A SovereignPH.com EXCLUSIVE
A survey of Covid-19 implications from an international perspective
by Adolfo Quizon Paglinawan
An honest accounting, please
The cat’s out of the bag.
Thanks to social media, wherever propaganda between the Chinese and the Americans take us, a whole world seems to be questioning the avoidance of responsibility of what otherwise ought to be the bastion of freedom of information in the world – the USA.
On March 22, Thomas Hon Wing Polin of Hongkong commented on his Facebook page, “it looks like the Chinese is finally in counterattack mode against relentless US efforts to blame their country for the global Covid epidemic.”
He says these are the key points circulating in China’s cyberspace:
• It is now virtually certain that Covid-19 was brought to Wuhan by American troops taking part in the city’s World Military Games last October 18-27.
• Five of the US troopers developed a fever on October 25 and were taken to an infectious-diseases hospital for treatment.
• The more than 300-strong US contingent stayed at the Wuhan Oriental Hotel. It is located a mere 300 meters from the Huanan Seafood Market, where China’s outbreak began (see map below).
• 42 employees of the Oriental Hotel were diagnosed with Covid-19, becoming the first cluster in Wuhan. At the time only 7 people from the market were thus diagnosed, though they were treated first. All 7 had contact with the 42 from the hotel.
From this location, the virus spread to the rest of China.
• Back in the US, the American team had trained at a location near Fort Detrick, the military’s viral lab closed down in July for various deficiencies.
“The big question now is whether the transmission was planned, or accidental. Chinese authorities are awaiting an explanation from US authorities,” Polin asks.
He said a few days before he posted his key points, Mike Pompeo phoned Yang Jiechi, vice minister of foreign affairs, in charge of North America, Oceania, and Latin America.
(Pompeo’s counterpart is Yang’s boss Foreign Minister Wang Yi.)
Polin said it was Pompeo who wanted the Chinese not to publicize what they had found. But Yang replied – “We await your solemn explanation, especially about Patient Zero.”
China’s leaders long suspected involvement of the US military in the Wuhan outbreak. But they were determined to stop the disease before pursuing the Americans for an honest accounting.
The smoking gun in the ping-pong between Pompeo and Lijian Zhao, does not come from Canada’s Larry Romanoff or Hongkong’s Thomas Polin.
US CDC director Robert Redfield, in his Capitol Hill sworn testimony admitted that during the 2019 flu season (that may started as early as possibly July 2019), post-mortem analyses have confirmed cases of Covid-19 deaths in the US previously disguised in the statistics as ordinary influenza.
That’s conclusive enough that the origin of Covid-19 is the United States and not China, even before George Webb found suspected Patient Zero Maatje Benassi. It could be anyone of the more than 300 American military sportsmen who joined the World Military Games at Wuhan in October 2019.
The Wuhan outbreak came four months later.
A conspiracy theory, the US State Department cable distributed in-country and overseas, hoped to rebut?
But Godfree Roberts writing for the American Herald Tribune exposed that the world suspected that a nouvelle “veerus” was already circulating outside China last year when they quoted this from “First Vaping Death reported by USA Health Officials” dated August 2019 or three months before the Wuhan outbreak.
“Amid the lack of information, investigators scrambled to find shared links to respiratory problems. Officials said earlier this week that many patients… had described difficulty breathing, chest pain, vomiting and fatigue. The most seriously ill patients have had extensive lung damage that required treatment with oxygen and days on a ventilator. Some are expected to have permanent lung damage.”
Covid-19 symptoms. Covid-19 treatment procedure. Covid-19 cause of death.
But if that’s too speculative, Roberts points us to what the National Public Radio turned up. In a recent paper entitled “Other Countries can Learn Important Lessons from Italy” that Dr. Giuseppe Remuzzi co-authored in The Lancet about the country’s dire situation, comes an all-important lead explaining some question why Italy was caught off guard when the virus outbreak was revealed on February 21.
