By Ton van der Kroon
Amsterdam, 16 April 2020
As of today, I am one month and three days sick with Corona: short of breath, short of oxygen, pressure on lungs and occasional fever. I am not getting better but not getting sicker either. Mentally, I feel fine. The world is in lockdown and that gives a certain calmness: As if we have collectively come to a standstill.
One evening I watch a rather heated documentary about the origin of the virus: that the virus did not originate at a food market in Wuhan, but escaped from a laboratory nearby. The makers blame the Communist Party: they constantly call the virus the CCP virus, (Central Communistic Party) instead of the more general Covid-19. ‘Eek,’ I think, ‘Another conspiracy theory.’ I have come across so many of them in recent years that I have developed an allergy to them. Rightly or wrongly I don’t know, but it irritates me. Usually little evidence, much fantasy and pointing to certain figures or agencies as the villains. This time, the Communist Party is the big culprit.
But at night, I lie in bed and cannot sleep, struggling with the virus in my body, breathing heavily and wondering what is going: in the world and in myself. Scientists from east and west clearly indicate that the virus has originated in a bat, and could not possibly have been brought into the world by human action. The cause lies with nature, not science. While tossing and turning, I ponder all kinds of incursions, search Google for news, find all kinds of puzzle pieces of information and go back in my memory to the first time I came to China.
In the summer of 2013, I travelled to China with my then girlfriend. As we follow the trail of the ancient Silk Road, we enter China via ‘the backdoor’: from Kazakhstan, we travel over a high, snowy mountain pass and are dropped off by our Russian driver in front of a big gate. It is foggy and there is no one in sight. The fence reads in old communist letters: PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, and a five-pointed star.
In Xinjiang province we meet the Uyghurs, a peaceful and friendly people who have lived there for about a thousand years. Their religion is Islam, and they live in relative harmony with nature, the mountains and the desert. It soon becomes clear to us that the Uighurs are firmly oppressed by China’s Communist regime. People dare not speak out, mosques are closed and Kashkar’s old mud-brick city centre is bulldozed to put up concrete buildings. New high-speed train connections and highways bring thousands of Han Chinese to this province to live and work. We see traces of labour camps, prisons, but also signs of resistance. In short: a cultural genocide is taking place, probably identical to what is happening in Tibet. Faith, language and own culture are banned and communist doctrine is imposed. It is not a pleasant first introduction to China
On a second trip to China in 2016 – in transit to North Korea – I see the ‘front end’ of the country and end up in Beijing. A metropolis that is technologically far ahead of Europe. I admire the enormous development they have undergone since Mao’s communist era. That reign of terror caused enormous trauma: millions died of starvation, and writers, monks and other intellectuals were tortured and murdered. The country lost its rich history and identity. But apparently they had managed to recover in one generation: Here is a capital bustling with activity, economic growth and new technology. The old president Hu has been replaced by the charismatic Xi Jinping, who outlines a new future with great verve. Communism now goes hand in hand with western capitalism, producing a new, highly effective form of government: the collectivity of communism, where the individual is subordinate to the system, and material prosperity driven by never-ending consumption. Soon, resources are being tapped in other countries around the world to feed this great machine with raw materials and food. In exchange for infrastructure and financial support, the Chinese demand e.g. grain and other food and raw materials from countries in Africa. The country is becoming more powerful than ever and is fast becoming the next superpower after America.
The big loser in all this is nature: countless dams are being built at a rapid pace, farmland and nature are turning into building land and cities, air pollution is taking on frightening proportions, and China uses more concrete than the rest of the world uses in decades.
Watching a documentary on genetic engineering in China once, I am startled. I see a young female scientist cloning pigs. She is extremely proud of ‘her children’. She has given her piglets various manipulated traits, such as yellow fluorescent ears. She then proudly tells how her institute has scanned the DNA of 1,000 super-smart Chinese to make a ‘superman’ out of them in the future. A new human that is super-smart, resistant to all kinds of diseases and, in a way, malleable: blue or green eyes, blond or black hair, etc. What scares me is the lack of morality and awareness of history, where these kinds of experiments have taken place before.
