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Wuhan Virus Watch: White House Asks Experts To ‘Rapidly’ Investigate Virus Origins

Wuhan Virus Watch: White House Asks Experts To ‘Rapidly’ Investigate Virus Origins

Death of Dr. Li Wenliang, whistleblower who warned of new virus, triggers outpouring of rage at government.

As of this writing, there are 337 People Under Investigation (PUI) for possible Wuhan coronavirus in the United States, distributed in 36 states. Of those, 12 have tested positive (located in six states), 225 have tested negative, and 100 cases have pending diagnosis status.

White House Asks Science Experts To ‘Rapidly’ Investigate Origin or Virus

The presidents of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) have agreed to investigate the true origins of the Wuhan coronavirus.

Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), has received a letter from Kelvin Droegemeier, director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The letter requests American scientific experts to “rapidly” look into the origins of the virus in order to address both the current spread, and “to inform future outbreak preparation and better understand animal/human and environmental transmission aspects of coronaviruses.”

Droegemeier also called for a “meeting of experts, particularly world class geneticists, coronavirus experts, and evolutionary biologists.”

In response to Droegemeier’s letter, the presidents of the three scientific academies comprising NASEM submitted a synopsis of their research into the Wuhan coronavirus, as 2019-nCoV is also known. They called Droegemeier’s request “timely given the declaration of a public health emergency and potential for misinformation to confound the response.”

First American dies of coronavirus while hospitalized in China

The first American patient has succumbed to the Wuhan coronavirus, after becoming infected and being hospitalized in Wuhan (the epicenter of the outbreak).

A 60-year-old diagnosed with coronavirus in Wuhan, China, has reportedly become the first U.S. citizen to die of the novel virus.

The patient died at Jinyintian Hospital in Wuhan on Thursday, The New York Times reported.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing confirmed the patient’s death Friday night but gave few other details.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” a spokesman for the embassy said, according to the Times. “Out of respect for the family’s privacy, we have no further comment.”

Coronavirus deaths exceed 2003 SARS epidemic fatalities

The number of coronavirus deaths has overtaken that of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003.

Deaths from the novel coronavirus have now surpassed that of SARS in the early 2000s, with more than 800 dead so far, according to multiple reports.

Hubei province in China reported 81 deaths Saturday, which pushed the death toll for the virus to 811 — past that of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which broke out on the mainland in 2002 and 2003.

The SARS outbreak killed at least 774, with 8,096 infections globally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The death of Dr. Li Wenliang, the hero whistleblower who warned of new virus, triggers outpouring of rage at government.

The death of the hero whistleblower has sparked both sorrow at his death and anger at the government’s throttling of information about the virus.

In death, Dr. Li Wenliang became the face of simmering anger at the ruling Communist Party’s control over information, and complaints that officials lie about or hide disease outbreaks, chemical spills, dangerous consumer products and financial fraud

The 34-year-old ophthalmologist died overnight at Wuhan Central Hospital, where he worked and likely contracted the virus while treating patients in the early days of the outbreak.

”A hero who released information about Wuhan’s epidemic in the early stages, Dr. Li Wenliang is immortal,” the China Center for Disease Control’s chief scientist, Zeng Guang, wrote on the Sina Weibo microblog service.

New JAMA report on 138 Coronavirus Cases Reveals Rapid Transmission, Unexpected Declines

After studying 138 patients in Wuhan, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), has published one of the most comprehensive articles to date about people infected with the newly identified virus.

…Reporting on Friday in JAMA, the authors said their data suggested that rapid person-to-person spread of the virus had occurred among their cases. That was in part because of patients like the one admitted to the surgical department, whose symptoms misled doctors into suspecting other illnesses and failing to take precautions to prevent spread of the virus until it was too late.

About 10 percent of the patients did not initially have the usual symptoms, cough and fever, but instead had diarrhea and nausea first. Other uncommon symptoms included headache, dizziness and abdominal pain.

Another cause for concern was that some patients who at first appeared mildly or moderately ill then took a turn for the worse several days or even a week into their illness.

