Communist China detained a reporter from The Wall Street Journal who sneaked to the cave in southern China where the Wuhan Institute of Virology collected coronavirus samples approximately eight years ago after six miners became extremely ill, three of whom later died, after cleaning out the cave’s bat feces.
The backstory about the six miners, which was reported nearly a year ago by The Sun, took place in a copper mine in the mountains of southwest China in the Yunnan province.
“Chinese authorities have obstructed independent efforts to investigate the mine, setting up a checkpoint nearby where unidentified men stopped several foreign journalists in recent weeks, on one occasion warning there were wild elephants ahead,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “A Journal reporter reached the mine by mountain bike but was later detained and questioned for about five hours by police, who deleted a cellphone photograph of the mine. Villagers told the reporter that local officials had warned them not to discuss the mine with outsiders.”
The BBC tried to get to the mine late last year and were met by police officers who followed them around in unmarked cars.
“And we ran into checkpoints at which unidentified men told us their job was to keep us out,” The BBC reported. “At first sight, all of this might seem like a disproportionate effort given our intended destination, a nondescript, abandoned copper mine in which, back in 2012, six workers succumbed to a mystery illness that eventually claimed the lives of three of them.”
While The Wall Street Journal contains lots of information that may seem new, a lot of it was covered months ago by the BBC, the Daily Mail, The Sun, New York Magazine, and various conservative publications. It’s only been in the last couple of weeks that the narrative in the U.S. mainstream media has started to take a significant shift from the lab leak hypothesis being a “conspiracy theory” to being considered a serious explanation for the origins of the pandemic.
“I’m convinced that what happened is that the virus was brought to a lab, they started to work with it…and some sloppy individual brought it out,” said Bernard Roizman, a University of Chicago virologist, told The Wall Street Journal. “They can’t admit they did something so stupid.”
The Daily Wire reported on Monday that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology — China’s only Biosafety level-4 laboratory — were hospitalized in November 2019 with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report.
“The details of the reporting go beyond a State Department fact sheet, issued during the final days of the Trump administration, which said that several researchers at the lab, a center for the study of coronaviruses and other pathogens, became sick in autumn 2019 ‘with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illness,’” The Wall Street Journal reported. “The disclosure of the number of researchers, the timing of their illnesses and their hospital visits come on the eve of a meeting of the World Health Organization’s decision-making body, which is expected to discuss the next phase of an investigation into Covid-19’s origins.”