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Virus Origin: Chinese Researcher Sentenced for Selling Experimental Animals

A high-profile Chinese researcher was sentenced for corruption and pocketing the gains from selling animals and animal products after lab experiments. This could indirectly strengthen the theory that the novel coronavirus could be leaked from China’s bio lab.

Li Ning, a member of China’s Academy of Engineering and Professor at China’s Agricultural University, and Director of a State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Biotechnology at China Agricultural University, was sentenced on January 3, 2020.

The court verdict stated that, “From July 2008 to February 2012, the defendant Zhang Lei asked defendant Li Ning how to handle the proceeds from the sale of the pigs, cattle, and milk that were no longer needed after the experiments. Li directed those who asked to keep the money for themselves. The sales of the experimental pigs, cattle, and milk totaled 10,179,201.86 yuan (US $ 1.46 million).”

Three witnesses testified that Li had sold the experimental animals and milk. Continue reading

Death Count: (Unconfirmed) Huoshenshan Hospital Has Emptied 200 Rooms Every Day

People are concerned about the accuracy of  the Chinese government’s postings about the death count from the Coronavirus. An unconfirmed self-posting suggested that there could be 400 deaths at the Huoshenshan Hospital every day. The hospital, along with the Leishenshan Hospital, were two high-profile hospitals that Beijing built in Wuhan in 10 days to host the novel coronavirus patients. The  People’s Liberation Army manages the hospitals.

The person (who made the posting) said that he is a doctor at the Huoshenshan Hospital. He made two postings at the website, an anonymous English-language imageboard website. There were grammar errors in his English but Chinascope left his original posting as is. He mentioned that the deaths were not counted as pneumonia death but rather as sudden deaths, and that also the hospital emptied 200 rooms every day (there were two beds per room).

On February 7, 2020, he posted:

“I am a lab technician at Huoshenshan hospital in Wuhan.

The situation is so much worse than you know. Reported death of coronavirus are just those of sudden type, not pneumonic. Daily removes pneumonic patients to not return, whole sections of hospital 200 rooms each and not recorded. They are filled immediately with new pneumonic.

Please know we are trying but there is simply too much.”

After people questioned the validity of the information, the author posted a note on February 8 with “4chan 2020-2-8” in his hand to prove it was true. His posting said: “Is this? I only know little of site, hard to access often.”

[Editor’s Note: The freeing up of rooms is likely due to death. Leishenshan Hospital might have similar death rate. Death count from these two hospitals is likely not part of the corpses collected by funeral houses, as these hospitals are ran by the PLA, outside the civil process.]

Related postings on Chinascope:

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Death Count: Funeral Home Interviews Suggested 500 Corpses Incinerated in Wuhan per Day

As people are concerned with the accuracy of the death count from the Coronavirus that the Chinese government posts, Epoch Times reporters called funeral homes in Wuhan to inquire about the count of incineration each day. The following are the highlights of the report:

1. The interviewee said that both corpse transportation and incineration at his funeral home were four to five times the usual workload.

2. His funeral home has 9 cars to transport corpses. On February 3 alone, his funeral home took in 127 corpses and incinerated 116.

3. Among the 127 corpses, 8 were confirmed coronavirus deaths and 48 were suspected cases. However, since 116 corpses were incinerated immediately, they were likely to be coronavirus deaths, also. in the cases where the death is normal, the family members of the deceased may need more time to coordinate the incineration time.

4. 38 percent of the corpses were from hospitals and 61 percent were directly from people’s homes. This would indicate a large number of patients and deaths occurred outside of the hospital system.

5. Hankou funeral home incinerated more than the funeral home mentioned above. Since Hankou funeral home had 16 cars, it could incinerate 225 corpses, if operating at the same capacity.

6. Another funeral home said that they incinerated 30 corpses in one day. Assuming four other funeral houses incinerated at the same rate, that would be a total of 150 per day.

[Editor’s Note: The funeral’s death count combines natural deaths and coronavirus deaths. There can be two methods to estimate the coronavirus death count.

Method 1: Assuming 116 out of 127 deaths were coronavirus deaths, that’s about 90 percent of the total deaths. The total death count from above was 127 + 225 + 150 = 502; 90 percent of that would have been coronavirus deaths, which was 451.

