Editors Note: In April, the Intelligence Ledger released the results of an investigation into the Chinese government's deception of the international community. Since the release of that report, new details have emerged solidifying its findings. As such, we have decided to update the timeline of Lies of the Dragon with information from a leaked Five Eyes research document.
On May 2, 2020, Australia’s Daily Telegraph released the contents of a classified 15-page research document produced by the Five Eyes, an intelligence alliance comprising the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. In it, analysts indicate that the government in Beijing attempted to cover-up news of the virus by suppressing medical professionals, destroying evidence of COVID-19 in laboratories, and refusing to provide live samples of the virus to international scientists.
COVID-19 first caught the world's attention in Wuhan, China. On December 30, 2019, Dr. Li Wenliang, a physician in Wuhan, posted in a private WeChat group, "7 confirmed cases of SARS were reported from Huanan Seafood Market." He further wrote, "the latest news is, it has been confirmed that they are coronavirus infections, but the exact virus strain is being subtyped." After his post was leaked in public forums, it gained widespread attention across China, and eventually, the world.
Although Dr. Wenliang was correct in reporting that the unknown virus was a form coronavirus, he may have been incorrect in reporting the pathogen's location of origin. The leaked Five Eyes intelligence report, which has yet to be released in its entirety, argues that the virus may have been accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a well known research facility for virology.
Specifically, the report points to research conducted by virologist Shi Zhengli, and notes that samples of coronavirus collected by her team from a cave in China's Yunnan province prior to the outbreak has a strikingly similar genetic makeup to COVID-19. In fact, at least one of the roughly fifty virus samples taken by Dr. Shi is 96% genetic match to COVID-19.
The report also draws special attention to the disappearance of Huang Yan Ling, a researcher from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. According to the South China Morning Post, rumors spread on Chinese social media early in the year that she was the first to be diagnosed with the virus, and thus was “patient zero”. Soon after she became a sensation on media platforms, her biography and image were deleted from the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s website. On February 16, 2020, the institute denied she was patient zero and said she was alive and well. However, there has been no proof of life since then, causing speculation in the public realm.
Below, the Intelligence Ledger has provided other events detailed in the report that were unreported by our team.
November 9, 2015
The Wuhan Institute of Virology publishes a research report claiming they successfully created a new virus utilizing SARS-CoV in a laboratory.
December 31, 2019
China's notorious internet regulators begin to censor terms related to the virus, including the phrase, "Wuhan Unknown Pneumonia."
January 5, 2020
The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission halts the release of daily update on new COVID-19 cases. It would be well over two weeks until updated numbers were made public.
January 12, 2020
Professor Zhang Yongzhen, a researcher at Fudan University in Shanghai, sees his laboratory closed by the central government for, "rectification." The closure came one day after the Professor shared unauthorized genomic sequence data with the world.
January 14, 2020
The People's Republic of China National health Commission chief Ma Xiaowei warns colleagues that the virus is likely to impact other nations across the globe.
January 24, 2020
The central government stops the Wuhan Institute of Virology from sharing samples of the virus with the University of Texas.
The US government's current position, pieced together from leaks in the media, is that the virus may have leaked from the laboratory. However, American intelligence agencies continue to note that the pathogen may have indeed originated from a wet market that trades and slaughters wild animals. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom are placing more weight on the later theory, although they continue to investigate the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The People's Republic has repeatedly denied claims that COVID-19 walked out of one of their labs, but given their record of deceiving the international community, most western powers aren't listening. An investigation conducted by the Intelligence Ledger in April revealed well over a dozen times the government in Beijing lied or hid evidence during the early months of the pandemic.