The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Stop Pretending We Don’t Know Exactly How and Where This Pandemic Started

Posted on | March 19, 2020 | 2 Comments


Two words you should add to your vocabulary — zoonosis and zoonotic:

A zoonosis (plural zoonoses, or zoonotic diseases) is an infectious disease caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites that spread from non-human animals (usually vertebrates) to humans.
Major modern diseases such as Ebola virus disease and salmonellosis are zoonoses.

The Wuhan coronavirus is a zoonotic disease. In January — before the liberal media decided Trump was to blame for this pandemic — it was widely reported that the outbreak originated in China’s Wuhan province, specifically in so-called “wet markets,” where live animals are kept and slaughtered on the spot for sale. The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market was linked to 41 of the first cases of COVID-19 identified in China by early January. In addition to seafood, this market in Wuhan was known for selling meat of “exotic animals”:

The South China Morning Post reported on 29 January 2020 that the market had a section selling around “120 wildlife animals across 75 species.”

From a Jan. 20 report by CNN:

A new Chinese coronavirus, a cousin of the SARS virus, has infected hundreds since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December. Scientist Leo Poon, who first decoded the virus, thinks it likely started in an animal and spread to humans.
“What we know is it causes pneumonia and then doesn’t respond to antibiotic treatment, which is not surprising, but then in terms of mortality, SARS kills 10% of the individuals,” Poon, a virologist at the School of Public Health at The University of Hong Kong, said.
It’s not clear how deadly the Wuhan coronavirus will be, but fatality rates are currently lower than both MERS and SARS. . . .
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals. In rare cases, they are what scientists call zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From a Jan. 26 report by ABC News:

Chinese authorities temporarily banned the trade of wild animals Sunday following a viral outbreak in Wuhan, saying they will “severely investigate and punish” violators. . . .
The ban will continue until “the epidemic situation is lifted nationwide” in order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus and block potential sources of infection and transmission.
The three agencies also opened a hotline where people can report violations, and called on the public to refrain from eating wild animal meat. . . .
The wildlife ban comes as the new virus accelerated its spread in China with 56 deaths, and 1,975 infections. China cut off trains, planes and other links to Wuhan on Wednesday, as well as public transportation within the city, and has steadily expanded a lockdown to 16 surrounding cities with a combined population of more than 50 million — greater than that of New York, London, Paris and Moscow combined.
Demand for wild animals in Asia, especially China, is hastening the extinction of many species, on top of posing a perennial health threat that authorities have failed to fully address despite growing risks of a global pandemic. . . .
A group of 19 prominent researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the nation’s top universities had called for the government in China to crack down on wildlife markets such as the one at the center of the Wuhan outbreak. . . .
Zoonotic diseases, or those contracted by humans that originated in other species, account for a large share of human infectious illnesses. Not all of them come from the wildlife trade: Rabies is endemic across many species and one of the biggest causes of death in the developing world. But mixing species of wild animals increases the risk of diseases mutating and growing more virulent as they spread in unregulated markets, experts say.
The emergence of such diseases is a “numbers game,” said Christian Walzer, executive director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s health program.
“If these markets persist, and human consumption of illegal and unregulated wildlife persists, then the public will continue to face heightened risks from emerging new viruses, potentially more lethal and the source of future pandemic spread,” he said. “These are perfect laboratories for creating opportunities for these viruses to emerge.”
Researchers have not yet identified a definitive source for this latest outbreak, which like many other viruses can infect multiple species.
One of the first measures taken by Wuhan authorities was to close the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where 41 of the first cases originated.

