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Don’t buy China’s story: The coronavirus may have leaked from a lab



At an emergency meeting in Beijing held last Friday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping spoke about the need to contain the coronavirus and set up a system to prevent similar epidemics in the future.

A national system to control biosecurity risks must be put in place “to protect the people’s health,” Xi said, because lab safety is a “national security” issue.

Xi didn’t actually admit that the coronavirus now devastating large swaths of China had escaped from one of the country’s bioresearch labs. But the very next day, evidence emerged suggesting that this is exactly what happened, as the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology released a new directive titled: “Instructions on strengthening biosecurity management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus.”

Read that again. It sure sounds like China has a problem keeping dangerous pathogens in test tubes where they belong, doesn’t it? And just how many “microbiology labs” are there in China that handle “advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus”?

It turns out that in all of China, there is only one. And this one is located in the Chinese city of Wuhan that just happens to be … the epicenter of the epidemic.

That’s right. China’s only Level 4 microbiology lab that is equipped to handle deadly coronaviruses, called the National Biosafety Laboratory, is part of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

What’s more, the People’s Liberation Army’s top expert in biological warfare, a Maj. Gen. Chen Wei, was dispatched to Wuhan at the end of January to help with the effort to contain the outbreak.

According to the PLA Daily, Chen has been researching coronaviruses since the SARS outbreak of 2003, as well as Ebola and anthrax. This would not be her first trip to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, either, since it is one of only two bioweapons research labs in all of China.

Does that suggest to you that the novel coronavirus, now known as SARS-CoV-2, may have escaped from that very lab, and that Chen’s job is to try to put the genie back in the bottle, as it were? It does to me.

Add to this China’s history of similar incidents. Even the deadly SARS virus has escaped — twice — from the Beijing lab where it was (and probably is) being used in experiments. Both “man-made” epidemics were quickly contained, but neither would have happened at all if proper safety precautions had been taken.

And then there is this little-known fact: Some Chinese researchers are in the habit of selling their laboratory animals to street vendors after they have finished experimenting on them.

You heard me right.

Instead of properly disposing of infected animals by cremation, as the law requires, they sell them on the side to make a little extra cash. Or, in some cases, a lot of extra cash. One Beijing researcher, now in jail, made a million dollars selling his monkeys and rats on the live animal market, where they eventually wound up in someone’s stomach.

Also fueling suspicions about SARS-CoV-2’s origins is the series of increasingly lame excuses offered by the Chinese authorities as people began to sicken and die.

They first blamed a seafood market not far from the Institute of Virology, even though the first documented cases of Covid-19 (the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2) involved people who had never set foot there. Then they pointed to snakes, bats and even a cute little scaly anteater called a pangolin as the source of the virus.

I don’t buy any of this. It turns out that snakes don’t carry coronaviruses and that bats aren’t sold at a seafood market. Neither, for that matter, are pangolins, an endangered species valued for their scales as much as for their meat.

The evidence points to SARS-CoV-2 research being carried out at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The virus may have been carried out of the lab by an infected worker or crossed over into humans when they unknowingly dined on a lab animal. Whatever the vector, Beijing authorities are now clearly scrambling to correct the serious problems with the way their labs handle deadly pathogens.

China has unleashed a plague on its own people. It’s too early to say how many in China and other countries will ultimately die for the failures of their country’s state-run microbiology labs, but the human cost will be high.

But not to worry. Xi has assured us that he is controlling biosecurity risks “to protect the people’s health.” PLA bioweapons experts are in charge.

I doubt the Chinese people will find that very reassuring. Neither should we.

 

Segment Two: Humanae Vitae, the Coronavirus, And the Law of Cause and Effect

 

As the Chinese Communist Party reels from the terror and chaos caused by the spread of the coronavirus, everyone is looking for someone else to blame for the deadly epidemic. Given the nature of China’s totalitarian state, it might be years, if ever, before we know the truth. In the meantime, given the law of cause and effect, we can accurately identify the foul spirit that motivated it.

In Chapter two of Humanae Vitae, Saint Pope Paul VI observes that a “rapid increase in population … has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources.” That fear can compel man to defy the Church’s teaching about marriage and the family that “is based on the natural law as illuminated and enriched by divine Revelation,” he observes. As a result, man can be tempted to assume for himself the power to regulate life.

Pope Paul wrote as the sexual revolution exploded across the West. He was not naive – yes, population controllers had already taken a firm hold on international governments and institutions. But he was also calmly and unashamedly faithful. After all, “No member of the faithful,” he wrote, “could possibly deny that the Church is competent in her magisterium to interpret the natural moral law.” 

One might observe today that such an observation renders a population of the truly “faithful” to be mighty small indeed. To look at it another way, though, there are countless men who do deny the law of God, and the Church’s right to interpret it. Absent the authority of the Church or “The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” what state will confer on every man the power and authority to be his own lawgiver? 

