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As of April 20, 220, Global COVID-19 infected cases have risen to 2,529,150 and fatalities reached 174,578. The US had 803,018 cases and 43,558 deaths due to the coronavirus. While Israel had 13,883 and 181 deaths There are disputes as to whether the social distancing mitigation has reached the point where gradual phased releases from confinement may shortly be feasible given the drop in new cases indicating plateauing may have been achieved in the major US infected states and hot spots. Some public health experts say ending confinement may be dependent on continual testing and contact tracing. Then there is the matter of the timeline for development of promising therapies and vaccines and, yet to complete human trials. However, there are conspiracy theories of whether the release of the coronavirus was part of a nefarious plan in a bio-war effort by Chinese virology institutes engaged in studies of SARS-COVID 2 from Bat and other animal studies. Or whether these coronaviruses were man – made as suggested by French Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier or arose naturally and may have been transmitted from animals in the Wuhan ‘wet market’ located near the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). There is the matter of criticism of the World Health Organization leadership to cross-check these occurrences, as well as initially going along with the XI- Chinese government initial reports that nothing was awry. Rod Reuven Dovid Bryant and Jerry Gordon brought back Stephen Bryen, a former US Department of Defense Deputy Under Secretary for Technology and Security, noted military technologist and widely published Asia Times columnist to address these questions. Bryen suggested that the Hubei regional Chinese government officials may have attempted to close off news leaking out. As evidence of the coronavirus spread, the XI regime in Beijing became mortified. That led to indications that there was no big outbreak. Their mistake, Bryen said, was that they did not properly notify the world and did not engage the US. He dismisses conspiracy theories that China was developing a bioweapon seeking domination of the world economic system. That was not in the best interests of China. The spread of the coronavirus was through Chinese commercial travelers to Italy and hence to the EU. He noted the Chinese textile and leather trades in Northern Italy. There were direct flights from Wuhan to Milan, Italy. To deal with the spread of the coronavirus, Rod Bryant indicated that China had shut down internal flights. The WIV, Bryen contends was engaging in international research that the XI- government believed had economic potential. China is a major supplier of ingredients for anti-biotics and medical treatments that resulted from globalization. India is another source of vaccines and medicines. Bryen noted the call from President Trump made to India’s President Modi seeking large quantities of hydroxychloroquine for US trials as a possible coronavirus therapy. Bryen thinks this reflects the shift of production that previously had been in the US and, because of tax advantages in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. He suggests that the US should foster development of a critical supply chain by either shifting production to other centers or re-establishing production facilities in the US. Bryen delved into the background of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV or the Lab) investigation into SARS COVID viruses. The WIV is a Bio Safety Level -4 (BSL-4) designated facility authorized to conduct investigation into dangerous pathogens. The Bat population studies were conducted by Ms. Shi Zhengli under auspices of both Chinese and US NIH funding. A report she had prepared published in 2015, co-authored with US and other experts, dealt with the Bat SARS COVID -2 virus injected into mice. The WIV produced major scientific papers on AIDS-HIV, Ebola, and coronaviruses with co-authors from Canada, France, and the US. Those papers included research into primate and human transmission. In 2018, a US Embassy team, including a Science Attaché, visited the WIV and found safety violations that they documented warning of a potential pandemic. WIV was not the only BSL-4 facility with such problems. Bryen drew attention to the closure of the US Army Fort Detrick Bio-weapons research facility in 2019 for two months. Moreover, a moratorium on conduct of research into dangerous pathogens at Fort Detrick and elsewhere was issued in 2014 and not lifted until 2017. One of the controversial theories as to what might have occurred at the WIV is the suggestion of French Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier, associated with the Pasteur Institute. He thought that the WIV might have attempted to culture SARs COVID-2 with HIV virus, which may have produced the COVID-19 virus. Moreover, Montagnier said that because it was man made it may have a half-life of eight weeks or perhaps a little more. As noted by Bryen’s Asia Times colleague David P. Goldman in an article on this subject “Defense Secretary Mike Espers told a television interview that “a majority of the views right now is that it is natural, organic”. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and White House Coronavirus Task Force member, referred to a Scripps Research study indicating “that highly qualified virologists looked at the sequences in bats as they evolve. The mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to human”. Bryen criticized the WHO leadership of Dr. Tedros for essentially parroting the diversionary Chinese statement that the coronavirus was not communicable with humans. Bryen thinks the WHO, funded by the US at $550 million annually, should replace Tedros and bring in a qualified public health and medical leader and a functional professional staff. We note that the staff of the US Center for Defense against Communicable Diseases (USCDC) seconded to the WHO in Geneva provided the first accurate assessment of the coronavirus pandemic. Notwithstanding, Bryen drew attention to reports of the contamination of tests with the coronavirus virus by staff of the US CDC thus causing a critical delay in providing test kits. As regarding tests to lift confinement Bryen thinks priority should be given to nursing homes, prisons, and the military with spot sampling of populations in hot spots. Bryen discussed the research of Tel Aviv University Professor and Israel Prize winner, former Israel Air Force general Itzhak Ben Israel who had developed a mathematical model of the coronavirus that defined a curve with a 40 days to peak, followed by a 70 days half-life.


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