U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaking on the ABC program “This Week,” on Sunday backed President Donald Trump’s assertion “that there is a significant amount of evidence that [the coronavirus] came from that laboratory in Wuhan”—though the nation’s intelligence agencies say they have reached no conclusion on the issue.
The outbreak was initially portrayed to have begun in a wildlife market in the central city of Wuhan, but the Trump administration has focused its attention on the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a few miles away from the suspect market—a new study by the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control is trying to tie the COVID-19 outbreak to a restaurant in Wuhan claiming that the novel coronavirus could spread in the air through ventilators or air conditioners.
Fox News Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz pressed Pompeo asking: “Do you think they [Beijing officials] intentionally released that virus, or it was an accident in the lab?” Pompeo responded: “I can’t answer your question about that because the Chinese Communist Party has refused to cooperate with world health experts.”
Pompeo is among the small group of senior officials reported to be pushing American spy agencies to find evidence to support the argument that the virus come from the WIV lab. Thus far we are told, according to a report Department of Homeland Security, “the Chinese government intentionally concealed the severity of COVID-19 from the international community in early January while it stockpiled medical supplies by both increasing imports and decreasing exports.”
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has rejected the slightest suggestion the virus could have escaped from one of their laboratories. Chinese authorities, however, remain obstinate in not permitting foreign experts, including investigators from the World Health Organization, to take part in the investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. Nor has the CCP shared samples taken from wild animals at the Wuhan livestock market where they claim the outbreak began. In addition, China is now being portrayed by the mainstream media as having overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
Despite the CCP’s determination to recast the country as a global leader that has conquered the COVD-19 pandemic, such a claim is fictitious or manipulated at best. General Secretary Xi Jinping, in fact, forged a new mythology of the coronavirus in which he claims that he was secretly managing the response behind the scenes the whole time and was let down by local officials who did not follow his perfect plans to the letter. China’s Central Propaganda Department actually put this story of how “the centralized and unified leadership of the Communist Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core” defeated the coronavirus into book form and published the book in six different languages.
According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), Xi and his legion of censors are working hard to stamp out anything that contradicts his revised political mythology of the epidemic. RFA pointed out that a major article about an early coronavirus whistleblower named Dr. Ai Fen has been erased. His account is very similar to that of the late Dr. Li Wenliang, who was one of the colleagues she shared her suspicions about a burgeoning epidemic with.
The supposition of the COVID-19 originating from a lab are not mutually exclusive. In fact, some officials who have examined the intelligence reports, which remain classified, say it is possible an animal that was infected with the coronavirus in the WIV was destroyed, and a lab worker was accidentally infected in the process. But that is just one of many theories still being examined.
Unfortunately, the Trump administration is not getting the needed bipartisan support from the House of Representatives to pursue the matter. According to Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would rather launch another investigation on Trump than focus on the actual origins of the COVID-19, to say nothing of the U.S. tax dollars that went to the WIV from which intelligence officials increasingly believe the virus leaked.
Rep. Reschenthaler wrote a letter this week to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper inquiring about a Pentagon grant to EcoHealth Alliance, Inc., a New York firm that has had a history of funding the WIV with subgrants from American taxpayers. He specifically requested from the Pentagon the funds directed toward research into bat-borne zoonotic diseases and their potential as weapons of mass destruction or biological weapons. While it is unclear if that grant saw U.S. taxpayer money flowing from it out to the Wuhan lab, it is known that another grant—from the National Institutes of Health, specifically from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, which is run by the now-famous Dr. Anthony Fauci—that EcoHealth Alliance received did partially spend U.S. tax dollars in the Chinese lab.
The fact that U.S. State Department cables warned in 2018 of safety issues at the WIV studying coronaviruses makes the claim that it is a natural disease dubious, to say the least. Let us also not forget that The Washington Times reported in January on State Department officials revealing suspicions of covert biological warfare work at the Wuhan lab.
The independent Chinese media outlet Caixin Global reported on February 29 that Chinese laboratories had in fact identified a mystery virus—later identified as COVID-19—to be a highly infectious new pathogen by late December 2019. Chinese scientists, however, were ordered to stop further testing, destroy samples and suppress the news to the fullest extent possible. This is sustained by Dr. Francis Boyle, the drafter of the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 who believes that “the coronavirus that we’re dealing with here is an offensive biological warfare weapon.”
The New York Post stated on April 24 that U.S. intelligence officials were probing the possibility that America’s enemies might use the coronavirus as a bioweapon, according to an alarming report. While there is not smoking gun to prove this, the CCP has been accused of developing bioweapons as a key part of achieving military dominance. This was attested:
- in 2015 by He Fuchu, the vice president of China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences, who stated that biomaterials were the new “strategic commanding heights” of warfare;
- by retired General of the People’s Liberation Army Zhang Shibo who in his 2017 book War’s New High Land, highlighted that “modern biotchnology development is gradually showing strong signs characteristic of an offensive capability.”
Perhaps it is no accident why Peter Navarro, President Trump’s national Defense Production Act policy coordinator, stated in March: “As soon as I saw a novel coronavirus emerge in Wuhan, my radar went up”—he had written in his book The Coming China Wars (2006) that “China has become the world’s prime breeding ground for new and exotic strains of influenza and other viruses.” He accused Chinese officials who visited the White House in mid-January for the signing of the phase one trade deal of suppressing crucial information—even possibly transmitting the disease. “They shook our hands. We broke bread with them,” he said. “They smiled and left with nary a warning about the severity of the crisis.”
Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He has a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome; he also holds a M. A. in Medieval History from Fordham University, as well as a B.A. in Government & Politics from St. John’s University.
* Sources not cited may be found in his book Islam: Religion of Peace? – The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up.