Weekend Rewind: Q&A – Could COVID-19 be a Chinese conspiracy?

Q&A of the Day – Could COVID-19 be a Chinese conspiracy?

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Today’s entry: Could this (the virus) be the Chinese at work? We can’t trust them and they don’t care about their citizens anyway.

Bottom Line: I suppose the answer would be yes, it’s possible the COVID-19 outbreak is a Chinese conspiracy. As a general rule, we shouldn’t expect that to be the case. Most conspiracy theories are just that and never pan out. Every once in a rare while however, IE the Steel Dossier, they do. I’ve now been asked this question several times and figured now would be a good time to address it. Here’s what we know. 

COVID-19 is one of seven known strains of the coronavirus. Four of those strains are benign, three are potentially deadly – MERS, SARS and COVID-19. Coronaviruses have been known to medical science since the 1960’s. According to the WHO, the first diagnosed case of COVID-19 occurred December 30 that the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital. The initial diagnosis revealed a virus referred to as“SARS-like” by the responding doctors. After the WHO sequenced 104 strains of the virus, they identified it as the virus known as CoV. Officially categorizing it as COVID-19. As the WHO studied the outbreak, they determined the origin to be Wuhan China. This was based on the volume of cases during the outbreak but also based on genetics. The virus, by the end of February, maintained 99.9% of the characteristics of the originally diagnosed person in December. This is how they were able to pinpoint the location to Wuhan and likely a food market within it. Now, let’s take a look at the angle you’ve asked about based on what would be very coincidental arrests. 

On January 28th, the Department of Justice issued a statement entitled: Harvard University Professor and Two Chinese Nationals Charged in Three SeparateChina Related Cases. From the DOJ’s statement: The Department of Justice announced today that the Chair of Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department and two Chinese nationals have been charged in connection with aiding the People’s Republic of China.  

Dr. Charles Lieber, 60, Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, was arrested this morning and charged by criminal complaint with one count of making a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement. Lieber will appear this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts.

Yanqing Ye, 29, a Chinese national, was charged in an indictment today with one count each of visa fraud, making false statements, acting as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy. Ye is currently in China. 

Zaosong Zheng, 30, a Chinese national, was arrested on Dec. 10, 2019, at Boston’s Logan International Airport and charged by criminal complaint with attempting to smuggle 21 vials of biological research to China. On Jan. 21, 2020, Zheng was indicted on one count of smuggling goods from the United States and one count of making false, fictitious or fraudulent statements. He has been detained since Dec. 30, 2019.

Not lost on me is the timeline. It certainty is coincidental that we’re talking about December arrests of Chinese Nationals in conjunction with a Harvard biologist with vials of some unknown substances working on behalf of the Chinese government. That’s all I can offer for now. There are two sides to stories and one side to facts.Those are the facts as we know them.

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