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Virus Origin: Henan Province Issued an Order to Safely Manage Laboratory Animals

After Xi Jinping gave the direction to include biosafety as part of the national security system, Science and Technology Daily reported that Henan Province issued an order on February 18 on safely managing laboratory animals.

The order requires strengthening the monitoring and control of the entire process of laboratory animals and strengthening the disinfection and sterilization of each stage including production, transportation, and use. The dead bodies and waste of laboratory animals must be strictly and harmlessly treated so as to prevent the escape of animals and the spread of pathogens that could endanger human health, public health, and environmental safety. It must be ensured that the production and use of experimental animals are safe and controllable; it should immediately be reported to the local veterinary department and the Provincial Science and Technology Department if irregular batch deaths of laboratory animals are found to have occurred.

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Leadership: Xi Stressed Biosafety as Part of the National Security System

Xinhua reported that, at the Communist Central’s Deepening Reform meeting on February 14, 2020, Xi Jinping gave an important direction on how to handle the control of the coronavirus epidemic, including biosafety, as part of the national security system.

Xi stressed, “(We) must strengthen the legal protection of public health… Incorporate biosafety into the national security system, systematically plan the development of a national biosafety risk control system, comprehensively improve national biosafety governance capabilities, publish the biosafety law as soon as possible, and accelerate the establishment the legal system and institutional structure for national biosafety.”

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Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson on Revoking Press Credentials of Three Wall Street Journal Reporters

Many questions were raised regarding China’s decision to revoke the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters at the press conference that Geng Shuang, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave on February 20.

One question asked was whether China’s action was a response to the United States designating five Chinese media companies as “foreign missions.” Geng didn’t give a direct answer.

Instead, Geng criticized the Wall Street Journal for publishing an article (“China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia”) that slandered China. He repeated exactly the same statement in his answers to four different questions, which seemed to indicate that Beijing was targeting the Wall Street Journal as a whole, though the three reporters may have had nothing to do with that article.

Question: The commentary department of the Wall Street Journal published the article insulting China. The three reporters are in the news reporting department. Before revoking the credentials of these three reporters, who had nothing to do with the insulting article, did China ask the Wall Street Journal for an apology or try other mediation measures?

Answer: … We are not interested in the internal work assignment (of different people) at the Wall Street Journal. There is just one Wall Street Journal in the world. They must be responsible for their actions.

Question: What if those three reporters got their reporter credentials revoked?

Answer: … We are not interested in the internal work assignment (of different people) at the Wall Street Journal. There is just one Wall Street Journal in the world. They must be responsible for their actions.

Question: It was reported that the CEO of Dow Jones, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal expressed that the article was from its Commentary department. Whether people agree with it or not, the newspaper can provide an opportunity to release all different opinions. How will China comment on it?

Answer: … We are not interested in the internal work assignment (of different people) at the Wall Street Journal. There is just one Wall Street Journal in the world. They must be responsible for their actions. …

Question: These three reporters were from the news reporting department, not the commentary department and had not participated in the article which insulted China. Why did China revoke their reporter credentials? On which law did China base its measure?

Answer: … We are not interested in the internal work assignment (to different people) at the Wall Street Journal. There is just one Wall Street Journal in the world. They must be responsible for their actions. …

Source: The Foreign Affairs Ministry website, February 20, 2020

Local Government: Ying Yong Is in Full Control in Hubei Province

There was a report that Ying Yong, the former Shanghai Mayor who was recently appointed to be the Hubei Provincial Party Secretary, has absolute power in Hubei’s battle to control of the coronavirus epidemic .

United Daily News, a newspaper in Taiwan, reported a story about Ying Yong: At an emergency meeting with the top officials of Hubei Province, Ying asked to impose the strictest traffic control starting at midnight on February 17, 2020. No cars would be allowed to move except those who had special permission from the provincial Public Security Bureau.

Some officials asked if this plan should be sent to the Party Central Committee for approval. Ying said there was no need for approval, but there was just a need to make Party Central be aware of it. He decided what to do in Hubei. Whoever had a different opinion could speak out, but would then be removed from his post. At this special time, the Communist Party Central Committee gave him all the power; he must take immediate action to be responsible to Party Central and the Hubei people.

Ying then asked Wang Guanbin, Director of the Provincial Public Security Bureau, how many days he would need to complete the traffic control? Wang said there could be some challenges.

“I am not asking you if there are any challenges,” Ying answered. “You tell me how many days you need to make it happen.”

Wang didn’t give answer for over a minute. Ying then said, “You don’t need to answer. Deputy Director Jia, please answer this question.”

Jia stood up and made a salute to Ying, answering he would need three days.

Ying said, “Good! I give you five days. You are now the Acting Director of the Hubei Public Security Bureau!”

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Resuming Production: After Resuming Work, E-Commerce Company Dangdang Found an Infected Worker

A giant  E-Commerce company, Dangdang, headquartered in Beijing, found a staff member was infected with the Coronavirus. As a result, the company let all people working at the headquarters work from home.

Dangdang resumed work on February 10. A staff member worked at the headquarters from February 10 to 13. On February 15, his mother was confirmed to have the coronavirus infection. On February 16, Dangdang let people who had come  in close contact with that staff member go home to be quarantined. On February 19, that staff member was “basically confirmed” to have the infection, so Dangdang let all of its employees working at its headquarters go work from home instead.

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Source: QQ, February 20, 2020

Virus Origin: SARS Virus Was Leaked in Beijing in 2004

According to reports from several official media, China leaked the SARS virus from its laboratory in 2004. Around the Chinese New Year period of 2004 (late January 2004), a staff member at the National Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took the SARS virus out of the center’s Biocontainment Level 3 (BL3) lab (China calls it a P3 lab), and conducted further testing in a regular, less protected lab.

Due to the leak, there were nine cases of infection in Beijing and Anhui Province. The World Health Organization (WHO) also sent specialists to participate in the investigation of the leak.

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Virus Origin: Patient “No. Zero” Had Symptoms on Dec 1

The BBC reported that a patient in his 70’s, recovering from a stroke at home, was patient “No. Zero,” or the first patient who the novel coronavirus infected in Wuhan.

He had symptoms on December 1, 2019, a week before the December 8 case that Wuhan reported in the past. He never went to the seafood market, which the Chinese government blamed as the origin of the virus.

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