(this article was originally published here on the Unity News Network site on 17 April 2020; this is an updated version of the article, last updated on 8 May 2020)
The conclusions of this article are:
- The Wuhan SARS-2 coronavirus likely originated in a bio-weapons laboratory in Wuhan
- The damage the virus has caused us is likely a result of deliberate action by the Chinese Communist Party
- The response of Western governments has damaged our countries further – whether through gross incompetence or deliberate sabotage
- China is making the most of this pandemic. By the time it’s all over, China will be militarily and economically much strengthened compared to the rest of the world, if not dominant. They will own much of our strategic assets. There is not a lot we can do to stop it, and there is probably less still, if anything, we will do to stop it. Whatever we may think now, the narrative in the end may well end up being that we will be grateful to China for having “saved us”.
1. Where did the Wuhan SARS-2 coronavirus originate?
The closest previously known relative to SARS-2 is a coronavirus isolated from an intermediate horseshoe bat, an individual specimen called RaTG13, collected by the Wuhan Institute of Virology (“WIV”) in 2013 from a cave in Yunnan, China. Their nucleotide sequences are 96.2% identical [1, 2]. It seems likely that the virus is either a horseshoe bat virus, or a derivative of one. So if the virus came from bats, how and where did the bats come from?
All the initial cases of the outbreak occurred in a densely-populated district of Wuhan only a few metres away from the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (“WCDC&P”). WCDC&P collected and housed bats specifically for the purpose of collecting and identifying new bat viruses; among others, they had collected 605 intermediate horseshoe bats. Their expert bat collector is Tian Junhua , who broadcast his bat and bat virus collecting activities in nation-wide newspapers and web sites in 2017 and 2019. In 2017, the Chinese state-owned Shanghai Media Group made a 7-minute documentary about Tian Junhua entitled “Youth in the Wild: Invisible Defender”. Videographers followed Tian Junhua as he travelled deep into caves to collect bats. He said “Among all known creatures, the bats are rich with various viruses inside. You can find most viruses responsible for human diseases, like rabies, SARS and Ebola. Bats usually live in caves humans can hardly reach. Only in these places can we find the most ideal virus vector samples. In the past ten-plus years, we have visited every corner of Hubei Province. We explored dozens of undeveloped caves and studied more than 300 types of virus vectors. But I do hope these virus samples will only be preserved for scientific research and will never be used in real life.” Tian Juhua described two incidents, in one of which a bat attacked him and the bat’s blood shot on his skin, and in another, a bat peed on him. In both cases, he self-quarantined for 14 days. WCDC&P performed surgery on the bats and collected DNA & RNA samples for extraction and sequencing. The WCDC&P is immediately adjacent to the Union Hospital, where the first group of doctors were infected during the initial outbreak in Wuhan.
So bats usually live in caves inaccessible to human beings and in trees; they avoid urban areas. Wuhan is a densely populated city with a population of 11 million. No bats live there naturally and there are no habitats in, or near, Wuhan, suitable for bats. The nearest bats are found in Yunnan and Zhejiang provinces, more than 600 miles away.
A little further out, 12km away from the centre of the outbreak, is the Wuhan Institute of Virology (“WIV”) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. WIV is China’s only biosafety level 4 laboratory; and is thus the only laboratory in China capable of doing research on biological weapons (China surely wouldn’t have a biological weapons programme, would they? It is banned under the 1925 Geneva Protocol and the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. Well  reports that China did have a biological weapons programme and that it was based at the WIV). WIV also collected bats in caves and conducted research on bats and respiratory diseases carried by them. The leader of the emerging virus group at WIV is Shi Zhengli, known by her colleagues in China as the “Bat Woman”, due to her work on bats and her virus-hunting expeditions in bat caves over the past 16 years . In 2007, WIV conducted a study on how to insert segments of HIV into a coronavirus to allow a coronavirus to attach itself to human lung tissue; the study was published in 2008 in the Journal of Virology. In 2015, Shi Zhengli co-authored a paper on creating a new virus combining a coronavirus found in Chinese horseshoe bats with another that causes human-like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in mice . Her research used the SARS virus as a framework and replaced the key S-protein with one found in a bat coronavirus. The newly engineered hybrid virus was able to infect other species: mice; it was also able to infect human airway cells . Mice infected with the virus had permanent and severe lung damage – there is no cure . On 18 November 2019, WIV posted a job advert  saying: “Taking bats as the research object, I will answer the molecular mechanism that can coexist with Ebola and SARS-associated coronavirus for a long time without disease” (the first human case of SARS-2 documented by the Chinese government dates to 17 November 2019, the day before, so presumably they did not yet know that SARS-2 can exist in a human for a long time without causing disease. Or did they?). After the Wuhan outbreak, Indian researchers compared the S-protein sequence between SARS-2 and SARS-1. They discovered that the SARS-2 sequence differed from the SARS-1 sequence via the insertion of 4 new sequences, all of which are sub-sequences of the HIV virus. Scientists searched GenBank and found only 3 viruses containing those inserted sequences: HIV, SARS-2, and Shi Zhengli’s bat coronavirus . One of the inserted sequences encodes for HIV’s glycoprotein 41, a protein key to infecting the human body and destroying the immune system .
