More virus evidence slaps Trump's China theory

By Zhao Yusha and Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/6 23:18:40 Last Updated: 2020/5/7 0:43:42

Photo taken on April 18, 2020 shows a taped-off beach in Cannes, France. A further 642 people had died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in France, raising the country's death toll to 19,323, official data showed on Saturday. (Photo by Serge Haouzi/Xinhua)

Mounting scientific evidence suggesting COVID-19 may have surfaced earlier than reported in countries beyond China and global scientists' contradiction of US politicians, including US President Donald Trump's assertion that the virus originated from a Wuhan lab were a slap in the face of the Trump administration's "rancorous monodrama" of scapegoating China, which is seen as a political farce to the world.

The latest contradiction the Trump administration faced was the Five Eyes network of intelligence agencies and infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci who debunked the accusation that the virus was generated in a Wuhan lab. 

Analysts noted that the shift by US "allies" highlighted the fact that more and more countries are facing the threat of a rising death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic and are beginning to understand that the only way out is to face reality, return to science, cooperate with China and learn from China's experiences.

They noted that as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, especially the death toll, rises, the US' monodrama against China will become more and more untenable.

Virus' origin

Where exactly did the coronavirus first appear? This remains the core question for scientists worldwide, as most countries failed to document early suspicious patients. 

Virologists from the US, France and Italy pointed out the first coronavirus case may have come earlier than thought in their respective countries.  

WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said on Tuesday that it was "not surprising" that a report of COVID-19 had emerged in December in France, earlier than it was thought to have spread there, saying more reports of early cases were possible.

Lindmeier also encouraged other countries to check records for cases in late 2019, saying this would give the world a "new and clearer picture" of the outbreak.

The British government's chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, said many of Britain's early cases in the coronavirus pandemic were imported from Europe - most likely Italy and Spain - rather than China, media reported Wednesday. 

Italian doctors and nurses remembered having seen a very strange pneumonia, very severe, particularly in old people in December, and even November. This means that the virus was perhaps circulating, at least in [the northern region of] Lombardy, Giuseppe Remuzzi, Director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Italy, told the Global Times.  

Pedestrians wearing face masks are seen on the street in Milan, Italy, March 2, 2020. Photo: Xinhua

Remuzzi said he received correspondence from Wales, which reported that there were cases of what clinically appears to have been COVID-19, even though they got sick in November.

But none of these cases have been documented as COVID-19 because there was no evidence yet of its existence, he noted. 

While Washington blamed Beijing for delaying its response to the COVID-19 and lacking transparency on information disclosure, more evidence emerged that the misconduct of the US government would be too big to conceal. 

As scientists look into ways to stop or prevent COVID-19, other researchers have found evidence the disease caused by the new coronavirus was in the US weeks before cases were reported, CNN reported Wednesday.

They looked at samples taken at different times and from different places, and said they indicate that the virus began infecting people at the end of 2019, the report said. 

Chinese analysts said what's suspicious is that the US only admitted on March 11 that there were coronavirus patients among flu patients. The timing is tricky as it was exactly later than the earliest cases reported in China. Should China consider it as Washington's tactic to stall the timeline to pass the buck onto China over the COVID-19, analysts asked.   

They believe the US has been picking holes in China's coronavirus timeline. As the earliest coronavirus case dates back in China in December, proof emerged that it showed up in the US in October, which exasperated US politicians and propelled them to scapegoat China.

US blame game contradicted

The latest contradiction the Trump administration faced was the Five Eyes network of intelligence agencies. There is no evidence to suggest that the coronavirus was leaked from a Chinese research laboratory, agencies sources told the Guardian. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, also said the best evidence shows the virus behind the pandemic was not made in a lab in China. 

Shen Yi, a professor of international politics at Fudan University in Shanghai, pointed out that the US is divided on the origin of the novel coronavirus outbreak, but there are three groups of people who have long denigrated China, insisting that the virus was created at a Chinese laboratory.

New York City urban park rangers hand out free face masks at the Prospect Park in the Brooklyn borough of New York, the United States, May 3, 2020. New York City (NYC) will be distributing over 100,000 face coverings in parks across the city free of charge from May 2 to 5. According to the guidance from the NYC Health Department, all New Yorkers are required to wear a mask or face covering in public and in situations where a 6-foot distance from others cannot be maintained. (Photo: Xinhua)

The first group he said is composed of political figures, including President Trump, who are trying to shake off his responsibility and cover his governance incapability, and Mike Pompeo who has been churning out discrediting stories about China for political power and popularity among the people of his party.

The second group is made up of anti-China forces in the US such as Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro who have been hostile to the Communist Party of China and regard China's rise as a "cheat in examinations," Shen said, noting that they were "dinosaurs" of the new time who have been holding a fantasy about the US golden age while ignoring the defect of capitalism. 

The third group is composed of anti-government Chinese who gathered in the US, such as Taiwan and Hong Kong secessionists. Over the past three years, they have been waiting for a chance to strike at China. However, they did not expect that the country would be so resilient in the trade war launched by the US. After the outbreak of the coronavirus infection, they seized the opportunity to try to label it China's Chernobyl moment.

As the number of deaths rises, the US' "solo show" against China will become more and more untenable, said Shen. "Maybe the show will be stopped when the country's death toll reaches 100,000."

Trump told The New York Post on Monday that he meant the virus "got out" of Wuhan, not the lab specifically, which is a shift from what he said a few days earlier--that he had evidence the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the origin of the virus. 

Hua Chunying, the spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry, said at Wednesday's routine press conference that the blame game in the US media has been exposed. People know that some US politicians repeatedly ignored the facts and blamed China for political purposes.  

Europe and other countries really need to make a choice. This choice is not between China and the US, but between lies and facts, between unilateral bullying and multilateral cooperation, Hua said. 

Every country is faced with such a choice, and the answer is obvious. In fact, many countries have already answered with practical actions, she noted. 

The question of the virus origin should be answered by scientists, not by politicians, scientists and experts said. 

"The Black Death in the Middle Ages is a nice example of how a disease was used to blame Jews," Björn Nashan, a professor at the Surgery Director Clinic of Hepato-pancreatico-biliary Surgery and Transplantation in the First Affiliated Hospital, University of Science and Technology of China, told the Global Times. 

Nashan said history has taught Westerners that the best way to deal with these rumors on the virus' origin is to foster scientific work on the pathogens and care for the transparent dissemination and discussion of the results. "No scientist was following his claims since there was no evidence, so he [Trump] had to roll back."

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