When reports of the emergence of a new virus emerged from China in early 2020, the Beijing regime’s initial response was to claim that the virus outbreak was localised to Wuhan, a city in central China; there was “no evidence” of human-to-human transmission; and the authorities had it under control.
The media were sceptical about these claims, but they were enthusiastically taken up and repeated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), an international agency in which China is a prominent member.
Under international agreements that it has signed, China is obliged to report immediately on disease outbreaks to the WHO. It first reported the new virus on January 2, 2020.
Despite this, reputable media organisations gave a different story. On March 14 last year, the online science site, Live Science, quoted an article in the Hong Kong newspaper, the South China Morning Post, that the first case of covid19 was identified in November 2019 in China’s Hubei province.
The author of the article, Josephine Ma, had been the Post’s Beijing correspondent for several years before returning to Hong Kong, where she was the paper’s China news editor.
Quoting Chinese Government documents, she reported that, from November 2019 onwards, one to five new cases were reported each day. By December 15, the total number of infections stood at 27 – the first double-digit daily rise was reported on December 17 – and, by December 20, the total number of confirmed cases had reached 60.
On December 27, Zhang Jixian, a doctor from Hubei Provincial Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine, told China’s health authorities that the disease was caused by a new coronavirus. By that date, at least 180 people had been infected, though doctors might not have been aware of all of them at the time.
By the final day of 2019, she said the number of confirmed cases had risen to 266. On the first day of 2020 it stood at 381.
Despite this, Chinese Government officials are still insisting that covid19 did not originate in China, but merely was first reported there.
Last November, two top officials in China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, doubled down on these claims.
“Wuhan was where the coronavirus was first detected but it was not where it originated,” Zeng Guang, former chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told an online academic conference on November 19.
Wu Zunyou, the CDC’s present chief epidemiologist, made a similar suggestion earlier in November, saying the pathogen could have come into the country in imports of frozen seafood or meat products.
These lies are contradicted by official Chinese Government documents leaked to the American CNN network, and published on December 1, 2020.
CNN said it had obtained a large tranche of documents about Wuhan from a Chinese whistleblower who said he worked inside China’s health system. They were authenticated by China experts in the West, based on internal evidence.
If the wildly infectious disease had indeed originated outside China, the number of early cases in whatever country it supposedly originated would have exceeded China’s and, particularly, those in a province in central China, far from the large international cities of Beijing and Shanghai.
In fact, by February 11, 2020, when President Xi Jinping held a widely reported video link with medical staff in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, to commiserate on the outbreak, China had reported more than 40,000 cases, while the number reported in the rest of the world stood at fewer than 400.
Interestingly, the leaked documents reveal that hospitals in Hubei reported an explosion of influenza cases, many of undiagnosed origin, in December 2019. They reported that the number of influenza cases was 20 times as large as in the same month of the previous year. This was never reported to the WHO, nor to any other international agency.
The documents also show systematic under-reporting of the extent of the outbreak in China.
With the World Health Organisation currently conducting an inquiry, with Chinese involvement, into the covid19 outbreak, it will be very interesting to see how the WHO report deals with the latest disclosures.
Estimating the covid-19 mortality rate by Patrick Byrne (September 23, 2020)
Covid19: the knowns, unknowns and unknown unknowns by Patrick J. Byrne (June 17, 2020)