Coronavirus origins and spread:
The role of Wuhan Institute of Virology
NY Times book predicted COVID-19 39 years ago
There is no question that we do get a lot of news from the social media networks like Facebook and too often even if an important piece of news appears in my Facebook page, not many Netizens give some news items any importance. For instance, a few days ago, my good friend Prof. Gabby Lopez who is a good Facebook friend of mine showed in his Facebook page a cover of a book entitled “The Eyes of Darkness,” which is a thriller novel by American writer Dean Koontz that was released 1981. Now this was a New York Times thriller written 39 years ago.
Upon further check we learned that the book focuses its story on a mother who sets out on a quest to find out if her son truly did die one year ago, or if he was still alive. Like what I said this novel is a thriller, however on page 333 it said that a Chinese defected carrying a diskette record of China’s most important and dangerous biological weapon in a decade. The author wrote, “They call the stuff Wuhan-400 because it was developed at their RDNA labs outside the City of Wuhan and it was the 400th visible strain of man-made microgranism created at the research center.
Wait-a-minute… it is talking about the City of Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus now officially known as COVID-19 that has affected the globe for the past month. But again the author David Koontz wrote this piece 39 years ago. Let me continue. The author wrote that Wuhan-400 is a perfect weapon. It afflicts only human beings.” What is even more remarkable is what the author wrote “In around the year 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments.”
Truly this book which the Social media networks are only getting to know at this time is truly remarkable as it was written 39-years ago when at that time the City of Wuhan isn’t the city that has grown today. What makes this book a prophesy is the fact that it mentions the Year 2020 when a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread the globe. For sure no one could have predicted anything that would be happening to the world 39-years ago.
Mind you when the novel coronavirus was uncovered by late December 2019 and began spreading its deadly poison, a few Netizens wrote that this virus could have come from a research lab in China that was testing a virus for biological warfare. I suspect that this information came from someone who must have read the book “The Eyes of Darkness” sometime ago. So I started looking if whether a few people must have written about this book. So I searched my Google for this.
What I got was a front-page Taiwan News dated Feb.13, 2020 and let me reprint this for our readers;
As the Wuhan virus claims new victims around the world, Twitter users have pointed out that in the 1981 novel, “The Eyes of the Darkness,” there is a disease called “Wuhan-400.” The American author, Dean Koontz’s suspense thrillers have often appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list.
In chapter 39 of his book, Koontz writes about a virus developed in military labs near the city of Wuhan by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as a biological weapon, reported Liberty Times. The scientist leading the Wuhan-400 research is called Li Chen, who defects to the US with information about China’s most dangerous chemical weapons. Wuhan-400 affects people rather than animals and cannot survive outside the human body or in environments colder than 30 degrees Celsius. The similarities between the made-up virus and the Wuhan virus has got Twitter users struggling to comprehend the improbable coincidence. One big difference: Wuhan-400 has a 100 percent kill-rate, while the Wuhan virus does not.
Some people were skeptical about Koontz’s prediction 39 years ago, however, pointing out that earlier editions of the book refer to the virus as Gorki-400, a production of the Soviet Union. In response, several netizens have posted pictures of the book’s newer editions to explain the name of the virus was indeed altered, possibly due to the end of the Cold War in 1991, reported SET News.”
I’m only writing this piece simply because not everyone is on Facebook and even some Netizens have not known about the existence of this book. But the fact remains that David Koontz wrote this piece 39-years ago and wrote that it would happen to the globe in the year 2020 seems like a prophesy come true. Today the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that 72,000 people have been affected by the COVID-19 and nearly 1,900 people have already died including Dr. Li Wen Liang who discovered the virus and died Feb.7th.
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Founded in 1956, Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), was initially named as Wuhan Microbiology Laboratory. It was among the earliest national institutions established after the founding of the New China. In 1961, it became the South China Institute of Microbiology of CAS, and was redesignated as Wuhan Microbiology Institute CAS in 1962. In 1970, under the administration of the Hubei Commission of Science & Technology, it was renamed as Microbiology Institute of Hubei Province. In June 1978, it was returned to the administration of CAS, and adopted its current designation.
Through continuous reorganization and sustained efforts of our researchers, WIV has remained strong in such research fields as microbiology and virology throughout its history. Characterized by persistence and diligence, the scientists in WIV have made great achievements in the studies of virology, applied microbiology and biotechnology by addressing national strategic demands and cutting-edge scientific questions. The achievements marked the S&T strengths of WIV in agricultural and environmental microbiology. In particular, being at the forefront of basic and applied researches on insect viruses, WIV has made great achievements in isolation of insect viruses and production of viral insecticides. For example, WIV developed Helicoverpa armigeranucleopolyhedrovirus (HearNPV) as the first viral insecticide registered in China, which has been widely utilized. WIV has also developed microbiological mosquitocide, contributing much to the control of disease-transmitting mosquitoes. The commercialized standards and application of Bacillus thuringiensis won the 2nd Award for National Science and Technology Progress. Furthermore, WIV developed the first biosensor (Biochemical Oxygen Demand biosensor for the detection of environmental pollution) in China.
Since 2002, by joining the CAS Knowledge Innovation Program, WIV has extended its research areas from agriculture and environment-related fields to medicine-related fields in order to meet the national strategic demand of public health, national security, and sustainable agriculture development. From then on, WIV has undergone major reorganization by means of retaining researches into major disciplines, recruiting and training innovative talents in new disciplines and developing appropriate research platforms. Pathogenic study of emerging infectious diseases has become one of the major research fields. Great achievements have been made in animal origin studies of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-Cov) and avian influenza viruses.