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COVID-19: Mystery behind the origin, bats or bat lady; will US politics expose the truth?

The Covid-19 virus so far has left close to 3 million people dead and affected an innumerable number of people. What began allegedly from the markets of Wuhan in China has gone on a rampage across the world since then. S Gurumurthy deciphers what the world knows about the mysterious virus.

COVID-19 Mystery behind the origin, bats or bat lady; will US politics expose the truth-dnm
Bengaluru, First Published May 30, 2021, 12:39 PM IST

The mystery around the origin of the virus has remained far from resolved. The virus was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan and since then China has been chided for its lack of transparency.

Eighteen months since China reported the first patient with Covid-19 like symptoms, the deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread like wildfire over the world claiming the lives of over 35 lakh people and infecting over 16.8 crore in more than 180 countries.

Moreover, multiple waves of the pandemic overwhelmed health care systems worldwide and led to the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The evidence linking SARS-CoV-2 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China is strictly circumstantial, belongs to the most secure class, commonly referred to as biosafety level 4, or BSL4.

Chinese authorities first linked the Wuhan virus to the wet market — a place selling living wild animals for meat — in Wuhan where like vegetables in India, live animals are sold. This instantly recalled the SARS [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome] epidemic of 2002 caused by bats infecting civets sold in the wet market and from them to humans. In the case of SARS 2002, the animal link was established by decoding the virus genome from bats to humans. But for the new virus, there is no such proof available even after a year-and-half. And yet the Chinese and WHO linked the new virus to the old SARS.

As a report on The New Indian Express states, initially the new virus was variously called Wuhan pneumonia and Wuhan virus. WHO quickly intervened, renamed it thrice in two months, January and February, each time linking it to SARS 2002 and the wet market with no proof, calling the new virus as SARS-2 — a new avatar of SARS-1. Later, adding the word ‘coronavirus’ that implied its animal nexus, WHO improved its name as “novel coronavirus” — 2019-nCoV. Next, as “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” — SARS-CoV-2 to relate it firmly again to animals. And, as Covid-19 that is CO for ‘corona’, VI for ‘virus’ and D for ‘disease’ and 19 for the year it appeared, once and for all to fix the blame on poor animals.

With the stunning and suppressed facts about the virus obfuscated by geopolitics involving China and the US slowly emerging, the truth seems to be overcoming US-China politics.

The devastated world longing to know the truth about the cause of the virus for over a year should thank Nicholas Wade, for uncovering the truth with amazing and indisputable logic. Wade is no ordinary journalist. He is a science writer, editor, and author who has worked on the staff of Nature, Science, and, for many years, the New York Times. In a devastating, yet balanced, article [titled The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan? on May 5, 2021 in Bulletin of Atomic Scientists founded by the Manhattan project scientists led by Albert Einstein] what Wade has written shatters to smithereens all fake narratives to blame the Chinese bats for causing the virus.

The column by S Gurumurthy further states that respected science writer Nicholas Wade uncovered how the guild of virology obfuscated, the World Health Organisation was suborned, the anti-Trump US media kept silent and the divided US polity let the culprit escape. Being a disciplined writer he did not touch the most sensitive subject - the link between the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and the PLA (Chinese military), which is now coming out.

Wade asks a simple question: “How could the bats which live 1,500 kms away in Yunnan transmit the virus to humans in Wuhan?” Particularly when they can’t fly for more than 50 kms. Also how did the Yunnan bats manage to infect only the animals sold in Wuhan wet market, overlooking the entire 1,500 km terrain in between? Within four months of SARS 2002, the link between bats and the wet market animals infected by it was found out by scientists. But now after a year-and-a-half, no such connection has been seen, says Wade. Even the Chinese have given up the wet market claim, points out Wade. Poor Yunnan bats did not infect the people in Wuhan but they are blamed. How did the bat virus get to Wuhan then? This is at the heart of the gripping story of the virus that was scripted when the Americans were madly in love with the Chinese who pretended to reciprocate.

‘Bat Lady’ brings 100 bat viruses to Wuhan

The column further dwells on Wade’s narration of the story of the new virus which is chilling.

