Was Covid-19 China’s profiteering?

By Modesto P. Sa-onoy

We discussed earlier the revelation of international agencies that Covid-19 was created in the laboratory in China. This information cannot be denied.

Now the American Central Intelligence Agency believes China tried to prevent the World Health Organization from sounding the alarm on the coronavirus outbreak in January—a time when Beijing was stockpiling medical supplies from around the world.

A CIA report, the contents of which were confirmed to Newsweek by two U.S. intelligence officials, said China threatened the WHO that the country would stop cooperating with the agency’s coronavirus investigation if the organization declared a global health emergency.

We had long wondered why the WHO had soft-pedalled in declaring the spread of the virus as a threat to the world and only after the virus had spread too far and infected so many in Europe, Italy and Spain and the US that the WHO organization admitted that there is a pandemic.

We also sympathized with the WHO when US President Donald Trump castigated the WHO for its handling of the pandemic, and he threatened that the US would withdraw its US$250 million annual assistance. At the same time, the US President criticized the WHO for kowtowing to China that is donating only US$50 to WHO.

The revelation of the CIA and other health agencies about China’s accountability is growing, the latest from Australia that confirmed the findings of other agencies that the virus came from the Wuhan laboratory and not from the animal market that China peddled as the source.

This latest CIA report is the second such revelation from a Western intelligence service and is likely to further inflame tensions between the United States and China over a pandemic that has killed 280,000 people worldwide—more than a quarter of them American. The number of deaths from this virus continues to climb so that we can expect more deaths in the coming days until the cure is found.

But what is disturbing to us and the rest of the world is another report. The timeline of the CIA document, called “U.N.-China: WHO Mindful But Not Beholden to China,” and the German report dovetail with another analysis conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that said China suppressed information about the outbreak in January so it could “hoard medical supplies from around the world”. That analysis, first reported by the Associated Press, was dismissed as “groundless” by the Chinese Embassy in Washington in a statement to Newsweek.

However, it was shown that Beijing imported 2.5 billion pieces of epidemic personal protective equipment (PPE)—which included more than 2 billion masks—between January 24 and February 29. This report cited the China’s General Administration of Customs. The spike in orders accompanied “fervent calls from Beijing’s diplomatic missions across the globe to secure supplies as the world’s most populous country equipped itself against a worsening coronavirus outbreak.”

But the sickness spread beyond China’s borders, to nearly every country on earth and some countries that exported PPE to China were left short. Beijing then embarked on a campaign to provide PPE, personnel, and other assistance to countries around the world, including the United States and the Philippines.

We recall the frantic call in the countries affected by the virus for PPE. President Trump even thought of invoking his powers under the law authorizing the president to order the production of materials needed in a war. We have seen how some front liners made PPE out of plastic bags to protect themselves for infection. And all the while China had hoarded this vital protective gear.

China profited in two ways. One was selling the PPE at a higher price and the other by “donating” them to countries to gain diplomatic clout, as China did for the Philippines to appear as a friend.

The action of China is inhuman. It delayed, and pressured WHO to delay, the declaration of a pandemic until it has hoarded the PPE for the protection of its citizens and then sell and donate for selfish intentions.

This hoarding and profiteering reveal the kind of thinking of communist China and its leaders. Deceit is its weapon as it is doing in the West Philippine Sea and other Philippine territory. While we are distracted with the virus, China continues to encroach on our territory.

Friendship with China is an embrace of national suicide.