Editor's Note: This is the second of a nine-part series, with a new installment presented every day in Charisma Digital Daily. You can access the previous story here. These articles are excerpted from Stephen E. Strang's God, Trump and COVID-19, which is now available to purchase. Click here to learn more.
By February 13, 2020, the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, had officially resulted in over 60,000 proven infections, with more than 1,300 deaths. The true numbers were without a doubt much higher, as many died at home with no report made to the authorities, and the numbers exponentially increased before the virus was brought under control. It is important to note that there have been reports that some deaths recorded as coronavirus deaths were not tested and could potentially be unrelated.
President Trump had just banned travel from China on January 31, and the news networks, which had been saying the coronavirus wasn't all that bad, were beginning to say it was worse in China than authorities were reporting.
Then, out of the blue, my longtime friend Frank Amedia sent me a text that shocked me. I knew him to be well connected with ministries around the world (I met him in Jerusalem) and laser focused on current events. He has given me some scoops in the past. He now had new information from one of his Chinese friends that on the surface sounded like a major conspiracy theory. Basically he believed he had solid proof that the virus didn't come from a wet market, as reports said at the time, but from a Wuhan virology lab that collected hundreds of viruses with the idea of finding vaccines or learning enough to prevent another SARS or swine flu outbreak.
There was speculation the military wanted to use it for biological warfare, but that may be a conspiracy theory. Something went very wrong, and the virus escaped. There are now reports that the US military was warning that the bio lab in China had weak security mechanisms. He even had the name of the scientist who leaked the news. Frank's report said the Chinese Communist Party was covering up this proof.
Frank wanted to release the information to the press and wanted to do it through Charisma News. Now, we love scoops on Charisma News. But we mostly report what is happening spiritually-news secular media won't cover. We avoid anything that sounds like a conspiracy theory and as a result have a reputation as careful, factual journalists. At the time, we had no way of knowing if this was true or how to verify it.
Frank's text is explosive, detailed, and interesting. I believe it has the ring of authenticity, but I asked Frank where he got this information. He said it came from a friend he calls Jay. He gave me Jay's number, and I called him. In his broken English, Jay verified what he had told Frank. But how could I check what he said? Wuhan, China, is a long way off. And even if we had someone there who spoke the language, how would we get past all the governmental attempts to cover up the truth?
In February, Jay said the coronavirus "plague" was completely out of control due to a lack of transparency.
He began by telling me how the outbreak had started. At the time, the official word from China and the World Health Organization was that the virus was controllable and could not be passed from human to human. At the same time, many in Wuhan were already dead or dying, but the government issued no quarantine until much later. Indeed, the quarantine order came on January 20, presumably because President Xi Jinping wanted to give the impression to the public that "everything was stable and calm." They even told people as the Chinese New Year approached that there was no reason to wear masks in public.
In early February, Jay was saying the coronavirus "plague" was completely out of control due to a lack of transparency. He told me things we now assume are true but at the time seemed pretty far-fetched. I have written about some of these elsewhere in this book. It was interesting to me that this came from a Chinese American Christian who was getting his information from the "grass roots" in China via the internet, and much of it was contradicting what we were hearing in the media at the time.
Then came the part that sounded like a conspiracy theory, and I didn't know how to confirm it:
- A secret P4 (or level 4) lab already knew this virus could be transmitted from human to human, but this fact was never disclosed.
- Corruption was exposed in late January involving the government and the Red Cross in Wuhan, which had collected more than five hundred million ¥ (Chinese currency), but none was distributed. Some officials in the Red Cross were removed from their posts after this scandal was publicized on a website, Jay said.
- The Communist Party officials said the outbreak of the virus started at a seafood (wet) market, which was immediately scrubbed, washing away any crucial evidence. "Typical Communist Party act," Jay said.
- However, the first person infected had never been to that market, and of the first forty-one people who were infected, Jay said one-third of them never went to that market. Most of the rest never ate bats or snakes during that period of time. "This finding almost rules out the China's Role in the Pandemic possibility of the original source of this plague," Jay wrote.
- In the meantime, many scientists also suspected China's P4 lab (the top chemical and biological lab). This lab was a joint venture between France and China, established soon after SARS 2004. Per contract, it could only be used for humanitarian purposes, not to develop "attack capability" purposes.
- In the final phase of design and construction, the Chinese government took over and prohibited France's participation. Later in 2015, France discovered that China cloned the original P4 lab, which is under contract, to have three other P4-like labs. They are all under civilian and military joint ventures and were limited by the original P4 contract.
Then Jay began naming names and talking about viruses in a way I could barely follow. How would I investigate, and what was I to do with the information?
To be continued in God, Trump and COVID-19. To purchase the full book now, click here.
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