Gee. What A Surprise.

| January 20, 2021

So, the outgoing POTUS is to blame for the US Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic, eh?  Well, if you listen to the media – and at least one regular commenter here at TAH – that’s the droning, monotonous drumbeat you’ll hear.  But recently discovered medical evidence coupled with independent analysis of events indicates that assessment to be . . . well, highly questionable if not pretty much complete bullsh!t.

Instead, it appears that both China and the WHO share the majority of the blame for the outbreak worldwide.  And it also appears that a US epidemic might have been inevitable, regardless of anything we did.

The Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic’s origin and early response activities were recently analyzed by an independent body:  the Switzerland-based Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. Here are two quotes from an article summarizing their report (emphasis added below).

“What is clear to the panel is that public health measures could have been applied more forcefully by local and national health authorities in China in January (2020),” the report said.

The first cases in Wuhan occurred between December 12 and December 29, 2019 according to city authorities. The cases weren’t reported to WHO until December 31. By the time Wuhan went under lockdown on January 23, 2020 the virus had already spread to Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and the United States.

And the second quote of interest – which points out the WHO’s delay afterwards:

Despite being alerted to the cases before the end of December, 2019 WHO did not convene its emergency committee until January 22, 2020 — and then waited until January 30 before declaring an international emergency.

In fact, it wasn’t until over a month later – on 11 March 2020 – that the WHO opted to declare the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

That means that the PRC kept mum about the issue for around 3 weeks after the virus was identified in Wuhan’s general population before notifying anyone in the rest of the world that there might be a problem.  The first few weeks are a critical period in containing the outbreak of any communicable disease – in this case, a new and deadly one.

That also means as much as six weeks passed between the “first known” case of the virus in Wuhan and the PRC’s lockdown of Wuhan on 23 January 2021.  (See note below for reason that “first known” is in quotations.)  It also means that the PRC waited over 3 weeks to lockdown Wuhan after determining that person-to-person spread was likely occurring.  By then, as noted above the virus had already spread to the US and several other countries.

The WHO delayed taking any form of emergency action for more than 3 weeks after the PRC had notified them of the outbreak, and another week before actually declaring an emergency.  And even on 29 February 2020 – a full month after the outgoing POTUS had ordered restrictions on travel from the PRC to the US – the WHO was taking this position regarding trade and travel bans:

WHO continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.

FWIW:  that also seems to be the current WHO position on trade and travel restrictions as well.  I can’t find anything later on the subject from WHO than that 29 February 2020 guidance.

Yeah, in hindsight the US response to the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak wasn’t perfect and could possibly have been handled differently (though as it turns out, that might have made little or no difference; see the note below).  But like giving credit, it’s only right to place blame where blame is due.  And the PRC’s and WHO’s slow responses here appear to be overwhelmingly responsible for allowing what should have been at worst a regional issue confined to a limited area in China to instead become an uncontrollable worldwide pandemic.  IMO 90+% of the blame for the worldwide pandemic (and its resulting deaths and other hardships) falls directly on them.

Oh, and if in the past you’ve argued against mandatory quarantines during the last West African Ebola outbreak as being “unnecessary”– how about you simply stay silent and spare the rest of us your hypocrisy today.  With 30-80% mortality and with no effective vaccine or widely available effective curative therapy, Ebola literally has the capability to destroy a nation.  With an apparent mortality rate (as of 17 January 2021) of less than 2%  and an effective vaccine presently being distributed, this latest “gift” from the PRC doesn’t.

—–

Author’s Note:  There’s a reason “first known” is in quotations above.  That’s because it apparently was not anywhere near the first US case of the Wuhan Coronavirus.  New test data indicates that the virus arrived in the US far earlier than that.

Recent antibody testing of US stored blood samples conducted by the Red Cross indicates that the Wuhan Coronavirus apparently arrived in the US West Coast region sometime prior to mid-December 2020.  That’s at least two weeks before the PRC had bothered to inform the WHO of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. 

The same stored blood sample testing also indicates the virus had apparently arrived in the US Northeast and Midwest sometime prior to late December 2020 and mid-January 2021; as with the West Coast, an even earlier arrival is possible.  This entire date range predates the PRC’s lockdown of Wuhan to international travel.

