It is a matter of astonishment that Biden believes that the WHO will conduct a credible investigation into the origins of SARS2, writes Prof. Madhav Nalapat
President Donald Trump and his successor Joe Biden ensured that billions of dollars flowed to US corporations. The stated intention was to keep job losses caused by SARS2 to as low a level as possible. While those at the upper end of the income scale have had their wealth enhanced during 2020, others less well-off have seen drops, often sharp, in their incomes during 2020. Many “safe” investments were rendered useless as a consequence of the global impact that was the consequence of the flights that took off from Wuhan to destinations across the world between November 2019 and the close of January 2020. This was when Xi Jinping implemented a total lockdown of the city and surrounding areas.
An example of losses made is the scheme for “ownership of holiday stays” by a hotel chain with franchises across India, and which is headquartered in the US. An acquaintance has lost $23,000 by investing in the scheme in October 2019. The person decided to opt out altogether when a “maintenance plus” bill of an additional $4,000 was suddenly slapped in the middle of the SARS2 second wave. This was to cover “maintenance plus” expenses (on zero stays) until May 2021. It is uncertain when the devastation caused by Covid-19 will end in much of the world.
Given that travel during much of 2020 (and in many parts of the world, thus far in 2021 as well) was not possible, charging a hefty “annual maintenance fee” for 2020 seems to have been somewhat insensitive. However, what matters is the fine print, and the fine print did not mention Covid-19 at all, not surprising as it was presented for signature in October 2019. What was included in the fine print was that legal disputes would need to be adjudicated exclusively in the US. This stipulation rendered courts elsewhere irrelevant for the citizens of countries in which they operate. Who looks at the fine print anyway? Most only listen to the salesperson as one after another claim of wondrous rewards gets mentioned. From that to handing over a cheque for $23,000 was seen as but a small step for a lifetime of attractive benefits and rewards.
There are others who paid much more in the same scheme, in the expectation of travel volume estimated in the pre-pandemic era. Rather than keep paying substantial amounts of money annually on “maintenance” in a world where travel seems unlikely to recover for years, many opt out of the scheme of the US-based hotel chain. They are promptly informed that little if anything of their original investment will be returned to them. What was presented as an attractive, indeed irresistible, contract in the plush New York offices of the hotel chain will be foreclosed. The hotel chain taking the entire amount paid by a customer for the scheme in question is acting no differently from other reputed brands in seeking to gouge as much as possible from a diminished stock of customers.
An individual who joins with countless others in seeing investments turn into dust in the storm of the pandemic is likely to accept meekly the entire loss of the capital invested, a loss caused by the circumstances created by a pandemic, in the emergence of which he or she had no role. Justice, after all, is blind, although not in the manner displayed by the hotel chain. Not reading the fine print of an agreement before signing it is something that most of those who are being besieged online with social media platforms telling them to agree to conditions loaded with one-sided fine print also do.
Tens of millions have experienced monetary losses similar to the individual who for no fault except gullibility saw $23,000 melt away into the coffers of the US-based hotel chain during the pandemic. Hundreds of millions have lost their jobs, while those who have suffered a loss of income may number in the billions. Which is why the virus that the WHO failed to alert the world in time has become such a radioactive issue in the politics of so many countries, including India and the US. The pandemic felled Trump in the 2020 presidential polls, and may neuter the Democratic Party in 2022 should President Biden follow the course suggested by Trump administration holdovers, who have inexplicably been retained by him.
It is a matter of astonishment that Biden believes that the WHO will conduct a credible investigation into the origins of SARS2. Or that Health Guru Anthony Fauci will ever admit that the funds poured by Peter Daszak in the direction of the Wuhan Institute of Virology may have in any way have caused SARS2. Or that most of the results of the experiments may have gone to the PLA rather than to US authorities. Since the final weeks of 2019, US health experts who were frequent visitors to the Wuhan institute and the WHO team stationed nearby seem to have ignored warning signs that appeared from November 2019 onwards that something had gone badly wrong. That the absence of warnings from either US experts or the WHO until what was a localised eruption of the disease grew into the scale of a pandemic is obvious.
That both the initial as well as the latest conclusions of WHO seem to be based on trust rather than scientific analysis is the conclusion being drawn by those virologists and epidemiologists around the world who are unconnected to SARS2 Gain of Function research, and who have the courage to risk the wrath of the influential individuals who have sought to label as “conspiracy theories” any hypothesis other than the direct movement of the virus from animal to human, without any laboratory equipment coming in between. President Biden needs to ensure that facts come out, not as they are now in droplets contributed by a growing number of individuals of conscience, but through an impartial commission that excludes any individual directly or indirectly linked to the SARS2 experiments at Wuhan. Thus far, his actions have failed to meet this test. Should this continue for longer, should the notion of a cover-up of the origins of SARS2 take hold in the public imagination, the Democratic Party will suffer a devastating defeat in the 2022 midterms that will transform Biden into the lamest Lame Duck President in the US for over a century.
Contrarily, should he ensure that such an enquiry not get derailed by those in the administration with an interest in a narrative that takes the spotlight off their own actions, it may be difficult for the DINOs—Democrats in Name Only—to defeat his transformational proposals on infrastructure in the US Senate. The handful of Republican Senators who are opposed to their party becoming the Voice of Trump may ensure that Biden gets what is a Biden revival plan that is immensely popular with voters of all hues.