COVID-19 Recession: One of the Worst Economic Downturns in American History

The Day | World faces worst crisis since Great Depression

Great slump: By 1933, unemployment in the USA was at 25 per cent. Photo: The Day

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Sean Harris holds a sign asking for help in Sept. 4 in New Orleans. Harris had just completed training to be a hunted history tour guide in the French Quarter when the coronavirus pandemic hit. He has not been able to find a job since. Photo: Times News

 

This year, 2020, is the worst economic downturn since the great depression.  It is one of the worst economic downturns in American history.  They say it is just the beginning.  This is only the tip of the iceberg.  The worst is still to come. 

According to World Bank forecasts, the global economy will shrink by 5.2% this year. That would represent the deepest recession since the Second World War [1].

The pandemic crisis caused bankruptcy to a lot of companies like: Aldo (Shoe Retailer), 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, California Pizza Kitchen, Chuck E. Cheese, Cirque du Soleil, Debenhams, Hertz Corp, Frontier Communications, JC Penny, Neiman Marcus, GNC, J Crew, Lane Bryant, Lord & Taylor, Lucky Brand Jeans, New York & Company, Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg,  Pier 1, Sizzler, USA Rugby, Virgin Australia and a lot more [2][3][4].

Over 42.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic [5].  Eventbrite laid off half its workforce as events worldwide are canceled.  Airbnb cut 25% of its workforce.  Uber laid off around 6,700 workers in two waves and shut 45 offices.  Rent The Runway laid off all retail employees across the country.  Compass Coffee, a Washington, D.C. Starbucks competitor, laid off 150 of its 189 employees.  General Electric laid off about 10% of its jet engine workforce, around 2,500 workers.  The University of Colorado at Boulder laid off a handful of employees, and more layoffs could be on the way.  The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, IATSE, estimated that 120,000 jobs for film workers, including technicians, artisans and other crew positions have been eliminated. [6]

As of today there are 201K deaths in the US and 971K deaths worldwide [7].  Nearly 600 front-line health care workers appear to have died of COVID-19 in the US [8].  People are dying, mourning & starving.   If only the 30-Day National Lockdown was enforced.

Scientists have been warning us about the climate change.  Extreme weather, natural disasters, and strange animal behavior are clear warnings to us that something is wrong, but some leaders are dismissing it and their staunchest followers silence it. 

This uncertain time calls for careful analysis.  Look for the numbers instead of rumors.  Follow the public health guidelines to support the heath care workers to keep them safe as they save lives, spend wisely, and vote wisely this November 3, 2020 US election.

It is not for me to judge, but imagine if everybody thought this way, imagine how resilient the economy would be, what a powerful global community we would form.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. “COVID-19 to Plunge Global Economy into Worst Recession since World War II”.  The World Bank.  June 8, 2020.  https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/06/08/covid-19-to-plunge-global-economy-into-worst-recession-since-world-war-ii
  2. Shen, Lucinda.  “The 20 biggest companies that have filed for bankruptcy because of the coronavirus pandemic”.  Fortune Media.  June 29, 2020.  https://fortune.com/2020/06/29/companies-filing-bankruptcy-2020-during-coronavirus-pandemic-covid-19-economy-industries/
  3. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Companies_that_filed_for_Chapter_11_bankruptcy_in_2020
  4. Tucker, Hank.  “Coronavirus Bankruptcy Tracker: These Major Companies Are Failing Amid The Shutdown”.  Forbes.  May 3, 2020.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/hanktucker/2020/05/03/coronavirus-bankruptcy-tracker-these-major-companies-are-failing-amid-the-shutdown/#2b79a52e3425
  5. Lambert, Lance. “Over 42.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic”.  Fortune Media.  June 4, 2020.   https://fortune.com/2020/06/04/us-unemployment-rate-numbers-claims-this-week-total-job-losses-june-4-2020-benefits-claims/
  6. Voytko, Lisette.  “Coronavirus Layoffs: Boeing Lays Off 6,770 Workers Amid Pandemic”.  Forbes.  May 27, 2020.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/05/27/coronavirus-layoffs-boeing-lays-off-6770-workers-amid-pandemic/#25b30d3045bd
  7. “Cases overview”.  https://g.co/kgs/MQhEs1
  8. “Exclusive: Nearly 600 — And Counting — US Health Workers Have Died Of COVID-19”.  Kaiser Family Foundation.  June 6, 2020.  https://khn.org/news/exclusive-investigation-nearly-600-and-counting-us-health-workers-have-died-of-covid-19/
  9. “World faces worst crisis since Great Depression”.  The Day. 
  10. Ridler, Keith.  “Idaho initial and continuing unemployment claims drop again”.  Times News.  September 17, 2020.  https://magicvalley.com/business/idaho-initial-and-continuing-unemployment-claims-drop-again/article_caf91cfa-2794-5a5c-acfa-21d20ee7a5d7.html

