Although senior insiders in the British government maintained that “the balance of scientific advice” is still sticking to the original theory that the virus was first spread to humans from a wet market in Wuhan, a leak coming out of a laboratory in Wuhan is “no longer being discounted.”
. A member of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s emergency committee recently said that while the latest intelligence report did not argue that the virus was “zoonotic” – coming from animals – it did not toss out the theory that the virus came from a leak at a Wuhan laboratory.
The member of the “Cobra” committee, which receives classified information from the security services, commented: “There is a credible alternative view [to the zoonotic theory] based on the nature of the virus. Perhaps it is no coincidence that there is that laboratory in Wuhan. It is not discounted.”
Wuhan is where the Chinese Institute of Virology is based in.
This institute is generally viewed as one of the most secure virology units in the globe.
The government-backed People’s Daily newspaper stated back in 2018 that this institute was “capable of conducting experiments with highly pathogenic microorganisms” like the deadly Ebola virus.
Scientists at the institute were the first to indicate that the virus’s genome was 96 per cent similar to one usually found in bats.
Despite being known for its tight security, there have been unverified local reports of workers at the institute becoming infected after being sprayed by blood. Subsequently, they would carry out the infection and spread it to the local population.
A second institute in the city, the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control is also speculated to have conducted experiments on animals such as bats to understand how the Wuhan Virus is spread.
Professor Richard Ebright, of Rutgers University’s Waksman Institute of Microbiology, New Jersey, said that while there is evidence that the Wuhan Virus was not created in one of the Wuhan laboratories, such a concept is not outside the realm of possibility.
Professor Ebright claims to have seen evidence that scientists at the Centre for Disease Control and the Institute of Virology studied the viruses with only “level 2” security – instead of the suggested level 4 security level – which “’provides only minimal protections against infection of lab workers.”
He continued: “Virus collection, culture, isolation, or animal infection would pose a substantial risk of infection of a lab worker, and from the lab worker then the public.”
He concluded that the evidence established “a basis to rule out [that coronavirus is] a lab construct, but no basis to rule out a lab accident.”
According to a study from the South China University of Technology, the Wuhan Virus “probably” originated from the Centre for Disease Control. Curiously, shortly after this finding was published, the research paper was deleted from a social networking site for scientists and researchers.
A few days ago, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government said it “did not recognize” claims the virus emerged from a Chinese laboratory.
Regardless of whether China purposely released the virus or not, the authoritarian country still poses a threat to American interests.
American policymakers will need to re-consider trade and immigration policies with the country.
Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?
America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad
Does America First have a new non-interventionist champion?
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has been viewed by many as one of the figures who could potentially lead a Trumpist movement after Trump, should Joe Biden end up being installed as president on January 2021.
Hawley has made a name for himself as a champion of Middle America and questioning the neoliberal orthodoxy on immigration and trade. Lately, Hawley has made a pivot towards questioning the interventionist conventional wisdom on foreign policy.
In early October of this year, the Missouri Senator called for the American government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Hawley tweeted, “Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end.”
Hawley’s foreign policy has been a work progress over the past two years. During a 2019 speech Hawley gave at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), he questioned the nation-building policy prescriptions of previous administrations, demonstrating some degree of skepticism towards non-stop interventionism abroad on the part of the Senator.
That said, it remains to be seen if Hawley’s legislative record will fully match his rhetoric.
Hawley is a staunch China hawk, who fears the rise of China and is a strong voice against China’s expansionist efforts. Hawley’s track record shows that his foreign policy views are rough around the edges. Daniel Larison of The American Conservative is not as optimistic about Hawley judging by his votes on the Yemeni Civil War. Larison cited several of Hawley’s votes that may be cause for concern:
“Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate’s resolution of disapproval that opposed the president’s effort to circumvent Congress with a bogus “emergency” to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More important, he voted with the president and most Senate Republicans against the antiwar Yemen resolution that would have cut off all U.S. support to the Saudi coalition.”
Nevertheless, Hawley’s comments on Afghanistan are a good sign that Hawley is catching on to the fact that Americans are tired of foreign wars. Politicians can change their views and behaviors. Hawley is likely recognizing that the America First movement is exhausted by the endless wars and wants candidates and elected officials who offer withdrawal plans.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 24, 2020
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, a fierce interventionist skeptic, maintained cautious optimism about Hawley. In a tweet, he commented, “All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting.”
All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting:https://t.co/0g3jpVPsDm
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 24, 2020
The jury is still out on Hawley. Regardless of flaws in his voting record, America First advocates should continue to push him and other America First leaning Republicans in the right direction. We should never forget that politicians are still receptive to political pressure and the grassroots holds the keys to political change.
Young senators like Hawley are the future of American politics and it makes sense for foreign policy restrainers to lobby them and push them in a direction that favors non-interventionism.
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