As the new trade/tech/diplomatic/cultural (in fact, everything but kinetic) war between the US and China is heating up by the hour, one would think that China would do everything in its power to defuse one of the core accusations by the Trump administration, namely that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China was the source of the global coronavirus pandemic (going so far as to spark unofficial demands for hundreds of billions in reparations from Beijing for its “criminal” actions), an allegation which Peter Navarro on Sunday expanded when he accused China of deliberately “seeding” the world with the “China virus”:
“The Chinese behind the shield of the World Health Organization – for two months – hid the virus from the world and then sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese on aircraft to Milan, New York and around the world to seed that,” Navarro said on ABC. “They could have kept it in Wuhan. Instead it became a pandemic.”
Well, one would be wrong, because in a “completely unexpected” twist – assuming China was indeed telling the truth and that the WIV had nothing to do with the original viral release – on Friday, a senior Chinese official confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s allegation that Beijing had told labs in the country to destroy coronavirus samples in early January.
Recall that in a May 6 press briefing, Pompeo accused China of covering up the Covid-19 outbreak as it emerged in the central city of Wuhan, saying China’s National Health Commission had ordered destruction of samples of the virus on Jan. 3.
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Asked about those comments at a press briefing in Beijing on Friday, NHC official Liu Dengfeng confirmed that the commission had issued these guidelines at that time “for pandemic prevention and control, which also played an important role in preventing biosafety risks.”
“If the laboratory conditions cannot meet the requirements for the safe preservation of samples, the samples should be destroyed on the spot or transferred to a professional institution for safekeeping,” said Liu, supervisor of the commission’s Department of Health Science, Technology and Education.
Chinese law has clear rules for the handling of highly pathogenic samples, he said, and we are sure that it does… but wait a gosh darned minute? According to Dengfeng, China is basically admitting that the coronavirus samples – which were held in China’s P-4 rated, top “biosafety” lab in Wuhan which incidentally is also where the virus was leaked from according to a mountain of circumstantial evidence – were not safe in the Wuhan lab and thus had to be destroyed?
Considering that one of the core arguments made by the Trump administration (and this website) is that the virus (whether genetically engineered or otherwise) was released (hopefully without premeditation although there is no way of knowing for certain) by the Wuhan lab, China’s actions essentially confirm that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was unsafe, and thus every last sample of the virus had to be destroyed.
Of course, the real reason why China destroyed the samples was different, and it had to do with not only destroying all the evidence but crushing any hope of finding what the real source of the pandemic was. As the WSJ reported, “Public health experts say it is likely too late to investigate the role of the market in Covid-19’s spread and that proving its origin might now be impossible.” And with China destroying the last remaining coronavirus samples, well – there goes any hope of proving or disproving that the virus emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Just as China wanted.
So with all that in mind, and with China’s track record in biotechnology, “gain of function” experiments and reputation of deadly viral “containment” destroyed, what does China do? Why it plans to build an entirely new biolab, only this time not in the industrial backwater of Wuhan, but in the capital itself.
According to the Global Times, China’s capital Beijing will build its own, P-3 rated laboratory “to improve and explore infectious disease detection capacity” Lei Haichao, director of Beijing Municipal Health Commission, said at a press conference on Sunday, Chinanews reported.
There is no P-3 laboratory in Beijing now, while the nation’s only P-4 lab – which as a reminder is the highest level of biosafety precautions, and is appropriate for work with “agents that could easily be aerosol-transmitted within the laboratory and cause severe to fatal disease in humans for which there are no available vaccines or treatments” – remains in Wuhan.
When COVID-19 emerged, the nation’s capital had 17 facilities equipped with nucleic acid testing capabilities. Within two months, 70 institutions had added testing capabilities necessary to conduct 51,000 tests daily, Lei said.
Recently, the highest number of tests completed in one day is 30,000, indicating ample reserve capacity. However, the ability of Beijing laboratories to target infectious diseases needs to be explored and improved in the long term, according to Lei.