Remuzzi says he is now hearing information about it from general practitioners. “They remember having seen very strange pneumonia, very severe, particularly in old people in December and even November. This means that the virus was circulating, at least in northern Lombardy before we were aware of this outbreak occurring in China.“
Brian McGleenon of UK’s Express reports “The corona virus that infected more than 80,000 people in China, and killed more than 3,200, is not exactly the same one that has infected 27,980 Italians, nor the one that 11,300 Spaniards contracted.
This was verified this week by researchers from the University of Valencia and the Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research in the Valencian Community, who obtained the first genomes of the virus in Spain, from samples from three patients
McGleenon explains that as it spreads and goes from one country to another, it undergoes mutations, but the question is why is it that all the strains manifesting differently in the world are all found in the US among five strains virologists confirmed even before the Wuhan outbreak?
Wang Fuhua, whose ten questions have “viraled” from WeChat to CGTN to Global Research and maybe onto mainstream press, shares the same mind, “Genetic research shows that the type of novel coronavirus found in China belongs to Group C, but Group A and Group B viruses – Group C’s parental and grand parental viruses – are both found in the United States. Why?
“Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran all reported that many of their first Covid-19 confirmed cases had no exposure history with China but showed connection with the United States. How come?
“A Japanese patient was diagnosed with influenza in Hawaii but was tested positive for Covid-19 when he returned to Japan.” As we said earlier that case and others who proved positive for the virus were persons who never went to China. So where does it come from?”
George Webb is also on the same track but his explanation is too lengthy to include here.
Given this background, questions will not stop perculating from WeChat to CGTN to Global Research and then mainstream media, especially if not all the strains of Covid-19 virus infecting the world came from China such as the strain that attacked other countries like Japan, South Korea, Italy, Iran or for that matter even Spain.
So back to Menaatje Benassi – where is Patient Zero?
Professor at the Chinese Foreign University in Beijing, Li Haidong, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the US government must respond to the controversy and publish relevant information about the American military athlete and her state of health to clear public doubts and to help us with scientific studies on the origin of the virus.
“Identifying the origin will help develop effective therapy for the disease. The United States should provide information to members of the delegation to support related research,” said Li.
Lessons from Wuhan
As the Covid-19 virus jumps vast distances and oceans to other continents, we see how other countries are adopting lessons from the effectiveness of China’s response that has resulted in a remarkable control of the Covid-19 crisis after just three short months, unlike past epidemics that took almost a year before subsiding.
This has included mass “lockdowns”, social distancing and other preemptive moves as new normals.
Dr. Bruce Aylward, the Canadian head of the Covid-19 WHO Mission to China, submitted its report to the World Health organization wowing the Chinese handling of the pandemic.
The scientist explained that “speed” is the best weapon and it would be the population, not the medical and healthcare practitioners, who will stop this virus.
Aylward said this virus spreads faster than it can kill. So, with the cooperation of the people of China cutting movement to almost a halt through self-quarantine, the rate of infection whittled down and became controllable.
China also learned quickly that socialization was the fastest form of transmission, and distancing and handwashing had to be adopted as a norm. It was also established early that the virus preys mostly the elderly and those with preconditions, like hypertension, diabetes and pneumonia symptoms.
All told, quarantine for about 14 days will prevent the communication of the virus and in isolation, it dies.
Ado Paglinawan is a daily commentator at Radyo Pilipinas1, and a regular columnist at the newest daily news website SovereignPH.com and its partner magazine The Sovereign. He is a former Philippine diplomat, serving in the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York as press attaché, spokesman and special assistant to Ambassador Emmanuel N. Pelaez. He has served a strategic consultant to Agriculture Secretary Luisito Lorenzo, Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon and Finance Secretary Roberto de Ocampo. He studied for 1 5 years at San Beda College from grade 1 to 4th year college majoring in English and Philosophy, minor in political science and history. He is a veteran of the First Quarter Storm, participating as president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines. Ado has taken continuing studies in world politics and diplomacy, international public relations, information technology and remote sensing, and Eastern Christianity and Islamic studies, from various universities in Washington DC.