A year after first confirmed death in China, coronavirus source still a puzzle

By Leo Ramirez and Dan Martin

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I wonder why China is blocking the WHO from entering to investigate the root causes.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

China is incapable of a proper, full and open independent investigation. Without the ability to manipulate the data and to steer the investigation in the direction it wants it will not allow foreign investigators to search for, or find the truth, as it would potentially be an embarrassment to Xi and to modern China. China has a habit of hiding inconvenient truth's and damaging information. China labels anyone attempting to speak of or publish such information as "trouble makers" and detains or locks them up. In this case the first Doctor's in Wuhan that tried to inform authorities and colleagues of a growing new virus threat was locked up and shamed publicly until the virus was out of control . He later died from covid. The journalists that tried to publish and speak of covid were treated the same as the Doctor. China has a first response of "deny it and cover it up". That allowed the virus to spread unchecked and to get past China's borders. This situation is both an embarrassment to communist ways of dealing with anything potentially dangerous to its survival and it is a situation they seemed to have learned little to nothing from. They would act in the same manner if the same thing happened in five years time. An independent inquiry would show local officials acting as directed by higher party officials and in the process allowing covid to get lose. Highly embarrassing to Xi and his communist party ways of denial and secrecy.

The shame of this will linger long after covid is under control globally or even defeated through vaccinations.

Another nail in the Communist coffin. Freedom to report the truth would have saved China and the world this scourge, and the lives of millions of victims.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Since it is clear that China will not cooperate with any WHO probe, COVID-19 should be renamed to 'Wuhan flu'. More in line with names like Japanese Encephalitis, MERS, West Nile Virus.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Anything Daszak says should be met with skepticism. His team funded the Wuhan virology lab for years, supporting research on emerging bat-to-human viruses by literally creating such viruses. Him leading the WHO origins team is a conflict of interest of the highest degree. The fact that Daszak came out in february guns blazing to indite anyone who would even consider a lab leak hypothesis as a lunatic conspiracy theorist is damning and support this notion.

The fact is that a laboratory origin is not a conspiracy theory - it's a theory. One that should be taken seriously given the coincidence of the outbreak occurring right next to China's only lab that does Gain of Function research on coronaviruses. It's too bad we'll likely never know the truth, given that the CCP has had a full year to wipe every trace of whatever might have happened (and still finds it necessary to stall the WHO team for god knows what).

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Heh. Diana Bell doesn't mince words huh. I'm surprised the AFP didn't edit her quote down a little. ;-)

It is a shame that domestic politics in the US over recent years has weakened the west and global institutions and emboldened China at just the wrong time. I suspect the Chinese reluctance is more about covering up embarrassing mistakes in handling the outbreak rather than hiding some kind of smoking gun that they created it intentionally.

But these days China doesn't seem to feel any need to comply with global bodies or opinion.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, the word China has become synonymous with cover-up, corruption, and untrustworthiness.

I hope that with determination, diligence, and sacrifice, the independent investigation team will be able to find out the origin of this virus. In case China was found to be the culprit, it must be held financially accountable for this epic disaster.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

"how about European flu? More are being affected/infected than in Asia as a whole"

JE, MERS, WNV are named after the places where they originated, not where they are prevalent today. Same criteria should apply for COVID-19, unless you subscribe to the US-origin theory being spread online by wumao's.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

In case China was found to be the culprit, it must be held financially accountable for this epic disaster.

Dream on. It's not like the politburo are billionaires. Oh wait...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Did anyone ever really expect China to co-operate with this investigaton?

They are all too willing to say all the right things when they are in front of the world media when the investigation was announced. However, when things are put into action, the everyone mysteriously has Visa issues despite China having months of notice.

In short, as they can't control the investigation, they're doing their best to stall it.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Wuhan virus is totally appropriate. Why is ebola called ebola? Because it originated in the ebola river area. Evilbuddha is totally right. It probably originated in wuhan, if not in that area so let's call it wuhan virus

4 ( +9 / -5 )

FACT: when you make baseless accusations against an Asian nation... the response you will generally receive is to distance from you because you are deliberately trying to embarrass and blame.  We don't need that here... what we need is open objective, non-blaming inquiry by researchers to track this virus back to it's source.. which is somewhere in the species chain in Asia... given the first foothold has been consistently isolated to Wuhan... even though actual source vector for the species jump is not yet fully understood.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Did anyone ever really expect China to co-operate with this investigaton?

Honest people willing to give China the benefit of the doubt believed them. Now they may see what others have been telling them that you cant take China at its word. It breaks agreements and its promises as often than it keeps them.

While western countries with a free press would go into damage control, China with controlled press goes into damage denial.

