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As China death toll rises, do we need a vaccine for the virus of State secrecy?


THE death toll from the coronavirus continues to rise in China, and with it the conspiracy theories. Amidst all the horse-pucky in the latter, you will often find a seed or two of truth.

For example, we now know that Wuhan, the city where the outbreak started, is also the location of China’s only Level 4 (the highest level) biological research facility, or the only one we’re allowed to know about.

Someone connected this with the escorted departure of some Chinese scientists from a similar laboratory in Winnipeg, Canada. No-no-no, said the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: ‘Online chatter’… ‘disinformation’ (watch for that word with Google Alerts, there’s an organised official counter-attack against social media infospread) … before reminding us of one of its earlier stories that revealed the National Microbiology Lab had sent live ebola and henipah viruses to Beijing on an Air Canada flight last March. Good job planes never crash.

The Chinese probably didn’t need shipments of coronavirus, though. After all, their SARS epidemic 18 years ago was another version of the same class of virus. The earlier one was traced back to cave bats in Yunnan; the latest has also been blamed on bats and a Chinese vlogger has had to apologise for commending them as a delicacy (like almost everything else: If its back is towards Heaven you can eat it, is the old Cantonese saying) – or is that explanation itself official disinformation?

Could it possibly have been an Andromeda Strain-type accidental lab release? The 1975 (effective date) international Biological Weapons Convention prohibits the military development, production etc, of germs and viruses, and China signed up in 1984. Yet, given the fallen state of mankind and especially governments, I shouldn’t be surprised if it hasn’t continued undercover there, as this writer claims .

Asked where the UK does its bio and chemical research, most of us could only name Porton Down (I remember the Aldermaston marches, but when did the public march against germ warfare?)

However, we have another facility in Hertfordshire, three in Surrey and three more in Greater London. I hope it’s all white-hat stuff, though I can imagine Whitehall arguments for developing nasties in order to find defences against them if ‘the other side’ tries to use them.

There are two in France and another French-supported one in Gabon, on the coast of West Africa. They do like to do things their own way, do the French; unlike us, they don’t need US authorisation for their nukes, either. A reason I pick on our Continental cousins here is a story that caught my eye in 2016, about the opening of a Level 3 (allegedly) bio-safety laboratory in French Polynesia. Funnily enough, that Tahiti News article has since disappeared.

The Institut Louis Malardé (ILM) opened the lab, not on the main island of Tahiti or in Pape’ete, but on a tiny two-square-mile atoll called Tetiaroa. Supposedly it is for research into mosquito-borne diseases and having it locally would save processing time, according to Google flagged up an article on the ILM site with a snippet under the link – ‘Lutte contre les moustiques. Une expérimentation innovante à Tetiaroa’ – that now I can’t find there.

Colour me sceptical, but we have every reason to distrust our rulers and their massive military establishments. Humans aren’t grown-up enough to play with such toys; the trouble is getting them back into the box.

It’s easier to keep us in the dark, I guess. New definition of a British D-notice: ‘Dis information must not be released to da public.’

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Rolf Norfolk
Rolf Norfolk
Rolf Norfolk is a former teacher and retired independent financial adviser.

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