The hypothesis that the outbreak originated at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market (HSWM) in Wuhan has been widely publicized, and appears to have been first proposed by the WCDC&P themselves in late January 2020. The HSWM is a food market located 278 metres away from the WCDC&P. The story goes like this: someone bought a diseased bat at this market, ate it undercooked and caught the virus. The origin of the pandemic are “Chinese disgusting eating habits”, according to this narrative. It is certainly true that there are so-called wet markets in China where live animals are slaughtered on the spot and their meat is sold to you still warm. Animals are kept there in unhygienic conditions. Cages are stacked up in several levels, with animals of different species living in those cages – birds above bats above snakes, all urinating and defecating on each other, some are injured and bleeding and seeping pus and other bodily fluids on each other, creating conditions which do not exist in nature for viruses and other pathogens to potentially hop between species, combine with other viruses, and mutate much more rapidly than they would in nature. The virus may even have jumped from a bat to a pangolin or a snake, to a human. Chinese researchers wrote already in 2007  “The presence of large reservoirs of SARS-CoV-like viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic mammals in southern China, is a time bomb.”
On 17 February 2020, a poster claiming to be Chen Quanjiao, a researcher at the WIV claimed that the Director General of WIV, Wang Yanyi, had previously sold contaminated experimental lab animals to the HSWM and leaked the virus, but Chen Quainjiao later denied being the author of this post [3, 27]. It has also been suggested that lab technicians may have sold experimental animals to food vendors at the HSWM, rather than cremating them, as the law requires. There are biomedical researchers in Chinese jails who received research grants, bought animals for lab research, infected them, and sold the surviving ones to food markets.
However, we know a number of facts which are very difficult to reconcile with the “HSWM origin” hypothesis. Botao Xiao, a former postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, and then a researcher at the South China University of Technology, together with Lei Xiao from Tian You Hospital, which is affiliated with the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, published a paper  in which they concluded that
- according to municipal reports and testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors:
- despite stories of “bat soup”, no bats were sold at the HSWM ( lists the animals that were supposedly sold at the HSWM; the list does not include bats)
- the bat was never a source of food in the city; bats were unlikely to be deliberately ingested
- bats suspected of carrying SARS-2 are extremely unlikely to be found naturally in Wuhan
- the probability that the bats would fly to HSWM was extremely low
- SARS-2 probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan
This is corroborated by the fact that the first diagnosed case of the SARS-2 coronavirus infection had no links to the HSWM; nor did the first 3 of the first 4 diagnosed cases, nor did 14 of the first 41 diagnosed cases, according to a paper published in the Lancet [10, 9].
On 16 February 2020, Chau Sze Tat, a well-known journalist reported on this paper. Xiao later withdrew the paper.
Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao were not the only people to publicly conclude that the virus likely originated in a laboratory in Wuhan. On 30 January 2020, Siu Yeuk Yuen, a well-known journalist had already posted a video on YouTube and Facebook hypothesizing the same thing. The video was later deleted. Shi Zhengli, the “Bat Woman”, herself, while attending a conference in Shanghai, also asked herself if the virus could have come from her lab . Whether it did or did not, she surely would have known whether her lab contained a virus like it or not, and wouldn’t have asked herself that question if it didn’t. On 3 February 2020, Dr Wu Xiaohua said that Shi Zhengli’s haphazard laboratory management may have led to the SARS-2 virus leak from her lab . On 4 February 2020, Xu Bo, Chairman of Duoyi Network, a Chinese video games company, likewise accused the WIV of having manufactured and leaked the virus [8, 27]. On 14 February 2020, Xi Jinping publicly stated that China needed to strengthen biolab safety when handling dangerous viruses like coronaviruses; he called for the inclusion of biosecurity into China’s national security framework and called for the acceleration of the introduction of a biosecurity law . Why would he have said that?
After immediately shutting down and cleansing the HSWM, China has now reopened its wet markets . Why would they do that, if they thought that the virus originated at one of them, and that there is a risk that further viruses may do the same?
Interestingly, it is China which has – officially, and backed by Iran – suggested that SARS-2 is a man-made virus. After oberving that their initial story, that the virus originated at the HSWM, did not wash, China stated, on 12 March 2020, that SARS-2 is a man-made virus which the U.S. military brought to Wuhan in October 2019, when Wuhan hosted the World Military Games in which the USA participated. Interestingly, the Chinese government held an exercise in Wuhan already on 18 September 2019 (so well before these games) to check for the possible spread of a SARS-type of coronavirus. Why would they have done this before the World Military Games in October 2019?
A couple of questions naturally pose themselves. Why did China collect lethal bat viruses, from bats which live in remote caves where people do not venture? What did Tian Junhua mean when he said “I do hope these virus samples will only be preserved for scientific research and will never be used in real life”? What “use in real life” do these viruses have? What did he mean when he said “Only in these places can we find the most ideal virus vector samples.” Ideal for what? Why did Shi Zhengli study how to insert segments of HIV into a coronavirus to allow a coronavirus to attach itself to human lung tissue? Why did Shi Zhengli – who works at China’s biological weapons facility – create a new virus combining a coronavirus found in Chinese horseshoe bats with another that causes SARS-like symptoms, which was able to infect human airway cells? What purpose can such chimeric viruses serve? When she learned of the SARS-2 outbreak and the behaviour of the virus causing it, why did she ask herself if the virus escaped from her lab?