Back to present day. The world is doing all it can to contain the pandemic caused by the virus. Thousands of people are dying. Intensive Care Centres are overcrowded and emergency workers are working overtime, risking their lives. A major economic depression seems imminent. Everyone around the world is affected by the corona virus outbreak. The WHO and, in the Netherlands, the RIVM are at the helm to steer us through the turbulent waves. Sensible policies are being implemented, and the population is trying as hard as it can to abide by the new rules: no hand-holding, social distancing, spare the elderly and wash your hands often. Everyone realizes the necessity and urgency of the measures being taken.
Meanwhile, I lie at home on the sofa or in bed and make the best of it. Until that night when that wretched documentary comes along. I think back to the day I fell ill: Friday 13 March. I wonder about patient zero and what he must have gone through. The panic, the fear, the silence. In my mind I start a conversation with him. Two hours later, I fall ill.
I start wondering what this illness means, not only for myself, but for the whole world. Are we making the right choices? Do we really understand what is needed? Is a vaccine the magic solution to all woes? And is the story about the origin of the virus true?
At night, I start my research what caused all this. Having made the decision, I can breathe better immediately because of it. The truth will set you free…
I find several puzzle pieces of information. Doctor Shi Zhengli plays a crucial role. She is also called ‘Batwoman’ because she has been researching bats and the cocktail of viruses they carry for years. She takes many samples from caves in southern China to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
In 2005, a group of scientists from this institute discover that bats are carriers of several coronaviruses. The team develops a hybrid virus, a fusion of SARS virus and coronavirus capable of infecting human cells. (WIKIPEDIA, Wuhan institute of Virology)
When the corona epidemic breaks out in late December 2019, Dr Shi Zhengli can hardly sleep. She wonders if they have taken all the necessary measures to prevent this outbreak. She checks all papers and procedures and assures herself that nothing has gone wrong. The laboratory where she works is heavily guarded with every possible precaution to prevent any virus from leaving the lab. Examination of the genetic sequence of the virus, which has since been released to scientists worldwide, shows that the current corona virus differs from the one in the lab. Shi Zhengli swears on her life that the virus did not originate from her lab. She said:
“The virus was nature punishing the human race for keeping uncivilised living habits. Those who question whether my lab could be connected to the release of the coronavirus should shut their stinking mouths.”
I’m not comfortable anyway. Certainly not on the last, not very scientific comment. Science and truth thrive on adversarial, investigative and critical questioning, but that does not seem to be particularly appreciated with such a comment. All of science is rallying behind her. They publish a paper in the scientific journal The Lancet, stating:
“We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2),1 and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging pathogens.”
That may be true, but I am beginning to smell danger. It has by no means yet been demonstrated or proven that the virus is indeed from the food market. There are reports that there are no bats at all to be had at the food market in Wuhan, but it is thought to be an intermediary between bat and human: the scaly pangolin. Another report says patient Zero and One have never been at the food market. (The New York Times) The food market has since been completely decontaminated and closed. China is still trying to disguise the pandemic in the first few weeks, gagging the first doctor to detect the problem – Dr Li Wenliang. I read:
“The police told Dr Li to “stop making false comments”. Another Chinese doctor, Ai Fen, claimed she was silenced by her bosses when she tried to warn about the virus during its early stages. Ai’s whereabouts as of Sunday are currently unknown, according to 60 Minutes Australia, sparking fears that she has been detained. ‘Doctor Li Wenliang died from coronavirus in February.’
Knowing China, I am now beginning to have strong suspicions that a big cover-up operation is going on here. Is something being kept secret here, swept under the carpet, or am I starting to see ghosts? Am I overcome by my distrust of communist systems? Is WHO and science getting it wrong, or even worse, are they colluding with the Communist Party? What also doesn’t help is that the whole database of viruses from the laboratory of Wuhan is suddenly missing.
