WHO Came First: The ‘Wet Market’ or the Virus Lab?


By Kal K. Korff | Geneva, Switzerland "As far as WHO is concerned, all hypotheses [re SARS-CoV-2’s origins] remain on the table. This report is a very important beginning, but it is not the end. We have not yet found the source of the virus, and we must continue to follow the science and leave no stone unturned as we do,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in both written and spoken remarks to the global press after his agency released their first Origins of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus report. Citing not only the essential need for, but also openly pushing for further studies, Dr. Ghebreyesus emphasized, “Finding the origin of a virus takes time and we owe it to the world to find the source so we can collectively take steps to reduce the risk of this happening again. No single research trip can provide all the answers.” Obviously, whenever any pandemic occurs, understanding its origins is vital not only for containing and defeating it, but most important, to prevent future outbreaks. While one can never know what one cannot possibly know, where it concerns definitively determining the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the WHO’s report makes it clear that a more in-depth investigation is not only urgent, it is crucial if the world is to learn the relevant lessons that it should, executing actions that it must. Red Shadows Historically speaking, pandemics have never been free nor very far from politics. During World War-I, the Spanish Influenza or ‘Spanish Flu’ erupted, it is estimated to have killed 50-100 million people. It was nicknamed the Spanish Flu only because the media in Spain were not restricted by wartime censors and finally started reporting on the true scale and lethality of this crisis, instead of helping continue to hide this deadly secret from the public. In China, politics are first and paramount, for there is only one political party, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Daily life in China, is politicized for all citizens. The CCP has absolute authority, its dictator-for-life (literally), Xi Jinping, is not only guilty of some of the world’s worst human rights abuses, when he isn’t busy destroying Christian churches, organ harvesting and locking up millions of Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps; Xi Jinping has purged and/or imprisoned millions of his opponents, countless Chinese citizens and even fellow members of his own Communist Party — all to create his emerging world’s greatest super utopia, replete with its own “Social Credit” system. As previously reported in Daily World, Xi Jinping’s regime has openly declared its goals of becoming the world’s only eventual superpower, displacing the United States. How it is busy gleefully achieving his goals of literal world dominance, which includes conquering Taiwan and Hong Kong, his Silk Road initiative to which Iran is now its latest signatory partner; becoming self-sufficient and the most powerful social-economic power, they are all part of his formally declared 2020, 2025 and 2050 Plans. These and other problems and issues inherent in any dictatorship, let alone the peculiar hybrid one that China implements today which is really Totalitarian-Capitalism rather than pure Communism, these considerations are relevant because they determined how China ‘handled’ the pandemic by literally covering it up and downplaying its severity. The CCP’s continuing “cover-up” remains a problem for scientists from around the world. Not only did the CCP order all early samples of the SARS-CoV-2 which were collected to be “destroyed,” all samples that have survived from the earliest times still have not been shared with WHO investigators. There is no moral nor scientific ‘excuse’ for this. Going forward, the CCP remains the chief obstacle impeding genuine progress in the WHO’s investigation. Origins Where it concerns determining the real origins of SARS-CoV-2, the only evidence ever officially offered to the world that the “Ground Zero” location where the virus outbreak started was at the Huanan Seafood Market (HSM) in the city of Wuhan, located less than 300 meters (328 yards) from the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, comes courtesy of the Chinese Communist Party. On January 1, 2020, the CCP not only raided the HSM, it made a very public showing of shuttering it, quickly declaring that this was the origin location since several people tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 who had been to this market. As the world now knows, the CCP initially downplayed and outright denied reports of deadly human-to-human transmission. The new WHO report provides further evidence that the HSM was not “the source” as China claimed, but instead was just one of many. Put another way, the HSM was a contagion spreading point, it was not truly Ground Zero as was hyped. As the WHO notes: “The animal and environment working group reviewed existing knowledge on corona viruses that are phylogenetically related to SARS-CoV-2 identified in different animals, including horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus spp) and pangolins. However, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 has not been detected through sampling and testing of bats or of wildlife across China. More than 80,000 wildlife, livestock and poultry samples were collected from 31 provinces in China and no positive result was identified for SARS-CoV-2 antibody or nucleic acid before and after the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in China. Through extensive testing of animal products in the Huanan market, no evidence of animal infections was found.”
 “Many of the early cases were associated with the Huanan market, but a similar number of cases were associated with other markets and some were not associated with any markets. Transmission within the wider community in December could account for cases not associated with the Huanan market which, together with the presence of early cases not associated with that market, could suggest that the Huanan market was not the original source of the outbreak. 