In short, it is our conclusion that the virus originated at a biological weapons facility in Wuhan. It was likely either isolated from bats, or developed either through deliberate “natural” hybridization (e.g. via deliberately co-infections with several different viruses to encourage hybridization, and selection of those with desirable properties, which hybrids would be indistinguishable from natural viruses) or bioengineering, or both, at the WIV or at the WCDC&P, or in collaboration between both laboratories, and that it was released by, or from, the WCDC&P, near which the outbreak first started. The WCDC&P then rushed to try to cover this up, and sought to find a scapegoat, which they found in a nearby food market, the HSWM, which they then closed down, and hosed down so as to destroy any evidence. The unfortunate thing for them is that it has turned out that this market does not sell bats, and that its customers do not eat bat.
We may never know whether this virus is completely natural, or whether it was bred in the lab through accelerated semi-natural processes (e.g. deliberate co-infection with several pathogens which one wishes to hybridize), or whether it was bioengineered. Studies have suggested that bioengineering can be ruled out, but even if this is true, breeding through hybridization cannot.
It’s worth noting also some of the properties of this virus:
- it is happiest in cold weather, but it thrives in both hot and cold weather, both in dry and humid climates – colds and flus normally disappear in the warm supring and summer months, this virus does not. This property is unusual, and makes the virus more dangerous.
- it presents itself in many patients with symptoms very similar to a cold or a flu, so it’s difficult to know if one has it, or just a cold or a flu; and it appeared in the middle of a bad flu season
- it can spreads asymptomatically; infected persons can remain infectious for 2 weeks before exhibiting any symptoms; and many remain completely symptom free – throughout their infection. This is unusual, and makes the virus more dangerous.
- it is highly contagious: R0 is much bigger than it is for cold & flu, themselves highly infectious viruses. It can be contracted not only through the mouth and nose, but even through the eyes (perhaps through the tear ducts, which run into the nose, but it can also cause conjunctivitis so it also appears to affect the eyes). This makes the virus more dangerous.
- it can infect pets (cats, dogs) and other animals (tigers, lions). This makes the virus almost impossible to eradicate, if it is allowed to become endemic.
- although it is asymptomatic in many people, it causes very severe illness in about 20% of those infected. While we do not know its mortality rate yet, we know, because of the way hospitals and mortgues in many of the worst affected places are overwhelmed, that it is very high. I estimate at least 5%, perhaps as high as 20%-30%. Even among survivors, those who get seriously ill with it and survive often have permanent and severe lung damage. The combination of many asymptomatic spreaders and spreaders with mild symptoms, and high mortality and morbidity rates makes the virus particularly dangerous, as it encourages both reckless behaviour among those who think they are not at risk, and severe damage among those who are at risk (whether they think or don’t think they are). The severe lung damage among survivors of the severe form of the disease will lumber healthcare systems and cause economic damage potentially for many years to come.
- survives much longer on fomites than similar viruses we are used to, like cold or flu: up to 9 days at room temperature, up to a month in the fridge, up to 2 years in the freezer. Cruise ships still detected the virus on fomites 17 days after everyone had left the ship.
- is highly airborne: aerosols can persist in the air for up to 3 hours.
- there is evidence that it may re-activate in those who have been found clear of the virus; this could either mean that these people were improperly tested, but it could also mean that one infection does not confer immunity (=> the virus will just keep coming back and re-infecting people), or, an even scarier prospect, that the virus is able to lay dormant in the body like herpes, and re-activate itself later.
If you wanted to design a biological weapon, what kind of properties would you want it to have? It seems difficult to imagine a virus better suited for biological warfare than this one.
2. Was the virus leak an accident or a deliberate attack?
If the virus came from a lab, it could have done so
- accidentally (e.g. by an infected animal peeing, defecating, bleeding or sneezing on a staff member; through improper disposal of contaminated waste; through a fluid leak, etc.)?
- inadvertently but through a deliberate action (e.g. a lab employee selling a contaminated bat to the HSWM)?
- deliberately – either as a biological weapon officially by the Chinese Communist Party, by a rogue general, or just by a disgruntled employee with an agenda
We submit that b) is possible but very unlikely. No bats were sold at the HSWM. The WCDC&P had 600-odd bats; even if some were sold at the HSWM – which did not sell bats, and had no demand for them by customers who did not eat bat – it would have been a very small fraction of the 600, and thus a very small number of bats in total, and a very small proportion of bats in all of China’s wet markets. Even populations that do eat bats, generally eat fruit bats, which are reportedly tastier – horseshoe bats are generally not eaten, so they are not seen as a special delicacy. Bats are traded in other wet markets all the time, so surely infected bats are sold there from time to time. In order for such a bat to cause a pandemic, not only does an infected bat have to be sold, it also has to be handled improperly so that its virus spreads to a human (e.g. undercooked – although it is far from clear that the virus can spread through food, as many of us seem to be able to eat take-aways and shop-ordered food safely). What are the odds that of all the countless bats sold in (other) wet markets, it is one of the handful of bats that may have been sold (but probably were never sold) at the HSWM, is the one that caused a virus to spread – but none of the others?
