New details about China’s inadequately-regulated gain-of-function virology research, and factual omissions by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which secretly collaborated with China’s military, are sufficiently concerning as to require that first, scientific collaboration with the totalitarian country should cease, and second, President Biden should immediately declassify information on the source of the virus.
The Wall Street Journal reported details on May 24 about the Chinese lab’s gain-of-function research and apparent dissimulation, along with western scientific concerns about lax standards, that highlight the danger of any science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) collaboration with a country that threatened war against the United States and allies, including Taiwan and the Philippines, is prosecuting a genocide, and unleashed a virus that killed 590,000 Americans and almost 3.5 million worldwide.
Yes, there should be a full lab probe of not only WIV, but other Chinese virology labs. Demanding as much is a no-brainer, but the United States failed in this duty to protect our citizens through transparency. The European Union, at least, did demand an investigation of the lab-leak hypothesis on May 25.
The Democrats, both in the White House and through their control of Congress, are obstructing release of critical intelligence about WIV to the public. That intelligence is required to get to the bottom of suspicions about a lab leak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.
In April, Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) introduced the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2021 to force the Biden administration to declassify relevant intelligence. But it has little hope of passing the Democrat-controlled Congress. We may have to wait until midterm elections in 2022 for Congress to be able to extract a modicum of satisfaction from the President.
Until then, and the completion of a full probe to the satisfaction of the world’s leading virologists, America must take measures to protect itself. U.S. corporate STEM cooperation with China, including by corporations, universities, and individual academics, must cease.
China’s lack of basic scientific transparency on SARS-CoV-2 proves that for the time being, at least, the country is not following the most fundamental of scientific ethics, much less ethics against genocide, and so is not fit for international scientific collaboration on dangerous pathogens.
The immense power of the pandemic to kill millions of people, and slow the world’s economy, along with WIV’s military ties and lack of transparency, shows that President Biden and the Democrat-led Congress must stop obstructing Republican senators’ attempts at investigation and start declassifying information. STEM collaboration with China should meanwhile cease until the country becomes less internationally aggressive, and returns to ethical and transparent scientific and political practices.
Continued failure to take the strongest precautions against China’s out-of-control science is culpable neglect by our own government and an outrageous dereliction of its duty to protect the American public.
Anders Corr has a bachelor’s/master’s in political science from Yale University (2001) and a doctorate in government from Harvard University (2008). He is a principal at Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. He authored “The Concentration of Power” (forthcoming in 2021) and “No Trespassing,” and edited “Great Powers, Grand Strategies.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.