Many people are aware of the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracking site and its cool, end-of-the-world looking dark mode maps with all their data about the coronavirus. Here is what it looks like at the time of this writing:
No doubt everybody knows the US leads the world in reported cases, but what may be less widely known in America is that the US is about to fall to second place. India is racing higher in new reported cases, and the country is currently reporting about fifty percent more active cases (980,866 on Sept 22, 2020) than the US (652,287 on Sept 22, 2020). Similarly, the rate of growth is anywhere from 50% higher to near 100% higher on a per-day basis in India.
Brazil is number 3, the European Union and the UK combined are number four, and Russia is number five in outbreak numbers.
The virus started in the Hubei Province, in the city of Wuhan, according to most reports. But China, the most populous nation on earth, is about number 40 on the raw number of cases list, with about 90,389 cases reported.
There are other COVID counters, and they apparently do not all share data from one source, Not knowing this, the very much more helpful University of Virginia counter gives a very informative breakdown on the number of cases, particularly showing the number active right now for every place. But for China, this site has been showing the most amazing numbers… or shall I just say “number.”?
Zero cases from any province in China, and day after day it keeps saying this. The pandemic is all around the world, but China is actually reporting ZERO cases?
Checking other sites, we do find that this is an example of data that is not consistent. That is to say, other sites do report new cases appearing in China, but remarkably few. For September 22, these were the numbers I got:
- Johns Hopkins – no data, last known 9-17 with 41 cases.
- HealthMap – COVID-19 – No reports after June 3, 2020.
- Global Trend – 8 new active cases nationwide.
- University of Virginia (the above site) – Zero.
- World Health Organization – 14 new cases nationwide.
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – 314 cases recorded in the last week, no specific data for Sept 22.
- Kaiser Family Foundation – 18 new cases
- Worldometer – 10 new cases
- The COVID Tracking Project – Does not track outside the US, at least not in any obvious sense; also the site seems tuned to point out race-related differences in morbidity rates in the US.
In other words, China does appear to be reporting cases, but very few, and the death toll appears to have stopped rising almost completely there.
By contrast the US passed its 200,000th COVID-related* fatality just a day or two ago, and the virus, while in a bit of a lull contrasted to the first and second peaks, is still registering new cases in the tens of thousands, in fact, nearly 40,000 on September 22.
- – COVID “related” means that the person died and at least one of the factors presently wrong with them at the time of death was COVID-19. However, as reported elsewhere, it is often the case that COVID is listed as “cause of death” when it was not so.
There are essentially five national groups that have most of the virus cases registered thus far: The United States, Brazil, India, the European Union when taken as a whole (including the UK for convenience’ sake), and the Russian Federation. The US and Brazil have the highest fatality counts, both nearly the same percentage of cases, too; the US with a 2.9% fatality rate and the Brazilians with a 3.00% fatality rate. The United Kingdom has a very high near 10% fatality rate, Italy has 11.8% and appears to be the highest rate among the European nations. India has a very fast growth rate in cases, twice as high as the US at present, and is expected to overtake the United States as the number one country in as little as one week. Its morbidity rate is lower though, about 1.6% of the reported cases. Canada also has a high morbidity rate of almost 6.4%, though the population is far smaller than its southern neighbor, the US.
In the meantime, China reports an essentially stable situation with a 5.2% morbidity rate across the 90,402 cases reported since the pandemic started. China’s stability began around the 20th of February and new cases have been almost nonexistent there contrasted to the rest of the world.
Oh, sure, but China is communist and they are not reporting the real numbers.
Maybe that is the case, but there is another possibility.
What if the COVID virus is a bioweapon that was intentionally released to weaken the rest of the world?
After all, the other two great powers – Russia and the US – are both caught up in this crisis. India, and Europe, both great and up-and-coming economic powers, are also caught up in this.
This may be a super-crazy conspiracy theory, but there are some interesting facts that do seem to be supportive of this being an intentional act:
The nations most heavily affected by the virus are all in the top twenty economies. In fact, According to Investopedia, the stats are like this:
- The United States: GDP $21.44 trillion
- China: GDP 14.14 trillion
- Japan: 5.15 trillion
- Germany: 3.86 trillion
- India: nominal GDP $2.94 trillions, but PPP at $10.54 trillion
- United Kingdom: $2.83 trillion
- France: GDP: $2.71 trillion
- Italy: GDP $1.99 trillion
- Brazil: GDP (nominal) $1.85 trillion and PPP $3.37 trillion
- Canada: GDP $1.73 trillion
- Russia: GDP (nominal) 1.64 trillion, and PPP $4.21
Maybe this is a simple coincidence. After all, some of these nations are also major population centers and the virus does seem to flare up in heavily populated areas.
But China itself is the most heavily populated country on earth and its story is radically different than any of the other economic powers.
An argument to take us away from the conspiracy theory is reasonable enough – even preferable – that argument being that the Chinese people are very disciplined and used to being told what to do on a massive scale. Certainly it would seem that the Chinese are not into displays of mask defiance such as in the US. But neither is Russia, and it would seem that with the virus having an endemic character everywhere else in the world, how is it that any measure to control the virus succeeds when it happens within China’s border but not in other places?
And what about the fact that China, Mongolia, Japan, and the Koreas are all Asiatic peoples, and that all of them have very low case rates?
What if the SARS-Cov-2 virus has a predilection for something common to these other great economic powers – something that China lacks? Could it be something genetic, going after Caucasians like in Europe, Russia or North America? Could it be a common element in these leading nations’ lifestyles that China does not have, or has a lot less of?