There is one scientist who does question the origin of the virus. Dr Richard H. Ebright, professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, says there is a real possibility that the virus reached humans as a result of a laboratory error. He has warned about it several times in previous years. He rules out malicious intent, but when asked if he thinks the virus came from Doctor Shi Zhengli’s lab, he replies, “Yes.”
When I hear his answer I feel a knot in my stomach. Could it be that the virus from the Chinese lab is now ravaging my body? Or should I believe the chorus of scientists denying all this? Am I yet another conspiracy theorist? Who is right?
Then I stumble upon a study by two young Chinese brothers and scientists: Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao. Lei turns out to be a white-haired Chinese albino.
“The bats carrying CoV ZC45 were originally found in Yunnan or Zhejiang province, both of which were more than 900 kilometres away from the seafood market. According to municipal reports and the testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors, the bat was never a food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market. There was possible natural recombination or intermediate host of the coronavirus, yet little proof has been reported. We noted two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus in Wuhan, one of which was only 280 metres from the seafood market. We briefly examined the histories of the laboratories and proposed that the coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory.”
That night, I feel myself transmuting, as it were, into a kind of Batman in my own batcave, fighting evil. But I also understand that there is no point in blaming China or the Communist Party for this whole debacle. Serious as it is, retaliating evil with evil is not a good idea. Rather, it requires intense compassion for the fact that a world power has become so far removed from a natural way of life.
I think of the young scientist who was so proud of her cloned piglets. Unaware of any wrongdoing. Or Shi Zhengli, who gave her whole life to researching bats. But the nightly journey through the labyrinth is not over yet. There are even deeper layers that emerge.
Indeed, the question that arises is this: why are they doing all these dangerous experiments with viruses etc? After all, biological weapons have been banned since the 1970s, but a message from a virologist friend of mine from Israel makes my heart stop. She tells me that all over the world there are such laboratories researching and tinkering with viruses. In Israel, in Europe, in America and in China. A pandemic like the one we are experiencing now was only a matter of time.
But I am also beginning to realize that it is not all for scientific purposes. On a page about China’s military ambitions, I read:
‘Under Beijing’s civil-military fusion strategy, the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) is sponsoring research on gene editing, human performance enhancement, and more. Today’s advances in biotechnology and genetic engineering have exciting applications in medicine – yet also alarming implications, including for military affairs. China’s national strategy of military-civil fusion has highlighted biology as a priority, and the People’s Liberation Army could be at the forefront of expanding and exploiting this knowledge.’ ( defenceone.com)
Apparently, military applications of viruses, pests and other unsavoury things are indeed being diligently researched. However, the risks are also directly recognised:
‘Some biological agents (smallpox, pneumonic plague) have the capability of person-to-person transmission via aerosolised respiratory droplets. An agent like smallpox or other airborne viruses would almost certainly spread worldwide and ultimately infect the user’s home country. Worse still, such a weapon could “escape” the laboratory where it was developed, even if there was no intent to use it – for example by infecting a researcher who then transmits it to the outside world before realising that they were infected.’
Gosh, that sounds familiar. I am reminded of a film I saw in my student days: Brainstorm. A scientific team is conducting research into recording experiences, feelings and thoughts on tape. When it turns out that the military eventually wants to take control of the laboratory, the scientist involved destroys all the equipment and files. She does not want her knowledge to get into the hands of the army and be used for military purposes. However, that does not seem to be the case in Wuhan. I suspect they do know or suspect what all this messing around with viruses could lead to. And not just there, but all over the world.
The night is almost over. I am beginning to wonder if I am fighting a military weapon in my lungs, originally intended for an enemy, but that accidentally escaped. And with me, millions of people worldwide.
Is this the world we want, I wonder? That we should always be on guard for the next outbreak or escape from a lab. What on earth are we doing?
I disagree with Dr Shi Zhengli’s statement that this is nature’s revenge. I think we should acknowledge that man himself has made a mess of things, not nature. Nature is just giving us feedback about our own behaviour.
Once the morning light comes in, I take a walk outside for the first time. I no longer recognize the city. Flowers are in full bloom everywhere, and the trees are at their most beautiful with a fresh green colour. Spring has come….
