By Anna Malindog-Uy
The number of Covid-19 cases worldwide has already exceeded 200 million accompanying more than 4.2 million coronavirus-related deaths. These numbers are expected and projected to continue to increase to an unprecedented level with the spread of the more infectious Delta variant across countries and continents.
Countries like the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, India, and Iran are comparatively experiencing swelling Covid-19 cases each day.
Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and the Philippines are also experiencing a surge of cases that prompted their governments to impose stricter quarantine protocols to the point of imposing lockdowns to curb the increasing Covid-19 cases primarily caused by the Delta variant.
Even China which has largely and successfully controlled the pandemic for several months now was not spared by the contagious Delta variant that spreads far more easily like chickenpox and more than the common cold or flu.
Such a scenario does not only threaten the lives of people across the globe but it also threatens the very survival of economies more particularly across the developing and least-developed worlds, which are characterized by low vaccination rates, inadequate and deficient Covid-19 testing and tracing capacities aggravated by overwrought, exceedingly and extremely stressed-out health care systems and workers.
No doubt, the emergence of many variants like Delta and the increasing propensity of coronavirus mutations have brought a global surge in Covid-19 cases that are wreaking havoc across continents while at the same time highlighting not only the widening disparity and variance between the rate and extent of inoculation between “well-to-do” and the poor countries but also underscoring the million-dollar question: Where did this coronavirus or SARS-COV2 come from?
This unfathomable question is of interest to all people from different walks of life and nationalities and deserves the utmost focus and attention from WHO and the international community at large.
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The quest of finding the root cause and origin of the Covid-19 pandemic is as important as the development of seamless and picture-perfect vaccines that will not only prevent moderate and severe Covid-19 cases and deaths but vaccines that offer infection and disease-blocking effectiveness and efficiency.
Thus, understanding, knowing, and figuring out the origin of the virus that causes Covid-19 diseases is not only an important issue but an imperative undertaking for it will according to experts and scientists help significantly in predicting and preventing future pandemics and probably will lead to the discovery of a cure or antidote against the Covid-19 disease.
It is in this context and spirit that a group of Filipino journalists, entrepreneurs, and scholars who are part and parcel of the Manila-based internet radio Global Talk News Radio (GTNR), and Phil-BRICS Strategic Studies, a think tank based in the Philippines, launched an online petition urging WHO to investigate Fort Detrick, a United States (US) Army Futures Command installation located in Frederick, Maryland.
The said petition was launched via a Virtual Public/Media Forum on August 5, 2021 alongside the launch of a book, – “No Vaccine for a Virus Called Racism” authored by Adolfo Quizon Paglinawan, one of the petitioners, a Filipino journalist, public intellectual, business professional, and the former Press Attache and Spokesman of the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC from 1986 to 1993. He is also one of the laureates of the Award for Promoting Philippines-China Understanding or APPCU for this year (2021).
The petition primordially calls on the WHO “to start the inquiry and investigation into credible and even evident presence of the Covid-19 virus as far back as April to November-December 2019 in countries such as the US, Spain, Italy, France, and even Japan.
The petition states that based on reports, the presence of the Covid-19 virus, which is evidenced by archived blood serum or municipal sewage samples from these countries, has been very widely reported in international medical journals and media.
The petition also pointed out that the Fort Detrick biological laboratory suffered a laboratory incident in July of 2019 causing the US Centers for Disease Control to shut down the facility in August 2019 due to “serious safety violations, in particular, relating to the disposal of dangerous materials” or a “lab-leak” that is believed to have caused strange “vaping sickness” and the “strange flu” in the U.S. at that time.
Thus, Fort Detrick remains too dangerous a mystery to be ignored by WHO experts, as highlighted by the said petition.
Mr. Herman “Ka- Mentong” Laurel, a Filipino intellectual, journalist, radio and TV host, an APPCU Awardee contended that, “the logical direction is to widen the search net as much as possible to get to the bottom of where Patient Zero originated. Now that vaccines are already available, establishing the genesis of Covid-19 will definitely help in determining not only preventive measures but cure”.
Similarly, Mario Leonardo Emilio O. Aportadera, co-petitioner, an APPCU laureate, who is both a medical practitioner and a lawyer with a specialization in international law agrees that indeed there’s a need to widen the search net in discovering the origin of the virus. He also emphasized that the WHO considers Wuhan as the place of the first documented case of Covid-19.
However, it did NOT declare that it is the origin. He also reiterated that a proper investigation should be transparent, objective, data-driven, inclusive of broad expertise, subject to independent oversight, and responsibly managed to minimize the impact of conflicts of interest.