No government wants bad press but Western nations rely on open media to "keep them as honest as they can" and China and Russian state media "keep lying until told otherwise by the leader".

For a modern China making changes and wanting to lead, it falls well short in this area and will always fall short with a closed state run media machine. It needs to learn the Western style of "damage control" rather than damage deny what everyone knows is truth.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

FACT: when you make baseless accusations against an Asian nation... the response you will generally receive is to distance from you because you are deliberately trying to embarrass and blame.

FACT: When making an informed accusation based on available evidence against an Asian nation the response will be identical to above. Because that is what has happened in the case of Covid.

Chinese doctors first identified this covid-19 virus in Wuhan in China.

Local Chinese Communist officials attempted to cover up the claims of a potential serious situation. The Doctor was jailed as a "trouble maker". Time was lost and the ability to contain the virus outbreak was lost due to the intervention of officials stopping proper reporting and responses to the developing situation. This information has all come from inside China itself.

Denying it or attempting to alter the history for the sake of avoiding shame is unacceptable.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

@ the avenger

Ebola virus was first detected in the ebola river area. Everyone calls it ebola virus. It may have originated elsewhere. I don't here china complaining about the ebola virus being called the ebola virus , do you?

The wuhan virus, as it should be very rightly called, was first detected in wuhan. Undisputable fact. Get off your high horse.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

He blames Trump for killing cooperation with China by politicizing the virus 

The bogeyman Trump again. Pathetic. China routinely hides these sorts of unpleasant facts even from their own people, much less America. I'll be glad when Trump is finally gone, and the part of people's brains that is imprisoned by Trump obsessions gets freed to do useful work - like thinking.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Yet China, which has broadly controlled the pandemic on its soil

Says China....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is the world's most pressing scientific puzzle, but experts warn there may never be conclusive answers over the source of the coronavirus, after an investigative effort marked from the start by disarray, Chinese secrecy and international rancor.

The original source is not the main issue. China is accused of having covered up and mishandled the virus spread at earlier local levels. Lack of accountability, distortion and propaganda alongside sheer aggressions in neighboring disputed territories are highly problematic. The Chinese authorities are still sabotaging the UN-led inquiry, intimidating anyone/any country who merely attempt to explore the truth (just for the sake of better future).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Honest people willing to give China the benefit of the doubt believed them.

Those were the most dishonest people. They preferred untruth in their attempt to appear less racist and more politically correct. Thanks to their narcissism, millions have been affected by this virus.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The original source is not the main issue.

It very much is the critical matter. The world has to know where the reservoir of this virus is so it can be controlled. Otherwise another pandemic is inevitable.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wuhan seems like the source but some scientists believe Italy was the first with infections.

I think I had it in the US in November 2018. Sickest I've ever been with low oxygen level, cough, nausea, hershey squirts, no energy at all, but I tested negative for flu and pneumonia. X-Rays were inconclusive and there was no reason to think about an MRI or CT scan of my lungs. No fever but I had been sick a couple of weeks before finally seeing my usual PA. In hindsight several local doctors here think they treated cases in the US in the November-December 2018 time frame. There were a lot of cases here like mine. I was a long hauler too, with a bad cough, shortness of breath and lethargy for many months. I didn't really start to feel good until mid summer. SARS-CoV2 was probably out there circulating for many months before anyone recognized there was an incipient problem much less knew how to test for it. Anyone that minimizes this thing is being foolish, and a bit arrogant. You don't want it. You don't want anyone in your family getting it. You don't want the people you work with getting it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

SARS, MERS, WURS, simple.

(Not blaming China.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As China is facing reports about the spread of these deadly infections called COVID-19, China has begun to conceal and distort the truths and claims about these infections. They first lied about the spread of the virus, then blamed the origin on various countries. China has never revealed exact information about the virus, or even about how to stabilize the Wuhan market where the infection first started. China is not even allowing and just keep on testing patience of entire world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Desert Tortoise, do you not mean 2019?

I have heard the Italy outbreak version, but there is a large Chinese community there involved in the clothing trade, apparently. Chicken or egg?

To my mind this is a bat virus that has has been artificially tweaked, and probably escaped somehow (probably not intentionally, but that in itself is a scary thought) into the community, through other wildlife. The Brit, Connor Reed who had it back in November 2019 in Wuhan, said that his cat had the same thing and died of it.

I suspect the Chinese are foot-dragging because they already know how it started, and to them there is no benefit to allowing the world to discover the true facts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

but some scientists believe Italy was the first with infections.

Reported infections. The regions in northern Italy that were severely hit happen to have big Chinese communities, who are mostly factory workers from mainland China in the fashion-manufacturing industry. And yes, many are "undocumented" (illegal) workers of whom the authorities have no records. If they carried the virus to Italy, no one would know.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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