As the United States slowly begins to turn the tide against the Wuhan virus, experts want a closer look at how this whole thing started.
It’s not just a case of looking to point the finger.
They want to make sure that if anything like this ever happens again, the country – and the world – are better prepared.
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But China has just thrown up a major roadblock.
They’re trying to cut access to science and information right when the world needs it most.
CNN is reporting that Beijing’s Communist Party-controlled government now wants final say in any research emerging from Wuhan, which was Ground Zero for the global pandemic.
The government is restricting the publication of all academic research on the origins of the virus.
They want to see it and review it first… meaning Communist Party officials, and not scientists, could have the final say in any information shared with the rest of the world.
“I think it is a coordinated effort from (the) Chinese government to control (the) narrative, and paint it as if the outbreak did not originate in China,” an unnamed Chinese researcher told CNN. “And I don’t think they will really tolerate any objective study to investigate the origination of this disease.”
A Fox News report shows why Beijing is suddenly getting very nervous: The network says intelligence officials increasingly are starting to doubt the “official” story.
China has claimed the outbreak began with a bat in Wuhan’s notorious “wet markets,” where exotic animals are slaughtered on the spot for food in unsanitary conditions.
But sources told the network that market never actually sold bats.
That, they say was a cover story to hide the real origin: a research lab in the region where scientists study rare, exotic and deadly new viruses.
The officials do not believe this was a bioengineered virus or a weapon gone wrong.
By all accounts and analysis, it’s 100 percent natural.
But it may have been unleashed on the world via simple bureaucratic incompetence: Someone in the lab accidentally got sick with a bat virus under study… didn’t realize it… then went into Wuhan and infected others.
A source told Fox News that China’s attempt to hide the truth could turn out to be the “costliest government coverup of all time.”
CNN later confirmed that U.S. intelligence officials are investigating reports the virus started in a Chinese lab. One official told the network that China’s handling of the situation has been “completely reprehensible.”
The theory wouldn’t be as outlandish as it may seem: The lab the investigators are zeroing in on is notorious for its lax safety.
The Washington Post this past week uncovered concerned State Department cables from 2018 that warned of the risks at the lab.
Officials who visited the site noted that scientists there were researching dangerous “SARS-like coronaviruses” but noted that the facility had “a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory.”
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U.S. science officials visited the lab several times, apparently at least in part due to ongoing safety concerns.
“The cable was a warning shot,” one unnamed U.S. official told the Post. “They were begging people to pay attention to what was going on.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed to get to the bottom of this – and he put Beijing on notice.
“The Chinese Communist Party didn’t give Americans access when we needed it in that most timely point at the very beginning,” he said this past week. “We know they have this lab. We know about the wet markets. We know that the virus itself did originate in Wuhan. So all those things come together.”
He said there’s still a lot we don’t know – and that’s why the investigation is underway.
“We need to know answers to these things,” he said.
China’s not willing to provide those answers.
But it looks like that won’t stop the United States from getting them just the same.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert, and is the author of “America’s Final Warning.”