The question of whether the Donald Trump is responsible for the level of destruction currently occurring within our shores and the planet is a complicated one.  It is easy to jump on one band-wagon or another to place blame or attempt to deflect it somewhere else.  With that in mind providing factual information about this pandemic might shed some light on the issue.  Here are questions that I think we need to know about.

  1. What is the origin of the virus?
  2.  What is the origin of the infection?
  3. When did the first infections occur?
  4. Was information about the virus held back?
  5. Who notified the President and when did that happen?
  6. What were the President and the Administrations’ initial response?
  7. How many times was the President notified before action was taken?
  8. Did financial cutbacks to critical research contribute to delays or lack of action?
  9. What should a Presidents role be in regard to providing information to the nation?
  10. Has the President fulfilled his responsibility to provide helpful information to the nation?
  11. Has the current Administrations’ actions helped or hindered the nations response?

What is the origin of the virus?

There are individuals in the vast environment of the internet claiming that the name for the virus that is causing all of the infections all over the world (COVID) is taken from “Chinese Originated Viral Infectious Disease”.   Sorry to disappoint all of the people out there intent on increasing the vitriol about China’s responsibility.  Their claims are false.  Period.  End of story. Don’t go there unless you want to sound ignorant of the facts.

The name COVID-19 comes from taking certain letters from a description of the disease.   Hence, Corona Virus Disease 2019  is the name given  COVID-19.  The name for the actual virus according to the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) comes from SEVERE ACCUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME CORONA VIRUS-2. The name of the virus is actually SARS-COV-2.    The name comes from the fact that the virus is related to the SARS virus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003.  The two viruses are related, but there are differences in them. 

There has been quite a bit of noise on the internet about the fact that this virus was developed in labs as a means of biological attack on the United States.  As with any issue of this magnitude there are always conspiracy theories that develop in spite of verified evidence.  This particular theory is no different. 

Dr. Robert Garry, a professor at Tulane University was one of the authors of a study published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine.  In this study, the researchers concluded that the virus responsible for this outbreak was not a “purposely manipulated virus”.  In laymen terms, the virus was not something that some mad scientist somehow altered another virus to make it more deadly.  Researchers concluded that the virus does not share any “previously used virus backbone.”

According to their research, this virus is 96% identical to a corona virus found in bats.  The researchers believe that this virus is a combination of the virus found in bats, and one found in pangolins. (Spiny Anteaters).  Researchers also noted that as a general rule, corona viruses have the ability to mutate in ways that make them more pathogenic.  What scientists do not know at this time is if the original virus was hanging around for years before the mutation occurred.  There is always the possibility that this virus has been circulating for a long time and the mutation occurred making it more pathogenic.  At this point it is not possible to make that conclusion.

One other point that needs to be made here.  People tend to believe that the virus originated in Wuhan, China.   That is a complete misconception.   While the origins of the outbreak are clearly in Wuhan, research released in the study indicate there was probably an earlier origin.

In the next post, I will deal with evidence of where the infection originated and why it originated there.  With all of the fear and less than accurate information floating around, it is important that we know what the evidence is so we can have intelligent, factual, representations and judgements about this pandemic.  There is no substitute for having a legitimate understanding of this pandemic that has exploded our lives in the past month.

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