Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 13, 2020

Coronavirus - Statistical Change Causes Confusion - New Case Count Continues To Decline

The battle against the infections with the novel coronavirus in China continues. China is doing its best to win it.

The declining trend of the number of newly suspected and newly confirmed cases per day is now obvious to everyone.


There was a change in the nomenclature of the illness. The not yet official name of the novel coronavirus is 2019-nCoV or nCoV19. The  illness the virus causes is now officially named COVID-19. This is the same difference as between HIV, the virus, and AIDS, the illness the virus causes.

The Chinese government has added a new category of infections to the total number of COVID-19 cases. So far there were two published categories. 'Suspected cases', which were people who may have come in contact with the virus and showed flu symptoms, and 'confirmed cases' of patients who fell ill and where the virus was found during tests. 

Now people who show signs of pneumonia will be added to the confirmed COVID-19 cases even when the tests do not find the nCov19 virus in their body. The same criteria will retroactively apply to the number of dead. People who died while showing signs of pneumonia are now counted as COVID-19 casualties even when their virus tests were negative.

The new method only applies to Hubei Province which has by far the most of all global cases. The move added the 13,332 cases to the total number of cases. (To keep the trend numbers comparable the new addition is not incorporated in the above graphic.)

The change was not well communicated and has caused some serious confusion. Some sources seem to believe that this increases the number of total cases while other sources say that it simply moves people from the 'suspected cases' category into a new sub category that runs under 'confirmed cases'. 

The motive for doing this is not clear. The case numbers will now include everyone who show signs of pneumonia but does not test positive for the nCoV19 virus. The new count will thereby include a lot of people who simply have a common flu. That seems to make little sense.

It is possible that this was done because the authorities do not trust the virus tests to identify all COVID-19 cases. Another reason for the change might be that some who fell sick may have avoided going to a hospital because they did not have the money to do so. The change removes that motive.

China does not have a universal healthcare system. While 95% of all Chinese do have health insurance it often requires unrestricted co-payments of up to 50% of the cost for hospital care as well as for pharmaceuticals. In mid January the Chinese government announced that it would pay 100% of the costs for all novel coronavirus cases but applied somewhat strict criteria for the recognition of such cases.

Those criteria have now been changed with a 'clinically diagnosed' added to the 'confirmed cases'. The criteria for 'clinically diagnosed' is a computerized tomographic (CT) scan that shows signs of pneumonia in the lungs of a patient. This criteria will apply even when the patient shows no other sign of illness and even when the applied virus tests do not find an nCoV19 infection.

This will now allow many people in Hubei with a common flu to fall under the clause of 100% cost absorption by the government.

As XINHUA reports:

WUHAN, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's Hubei Province, center of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, reported 14,840 new confirmed cases and 242 new deaths on Wednesday, the highest daily increases so far, local health authorities said Thursday.

The Hubei Provincial Health Commission said the number of new cases included 13,332 clinically diagnosed cases, which have been seen as confirmed cases from Thursday.

It brought the total confirmed cases in the hard-hit province to 48,206. The province had a total of 1,310 deaths as of Wednesday.

Clinically diagnosed cases are unique to Hubei statistically. The inclusion of those cases drives the surge in the number of new confirmed cases.

Any suspected cases with pneumonia-related computerized tomography (CT) scan results are counted as clinically diagnosed cases, according to the latest version of the diagnosis and treatment scheme released by the National Health Commission.

The provincial health commission said the diagnosis criteria revision has been made to give those who have been clinically diagnosed the timely standard treatment of confirmed cases to further improve the treatment success rate.

The province also saw 3,441 patients discharged from hospital after recovery as of Wednesday. Among the 33,693 hospitalized patients, 5,647 were still in severe condition and another 1,437 in critical condition.

Financial Times reporter Yuan Yank explains:

Here's some decoding of China's coronavirus stats: the methodology is detailed in the national health commission's guidelines. As of Feb 7, there are 4 categories of cases: suspected, confirmed, clinically diagnosed (only in Hubei) and positive tests (meaning asymptomatic). 1/
2/ These are guidelines for what the provinces have to report to the centre. As for what gets told to the public, that's another matter. Only today did Hubei start publishing its clinically diagnosed cases. We have yet to see the count of asymptomatic cases.
3/ There's also a final category of people who've been in close contact with coronavirus carriers, which is reported separately. Hubei's count refers to "cases", meaning "confirmed" + "clinically diagnosed". National figs, so far, refer only to "confirmed" cases.

The change in the method to count cases will again increase the infodemic and panic about the illness. But we have to keep in mind that this epidemic is in fact relatively mild. Most people on the younger side who come in contact the virus will never develop any symptoms and for those people who develop the COVID-19 disease the symptoms are not severe at all:

[T]he virus’s destructive potential has overshadowed one encouraging aspect of this outbreak: So far, about 82 percent of the cases — including all 14 in the United States — have been mild, with symptoms that require little or no medical intervention. And that proportion may be an undercount.
“The fact that there are so many mild cases is a real hallmark of this disease and makes it so different from SARS,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Health Security. “It’s also really challenging. Most of our surveillance is oriented around finding people who require medical intervention.”
“This looks to be a bad, heightened cold — I think that’s a rational way of thinking about it,” said Matthew Frieman, a virologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

To keep the numbers from China in perspective one can point at the current statistics the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides for the U.S.:

CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 22 million flu illnesses, 210,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths from flu.

COVID-19 is still far from producing such high numbers. It likely never will come near to them as the resources China throws at it are overwhelming.

Twenty thousand additional healthcare workers are now working in Hubei province and more are on their way. The government of Hubei province has shipped 180,000 nucleic acid test kits for the diagnosis of a coronavirus infection to the relevant laboratories. The city of Wuhan alone has 40 labs that can conduct 8,000 to 10,000 tests daily. But some hospitals still report shortages of equipment and the 4% death rate in Hubei is still higher than the national one.

I agree with the conclusion of today's CAIXIN overview:

Overall, the number of newly diagnosed cases in Hubei Province has decreased, and the newly added "clinical diagnosis" indicators help patients to receive standardized treatment early and further improve the treatment rate. On the 12th, the number of cities with confirmed cases did not increase, and the number of newly-discharged hospitals has reached 1171, which has exceeded the number of new deaths for 14 consecutive days, and the epidemic situation has changed positively.

Posted by b on February 13, 2020 at 19:53 UTC | Permalink

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I follow a lot of "prepper" Web sites. You'd think "The End Of The World As We Know It" was about to strike based on how they report this virus. A mere 22 cases in the US and everyone is stockpiling "contagion kits".

Thanks to this site, we get real facts instead of media hype. Kudos, b.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Feb 13 2020 20:06 utc | 1

Thanks b for keeping perspective on this. Single payer national health with full hospital cover is the way to go.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 13 2020 20:15 utc | 2

Smoke and mirrors. The 'new' cases are NOT declining. AIDS is NOT caused by HIV it's caused by the treatment given for HIV. The new name Covid 19 is an attempt to muddy the stats around nCoV19, counting ANY pneumonia like deaths whether associated with nCoV19 or not, it does NOT help anyone but the Chinese communist party and their survival.

Posted by: Akouo | Feb 13 2020 20:30 utc | 3

According to Dr. Mike Ryan at today's WHO update, the Change is merely that they are not waiting for serology (laboratory-confirmed) to confirm covid-19 when their local physician sees pneumonia in a chest x-ray (clinically confirmed). As he put it, during the current influenza season, anyone in Hubei (23 million pop.) with pneumonia is a clinically confirmed covid19 case until a lab says otherwise.

Posted by: Zee | Feb 13 2020 20:39 utc | 4

Posted by: Akouo | Feb 13 2020 20:30 utc | 3

And the Earth is flat

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 13 2020 20:46 utc | 5

I have been following some medical experts about this virus and two things they agree on is that there are still a lot of unknowns and it definitely looks like a world-wide pandemic 1918 style. The reason is that it is a fast spreading virus that does not need droplets but rather it can spread through aerosol. So air handling systems on cruise ships and airplanes are great ways for it to multiply. In addition, asymptomatic virus production is common. So temperature monitoring of travelers is of little value.

The good news is like most new viruses, at first it can be brutal with a high death rate, but in order to spread easily, the virus becomes less deadly over time. So if we are lucky, by the time it gets here in a big way, it should be much milder.

The current death rate is from 1% to 18% depending upon the definition of the group. There are a lot of experts dealing with this now and there is not much use for us to speculate.

I know the normalcy bias is strong in most people, but a thing like this does happen from time to time. I believe that this is the real thing. China is having problems starting up production again. You do not build 2,600 hospital rooms in 14 days for nothing – it was necessary to isolate patients so this virus will not spread so fast in hospital. There are signs that it is spreading everywhere. For example, you ask why no virus in Africa? Simple answer – there were no test kits in that continent.

If Japan can not test everyone on that one cruise ship and China is straining at the task, what do you think will happen in the rest of the world? I say get prepared and fasten your seat-belts.

Posted by: meshpal | Feb 13 2020 20:54 utc | 6

I do hope b's optimism is warranted. Quite frankly I don't trust anything the Chinese government says, so everything might turn out just fine, or it might get really, really bad. I'm always a skeptic - I plan for the worst, and am generally pleasantly surprised that my plan didn't need to be put into action.

