EDWARD LUCAS: The evidence points to a Covid-19 cover-up… but the truth can’t be hidden for ever

Secrets, lies and thuggery are the hallmark of the Chinese Communist regime. And in the mystery of the devastating Wuhan virus, all three are combined.

The strongest evidence of a crime is a cover-up. And the Chinese authorities have provided that.

They have fought ferociously to prevent an international inquiry into the pandemic’s origins.

Their repeated obstruction of the World Health Organisation’s fact-finding missions has provoked even that notoriously supine body to protest.

Even now, WHO investigators are being prevented from accessing the vitally important laboratory in Wuhan that is likely to be at the heart of America’s allegations.

Experts have been questioning the Chinese authorities’ account of events for a year. Now, it appears, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to make a direct accusation.

Was it really pure chance the virus first attacked the human race in the only city in China with a research lab specialising in manipulating the world’s most dangerous viruses?

That would be as odd as a new disease emerging in the surroundings of Britain’s top-secret biological defence research establishment of Porton Down in Wiltshire.

To this day, scientists who support the theory that the virus is a mutation that emerged from Wuhan’s ‘wet market’ have not been able to find a convincing candidate for the animal in which this mutation actually occurred.

The official explanation is the new virus was 96 per cent identical to a bat virus, RaTG13, found in Yunnan province in southern China.

But as Chinese professor Botao Xiao pointed out in a paper in February, no such bats are sold at the city’s markets. And the caves where they live are hundreds of miles away.

That paper disappeared from the internet. Mr Xiao — perhaps mindful of the fate that awaits those in China who promote inconvenient truths — disavowed it.

Many scientists privately assumed an engineered virus released via a laboratory accident was at least as likely as the idea of a series of stunningly unfortunate chance mutations.

After all, Shi Zhengli, the Chinese scientist nicknamed ‘Bat Woman’ was a regular visitor to those caves.

When news of the outbreak broke, she initially feared that a leak from her research institute was to blame.

That thought alone should have prompted a full-scale and searching inquiry. Instead, the Chinese Ministry of Education issued a diktat: ‘Any paper that traces the origin of the virus must be strictly and tightly managed.’

But even the Chinese regime cannot hold back the truth forever. Over the past twelve months independent research, official leaks and news reports have strengthened the lab-leak hypothesis.

In February a Taiwanese professor, Fang Chi-tai, highlighted a curious feature of the virus’s genetic code, which would make it more effective in attacking targeted cells.

This was unlikely to be the result of a natural mutation, he suggested. Much scientific research involves modifying viruses to understand how they function.

Many observers have worried for years that the risks of such experiments are not properly thought through.

Lab safety procedures are riddled with potential loopholes and flaws: breakages, animal bites, faulty equipment or simple mis-labelling can all lead to a deadly pathogen reaching its first human victim. If so, such carelessness has now cost tens of millions of lives.

Yet we should be clear. The Chinese authorities are ruthless. But even they would not unleash a global plague.

Only in the fevered imagination of conspiracy theorists is Beijing deliberately waging biological warfare on the West.

Paradoxically, such speculation — promoted by among others President Donald Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon — may have hampered the search for the truth, by making the lab-release theory seem racist and politically toxic.

In February, in Britain’s politically correct medical journal, the Lancet, scientists published an open letter denouncing ‘conspiracy theories and rumours’, urging solidarity with Chinese colleagues.

Yet it was just those colleagues who were bearing the brunt of the regime’s frantic attempts to censor the truth about the outbreak.

The Chinese regime prizes self-preservation above all — certainly over the truth, or the health of its own people, let alone the lives of foreigners.

3 comments

  • Edward is good friend of Ukraine and has excellent contacts in the intelligence community regarding murderous regimes such as the putinazis and the chicoms.
    Speculation is that Mike Pompeo is about to make a similar claim.
    They took a bat pox, tweaked it and were going to weaponise it. Then some incompetent arsehole released it and the CCP, being liars as well as criminals, covered it up.
    Chinese people think it is normal to breed dogs for the purpose of eating them. They are degenerates.

    Liked by 7 people

  • Some countries simply do not deserve their success and bat virus land is a shining example. Nothing good comes out of this land’s wealth and power … no increase of freedom of speech or other human rights issues, no leading examples of environmental protection, no foreriders of defending or helping poor nations, no democracy, no truth, no justice, no compassion …nothing really positive. This is a trash country in the truest sense of the word and more dangerous than mafia land. I really hate the idea of how much we, the West, have become so dependent on this sewer of human rights and environmental disaster area.
    It is more than high time to change that!

    Liked by 8 people

  • China must pay for the catastrophe they unleashed. First and foremost we should stop importing chinese garbage. We owe this to all people who lost their jobs, and those who lost their lives.

    Liked by 6 people

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