Part 2. censorship
I have worked in employment once in my life, in my student days. That was a summer job for a telemarketing company in The Hague. I had to call nurses and medical assistants to ask for the personal details of the doctors they worked for: birthday, children, hobbies, etc. That data was then sold on to the pharmaceutical industry so they could give the doctor in question a nice present on his birthday. Some assistants angrily slammed the horn on the hook, but most were kind enough to pass on everything.
I was earning well with it, until after two months I felt so much resistance and remorse that I quit my job. At the time, I concluded that I was not that suited for employment work.
Another student-job involved drug testing. Two weeks at a luxury resort, where you were injected with a drug to see how it works. You could just study and get rich by doing nothing. Also very lucrative, and very wrong. Never done it again.
As I poke around the pharmaceutical industry on my search for the Coronavirus, I am particularly struck by the amount of money involved. Astronomical amounts! It is the second richest industry after the arms industry. Salaries of several million a year are not unusual.
On the issue of whether the virus comes from bats or from a laboratory, I am still struggling. When I open an internet website I am given a quiz to find out if I can distinguish fact from fiction about the corona virus. The purpose of the quiz is to help people debunk fakenews about the virus. ‘Does vitamin C help against the virus?’ Right answer: no. ‘Does steaming help against the virus? Right answer: no. Does the virus come from bats or from a laboratory? Correct answer: bats.
Damn, now that I had finally put the issue to rest, the internet brings me back to my nightly musings. I still wonder about many things, but I decide to look at it from a positive approach. Instead of ‘fake reports’ from dubious sites, I would like to find a well-substantiated scientific explanation. Which I find: scientists from THE SCRIPPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE explain in an article that it is absolutely certain that the virus is not from a lab, and therefore not man-made. What a releave, I think. My suspicious mind is somewhat appeased. The article is quite complicated and beyond my comprehension, so I decide to research who paid for it. Just to be sure. Follow the money.
Wikipedia: ‘Scripps Research is an American non-profit medical research institute focused on the biomedical sciences. Headquartered in California, the institute has 250 laboratories with 2,400 scientists and other staff, making it the largest private, non-profit biomedical research organization in the United States and one of the largest in the world. The institute holds nearly 1,000 patents, produced eight FDA-approved drugs and has generated more than 70 spin-off companies. According to the Nature Innovation Index 2017, Scripps Research is the #1 most influential research institution in the world.‘
Not just any research institute… This non-profit institute is one of the top biochemical scientific organizations. But then my eye catches the 2016 newly appointed chairman of The Scripps Institute, John C. Martin, previously chairman of Gilead Science. That is the name of a company I have come across before. When Dr John C. Martin switched from Gilead Science to the Scripps Institute, he was given a $26 million golden handshake. His total salary at Gilead was a sloppy $180 million a year. (They don’t call it salary though, at such high amounts, you don’t talk about ‘salary’. That sounds so banal. They call it ‘compensation’) I suspect his salary at the non-profit institute won’t be much lower. John C. Martin is number ten on the Forbes list of richest men with assets of $1.2 trillion. So much for the nonprofit content of the Scripps Institute….
I don’t know anything more about the cause of the virus yet, but those sky-high amounts and salaries worry me. You must be selling a lot of medicine for that. I can imagine that scientists at the institute don’t like having a blemish on their scientific reputation if it turns out that such viruses can just escape from laboratories. But that, for now, is a conclusion I am not willing to draw. Perhaps these men are just doing their jobs.
Looking around a bit further at Gilead Science, I find some surprising facts. My inner Sherlock Holmes is wide awake again. For instance, this company earned $4.5 billion in 2017, and its market value in 2018 was $93.4 billion. The numbers are starting to make me dizzy by now. This looks like the monopoly game of the super, super-rich. The Chairman who preceded John C. Martin was Donald Rumsfeld. Because of another job as ‘Secretary of Defense’ under the Bush administration, he handed over the baton.