Posted by: Don Wills | Feb 13 2020 20:57 utc | 7

Thanks for providing the CDC stats, b! They're all that's need to prove the hysteria aimed at China is 100% political in a Psyop sense and not based on reality whatsoever. Indeed, the Chinese have commented about that as soon as it began, and has now reached a point where Chinese patience is wearing out as seen in this article:

"The novel coronavirus outbreak has given us a clearer understanding of US strategic direction toward China. Although China is working hard to promote the relationship between the two countries toward healthy and stable development, the recent strategic moves of the US showed that a strong force in the US is pushing the ties toward a hostile path, which is obviously making the future of Sino-US relations more unstable....

"The epidemic could become a chance for the two countries to cooperate and enhance mutual trust, yet as China is all in to fight the virus, the death of Li is being exploited and politicalized by some US politicians. This once again shows that attacking China's political system has become part of the US' China strategy. It must realize that this is one of the main causes of turbulence in China-US relations....

"China does not want to be a US rival, but if the US continues following this strategy, it is making itself an enemy." [My Emphasis]

Given the woeful state of healthcare within the Outlaw US Empire, many tens of thousands would die if a similar outbreak occurred here. When that happens, I hope the DC Jingos are the ones to die first.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 13 2020 20:57 utc | 8

Posted by: Akouo | Feb 13 2020 20:30 utc | 3

[.] AIDS is NOT caused by HIV it's caused by the treatment given for HIV. [...]
---Dr. Akouo, Head of World Microbology

Welcome to the Mayo Clinic

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body's ability to fight infection and disease.[.]

Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 13 2020 20:58 utc | 9

@ b.. thanks.. informative and clear as usual... not the bs spin the msm typically gives...

Posted by: james | Feb 13 2020 21:02 utc | 10

thanks karlof1... i think they are correct to articulate all that.. that is the maniacal usa in action...

Posted by: james | Feb 13 2020 21:04 utc | 11

B, can we get clarification as to why two comments from two days ago pertaining to the CIA and BND were disappeared down the memory hole?


Posted by: Craig | Feb 13 2020 21:12 utc | 12

All is well.
Do not hoard.
Your government will take care of you.

Posted by: RobvC | Feb 13 2020 21:13 utc | 13

@Zee #4:

…anyone in Hubei (23 million pop.)…

The National Bureau of Statistics of China estimates Hubei’s population at 59,020,000 (2017).

Posted by: S | Feb 13 2020 21:16 utc | 14

You're nuts. The total case count went up *and* the deaths went up. Everything still at 2% dead. You're saying that the new deaths weren't from CORVID-19? Well, how did they pick out the deaths so that it came out to 2%. They want to scare people? I daresay not.

Posted by: Bill | Feb 13 2020 21:23 utc | 15

I must admit it's been so hard to sift wheat from chaff on the sheer scale of reports coming out form across the spectrum. From doom porn end of days stuff to it's just an Asian flu thing.

Imperial College is a well respected institute in UK, this faculty guy has been saying a few useful things:

Basically he feels we're seeing the first tip of something much larger, but he's also careful to say we don't know much about it yet and it may well weaken over time. There-s an older interview 5th Feb on YT and some more recent stuff on BBC Radio4:

The comments on the metaculus site have some useful content:

ZH continues with the cataclysmic end of the world view.

My 5 cents for what its worth is it will diminish in Asia in the next month and a half, may rear its head for a while in Europe to an extent to be determined by the spring climate. Either way its those in marginal health, exhaustion, overworked and fragile who should take most care.

Posted by: dennis | Feb 13 2020 21:32 utc | 16

Things to think about. First on the list is that all these numbers that are being thrown at us are, one way or another, derivatives of the antibody test for this specific virus which was developed in less than a month. Considering that we are at about 40 years and counting for a AIDS vaccine, purportedly against another RNA virus, this one though a retrovirus, this is certainly quick (and hopefully not dirty) work. Trying to get some details for this miracle I came across this excerpt

The first challenge of sequencing a coronavirus genome is that it's made of RNA rather than DNA. Most of our tools for working with nucleic acids are specific to DNA. Fortunately, we've discovered an enzyme called "" that takes RNA and makes a DNA copy of it—transcription is the copying of DNA into RNA; this enzyme does the opposite, hence the name. (Reverse transcriptase was first identified in other RNA viruses that need to be copied into DNA as part of infection.) Using reverse transcriptase, researchers were able to make DNA copies of parts of 2019-nCoV as a first step to studying its genome.

But reverse transcription of samples from infected individuals would simply create a mess of DNA fragments from everything present: the patient's own cells, harmless bacteria, and so on. Fortunately, DNA sequencing and analysis techniques have become so advanced that it's now possible to just sequence the whole mess, irrelevant stuff and all, and let computers sort out what's present. Software is able to take what we know about the average coronavirus genome and identify all of the fragments of sequence that look like they came from a coronavirus. Other software can determine how all these fragments overlap and then stitch them together, producing a near-complete coronavirus genome.

Sort of reminds me of the dictum to shoot everyone and let God sort them out.

Hopefully the RNA reverse transcriptase does a better job than Google Translate going from Mandarin to English.

Since the antibody test was developed by a complex computer program based on a generic sampling of the vast complex of various corona viruses (most of them either harmless or slightly harmful to humans), there are very few people on the planet that could evaluate its value and accuracy. Furthermore, it is based on a translation of the RNA into DNA via an enzyme. Evaluators would need to be experts in both stereo computer programing and virology and be allowed access to the source code.

I guess we will just have to trust our Overlords.

Posted by: el gallinazo | Feb 13 2020 21:46 utc | 17

My grandfather died of pneumonia at the age of 82. This is not rare at all, and the new classification that may falsely diagnose pneumonia cases may be practical. Basically, the new drug cocktail cannot be given to all pneumonia cases in China, there are limits on increase of production and imports, but in Hubei they will be considered the new corona virus.

The course of the epidemic is hard to predict, finding therapies etc. is as paramount as slowing the spread.

Cambodia gave berth to corona virus ship. There is a talk about depression in cruise industry. Given that, I would recommend a cruise to North Pole. Not crowded, great unique views, few viruses up there, nice weather: "normal Moscow winter clothing should be sufficient" (around Summer solstice).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 13 2020 21:52 utc | 18

@ Bill 15

increase vs. number of deaths.

It's the reclassification by Cat scans (CT) scans. Modeling.

Spike in China virus cases doesn't show big shift in epidemic: WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) - The spike in cases reported from China reflects reclassifying a backlog of suspect cases using patients’ chest images and not necessarily the “tip of an iceberg” of a wider epidemic, a top World Health Organization official said on Thursday.

“Crucially we understand that most of these cases relate to a period going back over days and weeks and are retrospectively reported as cases, sometimes back to the beginning of the outbreak itself,” he told a news conference at WHO headquarters.

“We’ve seen this spike in the number of cases reported in China, but this does not represent a significant change in the trajectory of the outbreak,” he said.

No significant shifts in mortality or severity patterns had been detected, Ryan said.[.]


Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 13 2020 21:59 utc | 19

The truth is probably somewhere between Zerohedges sensationalism and B's 'nothing to see, move along, have another joint approach'!

However, the cure may be worse than the disease. If China continues to lock down a third or so of the nation, then the Chinese economy will collapse and the supply chains to the world are going to evaporate.

Welcome to 'unintended consequences'.

It is this economic collapse which may be the true contagion!

Posted by: Ric G | Feb 13 2020 22:19 utc | 20

I would like to know how Chinese workers in the affected zones will survive financially. It sounds like they won't have medical bankruptcies, but how will they pay rent and buy food? Even if regular employers still pay wages, I assume there are many workers who are day laborers, self-employed, casual work, etc. Will they end up living on the street? That's certainly what happens in Uncle Sam Land.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Feb 13 2020 22:26 utc | 21

Meanwhile, the critique of China borders on hysteria. Can't trust the numbers they release.

And CDC does a recall?

CDC: Defective Coronavirus Testing Kits Shipped Across US

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that flaws have been identified in testing kits meant to confirm or deny an individual’s COVID-19 coronavirus diagnosis on the spot.

Americans experiencing coronavirus symptoms may have to wait longer to receive a diagnosis from state health officials after the CDC revealed Wednesday that the 200 COVID-19 testing kits issued across the country last week may return inconclusive - neither positive nor negative - results.

Some of the states identified some inconclusive laboratory results,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during the February 12 news conference, speaking on the states’ own quality control protocols regarding the kits.

Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 13 2020 22:27 utc | 22

Sorry b, but China would not fire its top provincial officials and Xi would not call it a “grave situation” , if it wasn't a grave situation.

There are too many virus epidemics in China hitting people and wiping out animals (if you haven't noticed) and that is a problem of chinese culture.

Many people overestimate China, forgetting that the country is still significantly poorer than even Russia on per capita basis, and technologically has many problem areas - such as being incapable of creating a good submarine, or putting a nuclear reactor on large surface ship, or creating good aircraft, especially aircraft engines, or creating good radar surveliance network (it needed help from Russia for many of those things), or creating good air defense (had to buy S-400), etc.

