Interest in COVID-19 is so high here, it makes sense to post a link/excerpt to a long, careful article by Heather Zeiger at Mind Matters News, trying to piece together what really happened (and yes, there is a big science hook):
COVID-19: Getting to the bottom of what happened in China:
China knowingly violated the terms of a World Health Organization (WHO) disclosure agreement.
It is widely recognized that medical professionals and journalists in China are being silenced if they publish any information about COVID-19 that contradicts the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s official narrative. But now mainland Chinese scientists must ensure that their research publications also toe the CCP party line. If we sift carefully, however, we can uncover real information…
The CCP’s sensitivity is due in part to the controversies that swirl around the virus’s origin. One theory says the SARS-CoV-2 virus originated in bats that were used in experiments to study SARS-CoV at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as opposed to the more conventional account that it originated in a Wuhan food market as a zoonotic disease (spread from animals to humans). The Institute had been conducting studies for several years on how SARS spreads from animal to human, with the goal of preventing future outbreaks. Some people believe sloppy practices led to a graduate student getting bitten by a bat carrying the virus, and then the student unknowingly infected other people. Others go so far as to claim that the lab was working on a bioterror weapon. … – Mind Matters News
Further reading from Heather Zeiger on the COVID-19 crisis in China:
China: Rewriting the history of COVID-19: Making the government the improbable hero of the tale
Coronavirus in world without trust In China, medical heroism thrives despite both paranoia and justified mistrust of authorities.
Censorship? But coronavirus doesn’t care! Back when SARS was a threat, social media wasn’t the giant it is today. Censorship, secrecy, and detention are less effective tools of control now.
Serious media in China have gone strangely silent. With a compulsory new app, the government can potentially access journalists’ phones, both for surveillance and capturing data. Liu Hu sums up the scene in a few words: “Outside of China, journalists are fired for writing false reports… Inside China, they are fired for telling the truth.”