FAIR COMMENT | Alito L. Malinao
The official Chinese version of the origin of the Covid virus is that it started from a wet market in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China. It says that an elderly Chinese woman bought a bat from the market for viand and this was supposed to carry the virus that spread throughout the city and the world.
Another narrative is that the first patient of Covid-19 has never visited Wuhan’s local wet market. A woman named Huang Yanling has claimed that she was the first patient of the deadly coronavirus. She was a graduate from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Questions are now being raised as to the truth of the Chinese version with the United States leading countries that tend to pinpoint the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and not the wet market, as the actual source of the virus.
In his recent testimony in the U.S. Senate Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. Institute of Health and an acknowledged expert on infectious disease, said that COVID-19 could have originated from the Wuhan lab. He called for further investigation into the possibility.
When Trump was still president, Fauci said that the deadly virus most likely “evolved in nature and then jumped species,’’ as opposed to being “artificially or deliberately manipulated.” Now he is singing another tune.
U.S. President Biden has ordered a full inquiry by the U.S. intelligence community to find out the truth.
Of course, China was not happy with this new development. In fact, it is now said that the virus could have originated in other countries and China was just the recipient of the virus.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) admission that Wuhan may not be the origin of Covid-19 has muddled the issue. WHO urged for more research on transmission channels and virus hosts, which are vital for epidemiologic studies.
WHO official Mike Ryan said that Wuhan may not be the origin of the novel coronavirus as he announced extensive studies to track down the animal species that transmitted the virus to humans.
Ryan made the statement after a WHO team completed its week-long mission to China to find out the origin of the coronavirus.
China’s National Health Commission said Chinese experts had kept in close contact with WHO experts to identify the source of Covid-19.
But Chinese experts continue to believe that the virus must have jumped from wild animals to human beings. They said that they must identify the animal host and under what conditions the virus was passed
The big question now is: What if it is proven that indeed the virus came from the Wuhan laboratory, either it escaped or was deliberately released to the world? What will be its repercussions? Will the U.S. impose sanctions or seek reparation from China for its more than half a million deaths from the virus?
China, of course, will deny that its Wuhan laboratory was the source of the virus and that it failed to prevent its spread throughout the world. We certainly hope that this will not lead into a more serious confrontation between the world’s two superpowers.