COVID-19’s origins are not political and they’re not xenophobic; they’re deadly serious.

Preface

This is not a political essay. This is a collection of data, facts and some inferences I’ve made wondering where this virus that’s caused so much trouble came from.

Politically I have few friends since I believe there are only authoritarians and libertarians and the two major US parties are both authoritarians who merely disagree on who and what they want to control.

A few weeks after I wrote this Nicholas Wade wrote a similar but far denser and more technical argument than what I wrote here. I’d recommend reading Nick’s article first and then come back here to read this one, which I’ve since condensed (on 5/11/2021).

His argument focuses on the likelihood that the virus was modified by Dr Shi and her very public Gain Of Function research, which essentially means modifying a virus to be able to infect mice and humans in order to get ahead of a potential natural outbreak. Nick does an excellent job of tying together all of the players involved in what is likely the biggest coverup of the century.

If you believe the virus coming from a Chinese laboratory is a far-fetched, anti-science conspiracy theory I better remind you that in 2004 China’s Communist Party (CCP), after a period of denial admitted to accidentally releasing SARS 1 from a Virology Institute in Beijing.

Finally, because this is necessary c. 2020–2021: I’m not a China hater. In fact I’ve been traveling to and around China for over a decade and lived there for 2 years. I have many close friends still living in China and I can read, write and speak the language like a 7 year old kid who knows how to order food and beers and say bad words.

The Facts

This is a map of China, which has a surface area of 3.75 Million Square Miles (9.3 million KM2). China has, unbelievably, 100 cities the size of Los Angeles both in area and population. China has thousands of laboratories.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology is China’s only Biosafety Level 4 Laboratory which primarily studies coronaviruses, partly due to their potential links to longevity, a topic Chinese people are particularly obsessed with.

The institute’s star scientist, Shi ZhengLi is commonly referred to as Bat Woman by her colleagues due to her extensive virus-hunting expeditions into caves in the far west remote areas of China’s Yunnan Province. Shi has published countless papers and is renowned as a leading expert on coronaviruses, particularly in bats.

shi zhengli

When Shi returns from her trips with new viruses she tests them in the WIV labs where she has a residency. Here’s a paper from that work where both her and her boss, Yuan ZhiMing, are cited as authors from 2016.

The title of that paper is:

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Like Coronavirus WIV1 In Bats Encodes an Extra Accessory Protein, ORFX, Involved in Modulation of the Host Immune Response

WuHan Forever

wuhan wet market to institute of virology

It’s 7.5 miles as the crow flies from the HuaNan South China Seafood Wholesale Market (the alleged source of the Covid-19 virus) to the Wuhan Institute Of Virology.

To demystify these names a bit HuaNan literally means South China — the Southern China area of China is famous for good seafood. Think of it like a seafood market in Denver calling itself Maine Seafood Emporium.

Despite the lofty name, this is a very ordinary, smallish wet market.

So then, in a country 3.75 Million square miles in size what are the odds that Covid-19 breaks out at a lowly wet market (of which China has thousands) less than 10 miles away from the nation’s only level 4 laboratory?

1,600,000:1

Ok, so what does that mean?

Imagine an NBA basketball court, which measures 4700ft² (420² meters). Now imagine it’s covered with quarters (or Euros, roughly the same size)… this would require over 800,000 of them at roughly 1 square inch each.

So the odds that a novel coronavirus — COVID-19 — appeared at an ordinary wet market less than 10 miles away from China’s only level 4 super laboratory that studies novel coronaviruses are the same odds that you could throw a quarter randomly and have it land directly on top of the previous quarter sized spot on the basketball court — twice.

imagine a wheel like this but 42,000 times bigger

Or imagine a roulette wheel and rather than 38 spaces there’s 800,000 — and you hit the same number between 1 and 800,000 twice in a row, winning $1.6 million dollars with your $1 bet (if security didn’t arrest you).

Devils Advocate Argument You May Be Thinking To Yourself:

Instead of looking at all of China shouldn’t we only consider the probability of this happening in areas approximate to virology laboratories (say 100sq mile radius) and figure the odds and probabilities from there?

No. Why would we do that when the claim is that that COVID-19 came from a random wet market and the Wuhan Virology Institute never factored in at all? It’s refreshing that even if we don’t want to believe the truth it seeps up through the cracks, even while trying to argue against it.

Wet Markets & Chinese Delicacies

A typical wet market stall

I’ve been to dozens of wet markets across China and have never seen a bat for sale. Besides, wet markets sell — well, wet stuff: Fish, shellfish, snails, crabs, sometimes water snakes, frogs and other weird shit that needs to stay wet in order to stay fresh and delicious.

