By Mauro Gia Samonte
The Covid-19 pandemic, until now, continues to be a baffler as to its actual roots, and mankind, to this day, is not quite sure how to really get rid of it. Certainly, a number of vaccines have been developed, but people can hardly be comfortable with this fact.
Which of these vaccines are well-meaning, that is, for defeating the pathogen for the pure purpose of saving humanity, and which are commercial-meaning, that is, for making money out of man’s tragedy?
Of the number of vaccines that have come the way of the Philippines, only one, China’s Sinovac, has reached the country’s shores as pure donation, programmed to reach a total of 2.5 million doses.
And it is comforting to note that such donation is true also in other parts of the world, for instance, the Middle East, Africa and certain sections of Europe. Still in all, man gets no assurance that vaccines have grown to be a cure-all for the coronavirus attack.
Just recently, the morning dailies reported a so-called slipping into the country of a new variant of the pathogen. One shudders in remembering that months ago, such a similar variant hit India and instantly made it the top country for coronavirus infection and morbidity; for a moment, social and mainstream media were replete with scenes of cadavers burned on firewood right on the streets.
When is this ever going to end?
It’s been more than a year since the first coronavirus fatality was reported in the Philippines, and well toward the end of the second year of the lockdown enforced as a result, no end to the contagion is in sight.
A retrospect in this discussion is prompted by a surprising shift in focus by President Joe Biden in addressing the pandemic. To date, accounts bear out that the United States stands as the number one country with most number of infections and fatalities.
Under such circumstances, the normal thing to do is hastening the cure for the disease, yet Biden now sings the same tune Trump sang during the US presidential campaign: that coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. Expert analysts see this as a ploy to divert attention of the Americans from the fact that their leaders until then failed to correctly address the situation.
That Biden is mouthing Trump’s “Wuhan virus line” now must betray his own utter incapacity to stop the virus where it could have actually originated. What Biden, like Trump, cannot solve on the ground, he politicizes by shifting to China for the umpteenth time the blame for the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is an account from the Beijing Youth Daily:
“According to media reports, 41 US states and Washington, D.C., all registered spikes in Covid-19 infection during the past two weeks, with the number of confirmed cases more than doubling in 9 states. American media reported that more than 20 states had stopped daily updates on epidemic data.
“The lack of timely monitoring data may lead to blind spots in prevention efforts, experts worry. However, amid the severe situation at home, some US politicians are still pushing for an origin-tracing investigation targeting China.”
A respectable source opines, “With regard to Covid-19, the US is a terrible bookkeeper.
“It turns a blind eye to domestic earlier cases that have been reported, sidesteps questions about the large-scale Evali (e-cigarette, or vaping, product use–associated lung injury) outbreak in Wisconsin in July 2019 and remains evasive about the mystery-shrouded Fort Detrick biological base.
“If they truly care about the truth, why not invite WHO experts to the US to investigate? Why clam up whenever Fort Detrick is mentioned?”
Yes, I stick to what I have written in this column early on at the start of the pandemic that a visit by the US War Secretary to Fort Detrick in 2019 revealed leaks of coronavirus from the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases laboratory inside Fort Detrick in Maryland.
During that visit, the War Secretary was informed that coronavirus developed elsewhere was being regularly supplied to the laboratory for “multiplication.”
The virus was confirmed to have been developed by Dr. Ralph Baric, who is identified by Wikipedia as “William R. Kenan Jr., Distinguished Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.”
Quite significantly, in October 2019, the World Military Games got underway in Wuhan. To those games came the participating US soldiers, all, according to a source, coming from Fort Detrick.
And quite significantly as well, not only did the more than 100 US soldiers perform quite poorly in the games, winning not a single medal (something uncharacteristic of US athletes), but 14 days, or so the source avers, after the US soldiers left Wuhan after the games, the coronavirus epidemic broke out in Wuhan.
I got the flak from various quarters for that story, some even ridiculing me for speaking on something I am not an expert on.