Both a) and c) are possible. Indeed, it seems to us that if the release had been accidental, rather than Shi Zhengli following orders, she would probably been “punished” (= in a concentration camp or killed, organs harvested, disappeared) by now, making the deliberate release theory more likely.
But, you might say, if China wanted to attack us with a biological weapon, they would have released it onto us directly, not onto their own people! Surely they would not kill their own people! Not so. Firstly, if you really believe that a communist dictatorship would not kill its own people – not by the thousands, not by the millions, but by the tens or hundreds of millions – in order to gain power for themselves, you really haven’t been paying attention or studied the history of specifically China, and Mao. And secondly, releasing the virus onto their own people gives them plausible deniability. If they released it onto us directly, they know this would have been rightly seen as an act of war and they would have risked military retaliation. In this way, no one is really sure, and no one is going to risk a war with a nuclear power on the basis of speculation. They are safe. China appears to have contained the outbreak, with a relatively low number of infections and deaths (even after correcting for what are undoubtedly fake numbers). I said back in January, before this was clear: I think this may be a biological weapon, but I’m not sure. But if China contains their outbreak early and at a relatively low human and economic cost, while it devastates us, this will confirm my suspicion that it is a weapon!
Nevertheless, initial accidental release is possible. It seems most likely that the virus originated at the WIV (specifically, at Shi Zhengli’s laboratory) but was released from the WCDC&P, a level 2 biosafety lab, which was near the HSWM and nearest the centre of the outbreak. Perhaps a researcher took a sample of the virus from WIV to WCDC&P, in breach of protocol or otherwise, and at the WCDC&P, someone (perhaps a different person) handled it with inadequate precautions. Perhaps a researcher got accidentally infected at the WIV, met with colleagues at the WCDC&P and infected them, and the infection spread from there. Perhaps that person at WIV was Huang Yanling, a female graduate student at WIV – in February 2020, rumours started circulating on Chinese social media that she was patient zero, and that she was dead. On 15 February 2020, WIV denied these rumours (after first trying to deny that there was a person with that name ever at their institute), but she remains nowhere to be found .
Whatever the case may be, China’s subsequent behaviour amounted to deliberate acts intended to harm us. They took active steps to ensure other countries did not protect themselves and that the outbreak spread to us.
Having established the means, let’s now look at the motive, opportunity and China’s earlier and subsequent behaviour.
Certainly, China has made the most of, and benefited from, the outbreak. Among other things, prior to the outbreak, Trump was finally starting to take them and their rogue behaviour (such as country-scale intellectual property theft, and cyberwarfare) on and he looked certain to get re-elected. There were protests taking place in Hong Kong. Both those things changed in China’s favour – the outbreak has damaged Trump, and stopped the Hong Kong protests. But there is more, as we shall see shortly.
2.1. China’s behaviour prior to the outbreak
In 1999, China’s People Liberation Army published the book “Unrestricted Warfare”, describing strategies by which a weaker nation could conquer a stronger nation in the context of modern warfare. “we realized that if the Chinese and American military fought head on, we are at a disadvantage. Therefore, we need a new strategy to help our military tilt the balance of power”, says the book . This new strategy is called unrestricted warfare, and includes both military methods – guerilla warfare, terrorism, biological warfare, etc. and non-military methods – drug trafficking, poisoning, environmental destruction, computer virus dissemination etc.
On 14 May 2019, China called for a “people’s war” against the USA . On 1 October 2019, China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China with a jingoistic military parade [13, 14], their biggest military parade ever, flaunting their military power.
In 2017, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus became the first non-doctor to become the director general of the WHO , beating the British candidate Dr David Nabarro . Tedros, who had previously been a politician in Ethiopia (the health minister, then the foreign minister) had previously been accused of covering up cholera outbreaks in Ethiopia , was allegedly heavily backed by Chinese diplomats and Chinese money (China paid “aid” to developing countries who voted on the appointment). Why would China want to buy the post of the head of the WHO – and have their own placeman in that position, someone with a track record (or, should we say, experience?) of covering up outbreaks of epidemics? The extent to which China has subjugated, bought, and controls the WHO is obvious not only from the way the WHO has slavishly repeated China’s lies in this pandemic, refused to name the virus after Wuhan (despite MERS – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, German Measles, Spanish Flu, etc.), it is perhaps best illustrated by the astonishing interview given by Dr Bruce Aylward, a supposedly Canadian Assistant Director-General of the WHO, though we should not blame anyone who might confuse him with a subservient boot-licking Chinese apparatchik. If you have not seen this interview, you absolutely must watch it .
2.2. China’s behaviour once the outbreak started
Even if China did not deliberately release this virus as a biological weapon initially, what has China done subsequently?
- on 13 January 2020, the WHO reported, on the basis of data from China, that there were only 41 cases of disease in China, that there was no human-to-human transmission, and that no medical staff had contracted the disease. All of this was not only untrue, but a deliberate lie, through which deception, China was facilitating the spread of the virus across the world.