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From Bankruptcy To Presidency

Before Pres. Trump became president, he filed for business bankruptcy four times: the Trump Taj Mahal in 1991, Trump Plaza Hotel in 1992, Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts in 2004 and Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009 [1].  Also, Trump settled all three fraud lawsuits relating to Trump University in November 2016 for a total of $25 million after being elected president [2].

Despite the bankruptcy and lawsuits, Trump became president and still have the courage to run for the November 3, 2020 election.  Trump was not the only President who filed bankruptcy, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, William McKinley and Ulysses S. Grant also filed for bankruptcy.  William McKinley declared bankruptcy while serving as the Governor of Ohio. Less than three years later, he was elected President of the United States [3].

For entrepreneurs who are losing hope due to the pandemic crisis, especially to my friends who are struggling to save their companies and their employees, remember that Pres. Trump became president despite all the challenges, bankruptcies and lawsuits.

It is not the end of the world.  As long as you can wake up and breathe there is hope. There is always a solution.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. “Examining Donald Trump’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcies”.  American Bankruptcy Institute.  https://www.abi.org/feed-item/examining-donald-trump%E2%80%99s-chapter-11-bankruptcies
  2. Carroll, Rory.  “Donald Trump settles fraud lawsuits relating to Trump University for $25m”.  The Guardian.  November 18, 2016.  https://web.archive.org/web/20180531004725/https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/18/donald-trump-university-settles-president-lawsuit-25-million
  3. Mack, Adam.  “US Presidents Who Filed Bankruptcy – Part I”.  Mack & Associates.  https://www.kansasjustice.com/bankruptcy/blog/us-presidents-filed-bankruptcy

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NEW Podcast Episode: Coronavirus Myths and Facts

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The Four Destructive Seasons

The Four Destructive Seasons

A group of masked people

Medical staff and workers in Surry Hills, Sydney, in April 1919. Schools and businesses were closed, hospitals overflowed and masks became compulsory in public. Photograph: NSW State Archives and Records. https://www.theguardian.com

1.  Flu Season – The most severe flu season after the Spanish Flu in 1918 started in Wuhan, China has spread like wildfire during the Winter-holiday season from December 2019 – January 2020, which lead to Pandemic Crisis/Recession and National Lockdown from March to May 2020.   As of today, there are 910,000 deaths, 28.2 million cases [1].  Unemployment rose higher in three months of COVID-19 than it did in two years of the Great Recession in the U.S., from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million in May 2020 [2].  

Location of tropical cyclones - Met Office

Photo: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk

2.  Cyclone / Typhoon / Hurricane Season – Typhoon/Cyclone/Hurricane has caused severe damage every year.   According to the May 22, 2020 report, Cyclone Amphan caused an estimated $13.2 billion in damage and killed at least 80 people in West Bengal, and another 10 across the border in Bangladesh with as many as 500,000 families in Bangladesh may be homeless [3].  On the same month, Typhoon Vongfong/Ambo in the Philippines caused around ₱1.57 billion (US$31.1 million) in damage, killed 5 people and affected 578,571 residents [4].  The following month, Tropical Storm Cristobal caused US$675 million in damage and 15 fatalities [5].   Last month, Typhoon Higos hit China, with 200 people dead or missing in China this year and caused $25 billion in damage [6].  On the same month,  Hurricane Laura caused the deaths of at least 36 people in the U.S. and inflicted an estimated $8.7 billion in insured damage on southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas near the Gulf of Mexico [7].  Hurricanes have caused a total of 117 deaths and  $14.67 billion in damages [8].