While there are some areas where it the took the lead, there are also many areas where it is lacking.

China will be on par with the US by 2030 as great power, but it is not right now, and it is still relatively poor country on per capita basis, with many areas where it is lacking. Not surprisingly it got bullied into buying 200 billion $ more in US goods, with half of US tarrifs still not removed.

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 13 2020 22:59 utc | 23


my sources at the deep state tell me that Bernie has disappeared for a few days, driving his secret service detail nuts. they didn't know where he was. after some time, though, the five eyes intercepted a chat between two chinese top officials claiming that they had intelligence that an old man with a superman suit was seen at night at the streets in wuhan cutting with a large sword some swathes of coronavirus viruses. the battles were fierce, it was fought to the death. but bernie won. that's the reason why the virus is in decline, but both china and us don't want to admit that it is due to bernie, china wants to get the credit, while us is afraid that if it is announced the dnc would cancel the primaries and hand the nomination right away to bernie, the plan being to have a gay president (that is, a happy president, don't get me wrong).


Posted by: albagen | Feb 13 2020 23:00 utc | 24

Those criteria have now been changed with a 'clinically diagnosed' added to the 'confirmed cases'. The criteria for 'clinically diagnosed' is a computerized tomographic (CT) scan that shows signs of pneumonia in the lungs of a patient. This criteria will apply even when the patient shows no other sign of illness and even when the applied virus tests do not find an nCoV19 infection.

Thanks for this clarification b. My ignorance and the language barrier made me conflate "clinically diagnosed" with "asymptomatic".

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Feb 13 2020 23:03 utc | 25

thanks for the optimism b. China's efforts specially covering 100% of the bills is huge IMHO. what country will follow that example?

i try not to panic but it is steadily rising here in Japan. the local place where i buy medicines are out of masks, etc. people are hoarding. other people are saying that as the hysteria rises food chains will probably get affected ... and knowing Japan (with the previous Faxai and Hagibis typhoons as examples) ... the stores will all be sold out of the necessities.

a big Chinatown is nearby Yokohama ... and people are talking in hushed/non-hushed voices about the "foreigners" ... me included.

as someone mentioned cruise ships ... the number of cases from the one parked in Yokohama is still increasing. the news mention they are allowing the elderly to leave the ship ... hopefully they don't go roaming about the city (i.e. quarantined on shore or in designated hospitals) and are still closely monitored.

reading the news a taxi driver in Tokyo has been confirmed with nCov-19

also, maybe someone can point me to a website that contains data about the ages of the infected and deceased. as b mentioned "But we have to keep in mind that this epidemic is in fact relatively mild. Most people on the younger side who come in contact the virus will never develop any symptoms and for those people who develop the COVID-19 disease the symptoms are not severe at all:" i want to have the proper information when i argue with the people around me.

Posted by: r | Feb 13 2020 23:05 utc | 26

CDC, the Center for Disinformation Control

If the mortality rate is 1% and Coronavirus infects 20% of global population, something like 16 million people will die. Let's hope the virus doesn't mutate to a more lethal form.

The supply chains from China are now toast. Will be interesting to see how long the Fed can create enough digital currency to prop up the markets while things fall apart.

be happy, don't worry lol

Posted by: Perimetr | Feb 13 2020 23:10 utc | 27

In even the most severe infections of the HIV virus only one per cent of the T cells are infected. And yet, in a terminal AIDS case, all the T cells perish. Something else is killing them.

Please research the work of Peter Duesberg, who had been an eminent medical researcher until he contradicted the retrovirus-causing-AIDS hypothesis.

To say the least, there is much financial incentive to keep the narrative going, as well as reputations to maintain.

Armed with an adequate amount of relevant information, and without anything to protect, it's entirely rational to conclude that AIDS is not caused by a retrovirus, but rather other factors, in many cases recreational or medicinal drugs.

Posted by: T.D. | Feb 13 2020 23:10 utc | 28

infodemic is right. Will most likely become more fatal than the new flue bug. Pity any poor bastard that calls an ambulance and has recently been to China. first thing they ask in Australia now is 'has the person needing they ambulance been to China recently. Had to call one for my wife a day or two back and that was first thing they asked when I rang triple zero. Wifes ok now, but if she had of been to China, they would have been checking her out for the flue before looking at her ticker.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 13 2020 23:12 utc | 29

It seems peculiar the Chinese government would suggest throwing down the gauntlet over disinformation regarding the coronavirus when they did not react quite so intensely over Hong Kong. Perhaps they're feeling feverish.

Posted by: Bruce | Feb 13 2020 23:19 utc | 30

What’s to note also is that the WHO in a conference today underlined that whet China did with the Hubei statistics is more aggressive than what the rest of the world (and indeed China outside Hubei) is doing - which is track only cases that test positive for the RNA virus.

The WHO also reiterated in the tweet that they will continue to track only RNA confirmed cases for now at least. (To use your analogy with HIV/AIDS, the WHO is tracking only HIV cases whereas (only) Hubei is additionally tracking cases that show AIDS-like symptoms.)

They also said that they will work with the Chinese authorities on how the cases reported can be distributed across the span of the outbreak rather than on the day they were reported.

Posted by: Ludwig | Feb 13 2020 23:33 utc | 31

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Feb 13 2020 22:06 utc | @20

For what I have read, both, at medcial experts, and intelligence level, this virus has been definitely considered as bio-engineered in a lab.

Sources? Evidence? Not hearsay, or supposition but hard facts please.

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 13 2020 23:57 utc | 32

Posted by: r | Feb 13 2020 23:05 utc | @27

The stats I've read here and elsewhere, indicated that the death rate is most prevalent in over 60s (I think the figure was 80%), with health conditions, mostly to the lungs as the virus produces a form of pneumonia. The healthy young (ie with effective immune systems) appear not to be affected or the infection is so mild that's it's probably not recorded.

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 14 2020 0:04 utc | 33

Excellent article at Counterpunch on NYT/CFR propaganda efforts.

"Instead of voicing support or encouraging solidarity–“We are Wuhan”—western corporate media have chosen to go all out to criticize and demonize China, sparing no effort to recycle and rekindle ugly, racist, orientalist, and dehumanizing tropes, using any perceived misstep, pretext, and shortcoming to tar China and the Chinese. One virulent narrative is that this is deliberate Chinese bioweapon to reduce population, another narrative, no less toxic and virulent, alleges that the Chinese leadership, out of a “fear of political embarrassment”, suppressed free speech and silenced the flow of information “at critical moments”, “allowing the virus to gain a tenacious hold”, thus creating the conditions for a lethal epidemic that has led to the deaths of hundreds and the infection of thousands.

The NY Times takes the [yellow] cake for sowing this toxic, racist disinformation, alleging in numerous articles and opinion pieces of a “cover up”: that “China’s old habits put secrecy and order ahead of openly confronting the crisis”; that “they played down dangers to the public, leaving the city’s 11 million residents unaware that they should protect themselves”, and presenting this as proof dispositive that the Chinese system is fatally flawed. All this while reveling in and boosting on its website, unseemly schadenfreude that suppression of information and free speech has led to condign and expected catastrophe.

The most recent iteration of this propaganda concerns a Dr Li Wenliang..."

Posted by: daffyDuct | Feb 14 2020 0:25 utc | 34

From the article I cited above - the following would be considered a "mission accomplished" scenario of the CIA:

"c) Panicked, mass hysterical responses are not uncommon, and themselves can constitute a public health hazard. Either of these effects, caused by premature or careless disclosure could have resulted in:

i) People thinking themselves sick

ii) People crowding hospitals, stretching resources, while spreading the infection faster, as well as preventing genuinely sick people from getting care (all at a time when public services are winding down)

iii) Mass exodus, spreading the infection outside of Wuhan much faster

iv) Hoarding & scarcity of masks and other supplies, vigilante quarantines, and other hysterical, dangerous, and unproductive behavior."

Posted by: daffyDuct | Feb 14 2020 0:31 utc | 35

Changes in numbers such as these are made to deceive people. For whatever reason, China wants to keep the hype going.

In the 1950’s following the first polio vaccines, the US government changed the definition of what was considered to be polio, and also ended financial compensation for those who claimed to be polio victims. These 2 measures alone, along with reduced DDT exposure in large population centers caused a drastic decrease in number of confirmed polio cases, which was credited to the vaccines.

I like to look at the Big Picture and try to connect the dots. We hear about Event 201 with Chinese participation, a recent corona virus vaccine process patent approval in November that is owned by Pirbright which extends rights to China, both funded by Gates, king of vaccine and climate hysteria funding, and hear of links between Wuhan biolab and us academia, DoD/NIH and chinese nationals working in US/CN labs doing research and having access to these viruses, not to mention Wuhans Biolake which is home to many Western Pharama and Biotech companies . Also, 5G starting up in Wuhan which has been designated a smart city, and another Gates funded project called ID 2020 for digital id using vaccines. A made up virus could be a cover for symptoms resulting from 5G. Digital ID will be required for population control which will enhanced with 5G allowing more effective use of smart meters, IoT and AI to monitor and control behavior and consumption.

Another interesting piece of news was a new vaccine law in China was implemented on Dec 1. One component was to ensure mandatory vaccines were administered and tracked, and emergency vaccines for SARS like viruses (once developed) are mandatory.

