How early was the novel coronavirus circulating?

Jul 24, 2021
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I've had a thought about this for a while but I'm no expert. The thing that keeps getting me is the detection in March 2019 in Spain.

It seems to me the virus could spread unknown if the initial human infection was a much milder version of itself and didn't have bad symptoms, like a cold or minor digestive, quite possibly mostly asymptomatic.

The spreading of what we now consider the original strain in Wuhan could have been a mutational variant that presented with clearer symptoms that were causing major illness and death.

Did the computer models used to give an approximate start to the spread consider this? Is it a possibility epidemiologically?
 
Jul 24, 2021
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You say that the March 12th sample couldn't be a one off yet infact it could be.

Simply, an infected individual could have had a stopover at the Barcelona airport, relieved themselves in the airport, gotten on their next flight and be gone from the country.
 

adam

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Jul 2, 2020
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The livescience article is a very interesting review.

If China allows the blood and sewage samples for 2019 to be tested further helpful evidence seems likely

The reasons we may not get good answers are indicated in a March 2020 SCMP article linked later below about the Chinese CDC reporting systems being blocked from use for Covid-19

SCMP - In March 2019 Head of Chinese CDC Dr George Gao declared the Chinese had developed a system to detect a SARS virus outbreak to stop future surprises like SARS in 2003

See transcript of PBS Docu

GEORGE GAO: "Let me tell you how we organize the disease control and public health in China: surveillance. We have the general centralized data center within China CDC. I will know within hours whether or not we have a outbreak, even in a small village."


So China must have lots of samples to share.

Former Chinese CDC deputy director Yang Gonghuan said

“For the whole of December [2019] when the disease happened, I have learned that the system was not put into use. I was very surprised [that happened] at the time,” she said.

“It did well for the avian flu and plague, although they were of much smaller scale than the coronavirus.”

[If it did well at detecting avian flu it makes little sense it would not also detect a bigger outbreak of Covid]

Yang said she was dismayed the system had failed to raise the red flag it was designed to when the new coronavirus struck.

The PBS documentary

China's COVID Secrets (full documentary) | FRONTLINE

This highlights Dr George Gao's role in withholding information on Covid.

Dr George Gao [Dr Gao Fu] as Head of Chinese CDC, close advisor to President Xi was also the PhD Supervisor of Canping Huang, the PhD specifically covered a Covid like unknown SARS virus outbreak in 2012 which killed 3 of the 6 miners it infected. This outbreak was also studied closely by the Wuhan Institute of Virology


Dr Gao seems a key and central player.

Dr Gao real time role in the Covid data releases in Dec 2019 and early 2020 is set out in PBS documentary

China's COVID Secrets (full documentary) | FRONTLINE

The following are from the documentary

It is clear that Dr Gao knew something very serious was going on as by the 27th Dec 2019 the health authorities had receieved a near-complete sequence of the virus, showing a SARS coronavirus

By the 31st of December 2019 Dr Gao told at least one important US researcher he [Dr Gao] had confirmation there was a new coronavirus in Wuhan

and by the 3rd Jan Dr Gao knew this was a fully sequenced and lab confirmed as a new SARS and had discussions with the US CDC.

If you watch the PBS documentary linked below from 20mins and 05 seconds you will see

Peter Daszak interviewed saying he was in contact with George Gao on the 31st Dec 2019 about the Wuhan Virus outbreak offering help with the outbreak and

next an interview with US Professor Ian Lipkin who says George Gao contacted him on the 31st Dec 2019 with Lipkin saying he was told by Dr Gao of the lab confirmation of a new coronavirus in Wuhan

From around 11 mins 50 seconds you will see the that on the 27th Dec a Chinese lab had already confirmed a SARS like coronavirus and notified the health authorities

China's COVID Secrets (full documentary) | FRONTLINE

View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zzbcG7CRYgQ


It is interesting that the Chinese have never denied these events happened as set out or that the media does not ask Dr Gao or the Chinese about this

So before the 1st Jan 2020 Dr Gao was at the center of the Chinese response and controling the information and public statements about Covid
In any event it is not reasonable to say that China did not later absolutely control what data was released on the dead 2012 Miners or that it does not continue to fail to provide samples and full background on what tests were done or not over 2019 samples

This speaks for itself

It seems very clear from the limited data that is available that a coronavirus was detected in 2012 miners samples, and that China continues to be economical with the truth.

The tests done in 2012 indicated a SARS virus was present are referred to in the PhD Dr Gao supervised and other research papers but full data on the tests on the 2012 samples have been withheld

That the Chinese have not resolved this by releasing samples and full data on the tests, during the repeated and very belated and unclear or misleading updates in 2020 on the 2012 events, means they are covering up something.

Dr Gao withheld information in 2019 and early 2020 from the WHO and the world on Covid as by 3rd of Jan 2020 he had had full lab confirmation there was a new SARS coronavirus Wuhan.

President Xi is also another central player in all this as he publically stated in a Feb. 3 speech to China’s most powerful leaders that he [Presid Xi] had “continuously given verbal and written instructions” since Jan. 7 2019

https://time.com/5785115/xi-jingping-lead-covid-19/

George Gao Covid Timeline in public domain

Dec. 27: A Chinese lab assembles a near-complete sequence of the virus, showing a SARS coronavirus like that of the 2002-03 SARS outbreak.