A helicopter prepares to drop water at a wildfire in Yucaipa, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. Three fast-spreading California wildfires sent people fleeing Saturday, with one trapping campers at a reservoir in the Sierra National Forest, as a brutal

A helicopter prepares to drop water at a wildfire in Yucaipa, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020.  Photo: The Associated Press.  

3.  Wildfire Season – Summer finally has ended.  But it ended with ravaging wildfires.  Summer 2020 ranked as one of the hottest on record for U.S.  August 16, Death Valley in California reported a high temperature of 130 degrees F.  If verified, this temperature would be the hottest August temperature on record for the U.S. [9].  Currently, 102 large fires have burned 4.4 million acres in 12 states in the U.S. [10].

7 New York counties under state of emergency as snowstorm slams Northeast -  ABC News

Snow covered vehicles line a street in Lowell, Mass., Dec. 2, 2019.  Photo: C.J. Gunther/EPA via Shutterstock. 

4.  Winter Storm Season – Summer just ended and winter is coming.  With the pandemic crisis and calamities happening, better to relocate if you are living in one of the coldest cities and will just put you in danger.

These 4 Destructive Seasons are inevitable.  Therefore, the government should take extra precautionary measures to protect the people in the future.  Everyone should also be alarmed and make plans according to these 4 Destructive Seasons:  

  1. Relocation – Families in hazard prone areas should relocate the soonest possible.  The government should have relocation programs for families living in hazard prone areas.  The relocation plan should make sure that the families can:
    • survive  and ensure quality of life,
    • provide quality education,
    • provide employment opportunities, like forming collaboration with social enterprises or non-profit organizations.  Another way is to cultivate the land to boost eco-tourism. 
  2. Travel – Travel only if necessary.  Always wear a mask even if your leader does not.  Be thankful if you can study and work from home. Our healthcare workers have to travel and work in the hospital despite the pandemic.  Stay at home to stay safe and keep our healthcare workers safe.   
  3. Patronize eco-friendly products and brands.  This way, we can encourage more people to focus on developing eco-friendly materials/products instead of destructive and toxic materials/products.  You can check out ways to Go Green, Go Clean

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REFERENCES:

  1. Ritchie, et al.  “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Deaths”.   Our World in Data.  Global Change Data Lab.  September 10, 2020.  https://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths
  2. Kochhar, Rakesh.  “Unemployment rose higher in three months of COVID-19 than it did in two years of the Great Recession”.  Pew Research Center.  June 11, 2020https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/06/11/unemployment-rose-higher-in-three-months-of-covid-19-than-it-did-in-two-years-of-the-great-recession/
  3. Sud, “Cyclone Amphan caused an estimated $13.2 billion in damage in India’s West Bengal: government source”.   CNN.  May 22, 2020.  https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/22/weather/cyclone-amphan-damage-intl-hnk/index.html 
  4. “Sitrep No. 15 re Preparedness Measures and Effects of Typhoon “Ambo” (I.N. “VONGFONG”)”. National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. May 27, 2020. http://www.ndrrmc.gov.ph/attachments/article/4048/Update_Sitrep_no_15_re_Preparedness_Measures_and_Effects_of_TY_AMBO_Issued_on_27May2020_12NN.pdf
  5. “Global Catastrophe Recap: June 2020” (PDF). London, United Kingdom: Aon. pp. 4–5. Retrieved July 15, 2020http://thoughtleadership.aon.com/documents/20200709_analytics-if-june-global-recap.pdf
  6. “Typhoon adds to southern China’s rain and flooding woes”.  The Associated Press.  ABC News.  August 19, 2020.  https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/typhoon-higos-hits-china-weakens-tropical-storm-72462400
  7. Steve Evans (August 31, 2020). “Hurricane Laura onshore insured property loss close to $9bn: KCC”. Reinsurance News. Archived from the original on September 5, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2020https://www.reinsurancene.ws/hurricane-laura-onshore-insured-property-loss-close-to-9bn-kcc/
  8. “2020 Atlantic hurricane season”.  Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Atlantic_hurricane_season
  9. “Summer 2020 ranked as one of the hottest on record for U.S.”.  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  U.S. Department of Commerce. September 9, 2020.
  10. “National Preparedness Level 5”.  National Inter-Agency Fire Center.  September 10, 2020.  https://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm

Will China’s goal of world denomination lead to prosperity, prophecy or World War 3?

PROPHECY

China is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that is officially atheist. Although, no more than 15 percent of adults in the world’s most populous country are “real atheists”. 85 percent of the Chinese either hold some religious beliefs or practice some kind of religion, according to the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey [1].

China’s Communist Party has enforced its anti-religion policy through decades of repression, coercion and persecution [1]. China has the largest open air prison in Xinjiang called the re-education camps where 11 million native people mostly Uyghur, dominated by Muslims were the target [2]. The China’s Communist Party is using the security forces for mass imprisonment of Chinese Muslims in concentration camps, estimating that the number of detained Muslims could be closer to 3 million citizens [3].

Like Tibetans and House Christians, millions of Falun Gong Practitioners are being persecuted in China for their beliefs.  David Kilgour, Former Canadian Secretary of State, called it “A new form of evil in the underworld, it’s never been done by any government in the past to take a large group of its own people and say we are going to kill you without any kind of a trial and we are going to sell your vital organ parts” [4].

President Xi Jinping became the president of China in 2013, and became the president for life in 2018.  By eliminating the two-term limit, Pres. Xi Jinping will ensure that he can stay at the helm beyond 2023 when his second five-year term ends, enabling him to become president for life, if he so chooses.  In political science, a president for life is regarded as a de facto monarch.  Cary Huang mentioned that, “A reliance on the strongman model of leadership poses dangers not only to the Chinese president – but to China itself” [5]. Pres. Xi Jinping wants to force worship of the Communist Party by destroying traditional religious practice.  Buddhist temples are being turned into shrines celebrating Xi Jinping, China’s President For Life. His picture adorns the walls, his recorded voice booms out of the loudspeakers, and it is his “Thought” — not Buddha’s — that the monks are now required to meditate upon [6].

Is Pres. Xi Jinping or the China’s Communist Party goal to world denomination part of the prophecy?  Revelation describes that as the anti-christ and the rest of the unholy trinity will seduce mankind.  Biblical text describes them as 7 vials containing poison of God’s further wrath.  When the angels release the content of the vials, pestilence and disease run wild.  The outbreak revelation describes such a magnified scale that it will dwarf the greatest pandemic crisis the world health crisis would ever faced [7].  Is 2020 the preparation of Isaac Newton’s 2060 prophecy? [8]

WORLD WAR 3

China’s Communist Party had a grand pacific plan in the Pacific, by extending its alliances further south with massive infrastructure by bribing corrupt politicians to be their economic partner with the end result of being their economic master [9].  China’s Communist Party believe that they are supposed to be the rightful leaders of this new global order. They come to the islands with soft power and a lot of cash to buy out local officials to gain access to ports, airfields and resources that give them controlling monopoly of the islands [9].