Gilead Science, on closer examination, appears not to be such a clean company: tax evasion through Ireland, delaying Aids drugs to increase their profits, exorbitant amounts for certain drugs: 1 pill of Sofosbuvir costs $1,000. The standard package for 84 days all together costs $84,000.’
Yes, I can understand the latter. How else are you supposed to earn those salaries together? If only I hadn’t quit my job at the telemarketing company….
And what a coincidence: Gilead Science has a potential drug against the corona virus, which they had previously used on the Ebola virus: Remdesivir. Trump announced it as a possible solution to the pandemic. The result: Gilead Science’s shares rise 11%.
Some cross-links slowly become clear. NIAID, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, sponsors both the Scripps Institute, which denies the link to the laboratory, ánd the Wuhan Institute of Virology itself. A $3.4 million donation from the NIAID was intended for… research on coronaviruses in bats. The NIAID is part of the NIH, National Institutes of Health, which includes Dr Fauci, the doctor who advised Trump in the corona crisis. And who, among others, has been an adviser to NIAID? Dr john C. Martin. All in all a small world, it seems, where everyone knows everyone. Understandable too, since biotechnology and virus research is a rather specialized field.
Back to China. I come to no conclusion, despite all my thinking and research. I read a story about a young Chinese intern, who worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was infected and then disappeared without a trace. Could it be that she was Patient Zero? On enquiry, the Chinese officials deny that she ever worked there, or left healthy years ago. But to be sure, they have erased her records at the institute. Only her name is still there. A dubious story.
‘Stop all that puzzling,’ a good friend advises me. ‘That’s not good for your health. You’re better off enjoying the sunshine.’ He is right, I think, and I drop the story. Before I know it, I am getting deeper and deeper into some conspiracy. I have sent all my earlier research facts to the newspaper and two journalism programmes: Zembla and VPRO Tegenlicht. They might possibly do something with it. From Tegenlicht, I get a neat e-mail back: ‘We’ll pass it on to the relevant editors.’ That reassures me and I let go of the story. The virus is still slumbering a little in my body and I have to take it easy.
A week later, I get a message that hits like a bomb: Tegenlicht has scheduled a broadcast on the corona virus in China, but then cancelled it, due to threats from China…. I’m shocked. Would they have used my material or have a completely different input for the programme? Would they have come to the same conclusion as me? The programme’s creator, the young and successful Ruben Terlou, hints in Varagids that he ‘ cannot rule out that the virus came from a lab in China.’
I am immediately in a state of alertness. I call the webhost of my website, who is very well versed in privacy and all things Internet security. When I started the corona research, I asked him to give my site, computer and phone extra security. Maybe I was panicking, yet it seemed sensible. You never know. After all, a suspicious number of Chinese visitors were coming to my Dutch site. ‘Quite normal,’ says my website builder. ‘Those are all bots and trolls.’ But there are also regular attempts to log into my site, and that worries me more. ‘That too is normal,’ he explains. To be sure, he tweaks the security standards a bit more. ‘But if they want to get in, they’ll manage it anyway,’ he says.
The Tegenlicht report really worries me and I go to bed distressed. I watch some more videos on Youtube, including an interview with John C. Martin, Bill Gates, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the WHO and Dr Fauci. Then I fall asleep.
I wake up to a dream of a rhino that is white in front and black behind. I think back to the men in the videos and slowly the penny drops. Indeed, what strikes me about Doctor John Martin – whom I had not seen live before – is that he is an amiable, committed man who has dedicated his life to finding solutions for patients. I can’t detect any malice in him. Nor in the other men. Each and every one of them men committed to the ‘good cause’. After a good night’s sleep, I suddenly look at these men differently and realise how quickly you can demonize someone in your own mind.
But a second penny also drops: the rhino in the dream is both white and black. Everyone is stuck in their own paradigm and has their own blind spot. These men are looking at the world from a perspective of biotechnology and science. That is the only truth they know.
Ethiopian Dr. Tedros has seen first-hand how vaccines against malaria and other tropical diseases have prevented thousands of deaths and how it has helped his people in an incredible way. But he has also been heavily influenced by China, which has made huge investments in his country.
