China Gets Even Shadier With Its Covid-19 Story

Where money, power and politics collide.

For those of you who missed it: The U.S. Department of Energy and federal intelligence officials informed members of Congress last month that the origins of Covid-19 more likely came from Wuhan’s coronavirus lab than natural evolution. 

The briefing, given to lawmakers with the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, indicated the DOE’s position on the origins of the pandemic coming from a lab went from neutral to one of “low confidence.”

Other intelligence agencies hold the opposite view, believing with “low confidence” that Covid-19 stemmed from natural exposure to an animal infected with the virus. The Federal Bureau of Investigation backs the lab leak theory with “moderate confidence.”

Meanwhile, the National Intelligence Council does not believe Covid-19 was developed as a biological weapon, stating that rumors claiming otherwise appear to be disinformation.

(For those wondering why the DOE has any opinion on Covid-19, the agency runs an impressive network of national labs that work on energy, nuclear, climate, environmental, health and national security issues.)

At any rate, China is cracking on with its own ideas about Covid-19 this month. Those efforts entail withholding or obfuscating data on the impact of the pandemic – including how many people died in China – and scrubbing social media and other records that chronicle the impact the virus has had on daily life.

In annual financial reports released through the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Chinese companies also have noticeably avoided discussing the effects of the pandemic on their bottom line. Instead they are blaming the fallout on what they are calling “unexpected events,” geopolitics, high energy prices, or other approved euphemisms.

Perhaps most troublingly, the Chinese government stopped posting and updating records on its cremations, which are normally reported quarterly, in what some believe is an attempt to mask the nation’s death toll. That number remains chillingly unknown.

Apparently, China is looking to portray its handling of the pandemic as a triumph. As such, it is censoring statements, videos, exhibitions and even community events commemorating the anniversary of its lockdowns.

Remarking on China’s refusal to share more information regarding the origins of Covid-19, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, who attended the DOE briefing last month, said, “It’s no secret that China’s been hugely obstructive. Hugely obstructive. And you know, that’s going to continue. But that doesn’t mean that we can sit back and say we’ll never know. And indeed, we have multiple agencies now that think they do know.”

A bill to declassify U.S. intelligence related to the pandemic, sponsored by Hawley, passed the Senate with unanimous consent on March 1. It also passed the House by 419-0 just days later. 

Right now, the bill awaits President Biden’s approval, although the White House hasn’t made clear yet whether he will sign. 

Isn’t it about time to rip open the envelope?

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