Chinese New Year festival in Miami canceled over coronavirus fears

A Chinese New Year Festival in Miami was cancelled over coronavirus concerns.

“Due to the worldwide concerns regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and our concern for the welfare and benefit of all our visitors, vendors, exhibitors, and sponsors, the 2020 Festival Committee has cancelled the 2020 Chinese New Year Festival,” organizers posted on Facebook.

The organization took a softer tone on its website.

“In order to stand with our global family throughout Asia—especially China, we regret to announce that the 2020 Chinese New Year Festival has been cancelled,” organizers wrote. “We will be back in 2021 to celebrate the Year of the Ox.”


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We’ve got to demand the Chinese let in the CDC to get good samples of Coronavirus. We also need to demand the truth from the Chinese.

There are consistent rumors that the death rate is hundreds per day and if you go to one of the hospitals you don’t come out.

Thank God this doctor blew the whistle. What would be happening right now if he hadn’t?

Just read an article where the disease can stay active and infectious for up to 9 days on surfaces.

I hope they are cleaning those robots they are using. (probably not)

    healthguyfsu in reply to TheOldZombie. | February 10, 2020 at 12:40 am

    We have plenty of good samples just by treating patients. Viruses replicate identically over and over. They do mutate at varying rates but not quickly enough to call a sample from the last couple weeks a bad sample.

    There’s no need to demand it, and I think it’s mostly being kept quiet that yes it is a designer virus. They are usually easy to spot because embedded in a designer virus’s genetic code is a DNA fingerprint, which is basically a logo that marks its origin.

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to healthguyfsu. | February 10, 2020 at 9:39 am

      There’s no need to demand it, and I think it’s mostly being kept quiet that yes it is a designer virus. They are usually easy to spot because embedded in a designer virus’s genetic code is a DNA fingerprint, which is basically a logo that marks its origin.

      Search on the term “Gain of function experiments” and you’ll come up with the likely origin of the 2019-nCoV that is now epidemic in China and relentlessly moving to other countries.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to TheOldZombie. | February 10, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Regarding unexpected declines:

    WUHAN VIRUS/Experts find how moderate 2019-nCoV infection ends with death

    Taipei, Feb. 9 (CNA) Experts have blamed a form of systemic inflammatory response syndrome called “cytokine storm” for killing some novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)-infected patients who were not very sick in the early stage of infection but eventually died of multiple organ failure, according to Chinese media reports.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to TheOldZombie. | February 10, 2020 at 10:43 am

    I am sure that lots of people have disappeared, been cremated, that there is a police that they never existed and that talking about them (just like the virus) will not be tolerated.

    Bureaucratic BS is costing China dearly.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to TheOldZombie. | February 10, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    Latest update:

    2 – was 14 – Now 24 days

    Meaning that current quarantine may be inadequate.

Chicom Viral Warfare writ large.

    Valerie in reply to guinspen. | February 9, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    We do not need a bioweapon to obtain these results. Failure to react will suffice.

      Morning Sunshine in reply to Valerie. | February 10, 2020 at 8:28 am

      it does not need to be a “designer” disease to be used as a bioweapon – think smallpox blankets on Indian Reservations in the 1800s.

        We need to stop repeating USA Bad! drivel. The NA population was crashing before the Pilgrims landed; the Spanish brought smallpox to the Americas. You can read accounts of the Pacific Northwest being discovered, with a few weak straggling survivors appearing among deserted villages strewn with bones.

        The smallpox blanket story reads is like a 1619 project history of the US. War in the 1600s was a brutal thing, using whatever means combatants could. Indian tribes enslaved and in some cases exterminated other tribes, and in that century wiped out entire villages of the new arrivals. The English did the same, neither had modern notions of limited warfare, at least not then. Come to think of it, modern people don’t follow rules of war either; Boko Haram attacks colleges today, Germany attacked cities rather than military bases (easier to hit), etc. We like to think we’re a new and improved version of humanity and point out how horrible our predecessors were. I suspect we’d revert to barbaric practices faster and more viciously than they, as we have lived much more sheltered lives.

