Several months before the COVID-19 breakout, according to former and current U.S. government officials, China started storing personal protective equipment (PPE).
Dr. Tom McGinn and Col. John T. Hoffman’s analysis is what led to the devastating accusations.
Senior Health Advisor McGinn works for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Hoffman works as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Food Protection and Defense Institute (FPDI), a U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Excellence Center. Hoffman also served in the U.S. Army, where he developed techniques to defend military supply chain systems from threats and specialized in counterterrorism. Hoffman served as a consultant to the US Department of Justice as well.
The story that the COVID-19 epidemic originated in the Huanan Seafood Retail Market, also known as the Wuhan wet market, was not accepted by McGinn and Hoffman.
The two looked at a Customs and Border Protection database which tracks the entry of products into the country. They found that by December 31, 2019, when China alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) of the outbreak, China had already accumulated a significant amount of PPE.
Hoffman told the Telegraph, “You can go and check [at import statistics] back approximately three years. This is not the ups and downs that usually happen.”
The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office of the Department of Homeland Security heard McGinn and Hoffman’s conclusions. The government body refused to conduct an investigation, stating that the data was consistent with normal fluctuations in the availability of PPE.
The largest health organization in the US, HCA Healthcare, which runs 211 hospitals and almost 2,000 clinics, was then called by Hoffman, who thought they were about to find a possible narrative-buster. The trend, according to HCA Healthcare, was quite uncommon.
According to an HCA Healthcare official, late in September 2019 there was such a shortage of surgical gowns and drapes that there was a backorder for the medical supplies.
Hoffman added, “I enquired at HCA as to whether this had transpired recently. They couldn’t really recall ever seeing so much of this material on backorder, so the answer was no.”
As stated in The Telegraph, “Between Aug. and Sept. of 2019, PPE shipments to the United States decreased by about 50%. This sharp decline alarmed important U.S. government authorities. Around the same time, observers noted, China began to acquire worldwide PPE stocks in Europe, Australia, and the United States.”
Former State Department employee David Asher, who looked into nuclear, biological, and chemical weapon development and proliferation issues, claimed that the Chinese government was seizing PPE supplies.
According to Asher, “The increase in Chinese purchases remained steady. And it was significant enough that my colleagues at DHS learned about it from American PPE manufacturers and, more importantly, from American hospitals who complained that they couldn’t acquire the regular supply of masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles.”
According to the research, months prior to the COVID-19 epidemic, China, the largest PPE producer in the world, began “severely limiting” the exporting of medical gowns and masks.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology lab leak argument would have more support if China had been stockpiling PPE months prior to the COVID-19 epidemic than the wet market thesis
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