Bill Gates believes that this is the best he can do for humanity. His ‘Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’ has an unimaginably large network through which he funds and promotes his vision worldwide: from the WHO to governments; from pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Aventis to media companies like Der Spiegel and Der Zeit; from the Scripps Research Institute to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. But he fails to see that there may also be dark sides to his philanthropy. However, I do not see a scheming crook with evil intentions, as he is often portrayed on social media, but an inspired scientist, businessman and philanthropist. Admittedly with a somewhat one-sided approach to truth, in which purely scientific values prevail. And the power of money.
I know how easy it is to make a judgment at first sight. To immediately pigeonhole another. When you listen to everyone’s own story, your own judgement melts and you suddenly see the human being in the other: we have good and bad sides, we are all afraid, do our best and want to contribute something to the world. Dumbing down the other makes no sense at all in this regard. Certainly not in the current situation. On the contrary, I realize that we need to come closer together, really start listening in order to reach a deeper solution. We need both mainstream and alternative healthcare: vaccines and oranges. Antibiotics and steam baths, love and truth, criticism and mildness. But above all: an open ear and heart for each other’s story…
I am looking at China again with different eyes: the contraction, the concealment, how they are in the throes of a terrible tragedy, and most likely a human but hideous mistake in a laboratory. I can look past my fears, judgements and anger and see a superpower struggling with its shadow side. As we all do.
I know: the story is far from finished, and the truth must – and will – eventually come out, but perhaps the most important key in this story is to do so with gentleness and compassion.
Part 3. ‘The Mothball Conspiracy’
17 May 2020
I had promised myself not to write this part. I had removed all my research data around the origin of the Coronavirus from my computer, thrown it in the trash and drawn a line under it. Time for something different, for something positive. Not going down the rabbit hole. Besides: I had – and still have – no proof, only suspicions. And those suspicions only got darker, especially after the VPRO programme Tegenlicht was cancelled due to threats. I decided that ‘real’ journalists or research institutes could do a much better job on this, so I sent my details to them asking if they could pay attention to this. From the most respectable agency, I received a nice note back: ‘I think it is important for you to focus on your own health and well-being. I thank you again for your interest and for sharing the information you have gathered and wish you good luck with your recovery.’
I could not help feeling that I was being rebuffed in an extremely friendly manner. I heard nothing more from the other contacts either. And with that, this story would come to a dead end….
Until…. I got sick again, for the third time. This time not because of the virus, but because of a moth ball! I had got a pack of moth balls from Praxis and put them in my flat to chase away the moths in my house. Unthinkingly, I had put one ball on the radiator and forgot to turn off the heating that night. In the middle of the night, I woke up three times, with foam around my mouth, gasping heavily for breath, stinging eyes and stuffy at the lungs. I did not understand how it could be that the virus had come back again. Until, at the end of the night, I felt the heating was still on and made the link with the mothball. He who digs a hole for someone else falls into it himself, I thought, embarrassed and grumbling. But I couldn’t argue much, because my lungs had taken another beating. Mothballs contain para-di-chlorobenzene, which is highly toxic.
I could start recovering all over again: vapours, Ayurvedic pills, vitamin C and D and lots of rest. By now I had grown tired of it. The amount of theories on Facebook, anxious suspicions, angry opining was also starting to bother me more and more. I didn’t want to add my share to that.
But in the night, I saw again the eyes of the doctor who first warned about the virus. His mouth was gagged by the Chinese authorities and he later died from the effects of the virus. I thought of the millions of people duped by the outbreak, and the thousands who died. Perhaps the mothball was the reason for not giving up and descending once again into the caverns of the Corona virus, this time darker and more disturbing.
The next part of my research on internet began with a lucid YouTube video of a Korean doctor explaining the importance and research of vaccines. You are given a part of the disease, on a homeopathic basis as it were, which causes your body to make its own antibodies and become immune. Research into a vaccine can take many years because safety is paramount. Phase one tests only mice, phase two tests monkeys and phase three tests a small group of people who have the disease. The final and fourth phase can only be tested on a large group of people infected with the virus. This requires mega-machines that can process the millions of data. That’s called data sequencing. I found the story plausible and reassuring. But the night brings very different insights, and yes, suspicions I dare not voice.