Not many – and not for long. The “autonomous man,” as political philosopher Gerhart Niemeyer calls him, cannot last in a lawless world. This Hobbesian condition quickly invites – even guarantees – the all-powerful Leviathan. Pope Paul saw the danger of such moral chaos, and warns of its consequences: “Finally,” he wrote, “careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law.”  (HV n. 17)

The language isn’t apocalyptic, but the prediction sure is: and in today’s China, those “public authorities” are personified in the Communist Party of China (CCP) under the leadership of President Xi JinPing.

Pope Paul writes that “Marriage … is far from being the effect of chance or the result of the blind evolution of natural forces. It is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator.” But on marriage, as in everything else, the CCP has no regard for the “precepts of the moral law.” The Party turns Pope Paul’s timeless truth upside-down, and it relies on no less an authority than Karl Marx himself.

 

Karl Marx, Family Man

 

Karl Marx hated the family. He hated his own family, and left them destitute while he spent countless hours in the Reading Room of the British Museum. But Marx hated the family that God created in His own image and likeness even more. This hatred inspired his theory of the “class struggle,” a vile contrivance that unleashes and empowers today’s gaggle of apostles of Prometheus. 

That’s right. The class struggle was born in the family, and Marx’s desire to destroy it.

After Marx’s death, his collaborator Friedrich Engels observed that “The first class opposition that appears in history coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman in monogamous marriage, and the first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male.”  

There you have it. Since Adam and Eve, the woman has been made a slave, subject to her husband. Forget Genesis. Marx manufactures his own myth, and expunges the spiritual and the eternal. For Marx, woman is a mere “instrument of production.” The marriage act was for Marx the first “division of labor”; in the Marxist lexicon, God’s design for man, woman, and the family is the ultimate source of evil in history. This natural and spiritual unity constitutes the “bourgeois family,” and Marx hated it. So he attacked the family by reducing it to a crude one-dimensional fraud.

The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation,” Marx and Engels write in the Communist Manifesto. But notice: it isn’t the natural family that reduces the family to a crass materialist blob. It’s Marx. And he does so in order to destroy the natural protection that defends the family from the state. 

Once that natural barrier dissolves, the state can do whatever it wants. The atomized individual has no protection because state power has no limits. The “sentimental veil” of divine and natural law merely serves to condone “oppression,” and for Marx – and Xi Jinping – the laws of history give the party absolute and unlimited authority to “liberate” its subjects from such “exploitation.” 

By what moral standard? Well, to paraphrase Lenin, “Anything that furthers the Revolution is ethical.”

 

Carte Blanche For The Black Death

 

Since 1979, Communist China has killed hundreds of millions of unborn children in its forced abortion program. Their excuse? The “fear” that Pope Paul had identified eleven years before. Why, progress requires population control! Keep in mind that President Xi’s “Marxism with Chinese characteristics” is supposed to liberate Marx’s “oppressed” bourgeoise  woman. Instead, in one of the ideology’s classic contradictions, Marxism has oppressed her again. Her menstrual cycle is posted in public to make things easier for the abortion enforcers. She is monitored by Thought Police whose advanced technologies would make Big Brother’s torturers envious. The government claims the right to kill her children, subject them to vivisection and sell their body parts to the highest bidder. 

By the inescapable logic of cause and effect, the Party has decided that, if it can kill the most innocent by the millions, it can kill anybody.

And that brought the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, to the world stage. 

The Wanderer spoke to Steven Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute, who first exposed China’s forced abortion policies in the West.  

“China has all but admitted that the epidemic began when the virus escaped from the Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China,” Mosher says, “and we have the evidence.  

“On February 14th, China’s President for Life, Xi Jinping, hosted a political meeting called to address the means of stopping the epidemic and setting up a system to prevent similar outbreaks in the future.  ‘In order to protect people’s health,’ Xi reportedly said, biosafety should be ‘integrated into national security,’ biosecurity laws should be drafted, and a national system to control biosecurity risks should be set up.” 

“The very next day,” Mosher says, “China’s Ministry of Science and Technology released a new document entitled ‘Guiding opinions on strengthening biosecurity management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses at the same level as the new coronavirus.’”

Of course, the coronavirus was developed as an integral part of the Party’s “national security,” designed to use on foreign adversaries, not only as a weapon, but also as a threat, Mosher says. After all, the Chinese could use the virus as a very effective tool of extortion, threatening any number of world players with a pandemic offensive if they did not comply with China’s demands.

But now the extortion victims are China’s own citizens. And the Party has decided that, well, we will be more careful in the future.

“You’ve heard about closing the barn door after the horse has gotten out,” Mosher said. “This is locking down the bioweapons lab after a lethal virus has escaped.”