“Other milder cases that were not identified, however, could provide the link between the Huanan Market and early cases without an apparent link to the market. No firm conclusion therefore about the role of the Huanan Market can be drawn.” From Market To Lab Since the new official WHO report makes it clear that the Huanan Seafood Market is not the type of culprit that the CCP made a point to persistently claim that it was, what about the Lab hypothesis? Just what exactly is it, and how viable does it remain as a candidate for being the ultimate source of the outbreak in Wuhan? The Lab theory exists in different forms. One version of it is that the SARS-CoV-2 was deliberately engineered using what is called Gain of Function (GoF) research. GoF is the systematic or iterative modification of a virus so that over time, it “gains functionality” or becomes more adaptive or deadly, depending on its composition and one’s intent. GoF is one of the “Holy Grails” of genetic new frontier sciences. Along with Gene Editing, the Communist Chinese Party has been pushing to be the world leader on these two fronts for years now, along with Artificial Intelligence and semiconductor designs and manufacturing. Advocates of the GoF theory argue that based on the mutations they are observing of the SARS-CoV-2, it is becoming increasingly efficient in mastering how it spreads and even in how deadly it can be to its victims, instead of becoming less virulent. GoF Alarms Gain Of Function alarms went off when scientists realized how easy this process was to do. This took place during the Obama administration, where a moratorium on it was largely established, while a year was allocated to study the ramifications of GoF more carefully, then enact policy recommendations to handle this panacea responsibly. After further diligence following this comprehensive review, this key conclusion was made on January 7, 2016 in a presentation by its Chief Investigator: For the coronaviruses – Wild type strains are insufficiently transmissible and sufficiently susceptible to public health control measures such that a global pandemic has a minimal chance of occurring. Increasing transmissibility can significantly increase risk of a global pandemic. Need a modest increase for SARS-CoV or a significant increase for MERS-CoV.” As the WHO report confirms, “Certain gain-of-function studies with the potential to enhance the pathogenicity or transmissibility of potential pandemic pathogens (PPPs) have raised bio-safety and bio-security concerns, including the potential dual use risks associated with the misuse of the information or products resulting from such research. “On October 16, 2014, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced the launch of the U.S. Government (USG) gain-of-function (GOF) deliberative process to re-evaluate the potential risks and benefits associated with certain GOF experiments. During this process the USG paused the release of federal funding for GOF studies anticipated to enhance the pathogenicity or transmissibility among mammals by respiratory droplets of influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses. “The NSABB served as the official federal advisory body on the GOF issue and was tasked with providing recommendations to the USG on a conceptual approach for evaluating proposed GOF research. The NSABB finalized its recommendations on May 24, 2016. The U.S. Government considered the NSABB’s findings and recommendations during the development of policy on gain-of-function research. In January 2017, the U.S. Government released policy guidance for the review and oversight of research anticipated to create, transfer, or use enhanced PPPs [safety measures]. There you have it, folks. Corona viruses are not only easily to manipulate, they need only a “modest” increase. Arguments for Lab Leak The WHO notes in their report that, “Although rare, laboratory accidents do happen, and different laboratories around the world are working with bat CoVs. When working in particular with virus cultures, but also with animal inoculations or clinical samples, humans could become infected in laboratories with limited biosafety, poor laboratory management practice, or following negligence. The closest known CoV RaTG13 strain (96.2%) to SARS-CoV-2 detected in bat anal swabs have been sequenced at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The Wuhan CDC laboratory moved on 2nd December 2019 to a new location near the Huanan market. Such moves can be disruptive for the operations of any laboratory. The WHO reports also posits an argument against a lab leak by saying, “The closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2 from bats and pangolin are evolutionarily distant from SARS- CoV-2. There has been speculation regarding the presence of human ACE2 receptor binding and a furin-cleavage site in SARS-CoV-2, but both have been found in animal viruses as well, and elements of the furin-cleavage site are present in RmYN02 and the new Thailand bat SARSr-CoV. There is no record of viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 in any laboratory before December 2019, or genomes that in combination could provide a SARS-CoV-2 genome. Regarding accidental culture, prior to December 2019, there is no evidence of circulation of SARS-CoV-2 among people globally and the surveillance programme in place was limited regarding the number of samples processed and therefore the risk of accidental culturing SARS-CoV-2 in the laboratory is extremely low. The three laboratories in Wuhan working with either CoVs diagnostics and/or CoVs isolation and vaccine development all had high quality biosafety level (BSL3 or 4) facilities that were well-managed, with a staff health monitoring programme with no reporting of COVID-19 compatible respiratory illness during the weeks/months prior to December 2019, and no serological evidence of infection in workers through SARS-CoV-2-specific serology-screening. The Wuhan CDC lab which moved on 2nd December 2019 reported no disruptions or incidents caused by the move. They also reported no storage nor laboratory activities on CoVs or other bat viruses preceding the outbreak.” The key word here is “reported,” for if no one either knew of any inadvertent leak due to the move, or if there was dual use going on or the involvement of the Chinese military, there would be no records for WHO investigators to review. Not only have all personnel who might have been “there” not been accounted for, all of the transparent data required to settle this issue one way or another, is not being provided by the CCP as of this reporting. The WHO has confirmed this. NIH Assessment Another key conclusion in the final Obama era assessment was: “A modified strain of influenza virus that is as transmissible as a pandemic strain AND causes a disease with a case fatality rate of 5% or more would pose more risk of a global pandemic than any wild type strain heretofore identified. No experiments likely to be conducted under the rubric of GoF research will drive risk more than this combination of phenotypes. All other combinations of traits would lead to a pathogen that has a less total global risk than the wild type 1918 pandemic influenza strain. Increasing the transmissibility of the coronaviruses, while increasing risk compared to wild type strains of those viruses, creates pathogens that pose no more risk of a global pandemic than the 1918 influenza strain.” As the WHO now prepares for the second round of its investigations, it will focus on two key areas: follow up more leads on possible lab origins, whether by design or accident, while also exploring food chain sources in other parts of China. By genetic studies of mutations, the true origins of this global pandemic may very well be found. / DAILY WORLD /


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