There China knew about Covid-19, but reportedly remained silent for over two weeks before revealing details of the deadly virus to the world. The indiscretion was launched by the Wall Street Journal, which after examining the documents that the US Department of Health obtained from a House commission, reveals how the discovery was kept hidden by Beijing for weeks.
A “cover-up” that delayed e slowed down emergency plans for a virus that originated in Wuhan and which China initially considered to be viral pneumonia “of unknown cause”. But that wasn’t the case, because the Chinese researchers already knew.
China had isolated and mapped Covid
In fact, from the study of the documents, the Wall Street Journal managed to highlight a missed, or rather hidden, step from Beijing. Chinese researchers, who for weeks had been witnessing the growth of Covid infections, which were not yet defined as such, had set to work to try to understand the origin of the deadly virus.
While outsiders said they knew nothing, or little, about the disease, something had actually happened in Beijing. Chinese researchers, according to what we learn, in fact isolated and mapped Covid-19 already at the end of December 2019at least two weeks before Beijing revealed details of the deadly virus to the world.
According to the WSJ, in fact, a Chinese researcher in Beijing uploaded an almost complete sequence of the structure of Covid into a database managed by the American government on 28 December 2019, but the actual communication sharing the news from China only arrived on 11 January 2020.
A full two week delay between the discovery by researcher Lili Ren of the Institute of Pathogen Biology in Beijing, and the first interventions. But still, despite the new information, it cannot shed light on the debate over whether the coronavirus emerged from an infected animal or a laboratory leak.
The two extra weeks, certainly, could still have proved crucial in helping the international medical community identify how Covid-19 spreads, develop medical defenses and start a possible vaccine. In fact, while everything was kept hidden from China, at the end of 2019 scientists and governments around the world were intent on competing to understand the mysterious disease that they would later call Covid-19 and which would kill millions of people.
Bassetti furious with China
News that cannot fail to shock the scientific community, which upon learning of this indiscretion launched by the Wall Street Journal points the finger at China. In Italy, it was the one who was furious against Beijing Matteo Bassetti, director of Infectious Diseases of the Policlinico San Martino hospital in Genoa.
“If what the Wall Street Journal wrote about China is true, we are faced with a very serious fact. The method that we scientists use is that, when we are faced with a new virus, we make any news or study available to the scientific community. Having it delayed by 14 days is also very serious from a medical-scientific point of view,” he told Adnkronos.
The expert then underlined that “if we had had some information earlier, perhaps we could have had tests earlier and worked on drugs earlier.” News which, having arrived in the days in which Italy has been working on the new 2024-2028 pandemic plan, is making a lot of noise.
And there is no lack of thrust: “I remember that December 2019 and if the Chinese had already mapped Sars-CoV-2 it is a scandalous fact. It must be condemned by the entire scientific community”.