Now maybe its not a virus which is being disseminated but just certain proteins or chemicals which which will cause a positive tests on their untested and unvalidated diagnostic tests that “confirm” the virus. A country like China has as many as 60-100k deaths per day anyways (500-700 a day in Wuhan alone). Calling a percentage of these deaths as being from “the virus” is easy.

Why would China go along with a global conspiracy. Whats in it for them? I dont know . Depopulation, a higher seat at the Table of Global Government , etc.? Has to be more than money motivating these people.

Not sure if stories are true but I kept reading people were being denied treatment for pneumonia if they tested negative. If true this is mind boggling because severe pneumonia in China and many countries is a severe issue every winter, dwarfing the numbers of reported COVID cases. If denied treatment mortality rates among these people will spike, and are not being reported. How many are dying at home?. Most would be elderly or have existing health issues. Maybe thats the objective. However, nobody will ever know the true situation in China because the government has a monopoly on news and does not tolerate free speech.

Posted by: Pft | Feb 14 2020 0:36 utc | 36

@ Posted by: Bruce | Feb 13 2020 23:19 utc | 31

Hong Kong is not considered an area of geopolitical vulnerability by the Chinese Armed Forces.

The two regions the PLA considers to be China's greatest vulnerability points, in order of greatest and second greatest are: 1) Xinjiang and 2) Tibet. That, of course, from the outside (i.e. an American attack).

Obviously, an internal rebellion in Wuhan (central China, the heart of Chinese communism) would far surpass any military threat any of those regions could give to the CCP. Hence, of course, the COVID-19 being a greater threat to the CCP than the latte-sipping liberals from Hong Kong and the wannabe Americans from Taiwan could ever be.

Posted by: vk | Feb 14 2020 0:38 utc | 37

One used to hear the Brits talk of the "Dunkirk Spirit". Similarly, one used to hear of the American "can do" spirit.

Only in very recent years have I come to get a feel for the Chinese Spirit, and this 30-second news clip exemplifies it for me.

A Wuhan doctor has quarantined herself from her family, staying in a hotel while she treats the outbreak. As she walks to work in the evening, her husband drives slowly behind her to light the way. When she returns to the hotel, he has prepared a hot meal for her.

Wuhan doctor quarantines herself from family, husband lights her way to work each night

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 14 2020 0:46 utc | 38

One thing b got right, that it is not pandemic, no need to panic at this point and also that Chinese sow confusion with their recent re-categorization of disease without explanation why.

Definitely no epidemiologist want to confuse bacterial pneumonia resulting from flue complications with pneumonia due to complications from corona virus as patients infected should be placed in separate hospitals.

So why CT scan alone that makes no distinction between flue or coronal virus, would let people to be classified as confirmed COVID-19 cases while genetic analysis of the initial virus was done and genome published all over the world to develop tests including genetic tests.

Why those tests are not trusted anymore? Besides the fact that such decision was administrative one likely considering that weaken by flu patient who cannot afford healthcare costs and hence is not hospitalized will be much more vulnerable for COVID-19 infection, perhaps the real reason was that we are dealing with rapid mutation of corona virus forcing doctors to rename disease from DNA specific single viral infection into COVID-19 disease spectrum as a syndrome of multiple of viral infections of different viral strains.

In such case it would make sense to use CT as ultimate confirmation of disease as tests for various mutations of virus are not available yet or never. Because negative test is no longer prove of lack of COVID-19 disease.

But if this is true, it is worrying me most at this point since it may mean much more broader spread of asymptomatic viral Infections among big part of Chinese population allowing such rapid mutation from host to host adopting itself to different strengths and different abilities to fight virus among human immune systems.

I think personally rather than possible even probable at this point rapid mutations what we see is just failure in dealing with corona virus that cost many Chinese officials jobs fired mostly as scapegoats for systemic failure of capitalism, producing hundreds of millions vulnerable to disease poor in China while most workers live, like in US, precarious lives especially unable afford healthcare for profit.

Posted by: Kalen | Feb 14 2020 0:59 utc | 39

The Wuhan coronavirus epidemic has some knowns and a lot of unknowns. The Diamond Princess petri-dish docked at Yokohama has 219 coronavirus patients of the 500 tested so far but no deaths. This indicates that the virus is highly contagious. A quarantine is can only be effective if the infected are isolated; plus, workers who have contact with the public and health care providers must have adequate protective gear to avoid getting infected themselves. Reporting indicates the disease most kills mostly old males with viral pneumonia. A 1% death rate of an easy to spread cold virus will kill millions. China instituted draconian measures that (if b is correct) is lowering the infection rate. But the Chinese economy has collapsed for now.

The West should be stockpiling protective gear and ventilators. Preparing intensive care beds and like China treat the ill for free and waive all co-payments. Rebuild supply chains. That will cost lots of money. Since those who will die are by the Elite's definition "unproductive and deplorable"; the necessary pandemic preparation won’t happen in neoliberal West. Indeed, the President of the United States said that April heat will kill the coronavirus. The 99% will be told; “Keep working. Pay the rent and the interest on your debt. Ignore the dying old farts. Pandemics be damned. Make more money for the rich.”

Posted by: VietnamVet | Feb 14 2020 1:12 utc | 40

"The new count will thereby include a lot of people who simply have a common flu. That seems to make little sense."
b-Perhaps the Chinese govt wants to lower the percentage of those who die? Adding in the flu numbers may allow them to do that and it would allow them to lower possible panic levels...

Posted by: frances | Feb 14 2020 1:14 utc | 41

reply to VietnamVet | Feb 14 2020 1:12 utc | 41
I read that the US Military have just set up 11 quarantine sites outside military bases.
No idea if that is true or not.

Posted by: frances | Feb 14 2020 1:17 utc | 42

At this point it is premature to say new cases are in decline. We can be certain of that only in retrospect. At the moment you seem intent on proving your assertion that containment efforts are effective so you fall into the trap the "end times" people are in, ie, you are proselytizing for your point of view. Indeterminacy is not comfortable. Is the incubation period twice as long as thought? Is the CCP telling the truth? ( Hint: No.) Is the character of the virus now understood? Not well enough. At first the influenza of 1918 seemed mild and no one died, but six month on it exploded and targeted the young and the healthy. It has not yet been a month since this offal has hit the fan.

We don't know if this is the "big one" yet, and it may fizzle out before it gets there, but we do know that a pandemic is inevitable. If you don't know this it's because you're in denial about the nature of our times, like a particular leader now on the world stage who uses the "power of positive thinking" to delude himself and those around him.

Fear of the future and escapism is the zeitgeist that defines us.

Posted by: jadan | Feb 14 2020 2:14 utc | 43

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 13 2020 20:57 utc | 8

I genuinely believe China doesn't want wars or destroy any nations. Murikan, EU and nations may not like "Socialism with Chinese Characteristic". But it works for China and lifted hundred of millions out of poverty (reported 700-800millions). No nations since civilization ever archived such feat. Beside, they built two hospitals (2600 beds) in 14-days. The Chinese physically "build 57-storey skyscraper in 19-days" I cannot make it up, you can see it in YouTube.

If China to fail to contain Covid-19 we are all in for deep shit. I guarantee many industrial nations will failed. No amount of bashing of Chinese or China will help. I pity, Australia, Germany, Murikan, SEA nations including Japan, South Korea, will suffer. Most probably Ford and GM will cease to exist especially Ford.

MAGA bull shit!!

Posted by: JC | Feb 14 2020 2:16 utc | 44

It is hard to switch from its not a crisis to hit the stores, clean out the shelves, and hunker down for a few months. If the numbers keep going up we are in big trouble, if they go down it is contained. That was difficult. Unfortunately if it is a bad as some say then when its hits other continents it will be too late. We will know in two weeks to a month where this goes.

I do not trust what is coming out the the Communists leadership in China any more than Bloomberg press.

Posted by: dltravers | Feb 14 2020 2:35 utc | 45

Posted by: Perimetr | Feb 13 2020 23:10 utc | 28

"CDC, the Center for Disinformation Control"

i was afraid of that.

"something like 16 million people"

yesterday someone compared the death toll to be TENS OF MILLIONS while comparing nCov-19 to the 1918 pandemic ... but times have changed ... new technology, improved sanitary science, and governments that have bullets.

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 14 2020 0:04 utc | 34

that's what WaPo is also telling but i can't find numbers/graphs

Posted by: Pft | Feb 14 2020 0:36 utc | 37

i want what you're smoking ... wanna try dangerous things at least once in my life

Posted by: frances | Feb 14 2020 1:17 utc | 43

nothing in local JP TV, papers yet

something that caught my eye ...

"The United States is “deeply concerned” about the possible impact of a coronavirus outbreak in North Korea and is prepared to help U.S. and international organizations contain the spread of the virus, the State Department said on Thursday."

Posted by: r | Feb 14 2020 2:44 utc | 46

Could someone comment on why the corona virus epidemic fits a quadratic growth model rather than an exponential model?

To me is seems that China is making progress in reducing the incidence of the transmission and some decline in the number of cases is also due to deaths particularly among older people and smokers. Could this account for the non exponential curve vs to alternative that China is fudging the numbers?

