Later this month, the U.S. intelligence community is scheduled to deliver a 90-day assessment on the origins of the novel coronavirus to President Joe Biden.
Given the recent politicization of U.S. intelligence and growing risk avoidance in controversial assessments, it's unlikely this assessment will provide the president with clear and objective analysis of this issue.
Forget about this intelligence assessment.
Americans don’t need our spy agencies to tell us that the virus may well have originated from a Chinese biolab and that Beijing’s criminal negligence caused to this a deadly global pandemic.
The coronavirus has killed over 4 million people globally, and over 600,000 Americans.
It caused trillions of dollars in damage to the global economy and is still raging in some areas. Emergent, more infectious variants of the virus raise questions about how — if ever — this disease can be eradicated.
To better fight COVID-19 and prevent another pandemic, it's indeed crucial to get to the bottom of its origins, while holding China accountable for its spread.
In their zeal to defeat President Trump’s reelection, the mainstream media and the American Left promoted the Chinese government’s most likely cover-up of the origins of the coronavirus.
Reporters lied about and ignored compelling evidence that the virus likely originated from a leak from a Wuhan Institute of Virology lab.
The media seemed quite uninterested in any angle of the pandemic that could not be used to blame our nation's 45th commander in chief.
Slanted virus coverage was great news for Joe Biden.
Biden used it to lambast Trump for his handling of the pandemic and distracted the American public from what Trump did right during this national crisis, such as banning travel from China on Feb. 2, 2020 and "Operation Warp Speed," which developed effective vaccines against the virus in record time.
Anyone who dared suggest the virus was created in a Chinese biolab was condemned as a racist. Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook tightly controlled anything related to coronavirus and censored and banned many who questioned the origins of the virus.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., was attacked by the media in February of 2020 for spreading what was called a fringe conspiracy theory that the spread of the coronavirus was connected to research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
But when the election was long over, mainstream reporters — including from CNN and The Wall Street Journal — began to discuss the truth: that the virus may well have resulted from a Chinese lab leak and China conducted a massive cover-up that caused the virus to become a dangerous pandemic.
Here’s what we now know:
Not a Natural Virus. Despite claims by experts in 2020 that the virus probably spread from animals to humans and could not have been engineered in a lab, this was not the case.
Although the virus that caused the recent pandemic, COVID-19 CoV-2, is almost identical to a coronavirus found in bats, it contains a combination of amino acids which made it more infectious and have never been found naturally. The virus also is missing a series of mutations that a natural virus would undergo before it became so exceptionally effective at infecting humans.
It also appears that prior claims that the coronavirus spread directly to humans from bats are wrong. Not only have studies shown that this virus is poor at infecting bats, there is no evidence it ever infected a bat.
This is compelling evidence that the virus was likely engineered in a biolab.
The virus almost certainly leaked from a Wuhan biolab. Because China has covered up and destroyed evidence and will not allow a full and open investigation of the virus origins, there probably will never be "smoking gun" evidence that the pandemic resulted from a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
But the circumstantial evidence is extremely strong.
The virus supposedly first surfaced in Wuhan, China in late 2019.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology was engaged at the time in research on dangerous bat coronaviruses. This included dangerous "gain-of-function" research to make coronaviruses more infectious.
In 2018, the U.S. Department of State warned of safety issues at the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s BL-4 lab — which is designed for the most dangerous bio research. The State Department also raised concerns that this lab was most likely conducting risky research on bat coronaviruses.
The Trump State Department said in a Jan. 15, 2021 fact sheet that there were illnesses with symptoms consistent with the coronavirus pandemic in the fall of 2019.
President Biden confirmed this in June when he said U.S. intelligence agencies told him these illnesses were reported at the Wuhan lab in November of 2019.
On a late-night show in June, comedian Jon Stewart mocked those who refuse to recognize the near-certainty that the coronavirus leaked from a Wuhan bio when he jokingly compared the Wuhan virus leak to a chocolate leak in Hershey, Pennsylvania: "Oh, my God! Oh, my God! There’s been an outbreak of chocolatey goodness near Hershey, Pennsylvania. What do ya think happened?"
U.S. funded gain-of function research at Wuhan Institute of Virology. Incredibly, it's now clearer, that U.S. taxpayer money paid for dangerous bio research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that may have made a bat virus into the extremely infectious new virus which caused the recent pandemic — and that these funds came from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases while Dr. Anthony Fauci was director.
Fauci’s emails released in May 2021 in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show that the National Institute of Health (NIH) purportedly sent $3.4 million to the Wuhan lab from 2014 to 2019 through a U.S. firm, EcoHealth Alliance.
President Trump cancelled U.S. funding to the Wuhan lab in April 2020 after Newsmax White House reporter Emerald Robinson asked him a question about this at an April 17, 2020 White House Press Conference.
China’s criminal negligence. The Chinese government’s misinformation, obfuscation, and incompetence about the coronavirus likely gave the green light to a dangerous disease to become a deadly pandemic.
Chinese officials knew in December of 2019 that the virus was capable of human-to-human transmission, but lied about this through the end of January of 2020.
Chinese officials most likely covered up and destroyed evidence about the virus, punished doctors who tried to warn the public, and interfered with the U.S. and international response.
Worst of all, while the Chinese government was locking down its country to defend against the spread of the virus, it allowed Chinese citizens to travel globally, while pressuring countries not to impose travel restrictions and quarantines on arrivals from China. This allowed what should have been an epidemic limited to central China to become a global pandemic.
Holding China accountable. The Chinese government is most likely responsible for the enormous loss of life and economic costs of the pandemic.
President Trump was right when he called earlier this month for the Chinese government to pay $10 trillion in reparations for the damage the pandemic caused the world due to its negligence.
While we know Beijing will never agree to pay reparations, there are steps the U.S. should take to hold it accountable.
Chinese officials must allow a full investigation of the virus origins and end dangerous bio research. As long as it refuses to take these actions, U.S. should refuse to do business as usual with China.
This should include cutting off technical and scientific cooperation.
The U.S also should end trade and investment in China, seize Chinese assets, and bar Chinese nationals from studying at U.S. universities, especially to pursue science degrees.
If the Chinese government is not held accountable for the criminally negligent way it mishandled the recent pandemic, more deadly pandemics could emerge from China in the near future.
Although President Biden’s soft and confused China policy will never hold China accountable, I'm confident this will be the highest priority for a Republican Congress in 2023 and a Republican president in 2025.
Fred Fleitz is President of the Center for Security Policy. He previously served as National Security Council Chief of staff, CIA analyst and as a member of the House Intelligence Committee staff. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.
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