- after realizing the seriousness of the virus, China sealed Wuhan from the rest of China, but not from the rest of the world – they allowed outgoing international flights from Wuhan to continue, and to spread the virus across the world.This virus most likely is a biological weapon. And even if it was not initially released deliberately, China most certainly used it as a biological weapon from at least this point onwards, by releasing it onto the world deliberately, knowing what it was doing, and realizing that it was a biological weapon.
- on 5 January 2020, Professor Zhang Yongzhen at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre (SPHCC) and his team, operating in a Level 3 biosafety laboratory (“SPHCC lab”) isolated and sequenced the SARS-CoV-2 virus from samples taken from a patient admitted to a Wuhan hospital on 26 December 2019 (a 41-year-old male vendor at the HSWM). Only when he did this, did China announce that the pneumonia cases are caused by a new virus – on 7 January 2020. On 11 January 2020, the SPHCC lab published the SARS-CoV-2 genome on open platforms (virological.org, GenBank); hours later, China’s National Health Commission announced it would share the genome sequence with the WHO, sending the information it sent via the WIV. On 12 January 2020, the SPHCC lab was shut down by the Shanghai Health Commission – without giving any reason . Why was the team who first sequenced and published the SARS-2 virus’ nucleodite sequence and shared it with the world (so that a vaccine and test kits could be developed) punished? On 1 January 2020, the Hubei Health Committee notified genome sequencing organizations in China to cease analyzing Wuhan virus samples and to destroy existing virus samples; it issued an order prohibiting the release of any information about the samples, related papers and related data . On 3 January 2020, China’s National Health Commission distributed notification letter 2020 No. 3 containing a similar directive . On 2 January 2020, WIV’s Director General sent an e-mail to all of WIV’s staff strictly prohibiting disclosure of any information related to the Wuhan pneumonia . Why?
- on 13 April 2020, China imposed restrictions on the publication of research on coronavirus; all academic papers on SARS-2 will be subject to extra vetting before being submitted for publication; studies on the origin of the virus will receive extra scrutiny and must be approved by central government officials . Why? What do they have to hide?
- China, which manufactures most things, including personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, and most medicines has [19, 20, 21, 28]:
- sold the Netherlands 600,000 face masks whose virus particle filters were defective,
- sold Spain 60,000 testing kits which were defective; of the first batch of 9,000, only 30% performed with reliable accuracy
- sold Slovakia 1,200,000 antibody testing kits for EUR 15 million which were defective,
- sold Ireland £176 million of PPEn, 20% of which was defective
- sold Australia 800,000 defective face masks worth AUD 12 million
- shipped testing kits to the UK which were contaminated with the SARS-2 coronavirus
- sold the Czech Republic defective equipment
- sold Turkey test kits whose accuracy rate was less than 35%
Whether or not China released the weaponized virus on purpose initially, they have certainly weaponised the outbreak (even if accidental) subsequently in ways to deliberately harm us.
3. The response of the Western governments
The response of the Western governments has been, to say the least, astonishingly incompetent. We have known at least since the time of the Black Death (and probably since prehistoric times) how to deal with an outbreak of an infectious disease: the only thing that works is quarantine. Quarantine was used to keep the plague away. Data from the 1918-1920 Spanish flu outbreak tells us unequivocally that those who quarantine themselves fare much better than those who don’t in pandemics. Western Samoa did not have a single case of the Spanish flu, while American Samoa lost 22% of its population and 30% of its adult male population to it. The difference? Western Samoa implemented a swift and comprehensive quarantine before it had any cases. American Samoa did not: a single infected ship brought the virus which ravaged the population. The experience was the same in the USA: San Francisco quarantined itself (albeit late), while Philadelphia did not. San Francisco fared much better, and, but for the fact that they lifted the quarantine too early, which led to a spike in cases, they would have got off very lightly. And even in the current outbreak, at least two places have implemented a total quarantine and have remained virus-free: the island of Sark in the Channel Islands, and the Spanish town of Zahara de la Sierra .
So in the light of this, how is it possible that European governments failed to follow this age old protocol in light of what was obviously a dangerous and infectious virus coming our way? Some are now blaming China and the WHO for having lied. But of course China lied. What do our political leaders think brutal communist dictatorships do? They won’t tell me that they didn’t know China was lying. It was obvious to me at the end of January that this virus was highly infectious, that it was deadly, and that it was coming. And the only information I have is what is in the public domain. Are you telling me that the West’s intelligence agencies, with all their satellites, which can see mass graves and which know much else besides, didn’t know what was going on in China – despite China’s lies? (update 4 May 2020: an MI6 source has now confirmed the UK government did, indeed, of course, know [34,35])
Most of the West (the USA being a notable exception) failed to close its borders and impose a total quarantine on all immigration from China when there was still time to do so and when it was obviously the right thing to do – in January. The EU failed to close its internal borders when the scale of the epidemic in Italy became obvious. The UK, although supposedly out of the EU, also failed to close its borders towards Italy. In the UK, despite a total and draconian internal lockdown, there is still no quarantine on incoming travellers. Refugees are still being allowed in. Even when the rest of Europe started to act, the UK continued to do nothing, making public advisories that “the risk of infection is low”, indeed, for a long time, “very low”.