I’ve never seen say — a goose — for sale at the wet market, although go down a block to the BBQ street and you can find a live goose, dog, grouse, cobra, lynx — all manners of exotic animals for sale, in cages. Dry cages. It doesn’t make economic sense to keep animals that don’t need to stay wet in wet markets.

I’ve been to dozens of BBQ streets across China and never saw a bat for sale. Probably bats just aren’t delicious (nothing wrong with that).

So what about this particular wet market?

Certainly if the CCP could pin their Covid-19 problem on one guy who sold bats there, (even one bat, one time!) execute him and be done with this COVID mess, they would have. This is after all how illegitimate dictatorships operate.

The CCP operates under a hazy and opaque notion of restoring and maintaining Harmony (和谐, Héxiè) after centuries of humiliation by outside, mostly western forces.

Quick aside, that word harmony is often censored online in China because its used sarcastically so often, so instead netizens used a word with identical phonetics that means river crab (河蟹) in its place. So they censored that word too. Once many Chinese believed the government unleashed this virus from their WuHan Lab, the CCP did what they often do, which is to blame the USA in a variety of unlikely scenarios.

The harmonious authoritarianism relies on bullshit slogans and easy fixes like executing a few bad apples the day after a mock trial where they aren’t allowed to speak — so with WuHan having a population of 11M people and millions of tourists passing through annually — not a single person has a photo of a bat at this wet market or can even say they saw one for sale there?

Ok, so what?

So how or why in the hell did we latch onto this farkakteh wet market theory when there’s a LEVEL 4 LAB with a boss called BAT LADY 10 miles away?!

Media, Political Spin & ‘Narrative’

The word narrative popped in to the mainstream lexicon via beltway political experts around the time Trump moved to DC. We hear it and use it so much it’s lost meaning. What it means, of course, is telling a story.

i’ve got some great bullshit for you kids tonight!

So when COVID-19 is the biggest story of the year why has the media been so uncurious about the origins of the virus? Because journalists in the class of 2020–21 think that rather than reporting what is predominantly true or speculate on what’s most likely their role is to present a story that agrees with their political beliefs and the goals of their leaders.

You’ll notice the story sometimes changes drastically but is presented not with surprise but rather a tone that pretends it hasn’t changed at all, that we’re simply following the latest guidance and data which is always infallible across time and space.

In early 2020 Political leaders went from lackadaisical to extremely cautious almost overnight. In response to empty restaurants in Chinatown, leaders in NY blamed racism and urged New York City residents to go eat there.

Shortly after they turned on a dime, shut down all restaurants and blathered on about some contact tracing apparatus we’re sorely lacking and the importance of avoiding high risk people and places (you know, like places that have a lot of people who travel to China frequently).

Overall, the media’s analysis of COVID-19’s origins amounted to something like:

Uh, I think it came from like a wet market or something lol ?

One particularly bizarre COVID-19 media spin was in response to questions raised about whether the virus came from that level 4 lab up the road from the wet market.

The media’s response was certain, uniform and almost threatening: the virus was definitely not man-made. Ok, but we didn’t ask if it was man-made, we asked if this certainly natural virus escaped from the laboratory— a common and well documented phenomenon. QUESTION TIME IS OVER CONSPIRACY THEORIST!

This evasive sleight of hand and tautology of course ignores the obvious:

There are many really obvious ways for viruses to escape from laboratories. Not every country needs to or should have Biosafety Level 4 Laboratories, and most don’t.

WHO in the hell?

And then we have the World Health Organization, who made many many many many missteps and worse than coinflip wrong statements and yet remain the gold standard throughout.

Now for a quick comedy break, this article coming at you from way back in February 2021 (three months ago!)

Yes, this is a real headline. No, I don’t know if Nature knows that the Chinese media is state-run.

One of those hypotheses — honest to goodness — is that COVID-19 came from frozen Australian beef, which just so happens to be a major product in the trade war between Australia and China and the relationship largely soured because Australia’s media, citizens and political leaders largely believe that COVID-19 came from a Chinese laboratory.

Talk about the WHO running defense and carrying water for the CCP! They’re taking care of business and working overtime!

The World Health Organization pictured left in yellow, helping to move a CCP water truck

And here’s another:

WHO team: Coronavirus unlikely to have leaked from China lab (Link)

Peter Ben Embarek, a WHO Food Safety and Animal disease expert had this to say after he and his team surveyed the relevant sites in WuHan:

“The findings suggest that the laboratory incidents hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus to the human population,” Embarek said.

