The deadly Wuhan Coronavirus, dubbed “2019-nCoV” by the World Health Organization (WHO), is spreading farther and faster than the SARS virus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) did at a similar point in its outbreak, although this corona virus’ lethality rate is still lower than for SARS at around 4% so far. The pathogens are the same — both are corona viruses — but something has changed with the Wuhan variant that has allowed the rate of transmission to increase significantly over SARS.
Despite the rapid spread of cases both within China and globally over the last weeks, however, the WHO so far has not declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
The outbreak reportedly began in a fish market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, sometime during November of 2019. Wuhan is also the site of the communist regime’s only declared BSL-4 (Biosafety Level 4) or P4 (Pathogen Level 4) facility, the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
According to Dany Shoham, a former Israeli military intelligence officer now at Israel’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, corona viruses, including SARS, have been studied at the Wuhan facility as part of China’s biological weapons (BW) program.
Although the Beijing regime denies having an offensive biological weapons program, Bill Gertz, writing in a Jan. 24, 2020 article in The Washington Times, citing Mr. Shoham, he asserts that the Wuhan Institute engages in offensive BW research on Ebola, Nipah, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever viruses as well as coronaviruses. China ratified the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons, in 1984.
In response to the outbreak, the Beijing regime has implemented one of the most draconian quarantines of Wuhan itself (a city of some 11 million) and at least a dozen other cities across China. Given that the virus has now spread to countries across the world, including the United States (U.S.), however, it is far from clear whether such measures will be effective in halting its transmission.
Furthermore, in addition to its heightened rate of contagiousness, another feature of the Wuhan coronavirus according to China’s National Health Minister Ma Xiaowei is the fact that it is transmissible even during the incubation period, which can last up to fourteen days.
This means that individuals infected with the coronavirus who may be asymptomatic can still transmit the disease to others for an alarmingly extended period of time.
The good news is that scientists are working with “unprecedented speed” and have already analyzed the Wuhan coronavirus’ genetic sequence, which was made publicly available online by Chinese scientists on Jan. 24, 2020.
Here in the U.S., researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Purdue University, and other places have determined that this virus is closely similar to the SARS corona virus and inserts itself into human cells in the same way. Such knowledge will help tremendously to accelerate work on drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tools.
The bad news is that the Chinese regime still has a clandestine offensive BW program that not only works with advanced laboratory tools like CRISPR to develop some of the most deadly pathogens on earth, but possibly does not have adequate protocols in place to prevent their escape into the public.
Clare M. Lopez is VP for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy. Previously a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and a member of Board of Advisors for Canadian Mackenzie Institute, she was named to Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign national security advisory team in 2016. Lopez served with Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi and now its successor, Citizens’ Commission on National Security. Formerly VP of Intelligence Summit, she was a career operations officer with Central Intelligence Agency, professor at Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies and Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee from 2005-2006. Lopez received a B.A. in Communications and French from Notre Dame College of Ohio and an M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She completed Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, VA, before declining a military commission to join the CIA. To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.