All of those dates for East Coast/Midwest arrival are also well before the first publicly announced US case of the disease was discovered in Washington state.

If this Red Cross antibody testing is accurate, that means the Wuhan Coronavirus virus arrived much earlier than initially thought.  Specifically, it had arrived in the US much earlier and was already widely geographically distributed prior to diagnosis of the “first known” US case in Washington state on 20 January 2020

The Wuhan Coronavirus  is known to have (1) known high communicability, (2) a relatively short incubation period, (3) a generally mild prodrome phase, and (4) a large fraction of asymptomatic or mild cases.  It was new, so there was neither an an existing vaccine or significant herd immunity among the US population.  Given those facts and routine travel related to the holiday season, the fact that the Wuhan Coronavirus had already apparently arrived in 9 US states in at least three different, widely-separated geographical regions no later than December 2019 or early January 2020 means that a widespread and large-scale US outbreak of the Wuhan Coronavirus was quite likely already unavoidable  – even before the PRC had bothered to notify the WHO of the outbreak.

Category: Coronavirus, COVID-19

Comments (28)

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  1. penguinman000 says:

    Considering modern logistics foot prints and the ubiquity of travel now a days, isolating a disease simply isn’t a reality.

    One could make an argument that isolation was never a viable strategy (hi Y. Pestis!).

    Our only real defense against novel disease in today’s world are strategies such as social distancing and vaccination. But given how the WHO destroyed it’s credibility and dip shits of all stripes doing their best to turn a disease state into a political football, it’s highly unlikely we are going to mount any sort of effective defense.

    We’re going to have to rely on our biological resilience as a species to defend against COVID.

  2. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    I said early on, this crap was here in the fall of 2019. Reviews of blood samples from 2019 support that view.

    https://townhall.com/columnists/bradslager/2020/12/04/does-this-study-shift-the-covid19-narrative-about-when-the-virus-was-in-the-us-n2581066

    • Hondo says:

      Gee, that Red Cross report looks kinda familiar . . . . (smile)

    • KoB says:

      Testify 11B! My Boy out in San Diego that’s in the IT & Security game had a conference in mid Nov of ’19 with an attendee that was from…wait for it…Wuhan, China. He was to come for a visit in December and couldn’t make it because “…Man we’ve got the worst case of a flu that we’ve ever seen…”

      I said when this sh^t FIRST (ht 2 TX Norsky) hit that it was a deliberate attack on the World by the Chinese Communist, aided and abetted by their lackey’s at WHO. A certain spapos seagull swooped in screeing that it was all Trump’s fault and we Boomers should be the FIRST (ht 2 TX Norsky) to die off from it. Mao killed off how many millions of his own people in his Great Purge? What’s a few million to make sure a nasty bug can be transmitted worldwide AND help bring down the political opponent of another bought and paid for lackey?

      So glad to see an independent, professional group verify what many of us knew/suspected all along.

      • Hondo says:

        I don’t think it was deliberate, KoB – though I might be wrong. I think the “lab accident/can’t afford to lose face by admitting same” theory is far more likely.

        Failure of any sort – like, say, allowing a deadly virus to get “out of house” at a new research institute that’s trying to gain an international reputation and thus gain prestige for the nation – has rather severe consequences in an authoritarian regime like the PRC. And the Chinese and other Asian cultures have traditionally always been highly reluctant to admit errors lest they “lose face”.

        My guess is that they were researching SARS-type viruses obtained from wild sources and a lab accident caused someone to get infected – and that individual spread the disease to others outside the lab while they were contagious. Alternatively, it’s possible the virus had been circulating among the rural population in Wuhan (or elsewhere) and that a traveler brought it to Wuhan at some point in fall – where it wasn’t recognized until large numbers of people started getting sick in Dec 2019.

        • KoB says:

          Roger that Hondo. I want to believe that it could have been an “accidental” release, or a situation where they really didn’t know/realize the severity of what they were working on. And I understand the Asian desire to “save face.” The Christian upbringing I had makes me want to trust in the inherent goodness that should be in all people in regards to “looking after our fellow mankind.”