We know that if you impose an early and total quarantine, no internal lockdown is necessary, no other economically damaging measures are necessary, and you can exit the quarantine vis-a-vis other nations one by one – those that have successfully eradicated the virus, and maintain the same kind of quarantine you maintain towards other, infected, nations. Instead, Western governments failed to act when it was time to do so, when it was possible and necessary to do so, and impose very mild restrictions, and later had to impose total lockdowns which are wholly excessive and turned our countries into police states – completely unnecessarily. The pandemic was a crisis, but it was the actions of our governments which are turning it into a catastrophe.
Our economies are now in total lockdown and are likely to remain so for quite some time. If the lockdown lasts for 3 months, this means no business for a large portion of the economy, and prima facie a 25% reduction of the GDP. On the one hand a little less because many companies have adapted and can continue to operate – but even among those, many are not getting orders as their customers are dysfunctional. But on the other hand, a lot more, since once the lockdown is lifted, business will not just return to the pre-lockdown normal, many businesses will have gone to the wall, and revenues will continue to lag. So we could be looking at a 30%, 40%, or greater, reduction in the GDP this year. Tax revenues will also go down. Yet, in the middle of all this, governments have increased their spending. Not only have they increased their spending, most of the increase is on the most wasteful of things. Take the UK Government’s bailout of the airlines through the “worker furlough” scheme, for example.
Quite clearly, our economy has been in a bubble – fueled by easy money and quantitative easing. You need only look at the number of non-businesses in the economy, like those involved in green energy, social enterprises, and other such junk, and the number of diversity officers to know that the economy has not been running efficiently. To some extent, a pin was needed to prick this bubble, and the epidemic has provided such a pin. After this crisis is over, there will be a new normal, and I am confident that, in the absence of government action, the people would have adapted, the economy would have restructured itself to become more efficient. Take video-conferencing, for example. Prior to this crisis, many people were reluctant to use technology solutions such as video-conferencing, preferring to stick to old-fashioned business travel and in-person meetings. Now, many of these people have been forced to adopt these technology solutions, and many (not all, of course) are loving them, they find them very efficient, they find that they work very well. And so, they will continue using them even after the crisis is over. There will be less business travel, less commuting, more working at home, more video-conferencing, less employment, more self-employment, fewer people living in cramped, polluted, expensive, crime-ridden urban centres, more people living rurally. More of our shopping will be done online. Many middlemen will go out of business. In the UK, wholesalers have started delivering groceries direct to consumer, cutting out the retailers, who have been running out of stock of key items. In the absence of government intervention, all this would ultimately, after an initial recession, have resulted in a more efficient economy, better quality of life, etc.
Yet, in the middle of all this, the government is bailing out the airlines – which will never recover after this crisis, by the way – and this will ultimately have to be paid by those very few companies that are still growing, like the videoconferencing companies. It is the equivalent of bailing out the horse and buggy when the market started to adopt the automobile. Exactly the same consideration applies to the UK government’s continued spending on HS2.
How is the government going to pay for all this extra spending? The answer is: not through taxation – because tax revenues, like the economy, will be down. Initially, the government will have to pay for this through borrowing, which it will have to do from the central bank, in other words, it will try to pay for this through money printing. But this crisis is a supply-side shock: there is no supply because there are no factories operating to produce goods – so demand-side measures, like money printing, is the worst thing you can do; it is just pouring fuel onto a fire. What is needed instead is monetary tightening and fiscal stimulus (i.e. reducing the amount of money in circulation so it reflects the smaller size of the economy, and reducing the regulatory and tax burden on the productive part of the economy so it has a better chance of surviving). All the QE and monetary base inflation has already created huge inflationary pressures, and all it takes is for the price of some goods – face masks, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, yeast, food – to spike, and this could instantly translate into runaway consumer price inflation.
Struggling companies like airlines and other companies of “strategic importance” and/or “national champions” will be bought with the newly printed money – which, since such money is worthless – basically means nationalization. But such jiggery pokery does not resolve the fundamental problem of the economy, which will have ground to a halt. You cannot revive an economy which was killed by a supply-side shock by printing money and nationalizing assets with it. So who will bail us out? We shall return to this in a moment.
But for now, let’s ask ourselves: why? Why have our leaders acted the way they have done.
Let’s focus just on the UK civil service’s response.
They could have recommended the government impose a total quarantine on all immigration in January. With only minor inconvenience for a short period of time, all infections in the UK could have been avoided (after all, the UK has been rabies-free for how long? And how? Quarantine!). No people need have got ill. No people need have died. No police state measures would have been necessary. There would have been no large-scale economic devastation. Only the travel and tourist industries – airlines and the like – would have been affected, but they are affected anyway, and much more so, as no one wants to travel in the current situation, even if they could, which they can’t, and anyone with half an ounce of common sense could see all this back then (I certainly could!).
Instead, what did they do?
- issued public advisories that the risk of infection to people in the UK was ‘very low’ even as the first known superspreader brought the disease to Brighton
- failed to impose any restrictions on incoming flights, or passengers coming off incoming flights, even from the areas worst affected by the virus. This is still so even now (!)
