An unclassified U.S. intelligence report summarized for the public on Aug. 27 makes clear that the first cases of COVID-19 were at least as early as Nov. 19, 2019, and that the first cluster of cases occurred at least by December 2019 in Wuhan.
The report makes clear that China is hiding information about the origins of COVID-19. But other scientific research from Harvard University indicates a possible origin as early as Aug. 1, 2019. President Joe Biden’s new intelligence summary does not address this important data.
In conjunction with Friday’s release of intelligence analysis, Biden denounced China for hiding the origins of the virus. But his administration does not go nearly far enough in pinpointing a potential August 2019 origin, assigning blame, and demanding reparations for at least $19 trillion owed globally, due to 6.9 million lost lives. This sum does not include additional amounts owed for economic damages, non-lethal suffering, medical costs, criminal penalties, and future damages.
Biden, who spoke to the public about the report, denounced China’s lack of cooperation in the investigation. He said in a statement, “Critical information about the origins of this pandemic exists in the People’s Republic of China, yet from the beginning, government officials in China have worked to prevent international investigators and members of the global public health community from accessing it. To this day, the PRC continues to reject calls for transparency and withhold information, even as the toll of this pandemic continue[s] to rise. We needed this information rapidly, from the PRC, while the pandemic was still new.”
Biden implied that China was being irresponsible in its lack of transparency. “Responsible nations do not shirk these kinds of responsibilities to the rest of the world,” he said. “Pandemics do not respect international borders, and we all must better understand how COVID-19 came to be in order to prevent further pandemics.”
The President said that he would continue to pressure China to release more information. “The United States will continue working with like-minded partners around the world to press the PRC to fully share information and to cooperate with the World Health Organization’s Phase II evidence-based, expert-led determination into the origins of COVID-19—including by providing access to all relevant data and evidence. We will also continue to press the PRC to adhere to scientific norms and standards, including sharing information and data from the earliest days of the pandemic, protocols related to biosafety, and information from animal populations.”
Biden’s statement does not sufficiently emphasize potential COVID-19 signals in Wuhan as early as Aug. 1, 2019. According to the Harvard study, which was conducted at the medical school, 2019 internet search statistics and satellite imagery of auto traffic around five major hospitals in Wuhan are signals of a much earlier COVID-19 spread.
Dr. John Brownstein at Harvard told ABC News last June that the traffic increase, measured over two years with 108 usable satellite images from approximately March 2018 to May 2020, and increasing in fall 2019, coincided with an increase of Chinese internet search queries for “symptoms that would later be determined as closely associated with the novel coronavirus.”
The data shows a rise in vehicles parked around the five hospitals starting about Aug. 1, 2019, peaking on Dec. 1, 2019, which was the date of the first confirmed case of COVID-19, and falling rapidly into March 2020, presumably because of countermeasures, including the Wuhan lockdown starting on Jan. 23, 2020. Could Chinese countermeasures have started as early as Dec. 1, 2019, while waiting to tell the world until the data started to leak out on Dec. 30, 2019?
Some of the fall 2019 increases in hospital traffic that Harvard measured are as much as 90 percent compared with the same time in the prior year.
Brownstein did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
U.S. intelligence learned of the virus in late November and alerted the Pentagon, according to four ABC News sources.
Individual Chinese doctors attempted to alert the public of the unknown virus on Dec. 30, 2019. The next day, Chinese social media started censoring information about the virus. Chinese officials waited until that day—Dec. 31, 2019—to formally notify the WHO of the virus that emerged in Wuhan.
Biden ordered the August 2021 intelligence report in May, to reassess the virus’ origin, and determine whether China’s scientists should be blamed. He should also have ordered more analysis on the sequence of events to control the virus once the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) realized that it transmitted from human to human. The CCP apparently realized such transmissibility but started to censor warnings coming from doctors in China as early as Dec. 31, 2019, thereby putting the world at risk.
Biden received the new intelligence report this past week of Aug. 27, according to the Financial Times. The government published a summary that day, which stated, “China’s co-operation most likely would be needed to reach a conclusive assessment of the origins of Covid-19.” It continued, “Beijing, however, continues to hinder the global investigation, resist[s] sharing information and blame[s] other countries, including the United States.”
Former President Donald Trump, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, claimed that the virus may have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a hypothesis that scientists are increasingly considering given the failure to find a species through which the virus might have naturally jumped to humans.
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that in November 2019 (three months after the increase in Wuhan hospital traffic), three of the Wuhan lab researchers were hospitalized with COVID-like symptoms. These reports apparently prompted Biden to order the latest investigation.
One of the four intelligence agencies that participated in the report had “moderate confidence” that the Wuhan lab was the origin of the virus, due to its risky work on viruses. The Wuhan lab hosted years of research into bat coronaviruses, including gain-of-function manipulation of virus genetic codes to see how they could become transmissible to humans.
This gain-of-function research on viruses is clearly unethical, knowing what we do now: that it could lead to lab leaks that cause pandemics.
However, the report threw cold water on theories that CCP scientists developed SARS-CoV2 as a biological weapon. None of the four agencies believed this theory. The report ruled out that Chinese officials knew about the virus prior to its emergence among humans in 2019. This lack of knowledge is what convinced, albeit at a low level of confidence, the agencies to conclude that the disease spread naturally from animals to humans.
Regardless, the CCP is culpable for its mishandling of the initial outbreak, its censorship of warnings that started on Dec. 30, 2019, from individual doctors in China, and its failure to control the virus once it emerged into an epidemic. The Biden administration is wrongly and relatively silent on all of this, and most importantly, has failed to demand reparations of trillions of dollars that the CCP owes the world for what should be considered criminal negligence.