Coronavirus patients ordered to wear GPS ankle monitors…Louisville is forcing unwilling coronavirus patients to self-isolate. Is it right?

Deborah Niehaus, right, and her daughter Amelia Niehaus, 21, used scarves and bandanas for face protection as they waited at the Hope Southern Indiana food bank in New Albany, In. on April. 2, 2020.  The agency has been providing donated food and toiletries to the public after most businesses have closed due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

By Kala Kachmar and Darcy Costello – 4/3/2020

Two Louisville coronavirus patients and a family member have been ordered by circuit judges to isolate and wear tracking devices after health officials learned they’d been in public against medical advice.

Issuing health-related civil orders is new territory for the courts, according to Judge Charles Cunningham, who issued two Friday. The third was issued earlier this month when a South End resident who tested positive for coronavirus refused to self-isolate.

But the orders are essential for keeping the community safe when infected patients refuse to self-quarantine, officials said during Mayor Greg Fischer’s Facebook Live briefing Tuesday.

[This story is being provided for free to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to The Courier Journal at courier-journal.com/subscribe. ]

As of Tuesday, seven people have died of the virus in Jefferson County and 18 across Kentucky.

“The home incarceration program is well-suited for this,” said Amy Hess, the city’s chief of public services, which includes oversight of Metro Corrections and Emergency Services. “It provides us with the proper amount of distancing. We can monitor activity after (the monitoring device) gets affixed to them … to make sure they’re not further affecting the community.

“We would prefer not to have to do it at all,” she said.

Also: How a church revival in a small Kentucky town led to a deadly coronavirus outbreak

Cunningham told The Courier Journal on Tuesday the two individuals he ordered isolated were living together, but only one had tested positive for coronavirus.

The city’s health department submitted a request for the order, which indicated one of the individuals was “walking around” and the other, based on a phone call, was thought to be out of the house, Cunningham said.

Not enough Louisvillians are taking pandemic guidelines seriously, Fischer stressed again Tuesday. In addition to closing libraries, community centers, the zoo and even some parks over the past few weeks, he’s instructed police to cut back on the types of calls for service officers respond to.

And, in response to a lack of respect for his orders, he even had basketball rims taken off backboards in parks.

Both Hess and Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said the biggest fear is the spread of the virus among first responders such as police officers, firefighters and ambulance workers, especially when “the surge” of coronavirus patients that’s expected starts to overwhelm local hospitals.

So far, one police officer and two firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19, city officials have said. At least eight additional firefighters went into self-quarantine in connection to Louisville Fire’s two positive cases.

Dr. Sarah Moyer: These new symptoms may mean you have or are spreading the coronavirus

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A Metro Corrections officer who was sent to attach ankle monitors following Friday’s isolation order has a 101-degree fever and is being tested for COVID-19, said Tracy Dotson, spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 77, which represents the workers.

Dotson said corrections officers haven’t received the same protective equipment as LMPD officers or Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies also sent to confirmed coronavirus patients’ homes.

“If we’re going to be doing this, fine. That’s what we signed up for,” Dotson said. “But we’d like to be adequately protected, as our sister agencies are. We don’t think that’s too big of an ask. If nothing else, just for peace of mind for those officers.

“It would make me nervous if I showed up in a paper mask and some safety goggles and I saw the two guys there to work with me from different agencies in full respirators,” he added.

Steve Durham, spokesman for Metro Corrections, declined to confirm whether an officer is being tested. He also said first responders wear personal protective equipment recommended by medical professionals, which includes a gown, goggles, gloves and a mask.

‘Feeling our way through’

The first judge to issue an order requiring self-isolation was in Nelson County March 15, when a 53-year-old checked himself out of the University of Louisville Hospital against medical advice after testing positive.

Cunningham said the state’s Administrative Office of Courts put out a 200-page document over a decade ago that gives emergency guidance to circuit judges on topics like public health.

“It’s something we’re all feeling our way through,” he said. “We’re trying to figure out how this should be done.”