Posted by: krollchem | Feb 14 2020 4:50 utc | 47

@S, #14

Thanks for the pop. figure for Hubei. Ryan mentioned 23 million at some point - it's not Wuhan since that figure is 11 million. However, his point was that the local physicians in Hubei, upon chet x-ray, will be classifying pneumonia as covid-19.

Posted by: Zee | Feb 14 2020 5:01 utc | 48

re Craig | Feb 13 2020 21:12 utc | 12
do you mean the posts about cia sheet sniffer creeps & BND sticky beaks here and here?

I for one am getting very goddamned bored with drongos who do not comprehend how this site works, much less how to use a search engine so they make false accusations alleging b 'disappears' shit.

I spent all day to day wondering if b had been getting lent on by the bnd then this evening I thought "maybe this craig type is a bit silly and the posts haven't disappeared, craig's need to believe everyone is against him has increased is what happened".
Sure nuff
It took about 10 secs to find the posts because b had already highlighted bnd collusion with those cia motherfuckers in his original article.

What is the problem with some people that causes them to imagine the worst every time?

Back in 04 when the info came out about bnd agents in the german embassy Baghdad providing targeting info for amerika to murder the Hussein family, I remember b took some persuading that it had occured but at no stage did he censor or delete the posts alleging bnd complicity, since then he appears resigned to the reality that all spooks are low life types capable of any dastardly act.

Posted by: A User | Feb 14 2020 5:40 utc | 49

Grieved @39--

Humans have battled microorganisms for our entire existence. We've learned how to control and combat them to some extent, but they'll remain ever-present. So, it defers to societies to make choices about how to deal with the unpredictable but ever-present antagonist and its affects. Clearly, a collective effort's best since nobody's immune. Thus, it falls to the society to organize itself in the best manner possible--a lesson clearly lost on all too many. In that sense, the Chinese are in another galaxy compared to many nations. Imagine the reaction of any Neoliberal immoral nation, of which the Outlaw US Empire is the epitome--Cool! An opportunity to make lots of money through all this death: Please, no empathy for the victims; we're too busy watching the GDP spike! (Much is dependent on education. Public sanitation and the reasons for it are seldom taught at any level of schooling within the Outlaw US Empire--people turn on a faucet and flush the toilet without much of a clue how it all works.)

I find the "Oriental" reverence of life vastly superior to that of the West. Perhaps that's why so many more people live there!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 14 2020 6:05 utc | 50

Public WHO news briefings that take place almost every day and which are highly informative and reasonably easy to understand. There are transcripts as well but those are a few days old when they get posted.

Many issues raised here have already been addressed, some of them more than once, and while nothing is ever perfect they're generally better than anything else available in English.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 14 2020 6:19 utc | 51

Some Russian experts are suggesting the coronavirus is an American bioweapon against China.

Russian scientists believe America created the Wuhan coronavirus to sabotage China

The expert saw signs of American bioterrorism in the spread of coronavirus

A controversial interview with an American expat in China who goes by the pseudonym "Uriah Heep" and apparently is a former American military weapons designer; he suggests that the coronavirus is a bioweapon that is being deployed as part of America's trade war on China.

He makes some provocative comments about how there were virus outbreaks that decimated the Chinese pork and poultry industry last year-- with the arrest of people using drones to disperse viral agents--and the improbable location of the alleged Wuhan "biowarfare" labs.

Is Wuhan Coronavirus a Hit Job? This is a Whodunit Not to Miss. “Uriah Heep”, Our Expert Sherlock Holmes Solves the Case!

Posted by: ak74 | Feb 14 2020 6:44 utc | 52

I see a lot of comments that people do not trust what the Chinese government says. I wonder are these people inferring that they trust what their governments say? Is it racial superiority poking it's head through. Looking at our history i wonder who is deluded.

Posted by: Chibi David | Feb 14 2020 6:47 utc | 53

@53 ak74

This guy "Uriah Heep" is so full of shit, he make Falung Gong appear sane. He claims to have belonged to a secret government program under the name of "MAJestic". His allegedly career path bears resemblance to a typical grifter.
This guy pretty much debunks anything this fantasist claims to be.

Posted by: Vato | Feb 14 2020 8:36 utc | 54

#54 For me it goes something like this:

Do I trust the CCP? No. Why? Because they'll crush a million of their own for the 'cause'

Do I trust the USSA? No. Why? Because they'll sell WMD stories to crush a million people for the 'cause'.

Do I trust Chibi David? Maybe. If by 'our history' he means Israel - then he's spot on.

Posted by: Jezabeel | Feb 14 2020 8:36 utc | 55

Piotr Berman #18

There is a talk about depression in cruise industry. Given that, I would recommend a cruise to North Pole. Not crowded, great unique views, few viruses up there, nice weather: "normal Moscow winter clothing should be sufficient" (around Summer solstice).

I like that: Moon of Alabama Reunion Cruise to the New World.

Just to start the first conundrum debate, I move we ELECT a convenor !

Vato #55

@53 ak74

This guy "Uriah Heep" is so full of shit, he make Falung Gong appear sane.

Uriah Heep was one of the great bands in the days of yore. Much mind altering hours of enjoyment.

Vato, there is one thing only on this earth that would make Falung Gong look sane and that is the Dollypond Church of God. See William Sargant - Battle for the Mind - on the trance handling of rattle snakes.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 14 2020 9:32 utc | 56

Kalen #40

Thank you for that post. I have some of those questions in my mind as well. If the mutation potential of the virus volatile in each host then its trajectory is entirely unpredictable. Its very instability is likely more of a weakness than a strength as I see the world. Time will tell.

I susoect that bundling common flu and coronavirus into a common treatment/payment platform is more of a political move as flu is widespread and a killer in its own right. Free treatment for corona and demanding payment for flu would be socially explosive in a time where savage quarantine is in place. There would be widespread outrage in any community if that prevailed.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 14 2020 9:45 utc | 57

A User #50

What is the problem with some people that causes them to imagine the worst every time?

Thanks for that post, yes there are some bad seeds out there that grow prickly burs. I gather they are blamers - always someone else who is to be blamed for their shitty thoughts, technology, internet, blah blah. There are a lot of blamers in this world Hillary, Biden, Bolton, Trump all appear to be strongly represented in that category.

b is one of the most tolerant editors I could imagine or have experienced. b is good to take a risk on a report and gracious to accept error. I subscribe to that ethos and it makes for a comfortable and informative site to visit.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 14 2020 10:00 utc | 58

Perimetr @ 28

The supply chains from China are now toast.

One thing known to any Purchasing Officer, is that the factories routinely shut down through most of February. You will need to wait and see what can or cannot be acquired the first week in March.

I'm not in favor of propping up the dysfunctional criminal Federal Reserve scheme, in order to continue kicking the can down the road a few extra years. I would rather Beijing instead of Washington be at the helm of any controlled world wide economic implosion. So if the eminently imaginable manufacturing shortfall does come to pass, this domino should have fallen quite awhile ago

Posted by: psychedelicatessen | Feb 14 2020 10:20 utc | 59

"...they'll [CCP] crush a million of their own for the 'cause'" --Jezabeel @56


Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 14 2020 10:53 utc | 60

"...since then he appears resigned to the reality that all spooks are low life types capable of any dastardly act." --A User @50

B has not yet given in to the level of cynicism necessary to fully acknowledge the true depths of villainy of these spook gangs. We are talking gangs composed of the kinds of people who as children torture small animals to death, but grow up to need larger victims to satisfy their perverse lusts. Who is so naive as to believe that the CIA runs secret torture facilities because they really think they can get useful information that way? Those facilities are vacation resorts for staff who have served the gang well. They also serve as initiation/training facilities for staff who might still be a little squeamish about spilling the blood of helpless innocents.

Consider that these gangs of literal psychopaths are supplied with the almost limitless cash that is raised by controlling global trade in drugs, slaves, and black market weapons. Consider that they have free use of America's ridiculously extensive consular networks and military bases. Consider that they can easily travel anywhere on diplomatic documents forged by the US government itself, and you can start to see how these bloodthirsty monsters can get away with what they do.

But wait! There's more!

They have "recruiters", both formal and informal; covert and overt, on every major college campus in the US. They make contacts with the choicest up-and-coming talent that looks to go places in business and government. They volunteer "favors" for these kids, building webs of obligation. They observe fraternity hazings to identify fellow sadists, or where the opportunity arises push the fraternity hazing over the edge to collect blackmail material for future use while simultaneously building out their web of obligation by offering to help covering up grave transgressions against human decency. Commit an unforgivable act in the presence of these CIA "recruiters" and they own you for life. Students "vetted" in this manner are then treated as "trustworthy" by the oligarchy and get rapid promotions in the capitalist power structures. Think of it as more than just CIA recruiting, but also pre-employment screening for the oligarchy. After all, the oligarchy will want insurance that their tools don't go all Howard Beale on them and use one of capitalism's enormous soapboxes to blurt out the truth to all of the vegetative mass media consumers sitting slack-jawed on their couches in front of their Plato's Cave screens.