        TL:DR. Smallpox was already in the Americas and causing a population crash among the existing population. Effects of the existing epidemic and war dwarf any attempts to distribute the pox by blankets or other textiles. Indians (like many warriors throughout history) would take heads, weapons, clothing and other trophies from fallen settlers, —->many of whom had smallpox themselves <——. That was a more powerful transmission vector than whatever clothing/blankets the English may have enticed the Indians to accept.

So far, the official, possibly under-counted death number for seven weeks of Wuhan virus is about 1000. For perspective, there’s a disease that kills over a thousand people per day in an average year.
The flu. The regular, ordinary annual flu.

The figures aren’t directly comparable: One is new and thus far is concentrated in a few provinces of China, the other is established and worldwide. The Wuhan area/city has around 60 million people, so even if they had 600,000 infections that’s one percent of their population. Even if the virus killed 60,000 in Wuhan, it would be one in every ten thousand.

    healthguyfsu in reply to beagleEar. | February 10, 2020 at 12:43 am

    This is different than influenza strains and much more like SARS. It is also highly transmissible and there is no vaccine.

    Like SARS, it has the potential to fade or become a very nasty pandemic killer. Just let the experts in this case do their work. It’s not like they are demanding everyone get in line for a shot because there is no vaccine anyways.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to healthguyfsu. | February 10, 2020 at 8:11 am

      And since it is a brand new strain, there is no acquired immunity yet.

      “American scientific experts to “rapidly” look into the origins of the virus”

      I am sure WHO will suggest that we allow Chinese experts to attend, especially those from Wuhan. Political correctness stupidity has no bounds.

    MattMusson in reply to beagleEar. | February 10, 2020 at 6:15 am

    People usually don’t close down factories because of the flu. They don’t quarantine cities. The Chinese are more afraid of this virus than they are of tanking their Economy. That says something.

Agreed that it’s timely for this review, and I suspect such a review has been on-going at CDC, Pentagon, and other places. I suspect our experts in academia, defense and public health have been talking about this one from day one.

It’s possible that 2019-nCoV is an engineered or altered virus; it’s really unlikely that it could be engineered and that people wouldn’t eventually figure that out. Coronavirus is really well known, and all the known variants have been sequenced.

    healthguyfsu in reply to stevewhitemd. | February 10, 2020 at 12:44 am

    Yep and as I said above, designer viruses have sequence tags that mark them as such. It’s kinda like how computer programs have lines of code indicating the developer’s intellectual property.

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to stevewhitemd. | February 10, 2020 at 10:04 am

    The 2019-nCoV is the result of what is known as “Gain of Function” experiments that were being performed at the WaHun Institute of Virology on bat coronavirus that somehow escaped the Level 4 containment lab and infected the local population and is currently spreading worldwide.

Just saw some new headlines.
1. China has partly restricted Bejing, a smart move.
2. Conditions in Wuhan hospitals are intense. I found the following article believable and revealing, it is the account of a doctor in Wuhan treating ncv patients.

Raccoon City? Perhaps.

I suspect this is a bioweapon that inadvertently escaped from China’s bioweapons lab known to be in Wuhan, designed not so much for international terror, but to control of their own people in case of rebellion.

Herod the Great’s palace in Jerusalem is surmounted by a protected walkway with openings to fire weapons both outside the city and palace complex and inside, because Herod feared his own people rebelling against him just as much as outside invaders. Similarly, I would expect the Chinese leadership to have personnel, plans, and weapons, including bioweapons, that could be used against their own people if necessary.

The severity and pace of this particular virus so far is just right for such purposes — not killing too many, but totally justifying, both in the eyes of the international community and their own people, isolating entire regions and putting hundreds of millions under de facto house arrest.