In China, the power of life and death has indeed “passed into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law.” Once again, Humanae Vitae was right.

 

Segment Three: Does the Mexico City Policy Ban Funding for Groups that Promote Abortion Abroad? 

 

In 2006, in the west African country of Ghana, five organizations from the United States and the United Kingdom formed a coalition with the sole mission of expanding access to abortion and contraception in Ghana. The coalition included pro-abortion heavyweights Marie Stopes International and Ipas. The coalition also included two well-funded and well-resourced U.S. non-governmental organizations (NGOs): the Population Council and Engender_Health.

The project was benignly called Reducing Maternal Morbidity and Mortality (or “R3M”). However, in reality the project sought to engage in intensive advocacy to influence key leaders in Ghana—including physicians, police officer, the Ghanaian Attorney General and the Minister of Justice. The goal:  to increase abortion access.

Abortion is illegal in Ghana except in cases of rape, incest, fetal disability, and in cases of life, physical health, and mental health of the mother. A Pew Research Center survey from 2013 found that an overwhelming 92% of Ghanaians find abortion “morally unacceptable.”

In 2007, the coalition began a trial phase of the R3M project. Soon after, the program was fully rolled out in three administrative regions in southern Ghana, including Accra, the nation’s capital city.

By the end of 2012, the project had trained 320 midwives and physicians how to perform abortions. The program had renovated 70 family planning and abortion clinics, built 7 new abortion clinics, and built 2 brand new reproductive health centers to serve as abortion training centers. The program had successfully convinced law and journalism schools in the country to change their curriculum to teach that abortion access is tied to maternal mortality. For its own part, the Population Council also developed training protocols and handbooks on abortion for clinical health workers and medical students and trained health care workers how to perform abortions.

All in all, according to the Population Council’s estimates, the R3M project was responsible for the execution of 122,545 abortions in Ghana.

However, throughout the life of the R3M project, both the Population Council and EngenderHealth were recipients of multiple and substantially sizable U.S. foreign aid grants. This occurred in spite of the fact that, during the first two years of the R3M project, the second Bush administration was in office and the Mexico City Policy was in effect.

How did this happen? Wasn’t the Mexico City Policy supposed to stop funding groups involved in abortion-related activities and groups once and for all?  

Partially yes and partially no. 

The Mexico City Policy was first introduced in 1984 under the Reagan administration at the International Conference on Population in Mexico City.  Reagan’s original Mexico City Policy banned U.S. foreign family planning funding for foreign NGOs that perform or promote abortion abroad as a method of family planning. But the policy has never banned U.S. funds from going to domestic NGOs that do exactly the same thing.

In other words, the policy blocks U.S. foreign aid dollars from funding foreign organizations that promote abortion such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International. IPPF, for example, claims that it has lost $100 million in funding from the U.S. government under the Mexico City Policy put in place by the Trump administration. But the Mexico City Policy does not apply to U.S. based NGOs like the Population Council and EngenderHealth, despite their involvement in promoting abortion in projects such as the Ghanaian abortion scheme described above.

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Foreign Aid Explorer reports that, when the Bush Mexico City Policy was in place between 2001-2008, the Population Council received $127.9 million in U.S. government family planning and reproductive health funding as a first-tier prime grant recipient. EngenderHealth received $86.3 million in family planning grants as a primary recipient. And these totals do not even include the amount of U.S. government funding these organizations may have received through subgrants and subcontracts. 

Under current regulations, U.S. NGOs involved in promoting abortion can still receive grant money for other activities like family planning, reproductive health, HIV prevention, maternal health, or water and sanitation projects. The only restriction is that no part of the grant can be used directly to pay for abortion-related activities. But they can still continue to perform or promote abortion as much as they wish in foreign countries using their own money and still be eligible for receiving federal government funding. This loophole in the the Mexico City Policy has allowed hundreds of millions of dollars to continue to flow into the coffers of organizations headquartered in the U.S. that perform or promote abortion in foreign countries..

Mr. Abbamonte’s research shows that U.S.-based abortion-promoting NGOs continue to receive USAID Global Health grants for that dwarf the amount that notorious foreign abortion-promoting NGOs like IPPF and Marie Stopes International have ever received, whether or not the Mexico City Policy was in effect. In fact, the Mexico City Policy does not even come close to cutting even half of all U.S. foreign aid funding for organizations that promote abortion overseas.

Progress Made, More Progress Needed

When President Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy as one of his first acts as president on January 23, 2017, the policy was significantly expanded to apply to all U.S. global health assistance. All previous versions of the Mexico City Policy had applied only to U.S. family planning funding, which is a mere subset of global health assistance. Trump’s expansion made the new policy, now called “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance”, applies to approximately $8.8 billion of U.S. foreign aid per year. By comparison, Congressional appropriations for family planning/reproductive health have stood at “no less than” $575 million per year since 2011.

