“This might have been a weapons vector gone awry; not deliberately released, but in development and then somehow leaked,” Asher announced on March 12 throughout a panel discussion at the Hudson Institute.
Asher continued: “This has turned out to be the greatest weapon in history. You’ve taken out 15 to 20 percent of global GDP. You’ve killed millions of people. The Chinese population has been barely affected. Their economies roared back to being number one in the entire G20.”
The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, first appeared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. A lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where scientists have carried vast research on bat coronaviruses, has long been thought to be the source of the outbreak, possibly due to an unexpected leak.
That theory was described as “extremely unlikely” by World Health Organization (WHO) expert Peter Ben Embarek on Feb. 8, after a two-week fact-finding mission in Wuhan. Though, within days WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus seemed to walk back this statement, explaining that “all hypotheses remain open and require further study.”
A fact sheet issued by the U.S. State Department in January declared that it “had reason to believe” many researchers at the institute fell ill with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses in autumn 2019. A senior researcher at the institute stated in July 2020 there was “zero infection” among lab staff and students.
Asher remarked that China stopped talking publicly about its research at the Wuhan lab in 2016. One night the same year, he recalled catching a Chinese military commentator speaking on China’s state-run media how “we have entered into an area of Chinese biowarfare, including using things like viruses.”
“I mean, they made a public statement to their people that this is a new priority under the Xi [Chinese leader Xi Jinping] national security policy,” Asher stated.
Asher doubted that it was a coincidence and figured that 2016 could be the year when the Chinese military became engaged in biological programs at the Wuhan lab.
“You need to understand the nature of the communist state in China and its secretive, dual-use approach to everything military to be able to appreciate it,” Asher said. He continued that he thought nobody in the WHO understood China well enough to know that it could “obfuscate” its classified programs.
China was further uncooperative throughout the early stage of the outbreak. Asher said the United States and its allies made nearly 100 requests to China, whether to ask for its assistance or to offer help.