Jefferson Circuit Chief Judge Angela McCormick Bisig’s March 21 order required the first Jefferson County individual stay in his home for 14 days. Any violations, it said, may result in his arrest and criminal charges.

It said the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department would serve the order and Metro Corrections would fit him with a global-positioning device. The order said he’d be constantly monitored to ensure he stays home.

What to do: 10 steps to follow if you think you may have the coronavirus

Dotson, spokesman for the union that represents Metro Corrections workers, questioned the ethics of using tracking devices on Louisville residents who have not been charged with a crime.

It is a judge’s order, he acknowledged, but “our mandate is once people are charged with a crime, we’re to do whatever it is we do with them.”

“These people aren’t charged with a crime,” he said.

“For my people on the ground, that’s a concern for them.”

Kentucky law gives county health departments the clear power to isolate infected patients who refuse to stay home. Isolation separates sick people with a communicable disease, while quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people potentially exposed.

Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts said the involuntary isolation of the county resident was permitted after he declared a county emergency.

In most states, breaking a quarantine order is a misdemeanor, according to the Centers for Disease Control, although Kentucky law does not provide a penalty.

Courier Journal reporter Andrew Wolfson contributed to this report.

TRUMP SLAMS 3M OVER ANTI-AMERICAN PRACTICES AMID CRISIS

Trump Slams 3M Over Anti-American Practices Amid Crisis

President acts swiftly after Tucker Carlson exposes company’s wrongdoing

4/3/2020

On 2 April, the US President slammed the 3M Company after invoking the Defense Production Act to require the company to produce face masks.

According to the Act, the President is allowed to demand national companies produce goods that are deemed necessary to ‘promote the national defence’.

“We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their Masks. ‘P Act’ all the way.’ Big surprise to many in government as to what they were doing – will have a big price to pay!” Trump said on Twitter.

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On Thursday, President Donald Trump said at a daily briefing on the COVID-19 situation in the country that he hopes that the company will do their job.

“Hopefully they’ll be able to do what they are supposed to do,” Trump said.

The President added that the US government “anticipates issuing more orders under the Defence Production Act in the very near future”.

In a White House memorandum regarding the order, the president requires the company to deliver the appropriate number of N-95 respirators.

“The Secretary, through the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Administrator), shall use any and all authority available under the Act to acquire, from any appropriate subsidiary or affiliate of 3M Company, the number of N-95 respirators that the Administrator determines to be appropriate,” the memo reads.

Earlier in the day, Donald Trump invoked the Defence Production Act to order six US companies, namely General Electric, Hill-Rom, Medtronic, ResMed, Royal Philips, and Vyaire Medical, to repurpose their factories for building ventilators, another White House memo stated.

​As of 2 April, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States has surpassed 213,144, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 4,500 people have died from the pandemic. The John Hopkins University data shows that over 244,000 people in the country have been infected with the disease, with the death toll exceeding 5,800.

Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed Against Anti-Trump Michigan Governor Over Coronavirus Shutdown Orders

‘That Woman From Michigan’ is being challenged in court.

By Shane Trejo – Apr 3, 2020

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has emerged as one of the most partisan and classless leaders in the country during the coronavirus pandemic, is being challenged with a civil rights lawsuit over executive orders that have caused pro-life activists to be deprived of their 1st Amendment rights.

The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed the lawsuit on Wednesday night to dispute the constitutionality of Whitmer’s “Shelter in Place” order. The group contends that Whitmer’s executive orders unlawfully punish the free speech of pro-life protesters Andrew Belanger, Justin Phillips, and Cal Zastrow, who are listed as the plaintiffs on the lawsuit. Whitmer and the City of Detroit are listed as the defendants.

Whitmer issued the executive orders on Mar. 24, which effectively shut down most businesses throughout the state. However, abortion clinics were kept open so women could continue slaughtering their babies in the womb during the coronavirus pandemic. These clinics are also hogging medical supplies during a time in which they are desperately needed to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Trending: Hospital Exec Who Called for Trump Supporters with Coronavirus to ‘Give Up Their Ventilators’ and Die is Fired

The AFLC believes that the rights of these pro-life activists were violated when the individuals attempted to engage in pro-life activism last weekend. According to the lawsuit, Belanger was mobbed by eight police vehicles and 15 police officers while protesting at the Scotsdale Women’s Center in Detroit on March 31. His fellow activists, Phillips and Zastrow, arrived after the cops showed up on the scene.

