a particular infection causes morbidity, says Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall, a senior associate at the UPMC Center for Health Security, “you’re also learning how to inflict that [same infection]. You’re learning where the switches are.” Treatments—particularly vaccines—are usually reverse-engineered: scientists take a pathogen like a bacteria or virus and work with it in the lab until they know how to defeat it, often using parts of the infectious agent itself in the treatment. That’s easy enough when dealing with agents researchers already know about (such as anthrax and smallpox), but when it comes to bioterrorism, researchers also need to investigate what former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld might have called the known unknowns. That’s why, along with funding the cures, the HHS is also funding the creation of new bio-weapons, to be used to pre-emptively develop cures and vaccines for diseases that might break out in the future. In other words, to create a drug to counteract what people in the bio-terrorism world call a weaponized virus, researchers must know how to create a weaponized virus….” — The Only Thing Scarier Than Bio-Weapons Is The Antidote, Newsweek
It only takes one bad actor hidden amidst the hundreds of researchers working with deadly viruses across dozens of laboratories worldwide — or even just one accident in the course of well-intentioned efforts — to bring the world to its knees.
Take a look at the following video to appreciate the situation in Wuhan. This leaked video was posted Jan. 25 to Vidmax.
Here the residents of Wuhan — locked down with no public transportation, very little freedom to drive, under threat of arrest for making social media posts, with supply shortages and utterly over-run medical facilities — encourage each other by yelling out their high rise apartment windows at night, “Wuhan, Add Oil” which means keep going, or keep fighting.
8pm last night in Wuhan, we will keep fighting #wuhan #jiayou pic.twitter.com/Q9loxXPbDK — Kharn Lambert (@KharnLambert) January 28, 2020
It may well be that more advanced medical facilities can handle this new coronavirus without the deadly consequences that appear to be plaguing China at the moment. But the humanitarian crisis in China is no less real, and the possibility that Wuhan’s lab could have been a vector in the outbreak has yet to be seriously addressed by officials.
Even if the Wuhan lab’s proximity to this unexplained outbreak is merely a phenomenal coincidence, the mishandling of this epidemic by their communist government proves China cannot be trusted with a BSL-4 lab. And so long as China’s Thousand Talents program floods the world’s research facilities with Chinese scientists, those labs are still feeding the CPC’s agenda — an agenda that China will not abandon because it does not trust the Western world’s own “biodefense” mission to go unmatched.
Nor can we blindly trust the rest of the world’s high-security labs given the harsh realities of bio-errors. How much risk should we all endure in pursuit of noble goals?