There’s no shortage of commentary on the coronavirus, including from yours truly; however, my interest in less in the medical side of this story (I think it’s too early to tell if it’s ‘serious’ and even hundreds [thousands?] of deaths in China’s population of 1.4B could be considered insignificant in the bigger picture) — my interest is the political side of the coronavirus.
1) How did the virus come to be? Of course, there could be a strictly biological answer for this question. But there could be a very grave political dimension, too.
Is it not valid to ask if a virus, which originated in Wuhan, a metropolis home to China’s first level 4 lab, was a byproduct of biological warfare research — a practise which is supposed to be under worldwide ban? I wouldn’t doubt if the Chinese (not to mention other P5 nations) are up to just that, but one thing’s for certain: We’re never going to get answers from the Chinese on the topic. So it’s up to we westerners to ask the embarrassing questions.
Moreover, did foreign espionage waged by high ranking scientists — or participation by a (naïve) willing state — have anything to do with China’s possession of the pathogen? Recall Canada’s only level 4 lab recently saw a Chinese scientist and his wife booted from the premises following a RCMP investigation which determined a “policy breach” was at play. Further still, biological and chemical warfare experts have long accused Canada of sending lethal viruses to Trudeau’s buddies in… You guessed it: China.
2) How are non-Chinese governments reacting? The answer to this has been strictly political.
As a Canadian, it’s been fascinating to watch media and so-called authorities, warn us away from ‘racism‘ associated with calls for inbound flight bans, etc. It’s also been curious how our (Asian) Chief Public Health Officer Dr Tam has praised China’s response to the outbreak while simultaneously instructing those on board alongside Toronto’s patient zero (who had symptoms in flight) to go about their daily lives and skip quarantine. Which one is it? Are the Chinese right in quarantining their people so to protect them, or are the Chinese wrong as there is no need to quarantine? Or, is it something more sinister: Is protecting one’s nationals admirable for foreign governments, but ‘racist’ at home?
I’m no doctor, but I do eat, sleep, and breathe politics. Very much plan to stay in my lane on this one because, heck, there’s quite a bit to take in along the ride.