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Chinese Scientists Claim that Coronavirus Did Not Originate in Seafood Market

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According to several Chinese scientists who conducted a new study, the newly spread coronavirus did not have its origins at a seafood market in the city of Wuhan in central China as many experts initially surmised.

The South China Morning Post reported that this virus has produced a death toll of more than 2,400 people.

Instead, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was apparently imported from elsewhere, claimed researchers at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Institute for Brain Research.

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Dr Yu Wenbin is the leader of the team who sequenced the genomic data of 93 SARS-CoV-2 samples that 12 countries provided in an effort to find the source of the infection and understand how it is spreading.

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What they discovered was that although the virus spread rapidly within the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, there were also two significant population expansions on December 8 and January 6.

According to the study, which was released on the institute’s website last Thursday, the analysis indicated that the coronavirus originated from outside the market.

“The crowded market then boosted SARS-CoV-2 circulation and spread it to the whole city in early December 2019,” it contended.

Previous reports coming from Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organisation highlighted that the first known patient demonstrated symptoms on December 8, and that most of the cases that followed had ties to the seafood market, which shut its doors on January 1.

The research team then sustained that it was possible that the virus initially spread from person to person in early December or even as early as the end of November based on the genome data they were working with.

“The study concerning whether Huanan market is the only birthplace of SARS-CoV-2 is of great significance for finding its source and determining the intermediate host, so as to control the epidemic and prevent it from spreading again,” the research team noted.

The scientists also noted that although China’s National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention announced a Level 2 emergency warning about the rapidly spreading coronavirus on January 6, the information was not widely disseminated.

“If the warning had attracted more attention, the number of cases both nationally and globally in mid-to-late January would have been reduced,” they said.

In the meantime, Xiang Nijuan, a researcher at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, revealed in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV on Saturday January 22, 2020 that people who were infected with the coronavirus were contagious two days before showing any symptoms.

In his view, anyone who had been in close to someone within 48 hours of them being confirmed as being infected by the virus should isolate themselves for 14 days.

BLP previously reported that this outbreak came about years after a “controversial facility would be opened in Wuhan where Chinese scientists would study the world’s most dangerous pathogens.”

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Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?

America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad

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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.”

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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. 

After looking at the list of people who have been tapped to join the Biden administration, Hawley tweeted, “What a group of corporatists and war enthusiasts – and #BigTech sellouts.”

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.”

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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