They killed millions in southeast Asia. They torture and murder all across Latin America. They assassinate presidents, both inside and outside the empire. They lie as naturally as breathing. They kill even when the empire has no need of it. They kill their own loyal tools, like Nemtsov, if it suits their amusement of the day. They killed highly respected statesmen on a diplomatic missions. When trying to determine if they are likely to be behind some horrific incident, you only need to consider if it is feasible and if it serves the empire's or their own internal needs. Never waste your time trying to ponder if the CIA and their subsidiaries could stoop so low as to commit the very most horrendous crimes imaginable because they have already done it again and again. These CIA monsters make ISIS head-choppers look like choir boys in comparison.

Would the CIA go around a crowded city spraying a horrible virus into the air? If they had such a virus they would do it for fun. You only need ask if they could get their hands on such a virus, not if they could be so evil as to use it, because that last is a forgone conclusion.

And, yes, the CIA can easily get their hands on such a virus.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 14 2020 12:07 utc | 61

How much does China give this site in monetary donations? Nothing else could explain the complete ignorance of the articles this site has published regarding the Wuhan Flu. Might as well just say "it is nothing compared to the Flu" then ship yourself to military quarantine and pretend like everything is normal.

Posted by: Boldizar | Feb 14 2020 12:45 utc | 62

meshpal 6

refers to 1918 style pandemic virus, says buckle up and prepare etc.

Here's a chart showing cases and deaths internationally. 518 cases, 2 deaths, one in the Philippines and one in Japan

Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 14 2020 13:32 utc | 63

@ Karlofi #8

I wonder just how profoundly ( IF that is the right word to describe the shallowness of the U.S. politik ) blinded, by their hubris, ignorance and self delusion to their own greatness, are U.S. politicians.
It would appear that there is an underlying current of egotism almost daring China and Russia plus others to form an alliance that the good old boys of the U.S.A. will than go in and tear down.
Pride comes before a fall; is a truism I have experienced as is; all things must pass.
I wonder when these politicians will become truly aware of these truths.
Before or after it is too late?

Posted by: Beibdnn | Feb 14 2020 13:55 utc | 64

The fact that China is closing down cities and stopping factory production should make clear this is not hysteria on their part. Viruses like this generally offer a short immunity so it can repeat in waves. A 2% fatality rate sounds low but if it reappears every 18mos it will grind a nation down. Are Europeans largely immune as some suggest? I wouldn't bet on it. Why aren't there cases reported in Africa which has millions of Chinese and why nothing from India - poor hygiene and all the risk factors? Because with an R between 4-7 they know this virus can't be contained so why try. There's probably infections all over the world but nations want tourism and investment dollars so they don't report.

Posted by: Bernie | Feb 14 2020 14:23 utc | 65

Posted by: Zee | Feb 13 2020 20:39 utc | 4

Thank you for that explanation, which states a legitimate motivation for classifying pneumonia (caused by various types of infection) as nCoV19. Hopefully that is the only reason the change has been made. Is this a permanent change of classification? What happens when the pandemic is brought under control - another switch in terminology? Does this imply a change in the definition of pneumonia?

Posted by: carl | Feb 14 2020 14:44 utc | 66


Bio-weapon? Just because someone is suggesting that it might be some kind of weapon, doesn't make it true. And in any case, the 2 of the 3 sources you name offer NOT A SHRED OF PROOF. The third is in Russian, so I can't comment, but 2 of the sources merely regurgitate opinion, NOT fact. Moreover, some of the Russian sources are far-right, Russian nationalists that have their own axe to grind.

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 14 2020 14:50 utc | 67

Markets rise with optimism over virus

Economic downturn expected to be short-lived as Wuhan outbreak approaches its peak; sharp rebound to follow

I rest my case

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 14 2020 15:24 utc | 68

In a normal flu season in China 80,000 to 90,000 will die. In a bad flu season double that. It is simply nonsense that China would turn itself upside down for a novel flu that had claimed only 1300 additional lives. Oh, this began to be reported as a pandemic when the numbers were a couple hundred. Local doctors would notice if there were a flu that was conspicuously different, there would not be a national and a global response.

This does not mean the doom porn is believable. Particular warning against Epoch Times which has been extremely active and widely cited/reposted. They are Falun Gong and will libel China any way they can. All are advised to apply the epistemological question continuously. At the moment there is no such thing as a credible source, only credulous consumers of information.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 14 2020 16:05 utc | 69

The single study that has been misinterpreted as meaningful regarding Asians being more susceptible to nCOV - cited ACE2 receptors as the cause.
The problem is - smoking is known to cause the abnormal development of ACE2 receptors. The single Asian in the study was a smoker; only 1 of the other 5 was a smoker and the relative level of smoking aren't documented.
However, from my personal experiences in China - Chinese men are heavy smokers - much more so than women.
There may be a link between ACE2 and nCOV vulnerability - but if so, it is much more likely due to smoking than it is due to ethnicity. That's why studies with higher n matter - it is far easier to understand potential secondary lines of investigation from a large sample set, plus high n means less likelihood of random shit skewing results.
This study notes there is *no* difference in ACE2 expression between different races, people of different ages, etc - but there is a difference between smokers and non-smokers ACE2 study

Recently, studies found that 2019-nCov and SARS-nCov share the same receptor, ACE2. In this study, we analyzed four large-scale datasets of normal lung tissue to investigate the disparities related to race, age, gender and smoking status in ACE2 gene expression. No significant disparities in ACE2 gene expression were found between racial groups (Asian vs Caucasian), age groups (>60 vs <60) or gender groups (male vs female). However, we observed significantly higher ACE2 gene expression in smoker samples compared to non-smoker samples. This indicates the smokers may be more susceptible to 2019-nCov and thus smoking history should be considered in identifying susceptible population and standardizing treatment regimen.

There is not a note about air pollution - that is another possible factor. The air pollution level in Wuhan actually worse than Beijing: Relative air pollution Beijing vs. Wuhan

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 14 2020 16:11 utc | 70

It is really beyond me how a system that claims to be "socialist" or "communist with chinese attibutes" can call itself such or is even allowed to do so by system critics when no universal health care that is available to all citizens exists.

That alone tells me that China has become a purely capitalist state similar to Canada when Canada still had some Government Owned Companies like Petro Can, Air Canada, CPR etc., however with the exception that unlike China has a Universal Health Care system.

Posted by: Peter | Feb 14 2020 16:20 utc | 71

New classification: As of Feb 7, there are 4 categories of cases: suspected, confirmed, clinically diagnosed (only in Hubei) and positive tests (meaning asymptomatic) from b's post, makes little sense.

I suppose ‘confirmed’ (read all this was suggested by WHO) is composed of 2 sub sets - ‘clinically diagnosed’ … ‘positive test’, with of course a 3rd possibility which would be both ‘clinically’ and ‘test’ confirmed. (Plus another, unconfirmed, see post, of those likely as dammit to be ++, because married to dead patient..)

Patients will move from one cat. to another, a flow with triage points .. from suspected to 1, 2, 3 subsequent categories (e.g. suspected to ‘rejected’, judged as not being ill, merely hysterical / to confirmed CT scan/ …etc.) and then on to other categories: cured, pending (many will sufer sequellae, etc.) died, and ‘lost’ (no news from patient X.)

Communications of orgs. like WHO or the Chinese Gvmt. are shamefully bad. The MSM reporting on top is even worse, the deepest pits. We, the world, have lost any semblance of collective knowledge, right down to basic arithmetic and reasonable questions and little schemas with boxes and arrows a 12-year old might produce.

Btw, in the US, each year 50K (about) ppl die of pneumonia, quite a lot. It affects the very young, the elderly, ppl in poor health, etc. The ‘cause’ of these pneumonias is very varied and isn’t tracked. Treatment in the US is of course abysmal.

dumbing-down info for the larger public, first screen from WHO:

see particularly vid:

Yes, the ‘public’ aka deplorables, are to be ‘managed’ while professionals act behind the scenes, their questions, studies, tentative conclusions, etc. are kept sub rosa, ppl might go off the deep end! At the same time, the MSM loves nothing better than scare-mongering, blame, alarmist hype, their bread + butter. So the two are in cahoots, and no good info gets out.

Public health has been corrupted to the bone - or even the marrow of the bone - by Big Corps and /other forces./ World wide.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 14 2020 16:53 utc | 72

@ Barovsky

"Moreover, some of the Russian sources are far-right, Russian nationalists that have their own axe to grind."

Many American opinions on this issue are from far-right, centrist, or "progressive" American nationalists who have their own axe to grind and are peddling opinions without proof.

One of the Russians cited in those articles is Igor Nikulin, a former member of the UN Commission on Biological and Chemical Weapons. I think he is more credible than most Americans pushing their views on this topic.

The article can be easily translated from Russian into English, using an online translator of your choice.

The expert saw signs of American bioterrorism in the spread of coronavirus

Dmitry Orlov also weighs in on the "convenient" Coronavirus, and after reviewing various factors, suggests that the most likely scenario is an American bioweapon.

A Most Convenient Virus

Also, it is not a secret that the Americans have been trying to collect Chinese and Russian DNA material for years... to what end?

Humanitarian medical studies?

Give me a break.

The Pentagon Bio-weapons

And to be frank, it's obvious that America is manipulating the Coronavirus Issue itself (beyond the health issues involved) as a hybrid war weapon against China.