What transpired: an industrial park had opened in Wuhan in 2013 – Biolake – where the largest biotech companies in the world have their Chinese divisions. I read: ‘Till now, eight out of the thirteen world top 500 biopharmaceutical companies have been located in Wuhan Biolake. The famous companies in the Biolake are America’s Pfizer, Germany’s Bayer, Fresenius Kabi, Thermo Fisher, Honeywell and DuPont Pioneer. With a start-up area of 15 square kilometers, Wuhan Biolake focuses on building six major parks including Bio-innovation Park, Bio-pharma Park, Bio-agriculture Park, Bio-manufacturing Park, Medical Device Park and Medical Health Park, to create a new bioindustry city. Biolake’s six parks are expected to achieve total revenue of over RMB 200 billion yuan by 2018, thus becoming world-class bioindustry parks.’ (2013, hubei.gov.cn)
Companies like Thermo Fisher and Illumina make or sell data sequencing machines, which are most likely used in virus research at the Laboratory of Virology in Wuhan. But more is being done with these machines. Besides RNA strands like viruses, they can also read DNA strands, like those of humans. The Chinese government uses these machines to read the DNA of Uyghurs and Tibetans, and thus catch terrorists – read: the population. Illumina and other big boys had already been heavily criticized for their cooperation in these forms of ethnic cleansing.
Meanwhile, more than 1 million Uighurs are locked up in so-called Chinese ‘education camps’. From a Uighur woman who had escaped from prison came the account that torture and gang rape were commonplace. And there was another thing that deeply worried me: she told me that medical experiments were being done on the prisoners. Regularly, they are given a hypodermic needle injected into their arm, supposedly for their ‘health’.
At the above, all alarm bells start ringing for me. ‘Medical experiments on prisoners in camps’ begin to look suspiciously like the Nazi concentration camps, where such experiments were carried out on Jews. I involuntarily think back to the words of the Korean doctor: for phase four, you need a very large group of people infected with the virus…. Could it be that the Uighurs are being used as a test group for viruses? And that Western medical companies are backing that up with data-sequencing machines? All suspicions, which I cannot substantiate. But in my mind it becomes more and more a grim and dark story.
The network involved in this is global – the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and many other research labs around the world, the funders of this such as Dr Fauci’s NIAD, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Erasmus University in Rotterdam who own many patents, Big Pharma’s biotech companies such as Illumina, which also has a division in Eindhoven, etc etc, and the astronomical amounts of money involved in this industry. The same companies that are now researching to bring a vaccine to market. No doubt there are doctors, physicians and researchers working on drugs and vaccines with very good intentions, but a report on entire industry by research agency SOMO, (from that lady who wished me a good recovery) leaves no doubt about the intentions of those involved: make money. Make a lot of money. What? Make immense amounts of money.
Among the 27 largest companies in the biotech and medical industries, ‘a total of US$1,540 billion was issued to shareholders between 2000 and 2018, of which US $ 676 billion was spent on repurchasing the company’s own shares and US$ 864 billion on dividends.(1540 billion is 1,540,000 million dollars. When I do a quick calculation of how many dividends were paid to shareholders of the 27 largest pharma giants and biotech companies between 2000 and 2018 it is an astrological amount: 1,423,079,812,000.00 euros.) At the ten largest pharmaceutical companies, the total distribution of funds to shareholders was 142 per cent of that year’s spending on research and development. Big Pharma’s underinvestment in poorly performing but essential medicines and vaccines is now showing the deadly downside of the business model on a global scale. It is governments that are now have to lead the way financially in order to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus.
SOMO researcher Rodrigo Fernandez says: ‘It is clear that this is not a long-term strategy but a way of paying out as much as possible to shareholders in as short a time as possible and passing on the costs to society’.