          However, the historian side of me, alongside the desire to piece together the puzzle of bits and pieces of evidence here and yon compels me to question anything coming out about all of this. In addition to the “saving face” aspect of the Chinese Communist, we also must remember their complete disregard for the value of human life. Again we can look at the massive amount of people killed during Mao’s purges, the human wave attacks that their military ordered in every conflict they have been involved in. The wanton slaughter of the babies that were born above the authorized number per family. Tie all of this historical precedence into the suppressed news on Chinese Communist researchers, escorted/under the control of Chinese Communist Army Officers, being whisked away from the Boston research facility just before the American professor/researcher there was busted for giving unauthorized access and info on biologicals to them. These Chinese Communist returned to their home base of…yes, Wuhan U.

          I also consider the fact that it appears the Biden Family has been compromised by the Chinese Communists and this virus showed up just in time to follow up nearly 4 solid years of attacks on the Trump Presidency. It seems as if their murder hornet follow up was not needed to help drive him out of office. Antifa, BLM, “mostly peaceful” riots and the collusion of the career politicians of both parties were used instead.

          World domination has been the goal of the Chinese Communists for decades. They are closer now than they have ever been. Now that the American People have been sold out by their own elected officials, it is only a matter of time.

          spapos showing up to squawk that the Chinese are not Communists AND scree “ORANGE MAN BAD” in 5.4.3.2..

        • Penguinman000 says:

          Based off of my professional dealings in that neck of the woods over the last few years, I’m of the same mind as you Hondo.

      • David says:

        As someone once wisely observed, it is a mistake to ascribe malevolent intent to what is more likely simple incompetence.

    • Berliner says:

      I was at our coastal property outside of Dumaguete City in the Philippines for February 2020 (daytime temps 81/nights 77:-).

      In early January a couple arrived from Wuhan to get an early start to celebrating their Chinese New Year. The male took ill shortly after arrival and was flown to Manila and intubated and later died. The female took ill shortly after that.

      On January 31 2020, President Duterte issued an order to temporarily stop the entry of all visitors from China’s Hubei province, where Wuhan — epicenter of the novel coronavirus — is located. The Chinese government had already locked down Hubei since January 24, 2020.

  3. 5JC says:

    The only thing that might have worked was a complete shut down of all traffic into the country on day 1, then a complete isolation of all cases as found, then maybe.

    These were all raciss measures back then and therefore non-starters.

    • Hondo says:

      Don’t believe that would have worked here, 5JC.

      By the time the “first case” was discovered in Wuhan on 12 Dec 2020, it’s extremely likely that the virus was already present in the US. Multiple West Coast samples from 3 states (WA/OR/CA) taken between 13-17 Dec 2019 already had Wuhan Coronavirus antibodies at that time. Antibodies don’t magically appear; they require infection and some time for the body to react. And multiple detections argue strongly against the possibility of lab cross-contamination or error.

      Similarly, the detection of the virus antibodies in 6 more US Northeastern/Midwestern states (CT/RI/MA/IA/MI/WI) in blood samples taken between 30 Dec 2019 and 17 Jan 2020 further argues for a much earlier arrival of the virus in the US than the “first US case” diagnosed on 20 Jan 2020.

      Bottom line: by mid-Dec 2019, the virus was apparently already circulating on the US West Coast; by mid-Jan 2020 (and possibly as early as 30 Dec 2019), it had spread to the US Midwest and Northeast. Given that widespread distribution, I can’t see any reasonable way an epidemic could have been prevented – particularly since (1) the virus wasn’t even recognized as being present in the US until 20 Jan 2020, and (2) the PRC didn’t bother to inform anyone of the Wuhan outbreak until 30 Dec 2019.

      My guess is that the outbreak in the PRC started far earlier than 12 December 2020, but wasn’t observed and/or recognized by PRC civilian medical authorities until then. Whether officials at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and/or other PRC officials knew about the virus and its spread to/among the civilian population earlier (and thus could have raised the alarm far earlier) is a matter of conjecture.

  4. Sapper3307 says:

    CHINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    It’s clear to anyone who is honest that China bears the responsibilities for their failures to simply tell the truth about the virus as soon as they knew it.

