So you believe the coronavirus to be the so-called 'Chinese virus'? As the 'findings' based on social media postings, commercial satellite imagery, and cellphone location data culminated on Wuhan's virology lab to be the epicentre of the deadly contagion, very soon did the world develop its latent homophobic political views against China and its activities.
Corona from Wuhan?
In a lightning speed did this theory gain currency across the globe, not to mention, the upper tiers of the Trump administration.
Contradicting this comes the new reports that in fact attempt to free Wuhan of the accusation! According to the reports, some 'of its most seemingly persuasive evidence is false—provably false.'
As per the report's claim, location data for up to seven phones that substantiated Wuhan's chief role is missed out. 'It's too small a sample size to prove much of anything, especially when the same devices showed similar absences in the spring of 2019', says Daily Beast. The authors of the document pointed to a decrease in usage of cellphone location data from a highway that passes the lab.
According to the 30-page report, produced by the Multi-Agency Collaboration Environment (MACE), a November 2019 conference was cancelled because of some calamity. But, apparently, some selfies taken during the event are trending other way round!
Adding up this comes the imagery collected by DigitalGlobe's Maxar Technologies satellites. This vividly underlines a less exotic reason for the 'roadblocks' which the analysts believed to be around the lab after the supposed accident: road construction.
The images by Maxar also show typical workdays, with normal traffic patterns around the lab after the incident. In addition to this comes the report on less cellphone location data.
Claims by MACE report
As per the analysis of the MACE report, Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies states, "This is an illustrated guide on how not to do open source analysis, filled with apples-to-oranges comparisons, motivated reasoning, and a complete refusal to consider mundane explanations or place the data in any sort of context."
The document, first published and reported on May 8 made its way to Capitol Hill just days after the controversial claim by the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. The MACE document charts the movement of the Wuhan lab personnel into and out of the facility up to October 2019, when the alleged leak of the virus took place.
In his statement to an interview, Pompeo claimed that there was "enormous evidence" to suggest that the virus came from the lab in Wuhan. Following these remarks, the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee were briefed earlier this month. The report then made its way to the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Meanwhile, according to the Senate aides who reviewed the document, the report "doesn't quite pass the smell test" and that it was "not based on actual intelligence."
The emergence of the MACE document out of blue has created a striking impact across the scrutinising eyes which were deeply engaged on blaming China and its research centres' for the (inadvertent or deliberate) release of the coronavirus, killing over half the population.
Additionally, the recent report by The New York Times featured that the top members of the Trump administration have forced the U.S. intelligence agencies to look for some sort of Chinese government culpability, and to investigate more into suspicious the Wuhan lab theory.
"Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Meanwhile, according to Trump's claims, the virus had escaped from the Wuhan lab because "somebody was stupid."
Moreover, the MACE document also suggested that the Chinese authorities had blocked off traffic surrounding Wuhan and its lab in mid-October. "It is believed that roadblocks were put in place to prevent traffic from coming near the facility," it mentioned.