“We’re here for a violation of a stay at home order by the Governor,” one of the officers allegedly said to the pro-life activists who were not permitted to engage in 1st Amendment activism due to Whitmer’s decree.

Belanger received a “State of Michigan Uniform Law Citation,” which would be a misdemeanor violation if he is ultimately convicted of the offense, for his pro-life activism. This occurred despite Belanger’s insistence that social distancing guidelines were being followed during the protest. The officers apparently told the pro-life activists that the baby murder going on in the clinic was considered “essential” while their Christian protest was considered not “essential.”

“The scope of our lawsuit and request for a restraining order are narrow. We do not advance a general challenge to the constitutionality of the Governor’s Executive Order, nor do we seek to halt its enforcement outside of the very limited and narrow scope of our challenge,” AFLC co-founder and senior counsel Robert Muise explained about his organization’s lawsuit.

“We understand the critical need to stop the spread of the corona virus, as do our clients, who are adhering to the social distancing guidelines. Through this litigation, we only seek to prohibit the use of the Executive Order to criminalize our clients’ peaceful, free speech activity on the public sidewalks outside of abortion centers throughout Michigan,” he added.

Muise believes that Whitmer’s executive orders are capricious and unlawful because they carve out exceptions for Michigan residents to use public sidewalks “[t]o engage in outdoor activity, including walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity consistent with remaining at least six feet from people.” However, there are no provisions in the executive orders to protect the 1st Amendment rights of protesters such as these pro-life activists.

“Indeed, under the current enforcement of this Order, our clients’ First Amendment activity is a crime. Yet, an individual could use the very same sidewalk to walk, hike, run, cycle or engage in other similar recreational activity without receiving a criminal citation for doing so. This our Constitution does not permit,” Muise said.

AFLC co-founder and senior counsel David Yerushalmi notes that the coronavirus pandemic, while an urgent public health emergency, will never kill a fraction of the amount that are murdered annually due to abortion.

“If the stated purpose of the Executive Order is true—that it was issued “to sustain or protect life”—then Governor Whitmer should order the immediate closure of all abortion centers throughout the State. Indeed, there is little doubt that abortion will be responsible for killing more human lives this year in the United States alone than COVID-19 will kill in the entire world during the course of this current pandemic,” he said

The AFLC has also filed a motion that would stop the enforcement of Whitmer’s executive orders while the case is active. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on Apr. 1 and will be heard by Judge Janet T. Neff, who was appointed to the bench by former President George W. Bush.

 

 

Ocasio-Cortez: People Are Dying Unnecessarily Because Trump Ignored Scientists

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks at a news conference introducing the "People’s Housing Platform" on Capitol Hill on January 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. House progressives are backing the platform which declares housing to be a "fundamental human right". (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

By Hannah Bleau

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said during a live Q&A on Wednesday that President Trump is displaying an “epic level of negligence and incompetence that is costing human lives” during the coronavirus pandemic and suggested that people are dying because the president ignored scientists.

Ocasio-Cortez took questions from social media users on Wednesday and used the opportunity to criticize the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic. The outbreak in the United States, she seems to believe, would not be as severe if Trump and Republicans took it seriously and listened to scientists.

“Someone said, ‘Do you think if we took precautions earlier than we did our numbers would be lower than it is now?’ Yes,” Ocasio-Cortez answered.

She explained:

I think that if Trump took this seriously, if Republicans took it seriously, I think that if if we decided to listen to scientists early more than we listen to, you know, people who care more about profit than human lives, we would have taken precautions much earlier and we would have saved lives. We either would have gone into lockdown earlier in some circumstances or we would have started producing these damn ventilators way earlier than we are now. We would have invoked the Defense Production Act, but because Trump didn’t do that early enough, now we’re scrambling. And everything that is happening is happening late. And every decision that we make late means that people are dying unnecessarily.