And what of the way the virus was spread around the world, riding with a combination of Chinese and Western travelers to and from China back in December and January? The initial reports of terrible deaths in Hubei area hospitals is often projected to be across of China, but this is nowhere near the truth. Hubei has over 75% of all reported cases in China. Other provinces have very few cases, often well below 1,000 in provinces whose populations number well into the high tens if not hundreds of millions of people. In fact, Hubei, with 68,139 cases and about 4,500 fatalities, has roughly half the population (57 million) of Guangdong (104 million), but the larger province only reported 1,807 cases and eight fatalities.
Could COVID be a bioweapon?
The answer appears to be “yes”, though bioweapons are usually the province of the idiot. The reason is simple: If you make something biological that kills humans, it will kill you too. Won’t it?
If there is a genetic trigger, that activates the virus in races other than your own protected one, then such a weapon could indeed work. The bulk of cases exist in very highly developed nations with powerful economies… all except China, though Japan and South Korea have fewer cases as well.
But the second question would be: Would China gain anything in the release of this weapon and if so, what might that be?
Here, the answer is far less clear. China cannot feasibly launch traditional military action against competitor nations like Russia and the United States because (1) it would take very little to spoil the bromance between Presidents Putin and Xi, and indeed, Russia is promoting a homesteading program in its far eastern territories to build a population buffer against any malicious intent by the Chinese government. China cannot launch against the US feasibly because the United States is both a very, very big customer of Chinese-made goods, and also because the US owes China so much money that any military action would possibly incite the Americans to decide they owe the Chinese nothing at all. Possibly?
But here we mentioned “traditional military action.” What about a different approach?
What if the virus were released by “accident” in a huge city full of people, including foreign tourists and Chinese nationals who live in other lands? Some in the city would die, but it often seems the case that the Chinese regard personal death on about the same level as finding a tin can on the street – pick it up and throw it away. The loss of, say, 100,000 people would not be a big problem in a country with 1.4 billion. Plus, the relative immunity of Chinese and Asiatics to the virus would cooperate strongly in keeping the spread of the virus down in the country. Meanwhile, travelers take it with them to the rest of the world and…
You see how this works.
But the question: What would China actually gain?
This is not clear. So far, the response of many markets including the biggest economy of all, that of the US, is to stop farming out important work to this country. American pharmaceuticals will now be made in the USA, and so will many other products. Our iPhones will still come from China but many other things might not any longer. Further, US suspicions about Huawei being a spy front for the CCP will only be magnified, and this most likely innocent company will lose a lot of business internationally. The fact that Russia now has well over a million cases does not work will for Sino-Russian friendship, either. The economic stoppages that happened during the shutdown period might have been the only real hope of the CCP in this scenario, that the lull in business would have allowed the Chinese to gain a lock on certain world markets. However, that did not happen either. By media indications, China is still working, but it is more isolated from the West than it was before.
So, what is going on here?
We may have almost exactly what has been gradually getting press recently: COVID is indeed very likely a bioweapon, but its release was probably accidental (and if so, oddly enough, it may have been providential. Think about that for a moment!). The accidental release does seem to be signified by the fact that the Chinese did produce a genome map rather quickly following the beginning of the outbreak, at the very least to try to give some appearance that this release was an accident. The secretive nature of the Chinese Communist Party apparatus worked to the country’s disadvantage, here, if this is true, because denying a crisis that one caused and that other people are experiencing is very stupid strategy if you want to keep good relations with your neighbors, and China desperately needs good relations with its neighbors if it is to survive.
But now, the world appears to have pulled together to race for remedies and a vaccine, and in fact, vaccines are being deployed in places like Russia and very soon in the USA. The work of medical professionals all over the world have come up with many therapeutic paths to help people afflicted with the virus get over it. Also, it’s death rate, barring any nasty surprises in the months to come, is very low, far from a world-stopper (even though it is treated as one by our increasingly sensitive governments).
Perhaps the genie got out before it was ready to truly be used. We probably will not ever know, and it is in the nature of conspiracy theories to be essentially unprovable, and this one is no different.
In conclusion: What about the Overton Window on this issue?
For those of you who do not know what the Overton Window is, in short it is the range of information that news media can report and that will be accepted by the vast majority of the population. The Window does move, and this piece is an example of that.
Ten months ago, the notion of a major power using a bioweapon in a clever manner would not even be spoken in news media, much less believed. Now, and for some time, the notion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus as a synthetic, chimeric virus is widely known and even quietly accepted by many people. The statement by a Chinese virologist on Tucker Carlson last week that the virus is in fact a bioweapon requested by the CCP military moved it still farther, and now this piece showing a way it might work.
The Overton Window is not concerned so much with what is true as it is with what will be accepted. These are radically different themes, and it is unfortunate. For if the coronavirus is a chimera, those responsible for creating should be immediately identified and punished. Yet nothing happens to those suspect in this idea, like one Doctor Anthony Fauci, for example. Why? Because this is too crazy to believe; we cannot actually HAVE somebody this evil in our midst, comes the answer.
The Window is a defense mechanism, though, against hysteria over anything and everything that is stated in mass media. But knowing how this works is also useful if somebody wants to conceal infomration in plain sight.
Probably only this: Never take any journalist’s report at its word. Not even mine. Check sources, read, research, and THINK! above all. The masses don’t have an agility with accepting truth and moving to deal with it. But the person does if he or she so chooses to use their God-given brains and intuition carefully and critically.
Not doing this will absolutely make us all vanish into the night much more quickly than any virus could ever do.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.