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China began stockpiling PPE months before notifying world of Covid outbreak

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(TibetanReview.net, Oct10’22) – China not only severely restricted export of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gowns and masks, but also bought supplies of them from numerous other countries months before it finally let the world know about the outbreak of Covid-19 in its city of Wuhan in late 2019, reported The Telegraph Oct 9, citing experts.

China’s PPE exports to the US fell by around 50% over Aug-Sep of 2019 in a significant drop which raised alarm bells at key US government agencies, the report said. It added, citing experts, that China also started to buy up global PPE stocks in Europe, Australia and the US around the same time.

The fall in PPE exports from China, the world’s biggest manufacturer of PPE, raised new questions about the true timeline of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. An altered timeline would significantly challenge the theory that the pandemic originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, where the first cases reportedly emerged in Dec 2019, the report said.

The anomaly between the start of China’s hoarding of PPE and its claimed start of the Covid-19 pandemic was reported to have been uncovered by former US government officials including Dr Tom McGinn, a Senior Health Advisor at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Colonel John Hoffman, a Senior Research Fellow with the Food Protection and Defence Institute whose career spans decades in US government and military.

Being unconvinced that the virus had started at the Wuhan Wet Market in Dec 2019, the pair began looking for an alternative theory. And after scouring a Customs and Border Protection database which tracks goods entering the US, they were reported to have noticed that China had started hoarding PPE far earlier than its reported initial date of the outbreak.

But the DHS’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office declined to investigate their finding, saying the drop reflected normal supply fluctuations. And when Col Hoffman contacted one of America’s biggest hospital networks, HCA Healthcare, the organisation confirmed that the fluctuation was highly unusual.

A representative of HCA, which operates around 200 hospitals and 2,000 clinics, was stated to have reported that surgical gowns and drapes had gone on backorder in late Sep 2019, leaving hospitals scrambling, and “they could not remember ever seeing so much of this stuff on back order.”

Besides, the report said, David Asher, a former State Department official who played a key role in the pandemic response and is now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, has said the shortage was also caused by Chinese government efforts to buy up global PPE stocks in the US, Europe and Australia.

“It was a persistent uptick [of Chinese purchasing]”, Dr Asher has said. “And it was significant enough that my colleagues at DHS heard about it from American companies that manufacture PPE, and most importantly from US hospitals reporting they weren’t able to get the normal supply of masks, gloves, gowns and goggles”.

While China’s campaign to snatch up global PPE stocks and ship them back to China occurred at the start of the pandemic over Jan-Feb 2020., its earlier purchasing efforts over Aug-Sep 2019 call into question whether the Chinese were aware of an outbreak earlier, the report noted.

It further said China’s restricting of PPE exports came around the same time that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) removed a database of bat virus gene sequences, which has never been restored.

EcoHealth Alliance, the non-profit organisation known for funnelling US government funding to Dr Shi Zhengli’s lab at WIV, had confirmed to the pair that “the pandemic could not have started at the Wuhan wet market.”

Experts were cited as saying they are bewildered by the failure to investigate the PPE shortage which they have argued amounted to a cover up. They claim that knowledge from an inquiry could have been critical to not just understanding the origin of the pandemic but to safeguarding the public.

“The DHS failure to further investigate led to them covering up their dereliction of duty”, Col Hoffman has said, “which was then further hidden to gain deniability for [their] actions”.

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