China’s Communist Party modified the map and included the “nine-dash line,” an ambiguous self-defined borderline, also going by the name “cow’s tongue.”  The nine-dash line contains areas claimed by neighboring countries like Vietnam and the Philippines.  It’s an area which allows China the right to control almost the entire South China Sea, and Beijing wants the world to know about it.  That’s why Beijing has launched an offensive campaign to legitimize and disseminate this map,  printing it on Chinese passports and books, displaying it on movies, and inserting it in GPS and smartphone devices.  But Vietnam has been pushing back hard against Beijing’s campaign, taking the lead among its neighbors (Malaysia & Philippines), in the fight to contain China’s South China Sea ambitions, thru trade war [10].  It banned the showing of Abominable, a film produced by DreamWorks and China, which includes a scene containing a map featuring the “nine-dash line.” [11]

China’s Communist Party claims almost the entire 1.3 million square mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory, and it has aggressively asserted its stake in recent years in the face of conflicting claims from several Southeast Asian nations.  The US has long accused Beijing of militarizing islands via the deployment of military hardware and construction of military facilities [12].  The sinking of a Vietnamese vessel by the Chinese maritime surveillance vessel last week is a tangible reminder of the need to pay attention to the South China Sea flashpoint even amid the focus on COVID-19. [13]

With CCP’s lies and cover-up about the COVID-19 or the coronavirus pandemic [14], American lawyer Larry Klayman and his advocacy group Freedom Watch along with Texas company Buzz Photos have filed the $20 trillion lawsuit, which is a bigger amount than China’s GDP, claiming coronavirus is the result of a biological weapon prepared by the Chinese authorities [15].

War and disease have been linked throughout history as armies, weapons, and human pathogens have met on the battlefield.  The American military experience in World War I and the influenza pandemic were closely intertwined [16].  US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that the War between two nuclear powers (US & China) is never to be sought and would have grim worldwide consequences [17].  All nuclear powers, the U.S., the UK, France, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea, possess small atomic bombs, delivered to the target by airplane or missiles.  The detonation of some hundreds of atomic bombs would cause a nuclear winter, with disastrous impacts on the environment and human food resources.  The ash and dust, transported by the atomic blasts into the higher layers of Earth’s atmosphere, would form a cloud layer, making it impossible for sunlight and heat to reach the surface.  Dropping temperature would plunge Earth into a nuclear winter, maybe for decades or even centuries.  Plants, no longer able to produce nutrients by photosynthesis, would quickly die off, followed by the starving animals and finally humans. [18]

PROSPERITY

China might have achieved its 5-year plan (2016-2020) Prosperity for the masses by 2020 [19].  However, due to China’s deceitful regime [20], economic distancing [20] of their allies, uprising not only in their own country, but also in Hong Kong, Taiwan & Macao might affect its economic and prosperity goal in the succeeding years.

China’s goal of prosperity if driven by greed and atrocity can lead to animal extinction, destruction of natural resources and food resources, and even human extinction.

The lockdown due to COVID-19 or the coronavirus pandemic crisis taught us the importance of nature, clean water, clean air, animals, humanity and spirituality that we  all should preserve and value more, than money, luxury and fake prosperity.

***

REFERENCES:

