Report: US Officials Say Chinese Spies Are Trying to Steal Research on Coronavirus Vaccine

Posted: May 11, 2020 1:15 PM
Report: US Officials Say Chinese Spies Are Trying to Steal Research on Coronavirus Vaccine

Source: AP Photo/Andy Wong, File

Stealing the fruits of others' labor and expertise, rather than innovating themselves? That doesn't sound like them. I kid, of course; it sounds exactly like them. So let me get this straight. If I'm following correctly, the Chinese lied to the world about this deadly disease, having possibly allowed it to accidentally escape from one of their under-secured labs, then covered-up its existence and seriousness (more on that to come) during the crucial early states of its proliferation and export, all while punishing and "disappearing" whistleblowers). After that, they invented pure fiction, blaming America's military for the virus, while shipping defective and bogus personal protective equipment and tests all over the world in a bid to grab cheap headlines about 'goodwill' and "global leadership."

And now, while pressuring and bullying foreign governments against telling or seeking the truth about the origins of the pandemic, the regime in Beijing has deployed its network of spies and hackers to pilfer foreign research and development on vaccine candidates to cure the very disease they played a starring role in inflicting on the world. The New York Times reports on the US government's latest assessment:

The F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security are preparing to issue a warning that China’s most skilled hackers and spies are working to steal American research in the crash effort to develop vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus. The efforts are part of a surge in cybertheft and attacks by nations seeking advantage in the pandemic...A draft of the forthcoming public warning, which officials say is likely to be issued in the days to come, says China is seeking “valuable intellectual property and public health data through illicit means related to vaccines, treatments and testing.” It focuses on cybertheft and action by “nontraditional actors,” a euphemism for researchers and students the Trump administration says are being activated to steal data from inside academic and private laboratories. The decision to issue a specific accusation against China’s state-run hacking teams, current and former officials said, is part of a broader deterrent strategy that also involves United States Cyber Command and the National Security Agency. Under legal authorities that President Trump issued nearly two years ago, they have the power to bore deeply into Chinese and other networks to mount proportional counterattacks.

One would hope the efforts described in that last bolded sentence are well underway, with measures in place. One would also hope that the US intelligence community would also be on guard for other forms of cyber intrusions, treachery and perfidy. I can't help but recall the virtual attack on the Department of Health and Human Services in mid-March within this context. Meanwhile, in case you missed it, reports say German intelligence is now accusing the World Health Organization of being actively complicit in the Chinese government's devastatingly costly Coronavirus whitewash:

Chinese President Xi Jinping pressured the director of the World Health Organization in January to hold off on issuing a global warning about the coronavirus outbreak, according to a report in a German newspaper. The Jan. 21 conversation between Jinping and WHO leader Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was reported in Der Spiegel, which cited intelligence from Germany’s federal intelligence service, known as the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). The report published over the weekend said Xi urged the WHO chief to “delay a global warning” about the pandemic and hold back information on human-to-human transmission of the virus. The BND estimated that China’s action to conceal information resulted in a loss of four to six weeks in the fight against COVID-19.

The WHO is denying this (here's a write-up of the denial from a Chinese propaganda outfit), but for all sorts of reasons, I don't trust them. The president's decision to pause all US funding for that compromised group is looking better by the day; they're in need of serious reforms and a leadership overhaul.  What would certainly be nice is if US media outlets weren't endlessly engaged in actively aiding Beijing's propaganda efforts:

One cannot credulously report that the US has suffered the most deaths from the coronavirus without ignoring the reality that China is obviously and shamelessly lying in their 'official' statistics. A Communist apparatchik must grin every time a Western media organization repeats the lie that America is worst in the world on this front (setting aside this contextualized data, in which the US death rate actually compares favorably to most other hard-hit countries). And as the tweet above condemns, the conflation of 'escaped from a lab' and 'was created in a lab,' resulting in made-up fact-checks, based on things (conservative) officials aren't actually saying, is indefensible. And it keeps happening, over and over. American journalists keeping insisting on defending the Chinese regime's integrity by swatting down accusations that aren't actually being leveled. I'll leave you with this, which I wish were less biting satire:

I mean...

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