The New York lawmaker’s assertion falls in line with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who also suggested that the crisis is worse due to inaction from the president.

“What the president — his denial at the beginning was deadly. His delaying of getting equipment to where — it continues — his delay in getting equipment to where it’s needed is deadly,” the speaker, who remained laser-focused on impeachment as the first known person with the virus arrived in the United States in January, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.

Notably, Trump took decisive action that very month, announcing a ban on travel to the U.S. from China — a move many of his left-wing critics characterized as “racist.”

Just weeks ago, Ocasio-Cortez suggested that people who were no longer patroning Chinese restaurants during the crisis are “racist”:

“Honestly, it sounds almost so silly to say, but there’s a lot of restaurants that are feeling the pain of racism,” she said during an Instagram Live weeks ago.

“People are literally not patroning Chinese restaurants. They’re not patroning Asian restaurants because of just straight-up racism around the coronavirus,” she added at the time.

However, Ocasio-Cortez continues to believe that Trump and the GOP bear the brunt of responsibility for coronavirus-related deaths:

So understand, understand that people are not just dying of coronavirus. They are dying due to incompetence. They are dying due to poor decision making. They are dying due to a lack of listening to scientists and doctors, and they’re dying due to a crisis and a pandemic of a lack of leadership — not just because of the disease. And so the people who made those decisions who decided to prioritize profit over human life need to answer for those decisions.

The socialist lawmaker also vented about journalists who are “out there just assessing the president’s tone of his voice instead of what he’s actually saying” and declared that Trump is “conveying an epic level of negligence and incompetence that is costing human lives”:

“And it’s not just Trump,” she continued, bringing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) into the mix. “It is not just Trump. Look at DeSantis in Florida who’s just calling for lockdowns today and Florida beaches have been packed.”

“And these aren’t people that are just in Florida. These are people who are traveling to Florida spreading disease and traveling back to wherever they came from, and these people aren’t taking it seriously,” she added.

While DeSantis formally issued a stay at home order on Wednesday, he had already taken aggressive action against travelers from coronavirus hotspots. Those actions include screenings at major Florida airports, checkpoints on roads along the Florida-Georgia border and Florida-Alabama border, and a mandated 14-day quarantine for individuals from the New York Tri-State area and Louisiana.

Ocasio-Cortez recently said that there “should be shame for what was fought for” in the recently passed and signed bipartisan emergency relief bill. Last week, she specifically expressed outrage that the cash payment portion of the measure did not extend to non-citizens.

2.5 Million Guns Sold In March, SMASHING Previous US Record For Gun Buys

Americans want their guns.

By Richard Moorhead – Apr 2, 2020

Federal firearms licensees sold more than 2.5 million guns to the American public in March 2020, easily smashing the previously held record for the most gun sales in an individual month by more than a million transactions.

The gun sale data has been gauged by Small Arms Analytics, and the estimation of a total of 2,583,238 sales has been pulled from raw FBI National Instant Criminal Background Checks System data. It’s actually possible that the total figure of guns sales is a bit higher, considering gun sales between private individuals are not subject to the NICS system.

Not only does the figure of 2.5 million gun sales surpass the previous monthly record holder from March 2019, but it does so in a resounding fashion. 1.4 million guns were sold in that month, meaning that March 2020 surpassed the record by approximately 1.1 million sales.

A breakdown of the sales between long guns and handguns was provided by Small Arms Analytics. Handgun sales in particular spiked exponentially, easily surpassing previous quarterly highs in gun sales that preceded major American elections.

An alternate system of quantifying gun purchases utilized by the National Shooting Sports Foundation verified that March was in fact a record-setting month for gun sales.

The surge in gun and ammunition sales in the wake of the nascent Chinese coronavirus epidemic is well documented at this point, with gun and ammunition retailers reporting selling out their entire inventories and still not coming close to meeting demand.