Reporting facts, I would say, is the element of journalism that requires no expertise; it is interpreting facts that does.
I got that information about the Fort Detrick coronavirus leak from a regular informant, and the information does make for a fact that needs to be reported; it is for experts to verify that fact. Why, instead of pillorying me for that report, didn’t my detractors proceed to prove their expertise by proving me wrong?
Finally, I am vindicated.
Last September 2020, my friend Adolfo Quizon Paglinawan released a book entitled “No Vaccine for a Virus Called Racism” not just portraying how the President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were politicizing the virus in the runoff to the US presidential elections in November but more significantly presenting a chronology of newspaper and television reports presenting what could be a plausible historical readback prior to the confirmation of a corona virus in China, specifically Wuhan in December 2019.
The earliest he could dig up was WJLA-TV, an ABC News affiliate reporting on July 11, 2019 that two people have died and 18 others have been hospitalized after a “respiratory outbreak” at a Virginia retirement community.
ABC News indicated that the outbreak occurred on June 30, 2019.
Paglinawan pursued the matter with astonishing detail.
He wrote that the Fairfax County Department of Health said that 54 individuals had become ill with “respiratory symptoms ranging from cough to pneumonia lasting 11 days from June 30 at Green spring Retirement Community in Springfield. The symptoms described were fever, cough, body aches, wheezing, hoarseness and general weakness.
The facility in Greenspring is home to 263 residents, Paglinawan quoted Benjamin Schwartz, director of epidemiology and population health in Fairfax County’s Health Department, saying “One of the things about assisted living is when you have a lot of older people in close proximity, who have medical conditions, there is increased risk for outbreaks.”
The Washington Post also picked up the story.
What was curious, and according to Paglinawan pay close attention that Director Schwartz said swabs have been taken and initial tests showed those infected have come back negative for common virus, or bacteria-bone respiratory illness including influenza and Legionnaire’s disease.
By July 15, a third person had died, 23 were hospitalized and dozens more fell ill. The infection also spread to Greenspring’s staff, affecting 19 employees at the complex.
Is it by sheer coincidence that the Centers for Disease Control sent a letter of concern to Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland on July 12, 2019, followed by a cease-and-desist order three days later?
The world’s largest facility of bioweapons finally closed a month after in August.
SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus behind the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), was first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since then, it has been said to spread to 192 countries around the world, infecting over 177 million people as of last month.
The United States reported its first case of SARS-CoV-2 on January 21, 2020, in a 35-year-old American citizen traveling from Wuhan, China to his home in Washington state. This individual had a symptom-onset date of January 19, 2020. Importantly, two other individuals of the 12 cases that were first identified in the United States around this time identified their symptom-onset dates to be January 14, 2020.
It was not until much later in 2020 as reported by Bloomberg on December 1, 2020, that researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered that people in several states in the U.S. were infected with SARS-CoV-2 much earlier than January 2020.
I will repeat, a testing found SARS-Cov-2 infections in the U.S. a year before, providing further evidence indicating the coronavirus was spreading globally weeks before the first cases were reported in China.
The study identified 106 SARS-Cov-2 infections from 7,389 blood samples collected from donors in nine U.S. states between December 13, 2019 and January 17, 2020. The samples, collected by the American Red Cross, were sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing to detect if there were antibodies against the virus.
The samples were from donors in nine states including Connecticut, California, Iowa, Michigan, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhoda Island, Wisconsin, and Washington.
The distance between Paglinawan’s June 30 and December 13 on the same year 2019 is becoming closer and closer, but both way before official confirmation on December 31, 2019 by the World Health Organization Epidemic Intelligence from Open Sources (EIOS) about the same cluster of cases of “pneumonia of unknown cause” in Wuhan, China.
So now here I am again, prompted to recollect facts that the US should have investigated early on such that this unending pandemic should have been stopped where it all began – but didn’t.
Am I back to just asking one more time: Why?
WATCH THIS VIDEO:
Two dead, 18 hospitalized after respiratory outbreak