With such astronomical financial interests, it does not seem unlikely to me that the ethics and integrity of research is turned a blind eye. And in China, given their history with the Uighurs and Tibetans, ethics and humanity seem even more remote. Pair the two together and you get a toxic mixture, and a deadly virus…and meanwhile they are not only silencing a Chinese doctor, but also the Dutch VPRO.
PART 4. LOOKING BACK
December 9th, 2022
I suffered from Covid for almost three months, and belong to the group that has long-term after-effects. Shortness of breath, tightness on the lungs, and after a few flare-ups, a relapse every time. It seemed to be part of the corona pattern. At the time neither doctors nor scientists knew exactly what was going on. What was the message of this illness for me personally? And what is the message of the pandemic for the entire world population?
As even China is easing its most strict Corona regulations, it might be time to look back at the worldwide pandemic that struck humanity: Covid. Starting as an unknown virus from the city of Wuhan it caused all sorts of reactions: fear, suppression, anxiety, anger, control and lots of grief. An estimated 15 million people died of Covid. Governments and leaders reacted in response to the virus in many sorts of ways: Some simply denied it at first, like Trump or Bolsonaro, others tightend their grip of control and power. In China we can see the worst case scenario of a totalitarian system, that is controlling its population with every step, every phonecall, every movement. Face-recognition, constant Covid checks through an app, testlocations everywhere, forced isolations and lockdowns, and white medical staff completely enveloped in white suits with goggles. (read a first hand report on https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/12/9/confusion-and-anxiety-in-china-as-draconian-covid-curbs-eased)
Other countries have been more mild in their response, but also here many civil liberties and privacy rights were abandoned and brushed aside. Suddenly most countries were not ruled anymore by their democratic institutes, but by virologists, medical advisers, science and modern technology. Pharmaceutical companies, that suddenly had become our saviours, made billions of money, without any critical control or needed scientific debate. Different opinions or even discussions were not allowed anymore. Even the media joined the chorus. The director of one of the biggest newspapers in the Netherlands – The Volkskrant – said that they would follow the narrative of the government. And very understandable: we were severely threatened as humanity. Everyone was deeply afraid, if we admitted it or not. A subconscious fear of survival and extinction rushed as a wave through the world. Would we survive or not?
As a reaction to the Covid regulations and government control some people reacted in anger and rebellion. Just as some leaders, some people denied the existence of Covid, others thought it was a trap by a world government to kill us all, and many more wild speculations roamed the internet. Since nobody knew exáctly what was going on, many started assuming and creating theories of their own. The world got more and more divided. Even within families and partnerships people ended up on opposing sides of the spectrum. You were pro- or anti-vaccinations, pro or anti- science, pro or anti lockdowns. It was difficult to keep a sane mind, stay in the middle and basically listen to each other. Apart from a virus that seemed to ruin our immune system, we were destroying our own way of life by letting go of the most basic human values: Listening to each other and accepting each others viewpoint. Some scientists or doctors were banned or fired for even asking questions or having a different opinion.
Now the pandemic is – almost – over we tend to react as most people do after a trauma: let’s move on with our lives and forget about it. We go back to normal and business as usual. we forget to look back and ask questions. What happened? How and why did we react in a certain way? How can we prevent this from happening again? What can we learn form this? This is not only a question for scientists or experts, but for all of us. We were all in the same boat, worldwide, and laypeople and experts have just as much right of speech, because there are so many sides to a pandemic: social, scientific, political, human, spiritual.
Now the pandemic has seemed to have stopped, I feel it’s to look back and evaluate. Time to look back at Covid. I came across three interviews with extremely bright thinkers and doctors that are looking back and evaluating. I like to share them here.
- Interview by Jordan Peterson with Matt Ridley about the origins of Covid: https://youtu.be/FEh5JyZC218
- Interview by Carl Tucker with Dr. Aseem Malhotra on the influence of the pharmaceutical industry: https://youtu.be/w3MPnBpfrRk
- Interview with Dr. Mathias de Smet in the documentary ‘Headwind’ about his research on Totalitarianism: https://youtu.be/HS5_uyTNpZs