A virus that would induce such an “outbreak” could come in very handy indeed if there was ever serious widespread rebellion against the Communist dictators. One could argue it would be a relatively benign, bloodless way to stealthily quash even a serious revolution — without eliciting from the western world the opprobrium a “Tiananmen Square” type of response would bring.

    snopercod in reply to Kebas. | February 10, 2020 at 7:22 am

    I like the way you think.

    MattMusson in reply to Kebas. | February 10, 2020 at 8:32 am

    I disagree. This virus has the potential to take down the overleveraged Chinese Economy and perhaps fracture the county.

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to MattMusson. | February 10, 2020 at 10:07 am

      The virus has already taken down the Chinese economy. Now the only hope is that as the Chinese economy and country devolves into chaos it doesn’t take the rest of the world with it.

Rather then sending virtue-signaling letters, the White House should offer a $10 million reward and a waiver of FDA rules for a cure.

Highly technical information from JAMA. Some here might understand it: Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The description of the Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay for nCoV is fascinating. This stuff ain’t easy, folks, and I wonder how many labs there are in the world that can actually perform this test.

    MajorWood in reply to snopercod. | February 10, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    rt-pcr is very common. As an example, I used to record activity of brain cells in a thin slice of brain tissue. The electrode was a glass pipette that was pulled to a fine tip, about a micron in diameter, which was guided to the surface of a cell (15-30 microns in diameter), where it would adhere and we could measure the electrical activity of ion channels on the patch of membrane contained in the orifice. When I was done, a very slight suction would rupture the membrane and extract the cell contents into the pipette. These contents were then expelled into a tube, which along with reagents, was popped into the pcr machine (think pretty expensive Mr Coffee) and the next morning we would have about 2 to the 30th, 40th copies of DNA from the messenger RNA within the cell to determine the specific identity of the cell based on what products it was producing, in my case either oxytocin or vasopressin. In the late 50’s or early 60’s when I am guessing the transcriptase enzymes were purified it would likely take 6 months to fully clone a strand of DNA from a huge sample, probably a 3hr process to add each base pair as opposed to maybe a second now, sort of like comparing a univac to a laptop. It has gone from one cycle of a huge sample to multiple cycles on a very tiny sample to get the same result. I would guess that any given med school in the US has 100+ pcr machines on campus.

JusticeDelivered | February 10, 2020 at 9:09 am

Something to think about. It has been reported that they are working 24×7 to cremate bodies.

“On an average, it takes about one to three hours to cremate a human body, thereby reducing it to 3-7 pounds of cremains.”

And it was reported that there are facilities.

So with an average cremation time of 1.5 hours each facility can do 16 bodies a day, and 8 facilities the total per day count is 128.

The currant reported death count is inconsistent with them not having enough capacity to cremate the dead.

Clearly the death rate is far higher than what is being reported.

    I agree with you that the actual numbers are likely much higher than the reported numbers. I am not sufficiently familiar with cremation to know what role maintenance plays in your time calculations.

    Is there a cleaning period? How long can the furnaces work continuously? Are there other factors? It certainly does seem that they are burning a lot more bodies than are reported, though.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Dathurtz. | February 10, 2020 at 7:14 pm

      Incinerator are not very complex devices and should not need much maintenance. If they are overloaded, incineration might not be complete at the end of a cycle. In that case one would just increase the cycle time. Routine maintenance would likely be annual.

        Authorities in Wuhan are not being terribly sentimental right now and are probably skipping some, most or all formalities. The incinerator has to be able to handle the largest cadaver in town, so for most they can be 2 per box, possibly 3. PRC government has its downsides, being squeamish is definitely not one of them.

Sammy Finkelman | February 10, 2020 at 11:02 am

The virus came from the rare and endangered pangolin, who in turn got it from bats. The only reason for not saying so, is that the report hasn’t gone through the publication and peer review process yet, which is quibbling.

Pangolins are, or were, sold on the black market. They were used in traditional Chinese “medicine.” What probably happened now is that because half or more of the pigs in China have been killed, they have become rare in places, causing some Chinese people to look for other types of meat (and they trust these small markets more than anything produced for mass consumption anyway) in so called “wet markets”