Back in January, while impeachment was dominating headlines in the United States, the liberal media had no problem reporting that (a) this viral outbreak began in Wuhan, China, and (b) it was a “zoonotic” disease clearly linked to the “wildlife trade” in China. At that time, CNN did not hesitate to use the phrase “Chinese coronavirus” or “Wuhan coronavirus” in its reporting, but in a White House press conference Wednesday, a reporter for ABC News scolded the president for “bias”:


President Trump on Wednesday defended himself from the allegations of racism and xenophobia that were leveled in response to his calling the Wuhan coronavirus the “Chinese virus,” telling reporters that “it comes from China” and that “it’s not racist at all” to use the label.
Trump used the term “Chinese virus” in a tweet Wednesday morning, and was asked about why he used the phrase by ABC reporter Cecilia Vega, who referenced “dozens of incidents of bias against Chinese Americans” since the outbreak.
“Because it comes from China,” Trump stated, adding that “it’s not racist at all, no, not at all.”
“It comes from China, that’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate,” Trump said. “I have great love for all of the people from our country, but as you know, China tried to say at one point — maybe they stopped now — that it was caused by American soldiers. That can’t happen, it’s not going to happen, not as long as I’m president.”

The Communist regime in Beijing is at fault, not only for its false propaganda trying to blame America for this disease, but also for its mishandling of the initial outbreak of the virus:

A recently published study from the University of Southampton estimated that the global outbreak of the coronavirus could have been dramatically reduced had China’s communist government acted sooner. . . .
The research found “that if interventions in [China] could have been conducted one week, two weeks, or three weeks earlier, cases could have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent and 95 percent respectively — significantly limiting the geographical spread of the disease.”
The first case of the virus was reportedly detected as early as mid-November of last year. . . .
Other reports place the initial detection of the outbreak in early December, with Wei Guixian, a seafood merchant in Wuhan’s Hua’nan market, being one of the first reported cases. . . .
China waited until January 23, 2020, before quarantining the entire city of Wuhan, which has a population of over 11 million people.
Axios highlighted how China censored people who tried to sound the alarm . . .

How irresponsible is it for (allegedly objective) journalists to demonize President Trump, blaming him for “incidents of bias,” simply because he has told the truth about where this virus came from?

The media contend it is “controversial,” and almost certainly “racist,” for a Republican to tell the truth about the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic:

As President Donald Trump receives backlash for comments Wednesday about the coronavirus outbreak that were widely perceived as xenophobic, his allies in Congress have risen to his defense — with one senator in particular embracing his rhetoric.
“China is to blame,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Wednesday of the virus, which was first identified in Wuhan, China. “Because the culture where people eat bats and snakes and dogs and things like that.”
He proceeded to identify the consumption of such animals as the source of the virus, echoing a since debunked myth that the outbreak began with a woman eating bat soup. The origins of the virus remain a mystery to health officials, even as it continues to spread globally.

It is certainly not a “debunked myth” to explain the zoonotic origins of this disease, nor is the source of the virus a “mystery”:

The consensus among researchers studying the spread of the virus pinpoints COVID-19’s likely origin to a “wet market,” or live animal market, in Wuhan, China
The origin theory for the virus is supplemented by preliminary research into the disease’s genome, as well as the origins of similar diseases. Researchers at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre published the genome of COVID-19 two weeks after cases were reported in late December 2019. Gene sequencing analysis strongly suggests the virus originated in bats and was transferred to humans through a yet-unidentified intermediary species. In early February, Chinese researchers published work suggesting the intermediary species may have been the pangolin (also called a scaly anteater), though this work has not yet undergone a peer-reviewed study.
The conditions for such interspecies pathogen transfer are ripe in wet markets, which are common in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, resulted from a virus transferring from bats to civet cats and then humans. SARS, discovered in 2003, originated at a wet market similar to the one now suspected to be the origin of COVID-19.

Are we clear now? Senator Cornyn was absolutely correct in explaining that the dietary habits of (some) Chinese, which involve markets where multiple live exotic species are kept together and slaughtered on site, are to blame for this zoonotic pandemic. If it is now “racist” to tell the scientific truth — which, I should point out, was first reported by Chinese researchers — then political correctness has become fatal.



2 Responses to “Stop Pretending We Don’t Know Exactly How and Where This Pandemic Started”

  1. Friday hawt chicks & links – The CHINESE virus from CHINA edition. – Adam Piggott
    March 20th, 2020 @ 5:14 am

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  2. Friday Links | 357 Magnum
    March 20th, 2020 @ 9:50 pm

    […] The Other McCain – Stop Pretending We Don’t Know Exactly How and Where This Pandemic Started […]