The villain — or the heroine — in the Wuhan virus story is Shi Zhengli, China’s leading expert on bat viruses, better known as the ‘Bat Lady’. Leading the researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), Wade says, Shi mounted frequent expeditions to the bat-infested caves of Yunnan in southern China and collected a hundred-plus different bat coronaviruses in November 2015. Shi teamed up with Ralph S Baric, an eminent coronavirus researcher at the university of North Carolina. They focused on enhancing the ability of the bat viruses to attack humans. In November 2015 they created a novel coronavirus. How? It is a little technical. They did it by taking the backbone of SARS-1 virus and replacing its spike protein with one from bat virus, which was able to infect the human cell airway. Wade quotes a virology expert who says “if that man-made virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory” -- meaning their huge potential for infection. Why would virologists create such Frankenstein? The justification has the noble aim of preparing for mitigating the risks of future outbreaks — in the present case for preventing the re-emergence of SARS-1. This is called Gain of Function (GOF) research in virology. The norm for GOF research is that the potential to mitigate future outbreaks must be weighed against the risk of creating more dangerous viruses. Baric and Shi admitted the risks in their work but justified it on the GOF.

Baric, says Wade, had taught Shi a general method for engineering bat coronaviruses to attack other species like humanised mice — “a cheap and ethical stand-in for human subjects”. Shi returned to her lab at the WIV and resumed the work she had started on genetically engineering coronaviruses to attack human cells. How could one be sure that she did? Wade cites the public records of American connection to WIV which proves it.

Bat Lady’s virus, not bats

Wade cites two irrefutable pieces of evidence which clearly point to what the Bat Lady did or was well on the way to accomplish her mission. One, the grant proposal to fund Shi’s work from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), a public record. [According to Fox News (12.5.2021), the Obama-led US, one-sided in its love of China, started funding WIV from 2005 that went on till 2019.] This proposal said exactly what she wanted to do with the money. The NIH assigned the grants to Peter Daszak, a big name in the guild of virologists, as the contractor, and he subcontracted them to Shi. Explaining the content of the proposals, Wade says, “What that means in non-technical language is that Shi had set out to create coronaviruses with the highest possible infectivity for human cells.” It cannot be said she did or did not generate SARS-2 in her labs because, Wade says, Chinese have sealed her labs. But, Wade cites an interview given by Daszak on December 9, 2019 just before the Wuhan outbreak, which proved Shi had accomplished her mission. Daszak talked in glowing terms about the researchers at the WIV and said we — meaning Daszak and Shi — have now found after 6 or 7 years, over 100 new SARS-related coronaviruses, very close to SARS.” Daszak, points out Wade, says around minute 28 of the interview, “Some of them get into human cells in the lab, some of them can cause SARS disease in humanised mice models and are untreatable with therapeutic monoclonals and you can’t vaccinate against them with a vaccine. So, these are a clear and present danger…” Note the words uttered with inhuman pride, “untreatable” and “can’t vaccinate against”. Have any doubt now that the devastation that is happening to millions and millions of humans was the work of WIV — orchestrated by the Bat Lady and Daszak? What is the conclusion? Poor bats did not infect any animals with the virus, which in turn transmitted it to people in Wuhan. Bats were brought to WIV to create a new coronavirus — now devastating the world.

But, who subcontracted the coronavirus grant to Shi Zhengli? Peter Daszak. Who praised her for developing more than 100 bat viruses that could not be vaccinated against? Peter Daszak. When the virus broke out, who got the scientists to sign letters saying that it could not be a lab leak? Peter Daszak. Who was a member of the WHO commission to find out whether it was a lab escape? Peter Daszak. If Shi is the villain who created evil, Daszak turns out to be the villain who suppressed its creation.

Divided US, silenced media

Citing the deafening silence of mainstream US media on the lab leak issue, Wade rightly points to the absence of an in-depth news story of the virus that has killed 3.5 million people - something that should merit serious investigation. He mentions two reasons for the media’s lethargy. First is the virologists' opinion. Second, because President Trump said the virus had escaped from a Wuhan lab, the media, most of which had migrated to the left of the political spectrum, gave the idea little credence. They preferred to join the respectable virologists' view that the lab escape was a dismissible conspiracy theory, and rejected the position of the US intelligence services that lab escape could not be ruled out. Clearly, the political divide silenced the media, too.

As a disciplined science writer, Wade talks of only benign leak of the deadly virus from WIV. But many see sinister designs behind the construction of the evil virus at WIV. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has openly said that coronavirus is a bio-war weapon and COVID-19 is bio-war. Brazil has 10 times India’s death rate and three times our infection rate.

Well, it is just half the story. There is more. The WIV at Wuhan was not just a civilian science academy. It partners, the People’s Liberation Army, which had plans from 2015 to prepare bio-weapons for the next world war. The issue is not just people’s health but global security.

(This article was first published in on May 27 and 28, 2021)

NOTE: Asianet News humbly requests everyone to wear masks, sanitize, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. Together we can and will break the chain #ANCares #IndiaFightsCorona

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