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Breaking the Silence: Article published on 16 April 2020 – US alerted Israel, NATO to disease outbreak in China in November 2019

Earlier this month [May, 2021], an ABC News story cited four separate government sources to reveal that as far back as late November, a special medical intelligence unit within US Defense Intelligence Agency had produced a report warning that an out-of-control disease epidemic was occurring in the Wuhan area of China, and widely distributed that document throughout the top ranks of US Government, warning that steps should be taken to protect US forces based in Asia.

After the story aired, a Pentagon spokesman officially denied the existence of that November report, while various other top level government and intelligence officials refused to comment.

But a few days later, Israeli television mentioned that in November American intelligence had indeed shared such a report on the Wuhan disease outbreak with its NATO and Israeli allies, thus seeming to independently confirm the complete accuracy of the original ABC News story and its several government sources.

It therefore appears that elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency were aware of the deadly viral outbreak in Wuhan more than a month before any officials in the Chinese government itself.

Unless our intelligence agencies have pioneered the technology of precognition, I think this may have happened for the same reason that arsonists have the earliest knowledge of future fires.

According to these multiply-sourced mainstream media accounts, by “the second week of November” US Defense Intelligence Agency was already preparing a secret report warning of a “cataclysmic” disease outbreak taking place in Wuhan.

Yet at that point, probably no more than a couple of dozen individuals had been infected in that city of 11 million, with few of those yet having any serious symptoms. The implications are rather obvious. Furthermore:

As the coronavirus gradually began to spread beyond China’s own borders, another development occurred that greatly multiplied suspicions. Most of these early cases had occurred exactly where one might expect, among the East Asian countries bordering China.

But by late February Iran had become the second epicenter of the global outbreak.

Even more surprisingly, its political elites had been especially hard-hit, with a full 10% of the entire Iranian parliament soon infected and at least a dozen of its officials and politicians dying of the disease, including some who were quite senior. Indeed, Neocon activists on Twitter began gleefully noting that their hatred Iranian enemies were now dropping like flies.

Let us consider the implications of these facts. Across the entire world the only political elites that have yet suffered any significant human losses have been those of Iran, and they died at a very early stage, before significant outbreaks had even occurred almost anywhere else in the world outside China. Thus, we have America assassinating Iran’s top military commander on Jan. 2nd and then just a few weeks later large portions of the Iranian ruling elites became infected by a mysterious and deadly new virus, with many of them soon dying as a consequence. Could any rational individual possibly regard this as a mere coincidence?

Source: The Unz Review

1. Original article from Times of Israel:

[16 April 2020, 9:51 pm – Updated: 17 April 2020, 10:27 pm]

US intelligence agencies alerted Israel to the coronavirus outbreak in China already in November, Israeli television reported Thursday.

White House was reportedly not interested in the intel, but it was passed onto NATO, IDF; when it reached Israel’s Health Ministry, ‘nothing was done’

According to Channel 12 news, the US intelligence community became aware of the emerging disease in Wuhan in the second week of that month and drew up a classified document.

Information on the disease outbreak was not in the public domain at that stage — and was known only apparently to the Chinese government.

US intelligence informed the Trump administration, “which did not deem it of interest,” but the report said the Americans also decided to update two allies with the classified document: NATO and Israel, specifically the IDF.

The network said Israeli military officials later in November discussed the possibility of the spread of the virus to the region and how it would affect Israel and neighboring countries.

The intelligence also reached Israel’s decision makers and the Health Ministry, where “nothing was done,” according to the report.

Last week, ABC News reported that US intelligence officials were warning about the coronavirus in a report prepared in November by the American military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence.

It was unclear if that was the same report that was said to have been shared with Israel.

Colonel Shane Day, the NCMI director, denied last week that any such report existed.

“As a matter of practice the National Center for Medical Intelligence does not comment publicly on specific intelligence matters,” he said.

“However, in the interest of transparency during this current public health crisis, we can confirm that media reporting about the existence/release of a National Center for Medical Intelligence Coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists.”

In its first major step to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Israel announced on January 30 it was barring all flights from China, ten days after Chinese leader Xi Jinping issued his first public comments on the virus and the Asian country’s top epidemiologist said for the first time it could be spread from person to person.

An Associated Press report on Wednesday said Xi’s warning came seven days after Chinese officials secretly determined that they were likely facing a pandemic, potentially costing China and other countries valuable time to prepare for the outbreak.

Doctors in Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak in China, are reported to have first tried to have warn about the virus in December, but were censored.

The Chinese government has repeatedly denied suppressing information in the early days, saying it immediately reported the outbreak to the World Health Organization.

