OPINION / VIEWPOINT
Filipinos must have a chance to petition the WHO to investigate Fort Detrick too
Published: Aug 02, 2021 09:07 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

My call for the WHO and the international community to open an investigation into the Fort Detrick biological laboratory in Maryland goes way back to the second quarter of 2020. It came up along with my colleagues in our think tank group Philippine-BRICS Strategic Studies. We raised it at the time as we reviewed the myriad studies emanating from scientific communities. Back then, many questions had emerged already.

One of the studies is from Cambridge University, which reported in April 2020 on the different strains of the coronavirus. It already raised questions on the original source as the family tree of the various strains starts with Variant A found in patients in the US and Australia, and the dominant strain B found in Wuhan is only a derivative separated by two mutations of that A variant. And then a third variant C, which the study claims is the "daughter" of B, had been found across Europe. Now there are Delta and Lambda variants, so the origins of the COVID-19 virus are not at all that simple. 

Then the complicated question became convoluted when the US started facing the alarming rise of the coronavirus infections within its own boundaries. Then US president Donald Trump tweeted in March 2020 about the "Chinese virus," starting a trend in American and Western media using that term. It must be noted President Joe Biden has practically banned all official US communications calling it the "Chinese virus" on January 27, 2021 to avoid "Asian Hate."

In the interest of global scientific inquiry and the world's peace of mind, China fully cooperated with the WHO to open Wuhan, its environs, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), to a team of 15expert virologists, epidemiologists and other scientists of international composition from the US, Australia, Germany, Japan, Britain, Russia, the Netherlands, Qatar and Vietnam. The WHO mission spent up to four weeks in China. Dr Peter Ben Embarek, head of the WHO team, concluded that the "lab-leak" theory was "extremely unlikely." 

While the WHO mission to Wuhan helped answer many questions, later reports emerged from countries such as Italy, Spain, France as well as the US indicating the presence of COVID-19 virus even earlier than the first identification of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, located in Central China. These demand inquiry and verification from WHO experts as soon as possible. It behooves the WHO to look into these revelations by scientists and officials of those respective countries immediately to answer the multitude of questions they pose for the world and the countries themselves.

One of the most intriguing reports concerns the early presence of a "strange flu" in other countries and the mysterious issues such as the "vaping deaths" emanating from the US around the middle of 2019. Those reports emerged from the US revolving around Fort Detrick, which had been ordered by the US CDC to shut down for "national security reasons" in August 2019. More aggravating reports followed, such as the admission by Belleville Mayor Michael Melham that he tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies months after a severe November 2019 flu-like illness. This was followed by former CDC chief Robert Redfield admitting in March 2020 to a US congressional hearing that some flu deaths were posthumously discovered to be COVID-19 deaths. 

Fort Detrick is at the center of many questions because of its history and the nature of its mission. It had been associated with the infamous World War II Japanese germ-warfare Unit 731, obtaining biological information in exchange for leniency to Japanese biowarfare war criminals. Fort Detrick went on to be linked with mind control drug experiments with LSD in the secret MK ULTRA program, anthrax virus leaks, Ebola and smallpox experiments, and then the 2019 shutdown. 

As I wrote in a recent article quoted by several international media, Fort Detrick is too dangerous a mystery to remain shrouded in secrecy. This would open the door to hundreds of other US biolabs including 200 in other countries and regions. Efforts to interview civilians living around the military base have been met with sewn lips. This includes an interview at the Greenspring Village five kilometers out of Fort Derick at a senior's home where five seniors died following an outbreak of respiratory illness in the summer of 2019. All these circumstances and questions arising from them make it imperative that the next focus of the virus origins-tracing investigation be done at Fort Detrick, Frederick, State of Maryland, the United States of America.

When we read that the international petitions for the opening-up of the Fort Detrick investigation starting with the Chinese netizens petition have so far passed 24.9 million signatures, I thought of the thousands of Filipinos who agree that Fort Detrick mysteries must be brought to the light of day. They must have a chance to petition the WHO too. This is the only way for the global community to make progress and not go around in circles as some elements in the US insist on doing by pressuring the WHO to avoid scrutiny of their own possible accountabilities.

The author is a columnist of the Filipino newspaper Pwersa. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn
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