As Americans arm themselves in unprecedented record-setting numbers, some major American municipalities and states have taken it upon themselves to wholly shut down the lawful firearms commerce and manufacturing industries. However, several of them have been stopped cold in their tracks, in light of federal guidelines from the Trump administration that recognizes businesses serving the Second Amendment community as “essential.”

New Jersey and Los Angeles County are among the two biggest governmental entities forced to walk back arbitrary commands that gun stores close in light of the guidelines.

Dubious state of emergency declarations that try to implement backdoor gun control in a hour where more Americans are seeking to lawfully arm themselves than ever before simply aren’t going to work, judging from historical amounts of armaments freedom-loving patriots have secured in the last month alone.

‘Nothing Left For the Americans’: Chinese Woman Brags About Buying Up Supply of N95 Masks

Disgusting behavior.

By Paul Joseph Watson – 2 April, 2020

A Chinese woman filmed herself traveling around Florida buying up N95 face masks while bragging, “I didn’t leave a single mask for the Americans.”

The woman shared video clips of her callous stunt on Chinese social media site Weibo. The video was captioned, “So much fun shopping. Bought them all. Left nothing for the Americans.”

“It feels so awesome to buy all the masks!” she states.

The clip shows her filling a pick up truck with boxes full of the masks.

“They still don’t know about the purchase limit on masks,” the she says while laughing. “I bought all the masks, the shelves are empty, you can see my sweat … I feel like a thief.”

The woman continues to cackle while bragging, “A full shopping cart!”

The end of the video shows the pick up truck fully loaded with the masks, which the woman claims to be a “historical moment.”

Apparently, the woman buys products in bulk and then sells them on to Chinese people at a massive profit.

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“She can be seen in the above video being aided by her white husband. Neither stand accused of any criminal wrongdoing,” writes Chris Menahan.

The woman’s behavior is clearly disgusting given that there has been a shortage of masks across the western world, leaving front line health care workers exposed.

Be careful though. If you criticize her, the media might call you racist.

Remember, despite the fact that the virus originated in China, despite China lying about its spread, and despite China silencing whistleblowers who tried to warn the world – it’s “xenophobic” to claim COVID-19 had anything to do with China.

 

Barack Obama Suggests Donald Trump ‘Denied’ Coronavirus Warnings

obama trump

By Charlie Spiering – 31 Mar 2020

Former President Barack Obama suggested on Twitter on Tuesday that President Donald Trump “denied” warnings of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic,” Obama wrote.

The former president shared an article on Twitter about Trump rolling back fuel economy standards, and also accused the president of “climate denial.”

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“We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial,” he wrote. “All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall.”

Last week, the former president shared an article of “likely scenarios” of how to manage the virus.

“So much depends on our ability to make good decisions going forward along with our ability to remain resilient,” he wrote on Twitter after Trump said he was hopeful that he could loosen restrictions by Easter Sunday.

Obama continues speaking up to criticize or challenge Trump’s response to the coronavirus, despite the president’s best efforts to fight and contain it.

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He also said that attacks on Obamacare were taking place “right when we need care the most.”

 

O’Keefe Investigation: Army National Guardsman Says Coronavirus Media Coverage Overblown (VIDEO)

 

By Cristina Laila – March 31, 2020

James O’Keefe spoke to an army national guardsman in Glen Island Park, New Rochelle, New York about the media’s coverage on the Coronavirus.

The soldier told Project Veritas that the media coverage on the Coronavirus pandemic is way overblown.

“Is it as bad as everyone, the media is saying — the whole pandemic?” O’Keefe asked the guardsman.

The guardsman responded, “Oh, no. It’s just, it’s the flu. It’s the flu. It’s the flu.”

TRENDING: A SHOCKING CORRECTION: Dr. Fauci Went from a Possible 1.7 Million US Deaths Due to Coronavirus to a Possible 200,000 US Deaths in 14 Days!

“Is the media accurately reporting accurately?” O’Keefe asked. “The media is making it out bigger? And it’s not as bad as the media is saying?”

“No, I’m in the tents with them,” the soldier said.

New York is currently the US epicenter for Coronavirus cases and deaths.

As of Tuesday it was reported New York has 67,384 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 1,342 deaths.