The lab alerts health authorities, but the information is kept under wraps. —

Dec. 30: Doctors begin warning about the SARS outbreak independently on social media — share a lab report indicating the pathogen is a SARS virus and warn to wear protective clothing against human to human transmission

31 Dec 2019 George Gao head of Chinese CDC discusses Wuhan Virus with US Professor Lipkin and confirms it is a coronavirus plus has limited contact with Peter Daszak on the Wuhan virus event

Jan. 3, 2020: The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention obtains a full sequence of the virus but doesn’t release it.

China reports a virus outbreak to the WHO but not that its confirmed as a SARS coronavirus

3rd of Jan 2020 the National CCP and Chinese CDC ordered destruction of Covid-19 patient samples

the same day as Dr Gao warned the US CDC by phone that there was a major problem in Wuhan but gave no data

3 January Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), spoke with George Gao, and was alerted to the newly emerging disease

Either the destroyed virus samples were very dangerous or China was hiding the SARS outbreak – either way it was a cover up by the Beijing CCP Government.

Human to human transmission was also confirmed by social media as medical staff were getting infected from patients

Liu Dengfeng, a supervisor at the science and education division of China’s National Health Commission, confirmed it was a Beijing Chinese Central CCP government that issued orders on January 3 to labs and medical institutes to destroy Covid-19 patient samples

https://www.newsweek.com/china-acknowledges-destroying-early-coronavirus-samples-confirming-us-accusation-1504484

7th Jan President Xi in full control and issuing instructions on Covid-19 he must therefore have been briefed for some time by George Gao on Wuhan SARS

This makes it unlikely the Chinese will willingly open their historic CDC databases or blood samples for review

Below is a good update from SCMP of the reasons that China failed to report Covid-19 early.

There were political structural reasons in Chinese Hospitals and Administration " in March 2019, Dr Gao Fu, [also known as Dr George Gao] director of China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told reporters that, while a virus could emerge at any time, it would not in future cause an epidemic on the scale of Sars in 2002-03.

"The Sars experience drove Beijing’s leadership to overhaul its infectious disease control system in a bid to prevent a future epidemic and, according to a former CDC official, in its early years at least the system worked well."

“We spent 730 million yuan to build a reporting and early warning system for the CDC after Sars,” Yang Gonghuan, former CDC deputy director, said.

“It did well for the avian flu and plague, although they were of much smaller scale than the coronavirus.”

[If it did well at detecting avian flu it makes little sense it would not also detect Covid]

Yang said she was dismayed the system had failed to raise the red flag it was designed to when the new coronavirus struck.

“For the whole of December when the disease happened, I have learned that the system was not put into use. I was very surprised [that happened] at the time,” she said.

“This [failure] actually exemplifies a lot of the problems that are happening in China today.”

A leaked document from Wuhan Central Hospital – one of the designated facilities for Covid-19 patients – this week indirectly confirmed that the early warning system was not activated during the early period of the outbreak.

The document showed doctors were under instructions not to report any cases until they had been vetted and approved by their supervisors.

They were also forbidden from disclosing any information to the public without permission.

Meanwhile, official reports have documented that leading experts from China’s National Health Commission made two separate visits to Wuhan, just a week apart in early January, and reported no evidence of human transmission of the virus.

It has since emerged that there was evidence of human transmission occurring in Wuhan as early as December.
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3075027/coronavirus-why-did-chinas-multimillion-dollar-early-warning

In his speech, Xi also accused local officials of not carrying out edicts from the central government, vowing to punish incompetent officials.

“I issued demands during a Politburo Standing Committee meeting on January 7 for work to contain the outbreak. On January 20, I gave special instructions about the work to prevent and control the outbreak and I have said we have to pay high attention to it,” he [President Xi of China] said.
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3050815/xi-jinping-put-chinas-top-echelon-notice-early-days-coronavirus
 
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Jul 24, 2021
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Interesting theory but I'm looking at this as more of a thought experiment, where SARS-CoV2 went under the radar as a nonlethal virus that didn't cause any significant symptoms for longer than we realize and only recently mutated to the deadly virus we now know. Would these 2 viruses be the same genetically? There's obviously something physically different about the mutations we know of, Alpha, Beta, Delta, etc. but they are all SARS-CoV2. Would a hypothetical pre-mutation, nonlethal, version of SARS-CoV2 be recognized as SARS-CoV2?
 
Sep 6, 2020
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Interesting theory but I'm looking at this as more of a thought experiment, where SARS-CoV2 went under the radar as a nonlethal virus that didn't cause any significant symptoms for longer than we realize and only recently mutated to the deadly virus we now know. Would these 2 viruses be the same genetically? There's obviously something physically different about the mutations we know of, Alpha, Beta, Delta, etc. but they are all SARS-CoV2. Would a hypothetical pre-mutation, nonlethal, version of SARS-CoV2 be recognized as SARS-CoV2?
The virus in its various guises has been studied for over 50 years and monitored yearly with strains know at the time.

There is a full genetic history that can be investigated.
 
Sep 6, 2020
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Thank you for the link... I note the paper was not peer reviewed and the authors created a second paper where they removed the reference to March 2019 in Barcelona.

The media picked up traction over around 5 days but it didnt really go any further.

It looks like it was debunked on the basis of no members of the population showing any symptoms associated with the disease and with the concentration of virus required for a 'good' reading, you would certainly expect a lot of ill people and increased deaths... This could be the reason for the second paper edit?
 

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