Method 2: The total death count was 502. The normal incineration rate was 122 per day before the epidemic outbreak (see Chinascope posting “Death Count: Wuhan Incinerated 122 Corpses before Coronavirus Outbreak”). That leaves 380 coronavirus deaths per day in Wuhan.]

As of February 10, China reported a total of 909 coronavirus deaths, among which 871 were from Hubei Province (including Wuhan City).

Related posting on Chinascope:

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Death Count: Wuhan Incinerated 122 Corpses Per Day Before Coronavirus Outbreak

As people are concerned with the accuracy of the Chinese government’s posting of the death counts from the Coronavirus, an Internet posting calculated that, on average, Wuhan funeral homes incinerated 122 corpses per day before the outbreak of the epidemic. Using the number posted on the Funeral Association website, (administered by the Ministry of Civil Affairs), the article gathered the annual incineration counts from seven funeral houses in Wuhan. The total was 44,400 a year, or 122 per day. Continue reading

Beijing and Shanghai Semi-Locked Down – February 10

As the novel coronavirus has continued to spread in China, Beijing and Shanghai have imposed a semi-lockdown. The lockdown has been imposed at the community level. Only people inside the community can enter or leave the community. Anyone outside cannot enter without official authorization.

About 80 cities in China has imposed either a full lockdown or a community level lockdown.

All four municipalities (cities directly reporting to the central government), including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Chongqing, imposed a community level lockdown. Continue reading

Shanghai Situation: Lead Medical Expert Wanted to Go to Hubei

According to China’s official media, Shanghai is relatively stable facing the novel coronavirus challenge. However, netizens have been posting different news items about the severity of the infection in Shanghai. Two pieces of information might give people an inside look into the real situation there:

1. According to Jiefang Daily, the official newspaper of the Shanghai Communist Party Committee, Shanghai established a “Dynamic Health Monitoring System for People Who Came to Shanghai” after January 31, 2020. By February 7, total of 1.68 million people had registered with the system, including 360,000 people who registered on February 7. This would mean the Shanghai government and health officials are monitoring at least 1.68 million people.

2. Youth Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League Shanghai Committee, reported that when Shanghai was collecting doctor’s names as its fourth patch to go to Hubei province on February 8, Zhang Wenhong, the head of Shanghai Medical Treatment Expert Group (to fight the novel coronavirus), expressed his desire to go to Wuhan. There were many WeChat discussions because the people of Shanghai were afraid when they heard that their lead medical expert wanted to leave Shanghai. Continue reading

After Beijing Accused US over Evacuation, Two Foreigners Died from nCoV

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Monday February 10 that two foreign citizens died from the coronavirus.

During last week’s routine press briefings, Hua Chunying, foreign ministry spokeswoman, accused the United States of “unceasingly manufacturing and spreading panic” by pulling its nationals out of China and restricting travel while not providing “any substantial assistance to China.”

In making public her negative assessment of the US position and its decisions as “setting a very bad example,” the spokeswoman did not appear to attach any weight to favorable comments that US officials made previously about China’s containing the coronavirus. On the other hand, Chinese state-run media had taken these favorable comments from foreign leaders as serious evidence to convince the Chinese people that the government is doing a superb job.

Publicly airing such unfriendly views toward the Trump administration also undercut what Xi Jingping, general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, had previously boasted, namely that China and the US have successfully managed their differences. Xi made the observation in a letter to President Donald Trump, which Vice Premier Li He read out loud at the January 15 ceremony for the  signing the phase one trade deal between the two countries.

Hua stated that, since January 3, 2020, China had provided 30 briefings on the novel coronavirus devleopments in China to US health officials .

There was an outcry over Chinese social media that the Chinese people were kept in the dark until January 20, 2002. Worse, January 3 turned out to be the day when China Central Television (CCTV), China’s state-run television station, broadcast nationally, how eight people in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, were reprimanded because the police had stopped all public discussion of the coronavirus cases thathad started to appear. Dr Li Wenliang, who died on the night of February 6 was among the eight people that CCTV humiliated.

On the other hand, some Chinese noted that the US could very well have been misled in those 30 briefings that Hua mentioned, just as the Chinese people were. Continue reading

Russia Quarantines Chinese Diplomat as Coronavirus Precaution

The Interfax news agency reported on Monday that Russian authorities have quarantined a Chinese diplomat as a safety precaution against the coronavirus outbreak, .

