The book, COVID-19 – Opportunistic Bioterrorism? A Virus from China Set to Change World History, was penned by Dr. Sharad S. Chauhan, a decorated officer with the Indian Police Service and a Delhi University doctor with a PhD in Bioterrorism.
The book explores the early days of the pandemic, particularly the origins of the disease and the timeline of events that occurred in China. It also looks at the role played by Chinese researchers conducting experiments on coronaviruses in Wuhan and ties the whole mess to the state of China’s economy prior to the outbreak.
Chauhan discusses how the current pandemic is a type of opportunistic bioterrorism through the lens of his experience as a medical graduate and police officer, relying on scientific evidence and open source intelligence to back up his claims.
The idea that COVID-19 was genetically engineered and deliberately released is a popular one. In fact, three in ten Americans believe the virus was created in a lab, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The Chinese government does not have the best track record, and they certainly acted suspiciously when the outbreak first began.
This is far more than conjecture; U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said there is “enormous evidence” that the outbreak started in a Chinese lab. Chinese authorities went out of their way to prevent WHO investigators from looking into the virus during its early days, and they destroyed samples that were taken from the animals at the wet market in Wuhan where they have claimed the outbreak began.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology is run by China’s central government and is a BSL-4 lab that studies the world’s most dangerous pathogens. Researchers there have been conducting gain of function research for many years. In this type of research, scientists study how viruses can be modified to make them deadlier or easier to transmit. This is done with the theoretical aim of coming up with countermeasures to viruses that pose a big threat to humanity, but the potential for things to go wrong is so great that this type of research has been banned in the United States.
Two years before the outbreak, experts who visited the lab implored diplomats in Washington, D.C. to provide more support to the lab after observing serious safety problems there, particularly relating to their work with bat coronaviruses.
Moreover, experts like scientist Yuri Deigin have said that the virus could have been created in a lab given its composition; he said that it matches the type of research carried out at the Wuhan lab and that it is feasible the virus did originate there, although he stopped short of saying it was intentionally released. He did say, however, that the story about it originating in bats at the wet market seemed unlikely.
We also know that China colluded with the World Health Organization to downplay the virus, claiming there was little to no risk of transmitting the disease from person to person despite knowing otherwise. China allowed millions of people to travel into and out of Wuhan during the lunar New Year celebrations despite the virus, which is when cases started cropping up outside of China. Even after it spread to nine other countries, the WHO insisted it was too early to call it a public health emergency.
The questions raised in this new book are very valid ones, and all the signs point to the Wuhan Institute of Virology being more than capable of engineering such a disease. There is no question that China acted like it had something to hide in its handling of the deadly virus, which has now killed more than a million people around the world.
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