The America agenda is economic disruption, political destabilization, and infowar propaganda against one of its major "New Cold War" opponents.

Posted by: ak74 | Feb 14 2020 17:15 utc | 73

What if the Corona virus turns out to be a genuine pandemic with legs, not some punk-ass, flash-in-the-pan bug like SARS… and infects hundreds of millions around the world…? And what if it happens to go logarithmic in the USA, as in China now…? And what if takes a few months, or half a year, to do that…? And what if Americans will not get on airplanes when that happens…? Or gather together in large numbers…? Or if government imposes quarantines …? Will the parties hold their nominating conventions? Might the November election have to be postponed

mr. Kunstler's having Impure Thoughts.

Posted by: john | Feb 14 2020 17:20 utc | 74

>[Canada] has a Universal Health Care system.

And their motto is, "Don't Get Sick", especially in New Brunswick where the government is closing Emergency Rooms at six rural hospitals from midnight to 8 AM. Ambulances will have to travel long distances to urban hospitals in Saint John and Moncton that are already overloaded.

Even a tiny increase in the patient census and the whole system will collapse in NB. This is what people should be afraid of, not some invisible scary new virus.

'It's disastrous': Communities uneasy about losing overnight ERs

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Feb 14 2020 17:42 utc | 75

@ 73

I think you're conflating two issues:

1.Is it a 'man-made' virus and
2. Exploiting the issue for political ends ie, attacking the Chinese govt.

As to #1; I don't care how many people say it's so, or who they are, what counts is evidence and so far I've not found any. Yes, it might be man-made on the other hand, it might not.

As to numero 2, well obviously the Empire and its stooges will propagandize, demonize and lie, no argument there.

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 14 2020 17:50 utc | 76

William Gruff @61--

Some nations like China are aware of that other antagonist you describe so well that must be defended against. The Outlaw US Empire's public's been brainwashed via media shows like Mission: Impossible and books like Tom Clancy's series starring Jack Ryan to view the CIA as needed and a force for good. Combatting that are the Jason Bourne books and movies, but they're not nearly enough. Then there're the many dozens of TV-cop shows through the years since Dragnet, the Untouchables and The FBI Story depicting police as a force for good. If TV technology had arrived sooner, there'd be shows in the South extolling the KKK as a force for good showing real lynching's on TV--the racism present in Oaters only ended with the rise of the Civil Rights Movement and Ladybird Johnson's use of a Native American to symbolize her campaign to beautify America (Do ya'll remember that?). But there's never been any movie about the CIA's Death Squads, although the Terrorist Foreign Legion's now getting Oscars for the propaganda films extolling their exploits--which I think's an excellent marker for just how deeply immoral the Outlaw US Empire's Establishment's become.

Does the above fit into the nihilism The Saker gets into at the end of this recent essay, or is it closer to the Libertinism of de Sade which justifies its criminal controlling as the product of a superior over inferiors--Exceptionalists over the non-exceptional. What lurks in the minds of those US Senators who were the cause behind the Global Times editorial I linked @8? Then we have Pompeo, who appears to liken himself as a reborn Nero or Caligula. Or are they merely continuing what the Pilgrims began in Plymouth--the buried part of that history never taught in schools: the place where American Death Squads began.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 14 2020 17:57 utc | 77

It makes me cried when I first watched it.

Italian residents hug Chinese people to encourage them in coronavirus fight

Posted by: JC | Feb 14 2020 18:34 utc | 78

SCMP: "...When Massimiliano Martigli Jiang stood blindfolded in the middle of Florence next to a sign reading “I am not a virus , I am a human being, free me from prejudice”, he was overwhelmed by the touching reactions he got from fellow residents and tourists. .....

Jiang, who is Italian-Chinese, last week uploaded to Facebook, a video of his experiences that got more than 10,000 shares and was covered widely in Italian media...."

Credits: Vid first appeared in Youtube uploaded CGTN 4Feb, SCMP: 14thFeb 2020.

Posted by: JC | Feb 14 2020 18:59 utc | 79

@ Posted by: c1ue | Feb 14 2020 16:11 utc | 70

This article seems to contradict your assertion that Ace2 receptors are not more common in Asian males:

"In addition, they found that Asian men had a higher percentage of ACE2 cells than others (2.5 percent vs 0.47 percent). The researchers believe this may explain why SARS and the new coronavirus are spreading in Asia."

Posted by: evilempire | Feb 14 2020 19:38 utc | 80

Posted by: JC | Feb 14 2020 18:34 utc | 78

I expect the internet hoarde will either ignore you or assess 2 demerits for your humanity.

I too weep when I see pictures or videos of the suffering of the innocents in Syria who are victims of the US organized proxy war there. Especially the children.

Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 14 2020 19:43 utc | 81

Noirette if you listen to the WHO press briefings I have linked to you would know how it makes sense because you would know what the classification (the case definition) entails, how it is used, why it is used, where it is used, when it changed, and why it is a good idea and an improvement in the specific region it is used in the current situation.

Many hours of information readily available for those who want it.

Here's a direct link to the latest one for today the 14th an mp3 file a bit over 42 minutes long and 40,7 MB in size.

Here's what PPE is (Personal Protective Equipment).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 14 2020 20:07 utc | 82

Ethnic differences in susceptibilities to A(H1N1) flu

Lance Welton’s comment to the research paper «An epidemic parameter indicating a weak viral virulence» ( ):

The authors begin by noting that, from an evolutionary perspective, there is every reason to expect there to be ethnic or race differences in the susceptibility to different pathogens. Races—or, as they call them, “ethnic groups”—are breeding populations, long-separated, usually by geography, who are, therefore, genetic clusters adapted to different ecologies. Because they were exposed to different pathogens in prehistory, there are very likely to be race differences in susceptibility to the pathogens and in how well the immune system can fight them.

Many infectious diseases jumped the species barrier from animals to humans due to our close contact with animals while pursuing agriculture. For this reason, groups that never innovated agriculture, or who only innovated it in a limited form or only relatively recently took it up, can be decimated by flu-like viruses.

Thus the authors observe that the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 was three to 70 times more deadly to “natives” in Canada and the USA, as well as to the reindeer herding Saami people in Sweden and Norway, than it was to the rest of these countries’ populations. This is because most white and black people are descended from those who have long practiced farming. The authors add that the Swine Flu Pandemic of 2009 was five times more deadly to Maori people than it was to other New Zealanders.

Posted by: rolf | Feb 14 2020 20:32 utc | 83

The Center for Disease Control in the U.S. does not and never did have any kind of definitive count of flu deaths here. They estimate the number from mathematical modeling based on (U.S. numbers, 2020 Weeks 1-5):

1) total deaths - 240,000

2) pneumonia deaths - 15,700

3) primary cause/lab confirmed flu deaths 1,723

I don't think the CDC even publishes their model estimate of weekly deaths caused by the flu. They only publish the % of total deaths (5-7%) as flu deaths, but that number seems to be just the confirmed flu + pneumonia deaths.

Just for illustration, if the same 330 million U.S. 'regular' seasonal flu CDC numbers were applied to the population of Hubei for weeks 1-5, you would get:

43,000 total deaths
2,800 pneumonia deaths
310 confirmed flu deaths

The CDC equivalent U.S. numbers would translate to 3,100 deaths from seasonal flu in Hubei the first five weeks of this year.

What we really want to know is how many excess deaths coronavirus has really caused in Hubei. Expecting either the CPC, WHO or the U.S. government to cough up that number with any kind of accuracy without being told the number of 'regular' flu cases is pointless.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 14 2020 20:38 utc | 84

Jon Rappoport's blog questioning suppositions about the corona virus is a good one to read.
There is scare propaganda everywhere - especially on Zero Hedge. There are speculations that it is a bioweapon made in a semi secret Chinese bioweapons laboratory placed oddly in the very large city of Wuhan where it escaped. Since this is somewhat suggested by US government types it gives rise to the thought that this is indeed a bioweapon but made by the US. US laboratory weaponized anthrax was used shortly after 9/11. Most of us have heard about the Tuskeegee experiments on blacks and recently exposed about experiments using Guatemalans. I have even read Vanderbilt Medical School gave irradiated iron to pregnant white women in the 50s. (They were, of course, poor white trash and only one of the resulting babies got cancer.) It is pretty well confirmed that the US introduced swine fever to Cuba and later a foreign strain of dengue fever so as to cause hemorrhagic dengue fever in people who had previously had the local Caribbean variety. I forget where the US used screw worms (was it Nicaraugua. It is well known that the US tried to use biowarfare utilizing anthrax against N Korean and China during that war - not only from captured USA pilot sources. So with the present antagonism of the US and China it doesn't seem unlikely to me. On one hand it is the flu season. On the other there is the timing of the Chinese New Year. And the timing of that corona virus pandemic presentation associated with Bill Gates and the pentagon people just a month before the outbreak arouses my suspicians. There is a large number of pigs in China and China is crowded but it has been devastating for a people that eat mainly pork as meat. And how many avian flu epidemics there in the last few years? And SARS. There are the recent revelations of a Pentagon sponsored animal pathogen lab in Georgia (bordering Russia). Less seriously I mention the series, the Americans, with them investigating a plot of the Americans to destroy the wheat crop in Russia. A country whose military is lately only good for turning cities and countries into rubble I wouldn't put it past them to initiate biowarfare on a perceived opponent.