- advised people to come out of isolation 7 days after starting to exhibit symptoms (this is what Boris Johnson first intended to do, before he became more seriously ill) – when we know that people can remain infectious for 14 days after they have ceased to display symptoms
- advised people returning from Northern Italy skiing holidays not to self-isolate unless they were exhibiting symptoms (when we know asymptomatic transmission is common)
- they allowed the Cheltenham Festival in March 2020 to go on, at the height of the epidemic (they apparently have learned no lessons from Philadelphia’s Liberty Loans Parade in 1918 – but anyone with any common sense would not have needed that lesson anyway in order to know what the right thing was to do)
- advised people not to wear masks in public
- to be fair to British bureaucrats, they weren’t the only idiots involved in the handling of this pandemic. Japan allowed people off the Diamond Princess if they tested negative – that is, even though they knew the virus was spreading around the ship, they would test a person on day 0, get test results on day 4, and if those were negative, would let them off the ship on day 7, and if they were Japanese nationals, they would be released straight into the public. Cambodia, very “compassionately” let a whole cruise ship worth of passengers off MS Westerdam without testing them, and unsurprisingly, many of them were found to be infected and got to spread the virus far and wide. How can such morons be in charge of public health?
Thus, instead of adopting the very two measures most likely to be effective at stopping the domestic outbreak at minimum cost – quarantining the borders and universally wearing masks in public – the civil service actively and deliberately decided against those two measures, allowed the virus to come into the UK and then imposed draconian measures which between them are much more intrusive, economically damaging and possibly less effective than those two measures alone would have been.
So what could possibly explain this? Here are some thoughts.
- state pension systems and socialized medicine systems everywhere are bankrupt, and govenments and civil servants know this. This virus kills the old, the sick, the obese? Well – isn’t that unfortunate!  reports that in the UK, elderly patients suspected of being sick with SARS-2 are being discharged from hospitals and being sent back into care homes before getting back their test results, despite being sick enough to require hospitalization and hospitals having spare capacity while. The article further reports that care home residents known to be infected are allowed to roam the care homes freely.  reports more: that hospitals have been sending elderly patients they know are infected with SARS-2 to care homes without telling the care home staff about the fact that they are infected. The elderly are, effectively, being sent to the care homes to die and to infect other residents so that they can die too. Sweden advocates having light restrictions on the general population but ‘taking care of the vulnerable’. Yet most deaths occur in care homes in Sweden, in the UK and in most other countries, and no country has ever successfully protected its vulnerable population while allowing others to go to work . Both Sweden and the UK claim to have failed to protect the vulnerable in care homes, but have they really failed to achieve their true objective? A friend of mine said to me 25 years ago, when discussing the Ponzi scheme nature of government pension and healthcare systems: “The day will come when we will be killing our old people”. It’s a difficult thing to do deliberately and overtly, but this pandemic has presented the bureaucrats with a unique and tailor-made opportunity – one not to be missed! The recent ever more common relaxations of laws against killing the old and the sick (euthanasia / assisted suicide laws) and policies to not resuscitate or treat patients above a certain age in socialized medicine facilities are a part of the same programme.
- the civil service is endemically socialist. These socialist extremists undoubtedly include many green Nazis who believe that human beings are a cancer on Mother Earth. A bit of a herd cull wouldn’t be a bad thing. An economic lockdown? Reducing carbon emissions? Hmmmm!
- while you and I are concerned about the police state measures the government has grabbed for themselves in order to try to close the stable door after the horse has bolted, the civil service positively loves them. An opportunity to create a crisis which allows them to grab such powers must not be missed.
- similarly, I find the answer of the British Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, when challenged by Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain , telling. Matt Hancock had described the British response to the crisis as a success; when Piers Morgan pointed out that Britain ranked 5th in the world in terms of the number of deaths, and likely 3rd in the world, if deaths in the care homes are included, Matt Hancock replied in a way which explains a lot about what he considers success: the government managed toexpand the NHS so that all the tens of thousands of people who were getting unnecessarily sick could get access to it.
- UK-EU alignment: several of the key decision makers are known to have made negative comments about Brexit in the past. The desire to keep the UK aligned with the EU, and to re-enter, or cancel Brexit, no doubt played a part in not closing the borders with the EU when the epidemic in Italy exploded. And don’t forget that the UK was technically not able to close its border with the EU, as it is still bound by EU law, as the UK did not really leave the EU on 31 January 2020. Failure to leave on 31 October 2019 (and again on 31 January 2020) has not resulted only in a slight delay, it has resulted in the most serious, and most lasting of consequences. Boris very nearly had to deliver on his “do or die” pledge as a result of his failure to deliver on Brexit by 31 October 2019. It is no coincidence, we suggest, that Sir Patrick Vallance went public with his ‘herd immunity’ strategy the day after the USA announced it was closing its border with the continental EU but not with the UK. Trump, aghast, immediately closed the border with the UK as well the very next day. Surely the timing of Vallance’s announcement was just coincidental and this could not have been his intention.