On March 26, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo significantly expanded the Mexico City Policy once more. The policy now prohibits U.S. global health assistance from being awarded directly or indirectly to any foreign NGO that performs or promotes abortion as a method of family planning. This policy expansion ends U.S. government funding of foreign aid organizations that provide large donations to international abortion providers, including IPPF and Marie Stopes International.

In spite of these two significant expansions of the Policy, one major loophole remains. The Trump administration needs to close the loophole that allows U.S. NGOs that  perform or promote abortion in foreign countries to receive government funding for other projects. Fortunately an effort to do just that is now underway.

On January 23rd, 19 U.S. Senators and 41 members of Congress signed a letter addressed to Secretary of State Pompeo asking the Secretary to extend the Mexico City Policy to U.S. NGOs.

Many U.S. NGOs that promote abortion receive substantial funding from the U.S. government. One such organization is Population Services International (PSI). PSI is a non-profit, non-governmental international health organization based in Washington, D.C. PSI works in over 50 countries to increase access to health services through social marketing enterprises and communication strategies. PSI is one of the U.S. government’s go-to organizations for implementing family planning and global health programming.

PSI openly promotes abortion as one its core global health activities. PSI’s website clearly states that the organization “train[s] providers in offering safe abortion services.” Such services include the abortion pill, misoprostol, and manual vacuum aspiration (MVA). MVA is a device that suctions the unborn child through a tube using a manually-operated vacuum pump. Until recently, PSI had a webpage solely devoted to describing its MVA-related activities in which it had said plainly “We procure manual vacuum aspiration equipment.”

PSI also co-operates a project called Ignite, seeking to increase demand for contraception and abortion in several developing countries. In Mozambique, PSI’s Ignite program in 2017 began operating family planning clinics in 50 secondary schools and enlisted 390 student “peer educators” to promote clinic services to the student body. Peer educators and clinic staff were trained by PSI to talk to students about abortion and to tell them where they can get an abortion. Following outcry from parents, PSI was forced to close its in-school clinics. They were later moved to off-campus locations immediately in front of the schools.

According to the Foreign Assistance Dashboard., Population Services International has been awarded over $265.7 million from the U.S. government in prime global health program grants Since the Trump administration new policy went into force. In addition, PSI was also awarded received $33 million in subgrants and $23.8 million in subcontracts during this time.

Another U.S. NGO deeply involved in promoting abortion abroad is Pathfinder International. According to is website, Pathfinder International lobbies foreign governments to increase access to abortion, seeking to “Collaborate with governments in building the capacity of health systems to ensure quality, comprehensive abortion services.”

Pathfinder International currently runs a project in Mozambique and Tanzania where it “supports public health facilities to offer a wide range of quality contraceptive and safe abortion services” and works to “ensure availability” of abortion.

In 2018, Pathfinder International launched a campaign to advocate for abortion in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Population Council also continues to promote abortion. Recently, the Population Council concluded a program in 2018 called STEP-UP, a research project which sought to address the question of “How can access to safe abortion be maximized?” The Population Council is currently working on a project to expand the Bruce quality of care framework to include abortion. The Bruce quality of care framework is a quality assurance protocol used by family planning programs worldwide.

EngenderHealth, another U.S. NGO involved in promoting abortion abroad, is currently engaged in “expanding access to comprehensive abortion care” in Ethiopia. According to EngenderHealth’s website, the program supports 424 sites that perform abortions in Ethiopia.

From 2012-2017, Woman Care Global International (WCG), a California-based NGO, ran a project called the MAX Program that sought to increase access to abortion in South Africa and Kenya. WCG claims that “Through the MAX program, over 230,000 women received safe abortion services.”

A few U.S. NGOs that the U.S. government frequently partners with on global health programs are not directly involved with performing or lobbying for abortion themselves but are major donors to international abortion providers like IPPF and Marie Stopes International. An international development nonprofit called “Pact” donated nearly $1.7 million to Marie Stopes International in 2016 and 2017, according to Marie Stopes International’s financial statements. Abt JTA, , a global health consulting firm that frequently partners with USAID, is one of Marie Stopes International’s biggest donors. ABT donated approximately $7.7 million to the international abortion provider in 2017 and 2018.

When the Reagan administration first announced the Mexico City Policy at the 1984 International Conference on Population, the U.S. delegation to the conference declared “the United States will no longer contribute to separate nongovernmental organizations which perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.”

Thirty-six years later, the promise of the Mexico City Policy has still not been fully realized. U.S. foreign aid funding continues to flow to abortion-promoting NGOs based in the United States. 

It is time for the Trump administration, the most pro-life administration in recent American history, to rectify this fundamental flaw in the Mexico City Policy. 

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