    Lying commie bastards is nothing new sadly…

    But the response once we did know what was happening falls to the leadership of the US.

    When I was a kid there was a fire in my hometown at a house less than 200 yards from the firehouse…the alarm was sounded but the response was so poor the house burned to the ground and killed the two people living inside.

    An arsonist was sent to jail for starting the fire in the next lot and killing two people. But the chief also lost his job because the department was not prepared properly for a fire literally next door to the department.

    My analogy isn’t great, I recognize that…but sometimes even when someone else is responsible for a fatal situation the people tasked with responding to those fatal situations can be held accountable due to the perception of their handling over that response.

    Trump will always be known, like Woodrow Wilson, as having a rather anemic response to a nationwide pandemic. Neither of these two men will be seen as having provided strong proactive leadership to stem the virus and keep the nation safe.

    Whether that is a fair telling of it or not matters little. It’s the perception of it that cost the chief the job in my story, and perhaps what cost Trump his job as well.

  6. Commissar says:

    He is not to blame for the virus, he is to blame for his incompetence in handling it, and for politicizing mask wearing.

    The virus was a layup for the president. Most of the managing of it is done at the state and local level all he had to do was resource the states, not lie and say it will just magically go away, and tell people to wear masks, social distance, and listen to their state and local guidelines.

    Made sure states had what they needed.

    Now that the vaccine is out he should have set up FEMA vaccinations centers. He also should not have lied about stockpiles of vaccines, and when offered 300,000 additional doses he should have ordered them purchased.

    Also, rather than fighting guidelines and shutdowns he should have one clear and simple message and hammered that message the bully pulpit…if the government is are going to shut down firms and local business they have an absolute responsibility to compensate their lost revenue and employee lost wages.

    Made sure the massive debt shattering aid packages went overwhelmingly to Main Street rather than those that least needed it. The vast majority of aid went to those that least needed it.

    If he had done these things he would have won re-election in a landslide.

    Instead he treated the pandemic like a PR problem and tried to mislead, downplay, politicize, and propagandize his way out of it,

    • Sparks says:

      And only you are to blame for being the cocksucker you are.

      • Doc Savage says:

        Now now…no need to be rude.

        He cannot help the fact that he is an unwanted love child that resulted from a hate filled ménage à trois grudge fuck between Karl Marx, Jane Fonda, and Nancy Pelosi.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      Go Quisling somewhere else. No one buys the bullshit you sell.

      The states that went all in on lockdowns and masks and stupid dictates have the worst results.

      You bitch “he’s a dictator!” Then bitch “he didn’t dictate enough!”

      You are just “bitch”.

    • Hondo says:

      What part of “already here and widely geographically distributed by Dec 2019” do you not understand, fool?

      We had about as much chance of preventing this epidemic as we have of preventing the next outbreak of annual seasonal flu. Less, actually – we have flu vaccines that at least provide some benefit even if for the wrong strain, and some degree of retained herd immunity against most variants of the seasonal flu. Neither was the case for the 2019 Wuhan Coronavirus.

      The Deity might have been able to prevent this pandemic. Humans – and human governments – don’t have that kind of power.

      Begone, hypocrite. As I recall, you were dead-set against quarantines for those from areas where Ebola was present while “your guy” was in charge during the major West African Ebola epidemic a few years ago. I believe you said they were “unnecessary” and held them to be a violation of people’s rights, and that the risk was overstated. Now that you don’t like the guy in charge, he “didn’t do enough”. And Ebola was indeed an existential threat to our society; any pathogen with a 30-80% fatality rate and no vaccine or effective treatment is. This virus is not.

      So spare us your partisan hypocrisy here. All it does is make you look worse – if that’s possible.

    • penguinman000 says:

      “If he had done these things he would have won re-election in a landslide.”

      Wait, I thought there was a mandate from the masses to get rid of him? Now you’re saying he could’ve won in a landslide?

      What’s your revisionist history going to be next week?

    • SFC D says:

      “Made sure states had what they needed.”
      Negative. GOVERNORS are responsible for that. Federal agencies assist and support, they are not the states primary provider. Your political masters have relied on the feds for everything for so long they forgot their own responsibilities, and your masters at the federal level kept them under their thumbs by coddling them. You’re a fraud, a liar, and brainwashed fool.