- why advise the public not to wear masks? Two explanations come to mind: the public health authorities, instead of doing their job and preparing for a pandemic, have been too busy telling people what food and drink they can consume, and which one they can’t, and failed to make the even most basic preparations for a pandemic by buying a large enough stockpile of masks. Now, the healthcare system is short of them and of course because of increased demand and supply scarcity, they are now either very expensive or just plain impossible to get; were the public to buy them too, the public sector would have to pay even more to buy theirs. And the second explanation is that the police state has invested so much money into CCTV cameras which conduct constant surveillance of everything we do and everywhere we go and the police forces now depend entirely on them and their facial recognition software that they don’t want to give up that capability to constantly keep us under surveillance, even if it means people die as a result.
By letting the cat on his strategy out of the bag, Vallance also ensured that it (his herd cull policy) got reversed. This had undoubtedly been the strategy he had been surreptitiously pursuing since the very beginning: mislead the public by saying the risk of infection was “very low”, while keeping the borders open to ensure that the infection arrived and the whole ‘herd’ (yes, that is how they think of us) became infected. Kind of following the Sir Humphrey  strategy of pulling wool over the Prime Minister’s, and the public’s eyes: by the time we realized what game he was playing, it would be too late. Scientifically, calling this strategy the ‘herd immunity’ strategy is junk science: ‘herd immunity’ is a valid strategy in the context of a (safe) mass vaccination programme, not in the context of deliberate (and unsafe) self-infection with a deadly pathogen. But Vallance also achieved the objective of successfully pulling the UK away from alignment with the U.S. and back into alignment with the EU.
The UK’s response was so bad that the mayor of an Italian town in the middle of the worst of their outbreak recalled his daughter back to Italy, because he thought she would be safer there. Europhile civil servants may be thinking that if the UK is brought to its knees, more so than the EU, the UK will have to go with a begging bowl to the EU after the end of this criss, and be forced into seeking a bailout and re-admission – or better still, cancelling Brexit, after asking for an extension to the transition period before June, because, you know, no negotiations are currently possible so any sensible person has to ask for such an extension, obviously, how can you not see that, you unreasonable foolish person. Don’t be fooled by the fact that Italy and Spain are (still) worse off than the UK is, the mismanagement of the crisis is worse in the UK, and the trend is for the UK to be the European country worst affected in the end. Exponential growth will do its job.
The geopolitical landscape must be kept in mind to understand what is going on. The Cold War may appear to have ended, but the communists have never stopped fighting us, and they have been very successful. The communist vs. free world split has never gone away. But the two sides are now the USA, Australia etc. on the free world side (far from being free from infiltration, of course), and the EU and China are the principal players on the communist side (the former being de facto run by a former East German communist agitprop officer). The UK is the main football in the middle. The communist side evidently still has many agents of influence in the UK civil service and government circles. That in the middle of, effectively, an attack by China, the UK is contracting a significant part of the UK’s telecommunications infrastructure to Huawei, which will allow the Chinese Communist Party to spy on the UK, is testament to that.
4. What does the future hold
China appears to have contained the outbreak; they claim their army is free of the virus . Their economy is getting back in gear. Well, at least if you believe them. They are one of the largest holders of U.S. treasuries, coming second to Japan by only a whisker. They control the vast majority of the world’s manufacturing chains. They make all the face masks, virtually all electronics, virtually all medicines, they own virtually all the rare earth metals necessary for many industries.
We have not yet got a grip on the virus, and we won’t any time soon. Our economies will suffer a major decline this year – a 30% or 40% drop in the GDP should not surprise us. Perhaps more. Government bailouts with newly printed money will fail. The only party capable of bailing our large companies out will be China. While it may seem unthinkable now, the crisis has not really started to bite us yet. There are no major shortages in shops – with a few exceptions, like face masks, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, yeast – yet. There is no large scale hunger – yet. When things really go bad, beggars will not be choosers, and we may simply have no option but to accept China’s “bailout” a.k.a. acquisition of our economies at bargain basement prices.
And China will try to portray itself as the saviour of the world. They are already doing so. Their propaganda machine is in full swing. See e.g. .
If China truly has succeeded in containing the virus with totalitarian measures (or, less likely but not entirely impossible, an anti-dote), but we struggle on for many months or even years, their way will be touted as being superior to democracy – a victory for communism and a blow to democracy.
Don’t count on our armies being able to defend us either. While China’s army is supposedly virus-free, 2 U.S. aircraft carriers are already disabled by the coronavirus, as is one French one. It will only get worse. Not that engaging in overt warfare with a nuclear power is a good idea anyway.
Also, how many other deadly viruses does China have in its arsenal?
Warfare by sanctions will offer no help either. We depend on China too much, and in too many ways.
I would not want to be Taiwan today.
The influence of Stefan Molyneux’s YouTube channel  will be obvious to anyone who watches it regularly. I thank Stefan for alerting me to many of the facts and sources mentioned in this article.
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 Jemma Carr, Gerard Couzens, Rory Tingle and Jack Wright, “Nail in the coffin for foreign travel: Airline bosses say Boris’s ‘devastating’ lockdown plan to quarantine all UK arrivals for TWO WEEKS will ‘kill off’ industry as business chiefs claim it signals Britain is closed”, The Daily Mail, 9 May 2020