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Coronavirus: Chinese official suggests U.S. Army to blame for outbreak

"It might be U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan,” tweeted Zhao Lijian. “Be transparent! Make public your data! U.S. owe us an explanation!"

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/coronavirus-chinese-official-suggests-u-s-army-blame-outbreak-n1157826

楚茲帕
Chǔ zī pà

3 Answers

+2 votes
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Well I wish I could say it doesn't really matter where it started, let's just all work together and get the morbidity and mortality under control, moving toward a vaccine...but that is not the way the world works right now.

I think it is accepted that Spanish flu did begin in the USA, carried to Europe by WWI soldiers?

But we have our president calling corona a 'foreign virus' among other digs, so I suppose it is inevitable someone in China would have the chutzpah to take up the gauntlet! 

...and yup, I went to Google translate for chutzpah and you got it Tink 楚兹帕


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It's not really known where the Spanish flu originated, although it was almost surely not Spain.

"For many years, medical historians and epidemiologists hypothesized that the outbreak could have started at a British army base in Étaples, France, or at Fort Riley in Kansas, where the first American cases of this new strain of flu were recorded in March of 1918.

More recently, experts have proposed a third hypothesis: The Spanish flu originated somewhere in northern China in late 1917 and swiftly moved to western Europe with the 140,000 Chinese laborers the French and British governments recruited to perform manual labor to free up troops for wartime duty."

https://www.history.com/news/why-was-the-1918-influenza-pandemic-called-the-spanish-flu

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Around 1917, travel was not so easy as now...sometimes I think that if not for that terrible war, the virus would not have spread so fast, so widely, even with the Chinese hypothesis then...actually, you have to wonder if that is an actual hypothesis, or just another attempt to dig at the foreigners?

I heard a physician in California saying COVID-19 appears to be ten times more deadly than the regular flu...it would be best for us all to cooperate on mitigation.

What makes me grieve is what I am reading about the UK approach -- still cannot believe this is true, keeping the schools open because this flu is milder in the young, and letting them get infected builds herd immunity? NO...if up to me that would never be the strategy.

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Well, if it is another dig, it isn't recent. It originated years ago, at least as far back as 2014.

"According to a new article published in the January 2014 issue of the journal War in History, historian Mark Humphries of Canada’s Memorial University of Newfoundland points to newly unearthed records to make the case that the lethal influenza pandemic first appeared in China in 1917 and then exploded across the globe “as previously isolated populations came into contact with one another on the battlefields of Europe.”"

https://www.history.com/news/china-epicenter-of-1918-flu-pandemic-historian-says

As for the British, if I were a conspiracy theorist, I might surmise that their school policy is a plot to kill off the old people, who are a strain on the retirement and healthcare systems.

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Thanks Tink, I will go to your link...not a major interest for me, but still I know it would always be helpful to understand how these viruses make the jump along with mutation to cause human illness.

And you can tell people are frightened because you see so many wild conspiracy theories now. I used to just stay out of 'em all because I was not close enough to the sources for my own personal standards of proof...but now I know we all do need to do the best we can to trace the threads accurately.

I am about 100 miles from the Kirkland Care Center in Washington State where 13 people have died from COVID-19 since Feb. 19, and have been in tears of joy to watch my tiny community respond...yesterday the food bank came by with a box for all seniors, left at your doorstep, along with a number to call if we need more, and they will deliver. The police chief also has offered to help make sure we have all we need, we don't have to go out.

There is a concern about the restaurants here; only one is a chain, Subway, and it has closed. The remaining half dozen are all locally owned, and they are remaining open for drive by. People support them by coming around in their cars for takeout.

* Tink that article is very convincing, very interesting! I wonder if it ever might be possible to do some DNA testing for final confirmation; I know they did that in the permafrost areas of North America, where the virus was preserved in burial sites. But the article even noted that when the flu cycled back into China, it was not as devastating, suggesting some herd immunity...ima bookmark that article.

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I'm shedding tears of joy too, Virginia, to hear that your community is protecting its seniors so well. <3

I'm not surprised that Subway is closed; I would not eat cold sandwiches prepared in such an establishment. Even before coronavirus, I have for years avoided delis during flu season. Yes, the sandwich preparers wear plastic gloves, but then they handle the money with the same gloves, and in many cases don't change the gloves before preparing the next sandwich! :O

About these viruses originating in China, I think it has to do with the custom there of eating unusual wildlife, bats, snakes, civets inter alia. The Police in China have closed the places dealing in these animals, which are known to be vectors for exotic flu and corona viruses.  And of course domesticated animals can also carry flu viruses, e.g., swine flu, bird flu.

"HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) - For the past two weeks China’s police have been raiding houses, restaurants and makeshift markets across the country, arresting nearly 700 people for breaking the temporary ban on catching, selling or eating wild animals."

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-wildlife/animals-live-for-man-chinas-appetite-for-wildlife-likely-to-survive-virus-idUSKBN20A0RK
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THAT is another intriguing article. I saw something on YouTube suggesting the bat meat being sold at a Wuhan market, yours from Reuters mentions pangolins... "Scientists suspect, but have not proven, that the new coronavirus passed to humans from bats via pangolins, a small ant-eating mammal whose scales are highly prized in traditional Chinese medicine."

It's another difficult dilemma...I would personally prefer to see all that exotic meat just gone from human consumption, especially now that there is a really convincing possibility the Spanish flu arose from that practice in China. I was a vegetarian for most of my first 60 years, reluctantly became an omnivore because I am one of the people who really needs meat, my health does not do well without it.

But at the same time I really prefer for people to have as much freedom as possible! However if it were really proven that exotic meat is linked periodically to these terrible pandemics...it's another good reason to discern accurately, scientifically. 

Hmmm...now I am wondering if there is more to the story of the bubonic plague...it's bacteria of course not virus, rides in the fleas carried by rats, but I recall it is supposed to have come from China, via the Silk Road...huge impact on Western civilization.

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Well yes, if someone wants to take chances with their own well-being, then so be it. But if that behavior might cause a pandemic, then clearly it should not be allowed. The individual in question has no right to risk the lives of others.

And as for the bubonic plague, I think it is not certain whether it originated in East Asia or in Central Asia (from whence it may have spread along the Silk Road in both directions), but it pretty definitely was in Asia.

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Tink it is sounding as if you have looked into the origins of the bubonic plague...I did not know about the question of Central vs. East Asian origin...I am smiling, with delight of course as you are something of a polymath!

Your article does mention the suppliers who have just put their exotic meats into the freezer for the time being, waiting for all of this to blow over...well, one thing I am taking from our conversation is the importance now of discerning accurately whether that viral stuff shows a pattern of mutating/escaping from the exotic meat into humankind a couple of times in a century, to produce a pandemic of varying proportions.

+3 votes
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Typical Chinks! Blame someone else for their stupidity! I remember thinking that when I first saw that article. Sorry, don't believe a word of it.

+3 votes
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After reading your article and another one a day or so ago, it seems to me that the Chinese wish to blame us for this outbreak. I'm sorry but I have a hard time believing that. Already seen about a dozen conspiracy theories and most all still lead back to China. It doesn't really surprise me that the Chinese want to blame us as they always seem to do that. I just don't buy that!

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