He was then asked why, and Embarek said accidental releases are extremely rare and that the team’s review of the Wuhan institute’s lab operations indicated it would be hard for anything to escape from it.

It being the laboratory which he and his team surveyed on a guided tour 12 months after the outbreak in in a country that built a 57 story building in 19 days.

Embarek, center, smiling gormlessly while being bullshitted by CCP officials for four weeks in WuHan.

These scientists said it could not have come from the virology lab that studies novel coronaviruses because it’d be hard but never explained how it would be so simple for it to come from a random wet market.

“(the laboratory theory is) Not in the hypotheses that we will suggest for future studies” Embarek said.

Ok. How about……Pangolins?

Currently the “scientific consensus” is that COVID must have transferred at the wet market from bat to pangolin to humans. Scientific consensus is such a peculiar word since it implies that scientific fact is based on mob rule instead of evidence and study.

Is it possible that the Chinese virology scientists in this paper who were studying sick pangolins know our Doctor Shi from earlier who studies sick bats?

Is it possible they experimented with pangolins and novel bat coronaviruses to see what would happen? Innocently kept bats and pangolins in neighboring labs or cages?

Well, they knew Shi well enough to reference her work in their paper published in April 2020 titled “Newly identified viral genomes in pangolins with fatal disease”.

Where To Now?

The media eventually comes around to this. They love to convert their laziness and hasty attachment to bad early information into what pretends to be tireless behind the scenes work:

JUST UNCOVERED INFORMATION — BOMBSHELL REPORT JUST RELEASED — SHOCKING REVELATIONS DISCOVERED

It will of course be none of these since this information has been readily available for a year, but even then better late than never.

When I first posted this video by LaoWhy86 and my suspicions about this to my personal group of friends on Facebook in April 2020 I was treated to the predictable ad hominem attacks and poison the well accusations. One said: So you’re into spreading Trumper conspiracy theories now, huh? A few months after the outbreak and a year before health officials had even inspected the WuHan lab and this is already a conspiracy theory?

For the media’s part, their insurance bet is an old story being rehashed in early 2021, that in 2018 diplomats were warned about shoddy lab conditions and standards (and did nothing!). Trump’s fault again, basically.

So either it absolutely did not come from a Chinese lab like Trump suggested, or it did and it’s Trump’s fault- basically betting red and black at roulette. I haven’t seen any mainstream reporting of Fauci’s culpability for funding the Wuhan Laboratory despite these grave concerns.

Is the media is so politically driven, so afraid of being the unreliable narrator that they could not and cannot admit that, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, with presumably the best experts at his disposal (even if he is a shithead or whatever) could never know or say even one true thing?

But isn’t blaming a country, especially a developing one.. racist or something?

No, it isn’t. Donald Trump should have called it the CCP Virus and not the China Virus. I don’t usually agree with the media, but I understand why they didn’t like that term.

Ever Dr Shi isn’t to blame directly — I’m sure she’s scared as hell. Many others who spoke out the laboratory origins were disappeared, Shi was only disappeared for a few months while they got her story straight. Why did they need to do that?

If the media truly cared about not promoting racism and xenophobia at all costs — their stated rationale for killing the laboratory story and their scapegoat for anti-Asian sentiment following COVIDis painting Chinese as bat eaters better? That is the implication when you say that the virus came from a food market in China.

In a region with 1.3 billion people only a dozen photos like this have surfaced, mostly for shock value

How This Is Deadly

The exigency was to make Trump look wrong 100% of the time, at all costs and since Trump was blaming China his adversaries were blaming Trump.

The days of the truth being more important than politics are over, and all of this led to a very risky bet.

They traded a likely world health disaster down the road for a political opportunity they felt was too good to pass up right now.

The WHO might have traded it for more funding, or possibly sensing the way the wind was blowing — traded it for their own necks.

China can’t improve until they’re shamed for what they allowed to happen (again) and admit a need to improve. Until the world holds China accountable for letting COVID19 escape their lab, we’re essentially letting this bet ride a bit longer.

We’re betting that we wont hit that lucky 800,000:1 roulette bet twice again. It’s just too random and impossible.

Our silence is betting that the next virus from one of China’s labs won’t have a far worse mortality rate than the last two. How about 10% — 1 of every 10 people you know dies. 50? Half the people you know die.

The next pandemic virus will come from China and the probability is that it will be worse than this one.

At the time of this writing (4/2021) apart of her long-term development goals, China has six additional Level 4 Super Laboratories in development.

Sleep well.

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D.A. Fox

D.A. Fox

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dad, reader, writer, outdoorsman, investor, tech guy, volunteerist libertarian; recovering Californian. never got rich, never found the girl, follow me.