1. Briggs, David (2011-01-22). “Study: Rising Religious Tide in China Overwhelms Atheist Doctrine”. Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-11-28. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/study-rising-religious-ti_b_811665
2. ‘How China is creating the world’s largest prison | Four Corners’. ABC News In-depth. July 15, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-axd1Ht_J8
3. Stewart, Phil (4 May 2019). “China putting minority Muslims in ‘concentration camps,’ U.S. says”. Reuters. Retrieved 17 September 2019. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-concentrationcamps/china-putting-minority-muslims-in-concentration-camps-us-says-idUSKCN1S925K
4. “Forced Organ Harvesting from Falun Gong Practitioners in China. Falun Data Information Center”. January 22, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD_pq87CTK4&list=PLellABIKVCDD7ak6hj1EoLoBsLPMQCfnV&index=2&t=0s&pbjreload=10
5. Huang, Cary. “President for life’ Xi risks repeat of China’s Mao-era mistakes”. This Week in Asia. March 11, 2018. https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/2136255/president-life-xi-risks-repeat-chinas-mao-era-mistakes.
6. Steven W. Mosher. “How China’s Xi Jinping destroyed religion and made himself God”. New York Post. February 1, 2020. https://nypost.com/2020/02/01/how-chinas-xi-jinping-destroyed-religion-and-made-himself-god/
7. “Nostradamus Effect: Secrets of the Seven Seals – Full Episode (S1, E7)”. History. March 18, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbFk8TposWo
8. “Nostradamus Effect: The Apocalypse Code (Season 1, Episode 5)”. History. April 3, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T481m7mqzq0
9. “Investigation: Why is China on the move in the South Pacific?”. 60 Minutes Australia. November 17, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzCqQKnF9Oo
10. Mourdoukoutas, Panos. “Vietnam Shows Malaysia And The Philippines How To Fight The South China Sea Wars”. Forbes. November 16, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2019/11/16/vietnam-shows-malaysia-and-the-philippines-how-to-fight-the-south-china-sea-wars/#1d08df6ee9db
11. “Vietnam pulls DreamWorks’ ‘Abominable’ over South China Sea map.” South China Morning Post. October 15, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaPK1Ekj028
12. Lendon, Brad. “Coronavirus may be giving Beijing an opening in the South China Sea”. CNN. April 7, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/07/asia/coronavirus-china-us-military-south-china-sea-intl-hnk/index.html
13. Parameswaran, Prashanth. “South China Sea and the Coronavirus: New Vietnam-China Incident Spotlights Old Realities.” The Diplomat. April 6, 2020. https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/south-china-sea-and-the-coronavirus-new-vietnam-china-incident-spotlights-old-realities/
14. Geraghty, Jim. “The Comprehensive Timeline of China’s COVID-19 Lies”. National Review. March 23, 2020. https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/chinas-devastating-lies/
15. Madhukalya, Anwesha. “$20 trillion lawsuit against China! US group says coronavirus is bioweapon”. Business Today. April 2, 2020. https://www.businesstoday.in/current/world/usd-20-trillion-lawsuit-against-china-us-group-says-coronavirus-bioweapon/story/399071.html
16. Byerly, Carol. “The U.S. Military and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919”. US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health. 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2862337/
17. Kristian, Bonnie. “Esper’s dark vision for US-China conflict makes war more likely”. March 19, 2020. Defense News. https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/commentary/2020/03/19/espers-dark-vision-for-us-china-conflict-makes-war-more-likely/
18. Bressan, David. “Even A Small Nuclear War Would Still Have Effects On Global Scale.” Forbes. August 12, 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidbressan/2017/08/12/even-a-small-nuclear-war-would-still-have-effects-on-global-scale/#36c3843e507d
19. “Prosperity for the masses by 2020.” PwC. 2015. https://www.pwchk.com/en/migration/pdf/prosperity-masses-2020.pdf
20. Thiessen, Marc. “Marc Thiessen: Social distancing from China”. Journal Star. March 21, 2020. https://journalstar.com/opinion/columnists/marc-thiessen-social-distancing-from-china/article_47f3d67b-0d04-560b-a9a0-9ffe31869275.html

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Who should be responsible for the coronavirus pandemic?

There was a hoax stating that the US government had created and patented a vaccine for coronavirus years ago, shared with nearly 5,000 Facebook users a false claim that “coronavirus is a human-made virus in the laboratory [1].  Could the hoax came from Operation Infektion of the KGB or the China’s Communist Party’s (CCP’s) propaganda to pass the blame to other countries?

Perhaps they got the idea from the novel of Dean Koontz called The Eyes of Darkness, which was originally published in 1981, describing a killer virus from the Chinese scientist who brought a biological weapon called “Wuhan-400” to the United States that some claimed echoes the current coronavirus outbreak [2].

Lawyer Larry Klayman and his group Freedom Watch filed the complaint in federal court in Texas seeking at least $20 trillion from the Chinese government because of its “callous and reckless indifference and malicious acts [3].   “China is to blame,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas said of the virus, which was first identified in Wuhan, China [4].  That could be the reason why they call it the Chinese Virus, just like the Spanish Flu 1918.  As Dr. Wu Qiang stated that the Chinese local government concealed the truth to the public due to political concerns  [5].  Suppressing information about the virus, doing little to contain it, and allowing it to spread unchecked in the crucial early days and weeks, the regime imperiled not only its own country and its own citizens, but also more than 100 nations now facing their own potentially devastating outbreaks.  More perniciously, the Chinese government censored and detained those brave doctors and whistleblowers who attempted to sound the alarm and warn their fellow citizens when they understood the gravity of what was to come  [6].

The novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus emerged in the city of Wuhan, China, last year and has since caused a large scale COVID-19 epidemic and spread to more than 70 other countries is the product of natural evolution [7].  Based on the timeline, a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus emerged on 17 November 2019, according to 13 March 2020 reports of official Chinese government sources [8].

Between 8 and 18 December 2019, seven cases later diagnosed with novel coronavirus were documented; two of them were linked with the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market; five were not [9]. Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported in a broadcast airing on 12 January 2020 that a “new viral outbreak was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, on 12 December 2019 [10].  Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan-based virologist, also called the bat woman was called to investigate when the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention had detected a novel coronavirus in two hospital patients [11].

By January 7 the Wuhan team determined that the new virus had indeed caused the disease those patients suffered—a conclusion based on results from polymerase chain reaction analysis, full genome sequencing, antibody tests of blood samples and the virus’s ability to infect human lung cells in a petri dish.  The genomic sequence of the virus—now officially called SARS-CoV-2 because it is related to the SARS pathogen—was 96 percent identical to that of a coronavirus the researchers had identified in horseshoe bats in Yunnan, they reported in a paper published last month in Nature [11].

On February 24 the nation announced a permanent ban on wildlife consumption and trade except for research or medicinal or display purposes—which will stamp out an industry worth $76 billion and put approximately 14 million people out of jobs, according to a 2017 report commissioned by the Chinese Academy of Engineering.  Some welcome the initiative, whereas others, such as ecologist Peter Daszak worry that without efforts to change people’s traditional beliefs or provide alternative livelihoods, a blanket ban may push the business underground.  This could make disease detection even more challenging.  “Eating wildlife has been part of the cultural tradition in southern China” for thousands of years, Daszak says.  “It won’t change overnight.”  Peter Daszak is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a New York City–based nonprofit research organization that collaborates with scientists, such as Shi, around the world to discover new viruses in wildlife.  Shi’s team discovered a coronavirus strain in 2013 that came from horseshoe bats and had a genomic sequence that was 97 percent identical to the one found in civets in Guangdong [11].

With growing human populations increasingly encroaching on wildlife habitats, with unprecedented changes in land use, with wildlife and livestock transported across countries and their products around the world, and with a sharp increase in both domestic and international travel, new disease outbreaks of pandemic scale are a near mathematical certainty. This had been keeping Shi and many other researchers awake at night—long before the mysterious samples landed at the Wuhan Institute of Virology on that ominous evening last December [11].

Zoologists and disease experts have told CNN that changes to human behavior — the destruction of natural habitats, coupled with the huge number of fast-moving people now on Earth — has enabled diseases that were once locked away in nature to cross into people fast [12].

“What we have uncovered is just the tip of an iceberg.” Daszak’s team has estimated that there are as many as 5,000 coronavirus strains waiting to be discovered in bats globally.  Shi mentioned that “bat-borne coronaviruses will cause more outbreaks, we must find them before they find us” [11].

As of today there are 339,000 coronavirus cases globally [13].   The numbers are not accurate since there are less fortunate people who just died without being tested.

The researchers, students, scientists and the medical frontliners in times of crisis should be well provided and supported by the government as we are at war against COVID-19.  The government officials have the power, resources, network to find means to provide for their citizens the basic needs (food, healthcare, shelter) in the time of crisis.  Let’s not wait for the crisis to start to listen to the expertsEveryone has the responsibility to make this crisis end and not to happen again.

