The disastrous visit by the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of COVID-19, has heightened concerns about the Chinese regime’s role in the outbreak and ensuing pandemic. In an editorial published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his colleague, Miles Yu, argue that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) obsession with viruses and bioweapons research, combined with sorely inadequate biosafety at its biosafety labs (BSL) present a severe risk to the entire world.
This danger is particularly acute, they note, at its highest security biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) biolab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which I have written about various times.
In the WSJ they state:
The evidence that the virus came from Wuhan is enormous, though largely circumstantial, and most signs point to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, or WIV, as the source of Covid-19. In America, concern about the site is now broad and bipartisan. The Biden administration stated that it has “deep concerns” about the World Health Organization’s investigation into the early days of the pandemic, particularly Beijing’s interference with the investigators’ work.
To buttress their argument about the severe risk posed by China’s reckless biological research they add:
The world has known for a long time that WIV poses a huge risk to global health. Two 2018 State Department cables warned of its biosafety problems. They even predicted that SARS-CoV-2’s ACE2 receptor, identified by WIV scientists, would enable human-to-human transmission. Yuan Zhiming, then director of WIV’s biosafety level 4 lab, warned, “The biosafety laboratory is a double-edge sword: It can be used for the benefit of humanity, but can also lead to a disaster.”
He listed the shortfalls prevalent among China’s biology labs, including a lack of “operational technical support, professional instructions” and “feasible standards for the safety requirements of different protection zones and for the inoculation of microbiological animals and equipment.”
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has admitted to having a bioweapons research program. The WSJ notes that: “In 2011 China informed the International Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Review Conference that its military experts were working on the ‘creation of man-made pathogens,’ ‘genomics laying the foundation for pathogen transformation,’ ‘population-specific genetic markers,’ and ‘targeted drug-delivery technology making it easier to spread pathogens.’
Pompeo and Yu further reveal that in January 2021, the State Department confirmed that people had fallen mysteriously ill at WIV in fall 2019, and that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, in fact, conducts secret bioweapons research with the PLA.
In their editorial, they explain, as I have reported before, that “the negligence at China’s biolabs, especially WIV, was so dangerous that the PLA dispatched a general to take over the facility soon after the outbreak in Wuhan.” Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s first speech on the outbreak also suspiciously referred to “shortcomings” and “leaking holes” in China’s biological materials’ security.
As a result of the Wuhan outbreak, Xi went so far as demanding “a new biological-security law” be made part of the “national-security system.”
Pompeo and Yu conclude that:
The Chinese Communist Party’s recklessness has already cost the world too much, and its obfuscation guarantees this won’t be the last such tragedy. It ordered the destruction of virus samples collected from the earliest patients. It banned the release of key data. It silenced journalists, doctors and scientists. And it impeded the WHO’s investigation. Beijing doesn’t want the world to know the true origin of the coronavirus and its serious biosafety lapses.
The Chinese government must change course. It must be open about its biosafety systems, fix its errors and curtail its dangerous ambitions. Lives and livelihoods across the world are on the line. We all have a responsibility to make sure that the Chinese Communist Party isn’t given a free pass.