      • Hondo says:

        He apparently fails to understand the concepts of “Federalism”, “enumerated powers”, and the Tenth Amendment.

    • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

      The virus was a layup for the president.

      I agree with this comment.

      He already had the economy nailed down and people were comfortable with his handling of that even if they weren’t as comfortable with Trump personally.

      If Trump had shown a more measured response with respect to masks and social distancing I believe he easily wins re-election…

      Trump, regularly at odds with the doctors presented an image to the public that was not flattering.

      I believe it cost him the election.

      Politically speaking, the doctors were ready made scapegoats that he refused to utilize.

      Had he immediately agreed with the doctors and things still turned out as they did he could simply tell the public that as a businessman who was not a doctor it made good sense to defer to the opinions of experts in the field of viral infections and if they were wrong Trump and the rest of America were led astray by experts.

      That’s very defensible position politically.

      Arguing with doctors and publicly chastising the doctors painted a different picture.

      The 40% who always love Trump would love him regardless of what his position was…Trump seems to never have understood that he also needed to play to that 15% that might go the other way….the 15% who actually helped him win in 2016. Those who were Trump voters because they disliked Clinton more than Trump but who were not necessarily Trump voters in any other scenario. Missing that point proved a serious miscalculation on his part.

    • Forest Bondurant says:

      You’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re not entitled to make up your own facts.

      Nice try, though.

  7. Old Crow says:

    Odd.

    The base article applies what some of us oldsters knew as the “scientific method” to observe and analyze a natural phenomena.

    As a refresher, my 4th grade science teacher – Mr. Kissel – taught the scientific method to a room full of high energy-low focus 10 year olds back in the 70s. Basically, the method involves taking know facts, subjecting them to controlled tests, observing and documenting the results of the tests and forming a conclusion, and then defending the conclusion based on facts.

    I thought silly old Mr. Kissel’s scientific method had been replaced with the TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ARE RACIST! MASKS DON’T WORK! COME ON DOWN TO CHINATOWN! VIRUSES ARE RACIST! MASKS SAVE LIVES!, LOCKDOWN-LOCKDOWN-LOCKDOWN (not applicable to governors and House Speakers)! PEOPLE EARNING A LIVING ARE KILLING GRANDMA – RIOTS ARE COOL THOUGH! approach.

    Gosh Hondo, thanks for this little stroll down memory lane. I had almost forgotten about the scientific method.

    Oh, and to Mr. Kissel – wherever you are – the world could have used one of your dreaded “Incomplete – Do Over” grades on this COVID-19 experiment. It would have saved us all a lot of problems.

  8. Only Army Mom says:

    I have first-hand evidence the Wuhan virus was here in November. The sibling was a paramedic stationed at a large midwestern airport and became sick with some unknown virus in November, all the Wuhan symptoms. He was tested for the flu and every known virus, all negative. He retired at the end of November, unrelated to the illness. Once the antibody test was out, he tested positive despite having been effectively on lockdown since the end of January. He was part of a study in July following more than 30 in his firehouse getting the virus. At that point, he tested negative for antibodies.

    The docs he knows/knew all confirm what he had back in November 2019 was Wuhan. He was not the only one from his firehouse either.

    • UpNorth says:

      Yeah, my wife and I had Covid in late November of 2019. People wonder how we got it here in the middle of the Mitten state. I point out that we have a factory here, not 2 miles from us named Dicastal, an automotive supplier. We regularly see Chinese all over town, they apparently send groups of 12-20 for however long they want them here. One of my friends owns a rental house and he has a contract with Dicastal to house 6 of their Chinese employees at a time.
      One of Dicastal’s factories where they get the employees that they send to their plant here, is located in, of all places, Wuhan, China.

    • Mason says:

      Our family got hit hard with what we now think was COVID in January. I immediately had respiratory problems, to the point I was wheezing. I wheezed so bad I could hear the fluid popping in my lungs without a stethoscope. I was laid out for a week before I finally went in. Got a Z-pack (PCN allergy), steroids, and an inhaler and it slowly went away.