The behavior of the government in Beijing is one of the inconsistencies that favored the outbreak of the corona pandemic. When Chinese authorities published the decoded gene sequence of the novel Covid-19 virus on January 10, 2020, scientists from the Middle Kingdom were considered heroes. It seemed as if they had shared their basic knowledge with the world public without delay.
In his documentary, Michael Wech tells a different story. On December 26 of the previous year, four Chinese laboratories deciphered the blueprint of the corona virus. The two-week delay in publication was a major factor in delaying the development of tests and vaccines.
The failure of the Chinese authorities is just one link in a chain of deficits that the film traces with a view to the first ten weeks of the pandemic. Another key moment happened on February 9, 2020 in Berlin. The biochemist Offert Landt, whose company Molbiol produced the world’s first Covid 19 test, met Jens Spahn by chance at the State Opera at the premiere of “Der Rosenkavalier”.
With great concern, Landt informed the Minister of Health that his company had already sold over a million corona test kits. Spahn may point out the danger of the new virus. But he dismissed it on the grounds that there were currently only two serious cases of illness in Germany. And they are “not statistically significant”.
By that time the child had already fallen into the well. When Munich doctor Camilla Rothe treated the first patient in Germany on January 27, she made an alarming discovery that no one in the western world had on their radar.
She published in the New England Journal together with a virologist
The role of the WHO, which the Munich study also classified as “incorrect”, is particularly ugly. In 2009, the World Health Organization declared swine flu a pandemic. She was heavily attacked for it. Because of an overreaction to Corona, they did not want to be criticized again.
It was not until March 11, 2010 that the WHO designated Covid 19 as a pandemic. The horrifying images of the truck convoy full of coffins in Bergamo were one of the decisive factors. After that, the dramatic mass deaths could no longer be ignored. By the end of February 2020, scientists around the world already knew everything they needed to know about the new epidemic: the virus is highly contagious.
It transmits through the air. This is based on people who do not show any symptoms. According to the scientist Jeremy Farrar, it was not possible to present the fears resulting from the facts in such a way that politicians understood the seriousness of the situation.
Could the pandemic have been avoided? The film doesn’t claim that. The thesis that the virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan is also not mentioned. The densely argued documentation shows that Chinese authorities have been silent for too long. That scientists who recognized the seriousness of the situation fell on deaf ears. The world could have been better prepared for the plague.