Of course, testing is just one of the many aspects that a biosafety level 3 lab does. According to the CDC’s “Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories” manual, P-3 labs are appropriate for work involving microbes which can cause serious and potentially lethal disease via the inhalation route. This type of work can be done in clinical, diagnostic, teaching, research, or production facilities. Here, the precautions undertaken in BSL-1 and BSL-2 labs are followed, as well as additional measures including:
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In addition, the facility which houses the BSL-3 laboratory must have certain features to ensure appropriate containment. The entrance to the laboratory must be separated from areas of the building with unrestricted traffic flow. Additionally, the laboratory must be behind two sets of self-closing doors (to reduce the risk of aerosols escaping). The construction of the laboratory is such that it can be easily cleaned. Carpets are not permitted, and any seams in the floors, walls, and ceilings are sealed to allow for easy cleaning and decontamination. Additionally, windows must be sealed, and a ventilation system installed which forces air to flow from the “clean” areas of the lab to the areas where infectious agents are handled. Air from the laboratory must be filtered before it can be recirculated.
So after Wuhan and the whole “coronavirus thing”, what do Beijing residents have to look forward to?
According to the CDC, biosafety level 3 is commonly used for research and diagnostic work involving various microbes which can be transmitted by aerosols and/or cause severe disease. These include Francisella tularensis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Chlamydia psittaci, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, Coxiella burnetii, Rift Valley fever virus, Rickettsia rickettsii, several species of Brucella, chikungunya, yellow fever virus, West Nile virus, Yersinia pestis.
Oh, and the SARS coronavirus, SARS-Cov-2, and MERS coronavirus. Just in case the world really needs that second wave.
What is the purpose of China having so many LABS, especially ones that work with Viruses? Shouldn;t than be ILLEGAL?
As a biological warfare is in the future for China. They will do what they have to to become the superpower, no matter how long it takes they will try. This goes back to at least 4000 ( yes four thousand) years ago when the plan was in their dumb brains.
I tend to distrust both liberal and conservative media reporting because both are biased. When someone is quoted, I try to check if they were taken out of context of what they actually said. (If it isn’t consistent with that persons history, it is probably taken out of context.) I look at the motivation of who is being quoted. I read carefully the wording used to distinguish when something is being inferred but not specifically stated. I look and listen to see if the other side is even mentioned or other reported information which contradicts is acknowledged. (Always remember the media is sensitive to being sued for slander when they knowingly lie but is off the hook when they quote someone else or just infer.) Last but not least, I apply common sense and consider the source..
The inference here is that COVID – 19 came from the lab. This one is likely true because it is consistent with a lot of other reported facts. The Chinese speaker’s motivation here was to point out that the COVID-19 could not have come from the lab because coronavirus samples in the lab were destroyed weeks before their first reported case. Of course, the timing of their reporting of cases is inconsistent with several other actions they are known to have taken but consistent with a cover up. Remember, we only have their word that they destroyed their samples.
I think we should help them clear off the site for construction with a couple good sized well aimed missles or since they dont care how many or who dies just one FATBOY right in downtown Beigeng. Be a good spot for a crater lake
I would make a comment, but T Beach already made it for me, thanks T!
Intentional or not,,fix the problem and stop making any virus..let the world becone safe
Sorry all you “Conspiracy Theorists”, but China most likely has no desires or intentions of wiping out the entire world with yet another pandemic.
A Level 3 biosafety lab is run of the mill stuff in terms of Bio-safety science which all nations operating national Health Services require if only to safely identify the circulating diseases in their country.
Has nobody commenting here actually READ the article above ? Climb down from your Conspiracy Horses and rejoin the real world please – all this hot air is no good for anybody, and China actually NEEDS to admit its failings if only to prevent future mistakes and accidents !
Any Pandemic is a rolling Worlwide Trajedy which, until it has been properly halted, will continue throughout time unless it is self-limiting by nature. The novel coronavirus is not usually self-limiting, but mutations can and do occur.
Nature can be cruel – do not encourage her to become even more so !
Well David M. It isn’t the conspiracy to most people as it is the deception and blatant lies from China. You’re right about they should take responsibility for their mistake and that’s another reason everybody is pissed at China. So you don’t think their letting the virus out of Wuhan to the world but not into Beijing and Shanghai was an accident and not a economic move?