Source: Times of Israel

2. Original article from Times of Israel:

[15 April 2020, 4:46 pm]

‘China’s failure to warn of likely pandemic for 6 key days may have been critical’

Documents show officials knew of potential danger almost a week before telling their public; experts say much of virus’s spread could have been prevented if they’d acted sooner

In the six days after top Chinese officials secretly determined they likely were facing a pandemic from a new coronavirus, the city of Wuhan at the epicenter of the disease hosted a mass banquet for tens of thousands of people; millions began traveling through for Lunar New Year celebrations.

President Xi Jinping warned the public on the seventh day, January 20. But by then, more than 3,000 people had been infected during almost a week of public silence, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press and estimates based on retrospective infection data.

The delay from January 14 to January 20 was neither the first mistake made by Chinese officials at all levels in confronting the outbreak, nor the longest lag, as governments around the world have dragged their feet for weeks and even months in addressing the virus.

But the delay by the first country to face the new coronavirus came at a critical time — the beginning of the outbreak. China’s attempt to walk a line between alerting the public and avoiding panic set the stage for a pandemic that has infected almost 2 million people and taken more than 126,000 lives.

“This is tremendous,” said Zuo-Feng Zhang, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “If they took action six days earlier, there would have been much fewer patients and medical facilities would have been sufficient.”

However, another epidemiologist, Benjamin Cowley at the University of Hong Kong, noted that it may have been a tricky call. If health officials raise the alarm prematurely, it can damage their credibility — “like crying wolf” — and may cripple their ability to mobilize the public, he said.

The six-day delay by China’s leaders in Beijing came on top of almost two weeks during which the national Center for Disease Control did not register any new cases, internal bulletins obtained by the AP confirmed. Yet during that time, from January 5 to January 17, hundreds of patients were appearing in hospitals not just in Wuhan — which finally reopened last week — but across the country.

China’s rigid controls on information, bureaucratic hurdles and a reluctance to send bad news up the chain of command muffled early warnings, experts said. Without these internal reports, it took the first case outside China, in Thailand on January 13, to galvanize leaders in Beijing into recognizing the possible pandemic before them.
The Chinese government has repeatedly denied suppressing information in the early days, saying it immediately reported the outbreak to the World Health Organization.

“Allegations of a cover-up or lack of transparency in China are groundless,” said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at a Thursday press conference.

The documents show that the head of China’s National Health Commission, Ma Xiaowei, laid out a grim assessment of the situation in a confidential January 14 teleconference with provincial health officials. A memo states that the teleconference was held to convey instructions on the coronavirus from President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, but does not specify what those instructions were.

“The epidemic situation is still severe and complex, the most severe challenge since SARS in 2003, and is likely to develop into a major public health event,” the memo cites Ma as saying.

In a faxed statement, the National Health Commission said China had published information on the outbreak in an “open, transparent, responsible and timely manner,” in accordance with “important instructions” repeatedly issued by President Xi.

The documents come from an anonymous source in the medical field who did not want to be named for fear of retribution. The AP confirmed the contents with two other sources in public health familiar with the teleconference.

Under a section titled “sober understanding of the situation,” the memo singled out the case in Thailand, saying that the situation had “changed significantly” because of the possible spread of the virus abroad.

“All localities must prepare for and respond to a pandemic,” it said.

The National Health Commission distributed a 63-page set of instructions to provincial health officials, obtained by the AP. The instructions, marked “not to be publicly disclosed,” ordered health officials nationwide to identify suspected cases, hospitals to open fever clinics, and doctors and nurses to don protective gear.

In public, however, officials continued to downplay the threat.
“The risk of sustained human-to-human transmission is low,” Li Qun, the head of the China CDC’s emergency center, told Chinese state television on January 15.

Under the new orders, on January 16 officials in Wuhan and elsewhere finally got CDC-approved testing kits and a green light to start confirming new cases. Across the country, dozens of reported cases then began to surface, in some cases among patients who were infected earlier but had not yet been tested.

On January 20, President Xi issued his first public comments on the virus, saying the outbreak “must be taken seriously.” A leading Chinese epidemiologist, Zhong Nanshan, announced for the first time that the virus was transmissible from person to person on national television.

The delay may support accusations by US President Donald Trump that the Chinese government’s secrecy held back the world’s response to the virus. However, even the public announcement on January 20 left the US nearly two months to prepare for the pandemic — time that the US squandered.

Some health experts said Beijing took decisive action given the information available to them.

“They may not have said the right thing, but they were doing the right thing,” said Ray Yip, the retired founding head of the US Centers for Disease Control’s office in China. “On the 20th, they sounded the alarm for the whole country, which is not an unreasonable delay.”

But others say an earlier warning would have saved lives. If the public had been warned a week earlier to practice social distancing, wear masks and cut back on travel, cases could have been cut by up to two-thirds, one paper later found.

“The earlier you act,” said Los Angeles epidemiologist Zhang, “the easier you can control the disease.

Source: AFP via TOI