Democrat lawmakers however are using the virus to shut down businesses.

On Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti shut down farmer’s markets after 44 Coronavirus deaths were confirmed in the city, or 0.000011% of LA’s population of 4 million.

KKK-Blackface Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced a shelter-in-place for his state until June.

President Trump extended his Coronavirus social distancing guidelines through the end of April.

If lockdowns continue, the cure will be far worse than the virus and the economy will be destroyed.

 

Chinese researchers isolated deadly bat coronaviruses near Wuhan animal market

Police stand guard outside Wuhan Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, where a number of people related to the market fell ill with a virus in Wuhan, China, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Heightened precautions were being taken in China and elsewhere Tuesday as governments strove to control the outbreak of the coronavirus, which threatens to grow during the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Dake Kang)

Police stand guard outside Wuhan Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, where a number of people related to the market fell ill with a virus in Wuhan, China, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Heightened precautions were being taken in China and elsewhere Tuesday … more >

By Bill Gertz – March 31,2020

Chinese government researchers isolated more than 2,000 animal viruses, including deadly bat coronaviruses, and carried out scientific work on them just three miles from a wild animal market identified as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several Chinese state media outlets in recent months touted the virus research and lionized in particular a key researcher in WuhanTian Junhua, as a leader in bat virus work.

The coronavirus strain now infecting hundreds of thousands of people globally mutated from bats believed to have infected animals and people at a wild animal market in Wuhan. The exact origin of the virus, however, remains a mystery.


SEE ALSO: Chinese markets again selling bats — likely source of deadly pandemic — reporters say


Reports of the extensive Chinese research on bat viruses likely will fuel more calls for Beijing to make public what it knows about such work.

“This is one of the worst cover-ups in human history, and now the world is facing a global pandemic,” Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said last week. Mr. McCaul has said China should be held accountable for the pandemic.

A video posted online in December and funded by the Chinese government shows Mr. Tian inside caves in Hubei province taking samples from captured bats and storing them in vials.

“I am not a doctor, but I work to cure and save people,” Mr. Tian says in the video. “I am not a soldier, but I work to safeguard an invisible national defense line.”

Chinese officials have said the virus likely spread from wild animals to people at Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, not far from the Wuhan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national center for China’s bat virus research.

Wuhan is finally stirring back to life after a harsh crackdown on travel and street activity was imposed in late January. The city’s bus, subway and train systems started to run again over the weekend. Shops downtown were operating with some restrictions Monday, although customers were scarce.

But British news accounts also reported over the weekend that some of the stalls at China’s so-called “wet” wild animal markets, as they reopen, have begun once again selling bats and scorpions and resumed questionable practices such as slaughtering small animals right at the site.

Chinese officials refused to provide samples of its coronavirus strains to U.S. researchers shortly after the outbreak became public and did not allow international disease specialists to visit Wuhan for weeks.

Handling bats

The Chinese video “Youth in the Wild — Invisible Defender” records researchers engaged in casual handling of bats containing deadly viruses.

The seven-minute film boasts that China has “taken the lead” in global virus research and uncovered over 2,000 viruses in the past 12 years, the time since the outbreak of the bat-origin virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

The deadly virus behind the current pandemic is called SARS Coronavirus-2 and also has been traced to bats.

Prior to China’s discoveries, an estimated 2,284 types of viruses had been found in the previous 200 years, the video says.

Chinese state media outlets revealed that Mr. Tian once failed to wear protective gear in a cave and as a result came into contact with bat urine. To avoid contracting a disease, he self-quarantined for 14 days — the same recommended period for people exposed to the new COVID-19 strain.

Mr. Tian works for the office of decontamination and biological disease vector prevention and control within the Wuhan CDC. According to a May 2017 report by the Wuhan Evening News, Mr. Tian has gathered thousands of bats for research work on bat viruses since 2012.

“Bats have a large number of unknown viruses on their bodies,” he said. “The more thorough our research on bats is, the better it will be for human health.”

The researcher also has gathered viruses from ticks, mice and wasps.