Consul General Cui Shaochun arrived in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg on Thursday to take up his new post.  Russian foreign ministry official Alexander Kharlov was quoted as saying that he should stay at home for two weeks (the incubation period), .

Source: US News & World Report, February 20, 2020

CCP Loyalist Warns Chinese Students in Germany Not to Commemorate Wuhan Physician

Students in Berlin, Germany were gathering at Brandenburg Gate on February 9, 2020, to commemorate Dr. Li Wenliang, a physician in Wuhan, China who passed away two days earlier. Over a month ago, Li broke the news  that a new type of coronavirus had infected patients, but the police then penalized him. On January 3, China Central Television (CCTV), Beijing’s state-run television, broadcast the news that the Wuhan police had reprimanded Li. He was among eight people who alerted others about the virus on social media.

One student, loyal to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), issued a warning to other Chinese students who might attend the gathering. The person cried out, “Ab-so-lute-ly NO participation! This is a critical moment, everyone must exercise caution. Some murky forces are trying to make the most out of [the death of] Dr. Li. I have verified that the organizers have an anti-China background. Please spread the word. Don’t let those with ulterior motives take advantage of this occasion. To commemorate Li Wenliang is only an excuse. To make bloody gains out of the doctor’s death is what they want.”

It is apparent that this person (making this statement) has resources at his disposal to enable him to gather information about or keep dossiers on the event’s organizers.

Meanwhile, within China, given the outpouring of public grief and anger, People’s Daily, the CCP official newspaper, took the opposite approach of actively facilitating favorable actions taken regarding Dr. Li. The People’s Daily commentator cheered when a special team was dispatched to Wuhan to investigate any wrongs that was carried out against Dr. Li. Continue reading

Taiwan: Controversy about the First Evacuation Flight – February 3

After initially rejecting Taiwan’s request to evacuate its citizens who were trapped in Wuhan, China, Beijing sent a charter flight on February 3, 2020, to take 247 people from Wuhan to Taiwan. However, this first flight was full of controversies. [Editor’s note: A Chinascope briefing with a commentary on why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) initially rejected the Taiwan evacuation request is worth reading, as its predictions exhibited a high similarity to what had actually happened.]

The following are the controversies.

Beijing, viewing Taiwan as part of its own territory, did not recognize the event as “Taiwan evacuating its citizens.” Instead, it just called the flight an “extra flight during the Chinese New Year.” It did not let Taiwan send a plane either, but used one from the mainland’s Eastern Airlines.

The original evacuation list had 244 people, but the actual flight carried 247. Upon arrival at Taipei, one of the three additional people, was tested and was confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus,

Taiwan authorities did not receive the list of people until the people were about to board the plane, which left them little room to verify who the people were and to confirm the urgency for their return compared to that of other people. To have a better control of the situation, Taiwan authorities postponed the next flight.

When they negotiated with Beijing, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council stressed a general principle on deciding on people riding on the first fight: Give priority to those who are on a short-term visit and lack a regular facility and means to live (e.g. hotels have to provide food or other services), those who have a chronic disease, and children, elderly, and those with weak immune capabilities. It also asked to exclude those who have been confirmed to have the coronavirus infection. Beijing agreed. However, the result was quite different. Among the first 247 evacuated people, there was not only a confirmed infected patient, but also a few dozen people who did not have Taiwan citizenship (many of them were the spouses or children of Taiwan citizens). However, many people who had a higher priority based on the stated terms weren’t able get on the plane.

The Kuomintang played a big role in making the evacuation happen, since Beijing rejected the Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council’s initial request. The Kuomintang set up a seven-member group as a third-party channel to communicate with Beijing. The group talked to the Chinese Communist Party on a “party to party” basis and was able to establish the path for the evacuation.

A Kuomintang Central Committee member Xu Zhengwen collected the names of Taiwan citizens in Wuhan and worked on the first evacuation list. He criticized the Taiwan government, under the Democratic Progressive Party President, for putting people’s lives in jeopardy by postponing the next flight. However, many people blamed him for giving seats out as favors and ignoring the people who were in greater need. There were also questions about him holding many political titles from mainland China. One title, for example, was from the China Association for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification, an organization under the CCP’s United Front Department that aimed to reunify Taiwan and China.

The Kuomintang issued a news statement that its seven-people group was not involved in deciding the name list of the first flight, and that any of its party members whose words or actions interfered in the epidemic prevention would receive party discipline.

Related postings on Chinascope:

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