- The Washington Times
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Communist China deliberately covered up the outbreak of COVID-19 in December-January by destroying laboratory evidence, and then silencing and “disappearing” whistleblowing physicians, according to an Australian newspaper based on a Western intelligence report.

The Washington Times asked the U.S. Office of Director of National Intelligence about the report. An official said, “We are not aware of a report that has been shared with our partners. However, we regularly share intelligence with our partners on a variety of threats and COVID is no different.”

The Australian Saturday Telegraph report has been quoted by media sites around the world. The newspaper said the 15-page paper is by the so-called “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing consortium of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States and United Kingdom. The intelligence report represents a united front against the Chinese politburo and its wave of obfuscation and social media disinformation denying any blame.

The paper says allies disagree with the U.S. position that the horseshoe-bat provided virus likely leaked accidentally from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The allies believe it mostly like came from a wild animal bushmeat market in Wuhan. Bat-harbored viruses can transit to other wild animals and then pass to humans. China closed the market on Jan. 1.

The ONI told The Washington Times, “We underscore three points. The IC believes the virus started in China. We are down to two theories and have evidence on both. We agree that it does not appear to have been purposeful.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told ABC News on Sunday that there’s lots of evidence of a Wuhan laboratory-derived pandemic.

“There is enormous evidence that that’s where this began,” Mr. Pompeo said. “We’ve said from the beginning that this was a virus that originated in Wuhan, China. We took a lot of grief for that from the outside, but I think the whole world can see now. Remember, China has a history of infecting the world and they have a history of running substandard laboratories.”

The word “enormous” to describe the intelligence would indicate the U.S. has human sources and/or communication intercepts that point to the lab.

It is known that Chinese authorities detained and intimidated at least 8 doctors in early January in the city of Wuhan who sought to warn the world of a deadly contagious pneumonia virus rapidly spreading in Hubei province. Chinese police dubbed them “rumor mongers.”

What is new in the report is that Western intelligence agencies have confirmed that China destroyed evidence in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where bat-made coronaviruses are studied.

The Five Eyes report also condemns China for failing to turn over live virus samples from the first batch of cases, the Telegraph reported.

There is the issue of China refusing to acknowledge that the new disease was highly contagious. Up until mid-January, as the virus spread, China told the world there was no human-to-human transmission and the World Health Organization uncritically repeated the false assurance.

President Trump has declared war on WHO for repeating Chinese positions, such as opposing travel restrictions. He has cut off funding that nearly amounts to $1 billion a year.

As it turns out, the Five Eyes report said China restricted travel outside Hubei Province into other parts of the country. But it placed no restrictions on people leaving Wuhan for the U.S. and Europe where the virus spread rapidly in February and March.

This has prompted Mr. Trump to wonder out loud if the communist regime deliberately let the virus spread globally

“Thousands fly overseas,” the Five Eyes report said, according to the Saturday Telegraph. “Throughout February, Beijing presses the US, Italy, India, Australia, Southeast Asian neighbors and others not to protect themselves via travel restrictions, even as the PRC imposes severe restrictions at home.”

On Feb. 1, Mr. Trump imposed travel restrictions on Chinese entering the country.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported this week that while China was deceiving the world its agents were out on the world market buying up huge amounts of medical protective gear, the Associated Press reported.

China is now reselling PPE, personal protective equipment such as masks and gowns, some which which has turned out to be defective.

Australia has pushed for a broad international inquiry into how China handled the outbreak. China, whose robust propaganda machine at one point blamed the U.S. Army for planting the germ in Wuhan, threatened to cut off trade.

The Telegraph quoted the Five Eyes paper as saying, “virus samples ordered destroyed at genomics labs, wildlife market stalls bleached, the genome sequence not shared publicly, the Shanghai lab closure for ‘rectification’, academic articles subjected to prior review by the Ministry of Science and Technology and data on asymptomatic ‘silent carriers’ kept secret.”

Said Mr. Pompeo: “We can confirm that the Chinese Communist Party did all that it could to make sure that the world didn’t learn in a timely fashion about what was taking place. There’s lots of evidence of that. Some of it you can see in public, right? We’ve seen announcements. We’ve seen the fact that they kicked journalists out. We saw the fact that those who were trying to report on this – medical professionals inside of China – were silenced. They shut down reporting. All the kind of things that authoritarian regimes do. It’s the way the Communist Party has operated. This is classic communist disinformation effort.”

• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at rscarborough@washingtontimes.com.

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