After the incident exposing him to bat urine, Mr. Tian said, he kept a safe distance from his wife. “As long as I am not getting sick during the incubation period of 14 days, I can be lucky to get away with it,” he said.

The Wuhan report said the collection of research samples was difficult, dangerous and hard to fund.

Shenzhen News, a publication of the Guangdong Communist Youth League, described in December how Mr. Tian shuttled through caves and jungles looking for viruses in bats and ticks, called “vector organisms,” in the quest to develop vaccines. The report said the nearly 2,000 viruses discovered in China over the past 12 years nearly doubled the total number of known viruses.

A search of the Wuhan CDC website since the novel coronavirus outbreak contains no reference to Mr. Tian or his work. He has co-authored at least two scientific studies on the Wuhan virus and its impact.

Efforts to reach Mr. Tian were not successful.

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not return an email seeking comment.

U.S. concerns

A State Department official said the reports about Mr. Tian and his role in working with bat viruses are concerning.

“He lives and works at Wuhan’s CDC, a few hundred yards away from the Huanan wet market,” the official said. “He is among the small team in Wuhan that has contributed to China’s obsession in recent years with virus hunting and research.”

Some U.S. and international scientists have dismissed reports linking the new virus to one of China’s research labs. They insist the virus jumped naturally to humans and then began spreading from person to person.

But others say a growing body of evidence indicates the virus may have been under study in a Chinese laboratory and escaped, either through an infection of a worker or through an infected lab animal.

Biosecurity researcher Richard Ebright, a Rutgers University professor at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, said the coronavirus behind the pandemic is 96.2% similar to a bat virus discovered by the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2013 and studied at the Wuhan CDC. The virus could have jumped naturally from animal to human but also could have escaped from the lab, he said.

“Bat coronaviruses are collected and studied by laboratories in multiple parts of China — including Wuhan Municipal CDC and Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he told The Washington Times. “Therefore, the first human infection also could have occurred as a laboratory accident.”

Until the recent outbreak, all but two coronaviruses in China were studied at biosafety level-2 (BSL-2) facilities — not the high-security BSL-4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology — “which provides only minimal protections against infection of lab workers,” he said.

“Virus collection, culture, isolation or animal infection at BSL-2 with a virus having the transmission characteristics of the outbreak virus would pose high risk of accidental infection of a lab worker, and from the lab worker, the public,” he said.

Mr. Ebright said the Chinese video shows Wuhan CDC workers under Mr. Tian’s direction with inadequate personal protective equipment and unsafe practices, including exposed faces and wrists and a lack of goggles or face shields.

Such practices “would pose substantial risk of infection with a virus having transmission properties similar to those of the outbreak virus,” he said.

Mr. Ebright said the 2017 news report and 2019 video suggest several possibilities of accidental infection. They include accidental exposure in caves or field laboratories by those without proper protection, accidental infection during transit from caves or field laboratories, accidental infection inside the Wuhan CDC lab because of poor security, and accidental infection during shared work between the Wuhan CDC and the Wuhan Institute of Virology because of inadequate security at the CDC.

Kenneth Plante, associate director at the World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, said he doubted the new virus came from a laboratory.

“There’s a lot of conspiracy theories that this came out of a biocontainment facility and things of that sort,” he said last week. “But these viruses are closely related to bats. The actual mechanism of the reemergence of this virus was actually hypothesized back during the original SARS coronavirus,” he said.

But Steven W. Mosher, a China specialist with the Population Research Institute, said China for years has been doing research, detailed in scientific journals, on horseshoe bat coronaviruses that could be harmful to humans.

“They write about collecting SARS-like coronaviruses from horseshoe bats and proving that, like the SARS virus itself, some of these other naturally occurring coronaviruses could infect human beings directly,” Mr. Mosher said. “They write about genetically engineering new and deadly viruses capable of infecting human lung tissue — just like the Wuhan flu does.”

Mr. Mosher called the Chinese government to disclose the research to help health officials cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

China claims that the deadly virus did not escape from its biolab,” Mr. Mosher said. “Fine. Prove it by releasing the research records of the Wuhan lab.”

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