U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar recently praised Taiwan for the critical role it played in telling the world about the CCP virus outbreak at a time when Beijing tried to suppress the news. In a speech given at a Heritage Foundation online seminar, Azar said that the initial American response to the coronavirus was problematic since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) censored news about it.
“We learned about an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown origin in Wuhan, China on December 30, not through that country’s official channels, as required under the International Health Regulations, but through media monitoring that we do, as well as through a notification from Taiwan’s Economic and Cultural Office here in the United States… That’s right: One of the very first ways the US government was notified of a novel virus in mainland China was by people from Taiwan,” Azar said during a speech.
At present, Taiwan is planning on reopening borders for international travelers in a limited way. The country will require visitors to test negative for the virus and provide proof of vaccination. Even though the island nation has a population of around 24 million, the total number of infections has only been 850 cases, a considerable achievement.
While Taiwan has been forthcoming in helping the international community fight the virus, communist China has been the opposite. Beijing only revealed news of the first coronavirus death on Jan. 11, two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started preparing situation reports on the outbreak.
At that time, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that there had been no human-to-human transmissions of the CCP virus. Azar said that within the first week of January, many families reported being infected with the virus. That would be impossible if the infection could only spread through animal-to-human contact. It seems the WHO was incorrect; there had been human transmission.
Communist China finally shared the genetic sequence of the virus on Jan. 9, 2020. That was 10 days after the media started reporting it and two months after the pandemic began.
Starting on Jan. 3 of last year and continuing throughout the month, CDC Director Robert Redfield reached out to his Chinese counterpart Gao Fu, offering a team to investigate the virus. However, the offer was only acknowledged on Jan. 29. The U.S. tried to pressure communist China in providing samples of viral isolates from the first generation of patients. Azar stated that even after a year, the communist regime has yet to provide any samples.
A WHO investigation team has recently been allowed into China to investigate, arriving in Wuhan on Jan. 14 of this year. However, Azar believes that the investigation will only look into the analysis already made by Chinese scientists, who will inevitably be censored by the CCP.
A Jan. 15 fact sheet released by the U.S. Department of State proposed that the first cases of the CCP virus infections originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). The institute is close to the market where the virus had originally been blamed for its origin.
“The US government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses… This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was ‘zero infection’ among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses,” stated the State Department fact sheet.