***

REFERENCES

1. Robert H. Shmerling. “Be careful where you get your news about coronavirus.” Harvard Health Publishing. March 16, 2020. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/be-careful-where-you-get-your-news-about-coronavirus-2020020118801

2. Harmeet Kaur. “No, Dean Koontz did not predict the coronavirus in a 1981 novel.” CNN. March 13, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/13/us/dean-koontz-novel-coronavirus-debunk-trnd/index.html

3. Melissa Quinn. “Conservative lawyer sues Chinese government over coronavirus outbreak.” CBS News. March 19, 2020. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-lawyer-larry-klayman-sues-chinese-government-over-outbreak/

4. Julian Shen-Berro. “Sen. Cornyn: China to blame for coronavirus, because ‘people eat bats.” NBC News. March 18, 2020. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/sen-cornyn-china-blame-coronavirus-because-people-eat-bats-n1163431

5. “Coronavirus: How the deadly epidemic sparked a global emergency.”  ABC News. Feb 24, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycrqXJYf1SU

6. Shadi Hamid. “China Is Avoiding Blame by Trolling the World.”  The Atlantic. March 19, 2020.  https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/china-trolling-world-and-avoiding-blame/608332/

7. Scripps Research Institute. “COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic has a natural origin.” ScienceDaily. March 17, 2020. https://http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200317175442.htm

8. Josephine Ma. “China’s first confirmed Covid-19 case traced back to November 17.” South China Morning Post. March 13, 2020. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3074991/coronavirus-chinas-first-confirmed-covid-19-case-traced-back

9. Qun Li, M.Med., Xuhua Guan, Ph.D., Peng Wu, Ph.D., Xiaoye Wang, M.P.H., Lei Zhou, M.Med., Yeqing Tong, Ph.D., Ruiqi Ren, M.Med., Kathy S.M. Leung, Ph.D., Eric H.Y. Lau, Ph.D., Jessica Y. Wong, Ph.D., Xuesen Xing, Ph.D., Nijuan Xiang, M.Med., Yang Wu, M.Sc., Chao Li, M.P.H., Qi Chen, M.Sc., Dan Li, M.P.H., Tian Liu, B.Med., Jing Zhao, M.Sc., Man Liu, M.Sc., Wenxiao Tu, M.Med., Chuding Chen, M.Sc., Lianmei Jin, M.Med., Rui Yang, M.Med., Qi Wang, M.P.H., Suhua Zhou, M.Med., Rui Wang, M.D., Hui Liu, M.Med., Yinbo Luo, M.Sc., Yuan Liu, M.Med., Ge Shao, B.Med., Huan Li, M.P.H., Zhongfa Tao, M.P.H., Yang Yang, M.Med., Zhiqiang Deng, M.Med., Boxi Liu, M.P.H., Zhitao Ma, M.Med., Yanping Zhang, M.Med., Guoqing Shi, M.P.H., Tommy T.Y. Lam, Ph.D., Joseph T. Wu, Ph.D., George F. Gao, D.Phil., Benjamin J. Cowling, Ph.D., Bo Yang, M.Sc., Gabriel M. Leung, M.D., and Zijian Feng, M.Med., et al. “Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia”. The New England Journal of Medicine. January 29, 2020. https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa2001316

10. “Chinese scientists identify the ‘Wuhan Virus’. Screening continues on Thai-bound flights.” The Thaiger. January 9, 2020. https://thethaiger.com/hot-news/tourism/chinese-scientists-identify-the-wuhan-virus-screening-continues-on-thai-bound-flights

11. Jane Qiu. “How China’s “Bat Woman” Hunted Down Viruses from SARS to the New Coronavirus.” Scientific American. March 11. 2020. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-chinas-bat-woman-hunted-down-viruses-from-sars-to-the-new-coronavirus1/

12. Nick Paton Walsh and Vasco Cotovio. “Bats are not to blame for coronavirus. Humans are.” CNN. March 20, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/19/health/coronavirus-human-actions-intl/index.html

13. Julia Hollingsworth, James Griffiths and Adam Renton. “Coronavirus cases top 339,000 globally.” CNN. March 23, 2020.  https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-outbreak-03-23-20-intl-hnk/index.html

 

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