As the world continues to learn more about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, one thing has become crystal clear: The outbreak began long before Chinese officials warned anyone.
According to a new study, it appears that the novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, may have begun spreading as far back as October.
That would have been months before China warned the World Health Organization on Dec. 31.
It would also have been long before President Xi Jinping warned the public on Jan 20, according to The Associated Press.
The study, conducted by Harvard Medical School, analyzed commercial satellite imagery of Wuhan hospital parking lots as well as search queries of coronavirus symptoms to determine the start date of the virus.
According to the study, the hospital traffic and search terms began to increase “in late Summer and early Fall 2019.”
“Something was happening in October,” Dr. John Brownstein, the Harvard Medical professor who led the research, told ABC News.
“Clearly, there was some level of social disruption taking place well before what was previously identified as the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic.”
Former acting Homeland Security Undersecretary John Cohen noted that travelers from Wuhan were likely the origin of America’s coronavirus spread.
“This study raises serious questions about whether the coronavirus was first introduced into the United States earlier than previously reported and whether measures announced in late January restricting travel from China were too little too late,” Cohen said.
If China had been quicker to warn the rest of the world, the U.S. and other countries could have prevented the disease from spreading so widely.
That conclusion was corroborated by a study conducted by the U.K.’s University of Southampton, which determined that if China had acted sooner, coronavirus spread could have been reduced by as much as 95 percent.
Additional reports suggest that the Chinese government not only knew about the coronavirus ahead of time but also actively covered up its existence.
On April 27, White House trade adviser and China hawk Peter Navarro revealed that China had “vacuumed up” masks and personal protective equipment before letting the world know about the dangers of the virus.
Only a few days later, in a Department of Homeland Security report dated May 1, it was revealed that China “intentionally concealed the severity” of the pandemic by “denying there were export restrictions and obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data.”
Then, two weeks later on May 15, a Chinese official admitted that the Chinese government knowingly destroyed samples of the coronavirus, claiming it did so to “prevent the risk to laboratory biological safety and prevent secondary disasters caused by unidentified pathogens.”
With this new Harvard study suggesting that the coronavirus may have originated back in the fall, it has become evident that China’s actions may have resulted in many deaths and much suffering that could have been prevented.
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