#US; #Wuhan; #China; #OriginOfCOVID19pandemic; #Transparency
United States/Canadian-Media: A transparent and thorough investigation of the COVID-19 pandemic’s origin has been systematically prevented by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by their deceit and disinformation, for more than a year, US Department of State reported.
Wuhan in China. Image credit: Facebook page
The cause of this pandemic and how to prevent it can be only learnt through transparency.
The U.S. government does not know exactly where, when, or how the COVID-19 virus—known as SARS-CoV-2—was transmitted initially to humans.
It has not determined whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
Scientists in China have researched animal-derived coronaviruses under conditions that increased the risk for accidental and potentially unwitting exposure.
China's obsession with secrecy and control comes at the expense of public health in China and around the world.
Three elements about COVID-19’s origin deserve greater scrutiny:
Illnesses inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
Several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, which made US government to believe that before the first identified case of the outbreak and WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was “zero infection” among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.
Independent journalists, investigators, and global health authorities have been prevented by CCP from interviewing researchers at the WIV, including those who were ill in the fall of 2019.
Research at the WIV:
Starting in at least 2016 – and with no indication of a stop prior to the COVID-19 outbreak – WIV researchers conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar).
The WIV has a published record of conducting “gain-of-function” research to engineer chimeric viruses. But the WIV has not been transparent or consistent about its record of studying viruses most similar to the COVID-19 virus, including “RaTG13,” which it sampled from a cave in Yunnan Province in 2013 after several miners died of SARS-like illness.
Secret military activity at the WIV:
Secrecy and non-disclosure practice for Beijing. The United States and other donors who funded or collaborated on civilian research at the WIV have a right and obligation to determine whether any of our research funding was diverted to secret Chinese military projects at the WIV.
COVID-19’s origin in China is still hidden. Any credible investigation into the origin of COVID-19 demands complete, transparent access to the research labs in Wuhan, including their facilities, samples, personnel, and records.
#Canada; #PPEs; #Malaysia; #InternationalHumanRights; #ILO; #ForcedLabor; #PoorWorkingConditions; #MarketplaceInvestigation
Canada/Canadian-Media: CBC's 'Marketplace' investigation of the factories of Malaysia producing some of the life-saving equipment including Personal Protective Equipments (PPE)s provided to Canadian health-care workers are using revealed appalling, unhealthy, and inhuman conditions of workers, also confirmed by the hidden camera footage inside a Malaysian factory.
Image: PPE representational. Image credit: Unsplash
Stories of alleged exploitation including abusive workplaces and deplorable living conditions were also confirmed from 23 current and former migrant workers from across the disposable glove industry in Malaysia whom Marketplace interviewed.
'Marketplace' also investigated several Canadian companies who have procured tens of millions of dollars in PPE contracts with the federal government imported goods from the Malaysian manufacturers and found violations of Canada's commitment to international human rights and its ability to prevent unethically sourced goods from entering the country.
The entry of goods into Canada that are produced with forced labor is prohibited through import laws, which according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) can include debt bondage, restriction of movement, excessive overtime, and poor living conditions.
Records reviewed and through internal company documents, shipping records by Marketplace found companies imported at least 125 shipments, of about 255,000,000 gloves into Canada from these five Malaysian manufacturers in 2019 and 2020 in conditions of forced labor.
Some of the brands linked to these manufacturers in B.C., Manitoba, and Ontario hospitals and medical offices were identified by 'Marketplace.'
Anita Anand, Public Services and Procurement Minister said that the matter is being looked into by her department, and added,
"We are working with our suppliers to investigate these allegations to verify that their supply chains are indeed free from forced labor," she said.
Anand said in a statement to CBC Thursday evening that her objective as minister "is to ensure the timely delivery of goods to support Canada's COVID-19 response while ensuring ethical business practices throughout the supply chain."
Achieving that calls for adhering to applicable legislation, she said, "in particular, the amendment to the Customs Tariff Act and the related schedule. This legislation includes a prohibition on the importation of goods that are mined, manufactured, or produced wholly or in part by forced labor."
#Alberta; #CargillMeatPlant; #CriminalInvestigation; #RCMP; #CovidRelatedDeath
Alberta/Canadian-Media: A criminal investigation by RCMP in Alberta has been launched in a COVID-19 death due to a massive Alberta' Cargill meat plant outbreak, media reports said.
Cargill Meat plant. Image credit: Wikipedia
It is the first known instance in Canada of police investigating a workplace-related COVID-19 death when Ariana Quesada, 16, lodged a formal complaint on Jan 8 in High River, Alberta to police to probe potential criminal negligence in the death of her father, Benito Quesada.
In the largest workplace outbreak in Canada, nearly half of the workforce of 950 staff, including Benito Quesada at the Cargill plant tested positive for COVID-19 by early May.
Benito Quesada, a 51-year-old immigrant from Mexico supporting a wife and four children was hospitalized with COVID-19 in mid-April, where he died in May.
Slaughterhouses and meat-processing facilities were deemed essential by governments, as part of the national food supply chain.
Cargill continued operating until April 20, when it was shut down for two weeks because of the surging outbreak among its staff.
In an email statement on Saturday, Cargill spokesperson Daniel Sullivan said since the beginning of the pandemic, it has worked closely with provincial health and occupational health and safety officials.
"Maintaining a safe workplace has long been one of our core values, and we recognize that the well-being of our plant employees is integral to our business and to the continuity of the food supply chain throughout Canada," the statement read.