He emphasized that public health agencies and research laboratories alike need to open their records to the public. Aportadera further voiced out that the petition only signifies that the world at large is demanding the truth behind the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Moreover, the book, “No Vaccine for a Virus Called Racism” of Mr. Paglinawan contends and asserts that SARS-COV2 did not originate from Wuhan China rather it started in the United States.
He solidified his thesis by analyzing the chronology of events (please refer below) that led to the first outbreak of the Covid-19 disease in Wuhan China, confirmed on December 31, 2019.
- June 30, 2019: An outbreak in the Springfield Village, a retirement community for seniors, located in Fairfax County, Northern Virginia, USA hospitalized 54 and cause the death of three people.
- July 2019: The Centers for Disease Control issued Fort Detrick a cease-and-desist order, three days after it first sent a Letter of Concern.
- August 2019: Fort Detrick was officially closed.
- September 2019: Biologist Gabrielle Sozzi of the Milan National Cancer Institute reported that Italian blood samples taken in the Lombardi region showed Sars-CoV-2 virus antibodies
- October 13-18, 2019: Over 300 American servicemen participated in the World Military Games held, of all places, in Wuhan China, with most of the servicemen were billeted in a hotel just a few hundred meters from a seafood market.
There were reports of at least five of them being hospitalized after many suddenly fell ill with some kind of flu.
One participant Maatje Benassi collapsed in the middle of the 50-mile cycling race and showed some typical symptoms of the coronavirus. Maatje was an army reservist and NATO diplomatic courier. Her husband Matt Benassi was a Fort Detrick employee.
Known to be always in the top five of any world competitions, the entire U.S. team uncharacteristically ranked 40th in the team standings.
- November 2019: Testifying in May 2020, the mayor of Belleville, New Jersey, Michael Melham said he has tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, adding that he contracted the novel coronavirus in November, over two months before the first confirmed case was reported in the U.S.
According to Paglinawan, since the Covid-19 virus incubates from 10 to 14 days before showing emergency-level symptoms, makes it totally probable that the milestone here should be about the middle of June 2019.
What he means is, none of the more than 300 US servicemen who played in Wuhan in October 2019 could have contracted the virus in Wuhan. The more plausible explanation is they already had the virus before they entered China’s borders.
To note, the 7th Military World Games was the largest military sports event ever to be held in China, with nearly 10,000 athletes from over 100 countries competing in 27 sports.
To Paglinawan, this event was a monumental super-spreader.
Furthermore, in the writing of his book, “No Vaccine for a Virus Called Racism,” Paglinawan referenced back to history and showed how in 1918 the U.S. escaped the consequences of the world’s first great pandemic, which according to him after a century, the world now know that the H1N1 virus originated in Fort Riley, Kansas USA and spread by the US Army onto Europe.
The disease was dubbed the “Spanish Flu” because people erroneously believed Spain was the epicenter of the pandemic that according to History Channel would kill 675,000 Americans and an estimated 20 million to 50 million people around the world, proving to be a far deadlier force than even the First World War.
He also beseeched the question, “Has history repeated itself? Paglinawan also expressed that he has no qualms about exposing the witting or unwitting agenda of the West to blame China as the genesis of the pandemic and make it pay for global indemnifications.
Clearly, with more than 25 million Chinese, hundreds of Filipinos, and other nationalities who signed the petition in conjunction with around 48 countries calling for the World Health Organization to shun and put a stop to any politicization of the Covid-19 pandemic, no doubt, WHO and the US are under pressure to act on the petitions calling for the investigation of Fort Detrick in connection to tracing the origin of the Covid-19 virus.
These legitimate and genuine pleas are gaining momentum by the day.
Hence, for the sake of truth, transparency, and accountability, WHO should investigate Fort Detrick alongside other research laboratories across the globe, especially in countries where reports of Covid-19 cases were detected before the outbreak of Covid-19 cases in Wuhan China.
Any action taken by WHO in this regard is a milestone and a positive step in finding the truth behind the origin of the virus that claimed millions of lives throughout the world and is continuously not only threatening the very lives of people worldwide but also threatens the economic survival of countries across territories and continents.
To note, just like any problem or crisis, getting to the bottom of this Covid-19 pandemic, which means knowing its root cause and where it comes from is important for scientists, experts, health workers, governments, and the world at large to address the pandemic at its root cause. Hence, it’s time for WHO to act now without further delay.
VIEW THE ENTIRE TWO-HOUR FORUM HERE: