Sat. Jul 24th, 2021


A survey of Covid-19 implications from an international perspective

by Adolfo Quizon Paglinawan

Chapter 13

Lab theories and political football

On the possible origins of the coronavirus, the Philippines Daily Inquirer published an opinion of Steve Mosher’s “Don’t buy China’s story: The corona virus may have leaked from a lab.”

Whoa! It must be noted that Mosher is a confirmed anti-China hate-campaigner who had been expelled by Stanford University’s anthropology department’s doctoral program for inappropriate conduct.

Mosher has been accused of inappropriate use of “information he collected at a village in China” for a Taiwanese publication under the fraudulent name “Steven Westley” that was a piece of propaganda instead of a scholarly research.

Moreover, Mosher documented his bias in a book to his name “Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order” that makes outrageous claims about China.

For example, Mosher says China “invented totalitarianism thousands of years ago and “teaches its people to hate America.” This is as if Europe didn’t have monarchies in its early history and hundreds-of-thousands of Chinese students don’t love to study in America that they call Mei Guo, or the beautiful country.

But his subterfuge in his work with Taiwan took the cake.

Former Ambassador Rigoberto Tiglao exposed the Inquirer senior editor for publishing Mosher’s article which was sourced from, “the website of the religious right that is notorious for posting misleading or totally false news and a blog written by a fire-breathing anti-China writer.”

Owners and editors of the Inquirer are identified with elements in the U.S. political structure that have been escalating the “Cold War II” campaign to the point of rabidity in a manner similar to mad dogs.

SIM drop is Corpus Delecti?

One such escalation is the claim by US intelligence officials of a Chinese cover up of 21 million coronavirus dead based on the drop of cell phone registration.

Ironically, the above claims were quickly denied even by US fact-checkers who quickly explained that, like many around the world, the Chinese have multiple phones and SIM cards.

With the lockdown and limited activities, phone use fell, and extra phones and SIMs were dropped. In just one city, Wuhan, which has a population of 11 million, if each citizen drops one SIM card, that would already be a drop of 11 million. In point of fact, at least 80 million Chinese citizens were locked down.

Recently, a lavishly produced video entitled “The first documentary movie on CCP virus, Tracking Down the Origin of the Wuhan Coronavirus” started circulating on social media.

Predictably, the video spins this tale of Chinese bio-warfare and the demonization of WHO. The video producer has turned out to be the Falung Gong, a cultist group led by Li Hongzhi who claims to be “the ruler of the world and bigger than the universe.” Among others, the cult counts on the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Freedom House as supporters.

Talents for the above video include mainstays of the Epoch Times, a publication of the Falung Gong.

These include the infamous Gordon Chang who has made a lucrative living predicting China’s collapse since his 2001 book “The Coming Collapse of China” which remains forthcoming, and Judy A Mikovits, a jailed fraudster.

Lab theory: Inconclusive

I did not bother read a column inch further into Inquirer’s print on Mosher because Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley already dismissed that allegation as inconclusive.

The statement of authority has already been running worldwide from an original report by Lara Seligman of Politico.

“There’s a lot of rumor and speculation in a wide variety of media and blog sites,” General Milley Milley told reporters when asked if he had any evidence that the virus might have accidentally escaped a Chinese laboratory.

“It should be no surprise to you that we’ve taken a keen interest in that, and we’ve had a lot of intelligence take a hard look at that.

At this point it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural, but we don’t know for certain,” Mmilley said.

Covid-19 first emerged from Wuhan, in China’s Hubei Province, most likely from a fish and animal market where humans routinely come into direct contact with animals.

A majority of scientists believe that the virus probably jumped from an animal to a human and have pushed back at speculation that it is an escaped bio-weapon as there is no public evidence to tie such a claim to.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), in February, also pushed a more nefarious theory during an appearance on Fox News, when he said that the Wuhan food market was “just a few miles” from a lab that researches human infectious diseases.

The loose allegations, on the other hand completely ignores the fact that more than 300 US military sportsmen who attended the Wuhan Games in October 2019 stayed in a hotel within 300 meters, or very much less than even a mile, of that food market.

To put it bluntly, which is closer a few miles or 300 meters?

This is why we asserted a  greater probability in Chapter 8 of this book that any of those in the US delegation could have brought in the virus into China, Wuhan specifically, due to earlier admissions by no less than the US CDC director-general of post mortem findings of “flu deaths” occurring in the US during that period.

Just about the same time, Japanese tourists also returning from Hawaii, with no contacts whatsoever in China, were also traced to have brought Covid-19 to Japan.

So, which is most plausible a condition; from laboratory leaking to humans, or from animal transmission to humans, or a viral infection from a human to another human?                    

Isn’t it the last?  To put it bluntly, to a Chinese resident of Wuhan by American sportsmen with all those who came into contact with them in the hotel to the market, all the way to the venues of the sports events and to the airports where they entered and exited?

Isn’t this why social distancing has now become a norm?

Joint Staff Surgeon

Joint Staff Surgeon Brig. Gen. Paul Friedrichs earlier this month said that “there is nothing” to the idea that the virus originated in a lab.

“If I could just be clear, there is nothing to that,” Friedrichs said. “That is not something that I’m worried about.”

“I think, you know, right now what  we’re concerned about is how do we treat people who are sick, how do we prevent people from getting sick. But no, I am not worried about this as a bio-weapon.”

The clarification by General Milley came hours after The Washington Post reported that US officials were concerned about inadequate safety at a Wuhan lab that was conducting studies on corona virus from bats.

According to the report, US officials who had visited the lab dispatched diplomatic cables in January 2018 back to Washington warning about safety and management weaknesses at the lab, and also that the facility’s work on bat corona viruses represented a risk of a new Sars-like pandemic.

“I don’t want to say that. But I will tell you more and more, we’re hearing the story and we’ll see,” Trump responded. “But we are doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation that happened.”

Fox News also reported that sources speaking on the condition of anonymity said Chinese researchers in Wuhan were working on the virus as part of an ongoing effort to demonstrate that their capabilities are comparable to those of U.S. scientists – not as an effort to develop or spread a bio-weapon.

Nature mag apologizes

British scientific journal Nature has apologized for associating Covid-19 with China in its reporting, saying that early coverage of the global health crisis by itself and other media had led to racist attacks on people of Asian descent around the world.

The publication said that the World Health Organization’s announcement that the official name for the pneumonia-like virus would be Covid-19 had been an implicit reminder to “those who had erroneously been associating the virus with Wuhan and with China in their news coverage – including Nature.

 “It’s clear that since the outbreak was first reported, people of Asian descent around the world have been subjected to racist attacks, with untold human costs – for example, on their health and livelihoods, the magazine announced.”

The article said that while it had been common for viral diseases to be associated with the areas in which outbreaks had occurred – like Middle East respiratory syndrome and the Zika virus, which was named after a Ugandan forest – the WHO had introduced guidelines in 2015 to reduce the negative impact of such labelling on people from those areas.

The impact of a stigmatized virus name would have “worrying implications” for students from China and other countries in Asia, “hurting the diversity of university campuses and diversity of points of view in academia,” it said.

“It would be tragic if stigma, fuelled by the corona virus, led Asia’s young people to retreat from international campuses, curtailing their own education, reducing their own and others’ opportunities and leaving research worse off – just when the world is relying on it to find a way out,” it said. “Corona virus stigma must stop – now.”

Beijing has taken the position that the origin of the coronavirus remains unknown and that establishing where it came from should be left to the scientific community and not be used as a political football.

Brazilian lawmaker Eduardo Bonsolaro, son of the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has irresponsibly been saying  the corona virus was China’s fault.Bottom of Form US President Donald Trump repeatedly used the term “Chinese virus” in relation to the health crisis before dropping it last month after acknowledging there had been a rise in “nasty language” directed at the Asian-American community.

Since the corona virus outbreak began towards the end of last year there has been an increase in reported racist abuse of people of Asian descent around the world, including in one case, three members of an Asian family in Texas, including two children, aged six and two, being stabbed.

“As countries struggle to control the spread of the new corona virus, a minority of politicians are sticking with the outdated script,” the Nature report said.

“Continuing to associate a virus and the disease it causes with a specific place is irresponsible and needs to stop.”


Ado Paglinawan is a daily commentator at Radyo Pilipinas1, and a regular columnist at the country’s newest daily news website 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.


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