Posted by: gepay | Feb 14 2020 22:03 utc | 85


concur wholly

Posted by: CarlD | Feb 14 2020 23:27 utc | 86


Me too. Very suspicious.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 14 2020 23:41 utc | 87


It is within the realm of possibility. China is enemy number one since 2016.

The timing, right before the largest travel holiday of the year, in the center of the country, at a time when Iraq is about to do a big deal with China, silk road, trade war, US getting kicked out of the Philippines again...

Posted by: dltravers | Feb 14 2020 23:56 utc | 88

The almost ridiculous level of 'downplaying' the severity of the outbreak on this site, has been part of the reason why I have been avoiding b's analysis. Other than taking official government data which has fluctuated widely in the last couple of days and whose accuracy has to be severely questioned there is no other proof whatsoever that the epidemic is contained. To the contrary, videos and analysis of very low industrial activity seem to point exactly the other way. We need to remember that while we focus on western propaganda the Chinese government is no less adept at influencing information and controlling the narrative.

Also what surprises me is the relatively high death rate in China when compared to cases abroad (3 deaths and over 400 infections). Are Chinese more susceptible to succumb than say other people?

I admit I am not a virologist and as such may not be qualified to opine, but I will still say that most Viruses transitioning from animals to humans take time to adapt to the new host and find it difficult to spread from humans to humans. This was the case with Sars, with the bird and swine flu. Unlike those cases this current virus seems to have thrived from its first appearance needing little to no time to adapt to human to human transmission, which is an extreme oddity. Viruses change and evolve but it usually takes time.

Also, while some claims by Indian scientists have been refuted by others that the virus genome shows HIV genetic material, we need to remember that if this Virus was a bioweapon (hypothetical) and released intentionally, the powers that be who released it would certainly do everything in their power for people to never know about it. It will therefore be difficult to determine what really happened. I personally do not believe in the bat to human transmission story at all.

Posted by: Alexander P | Feb 15 2020 0:05 utc | 89

Tweeted on 11th June 2019 by a Turkish nationalist with connections to his country's Military:


"The U.S. sent an aircraft of biological weapons to China. Epidemics may begin in China soon.

They should not forget that if there is a Turk on earth, there is hope.”

Posted by: clickkid | Feb 15 2020 0:38 utc | 90

Japanese Health Official Contracts Coronavirus Aboard Diamond Princess

...The official came aboard Diamond Princess on February 3 and February 4 in order to collect passenger questionnaires and take temperatures. Despite his precautionary measures on board - he used a mask and gloves, and he reported disinfecting his hands between each passenger interaction - he came down with a fever on February 9 and has tested positive for the virus....

...Due to logistical difficulties and a restriction on the list of approved testing facilities, the capacity for testing has so far been limited, ministry officials said. However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Wednesday that his government will allow private labs to conduct tests beginning February 18, raising the available capacity to up to 1,000 tests per day.

Japan can only muster a 1000 tests per day with all private labs deployed? Sounds like it is virulent and easily communicable even with precautions from an expert? Makes one wonder.

Posted by: dltravers | Feb 15 2020 1:01 utc | 91

Alexander P #89

I personally do not believe in the bat to human transmission story at all.

Bat to human viral transmission is well known. See Hendra Virus which is a mighty deadly little bundle.

I too am sceptical in this case as there are some strong stories of this coronavirus being expertly fiddled and reconfigured for a deadlier impact. Some versions of this story have been debunked but I have not followed the storyline intently as in forensically. More information on the Canadian Lab and its inventory of pathogens might help but not much chance of that.

I consider it probable that China has been attacked by another nation. The African swine flu and the army worm outbreaks seem highly suspicious.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 15 2020 1:41 utc | 92

Quoting the WHO by memory: "finding an animal kingdom host or source, if indeed there is one to be found, is important in order to try to avoid new (separate) outbreaks".

For the WHO and China finding a source (animal or not) is one of many priorities being worked on right now. Like just about everything it's not done in a day or week or month but can take months or years to figure out since the virus seems to have had at least one intermediary host. As they said in one of the press briefings this past week or so they didn't find all that many bats at the market but they found a lot of the virus in samples of the market itself (not the animals).

I'm guessing a lot of people don't really grasp how much is happening and how much time and effort is already being spent both on the outbreak itself, and in scientific research, and in preparations against a wider spread of the virus and the disease all across the world. I can only implore people to listen to those WHO press briefings I've linked to many times to already and the answers the WHO gives in them to gain a much better sense of what is happening.

I for one would hate to put myself in a position where all I'm doing is to help the US/CIA spread meaningless, counterproductive, or harmful rumors.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 15 2020 2:22 utc | 93

This virus is engineered to target specific DNA.

Anglo-Saxon Mission

Posted by: ktx | Feb 15 2020 2:22 utc | 94

I've read some reports on China mainly on zero hedge and it seems economic activity has reduced massively over the last few weeks. There is no wide scale return to work yet for example and in Wuhan the lockdown had got even stricter than it was. I can only think that this flu must be very serious if China is risking its economy crashing to stamp it out. And case numbers are rising strongly again. For once I disagree with b's assessment here as I think the worst is still to come. It will be interesting to see what happens to global markets when reality strikes, like Nissan now forecasting a 40% decrease in profit and numerous businesses sounding the alarm. It seems car and real estate sales in China have just stopped dead in their tracks.

Posted by: Ralph | Feb 15 2020 2:23 utc | 95

Biological warfare? Maybe, maybe not, no proof yet or maybe never. Irrelevant as a question to the effort of containing and slowing down the virus, to identifying therapeutics and later vaccines, to preparing the world against further spread where currently all but 8 infected people have been identified to belong to known transmission chains and where there is ongoing effort both in China and Singapore to look for hidden transmission chains by also testing many blood samples where there's no suspicion at all of the virus. So far no such hidden transmission chains have been found.

Psychological warfare? Hell yes, documented constantly every day.

Why be a victim? And why add to that? I don't get the appeal.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 15 2020 4:12 utc | 96

People believe it because our beloved government has an extensive record of doing it. Not anyone's fault for their mind to run that direction....
Unethical human experimentation in the United States

Posted by: dltravers | Feb 15 2020 4:56 utc | 97

Dltravers: Sure but the US has a similar long track record of psychological warfare and the "US did it" opinions are being twisted FUD-style into support for the narrative which attacks China and the WHO and everyone who works with them as being clueless, useless, liars and so on.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 15 2020 6:52 utc | 98

re dltravers | Feb 15 2020 4:56 utc | 97

Yep particularly against unwhite populations. amerika has been trying to kill off the Chinese with bio-weapons since the mid 50-'s . Not to mention all the inhabitants of the Korean peninsular as there have been uncountable 'accidental' releases from amerikan labs in south korea.
They locate them in population centres, There was a bad 'error' in Seoul about 10 years ago and the most recent was in the port city of Busan.

Amerika claims that all they are doing is developing ways to protect the population of South Korea from Nth Korea bio attack, but the fact remains that it is only amerika who has ever been found out using bio & chem weapons in the Korean theatre. A bit like the allegations against Syria & Iran where it is only amerika using these disgusting weapons so they try to get in front of any incident by making false accusations againts the arc of resistance.

I still can't figure out why there is still a deep and carefully nurtured strain of white supremacy in amerika, but there is particularly among the front line oppressors for empire.
I grabbed a few episodes of "Who shot Malcolm X? off the net today and I couldn't believe some of the stuff whitefella FBI agents & New York cops were saying about African Americans in 2020 in an attempt to justify the harassment and murder of a decent human for committing the crime of exercising his right to freedom of speech.

I've traveled through many other whitefella societies and I don't reckon that either the belgique police or the coppers in the former east german states would come out with racist drivel like that, yet apparently it is still 'kosher'in amerika , something which leads me to believe that since a lot of amerikan bill are former army & marines that many in amerika's military share the same ugly bias. Yep that includes african american military & police, because this sort of indoctrinated racism often co-opts victims to make them perpetrators.

A bias that couldn't comprehend the basic immorality of infecting unwhite men, women & children, because they have been indoctrinated into thinking that the rise of a non-white culture is a direct threat to amerika.

However I have yet to see any convincing evidence of this disease being a test tube job, plus most of the claims point at a Canada lab when I reckon that if this being a manufactured virus were true, Korea would be the spot that had the lab. The dodgy stuff would be made in Korea, Canada is just too close to home for comfort IMO.

Posted by: A User | Feb 15 2020 7:00 utc | 99

Posted by: A User | Feb 15 2020 7:00 utc | 99

Well I think the point is that it has never been necessary to invent new diseases in order to have something to use against people you find inconvenient, typhus and smallpox to name two, cholera remains much in use today, and THAT is why biological warfare is just not that exciting, it's an old game and we are latecomers to the fight and don't really understand that well how things work. The available grave diseases are already better than anything we could just think up, and the first thing they do once released is start evolving towards being less dangerous. It's just not going to win a war for you unless you have a unusually exposed population, and they are likely to not stay that way long anyway once you "discover" them. Not the route to planetary domination.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 15 2020 8:33 utc | 100

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