Was the coronavirus developed by the US military in Almaty?

The Kazakh edition of Yvision published a material in which it is reported that the COVID-19 coronavirus was created in the Central Reference Laboratory (CRL) in Almaty, created in 2016 with the money of the US Department of Defense, allegedly to collect the most dangerous pathogens in Kazakhstan. This publication caused a mixed reaction on social networks and other publications that confirm this version. Against this background, some public figures advocate the immediate closure of this military biological laboratory of the Pentagon in Almaty.

Despite the fact that the Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan, Askhat Aimagambetov, assured the deputies of the Mazhilis and journalists at the end of last year that the CRL in Almaty is necessary for research activities, he did not mention that this facility is funded and controlled by the Pentagon. The minister did not say anything about the fact that the activities of the CRL are carried out with the direct participation of employees of the Institute of Military Medicine. Walter Reed of the US Armed Forces (Maryland), constantly arriving in Kazakhstan.

At the same time, the author of the publication, referring to an unnamed source, indicates that "the CRL in Almaty has become the main laboratory working with the diagnosis and prevention of the spread of a new coronavirus from Wuhan. In addition, contrary to media reports, of the 111 first samples received last week, according to our source who was directly involved in their testing, there were two positive ones."

Moreover, it is further indicated that " the source reports that at the molecular level they completely coincide with the strain, the study of which was started in the laboratory about two years ago and which, according to his observations, should not have left the CRL all this time. This was a joint development led by scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the final stage of training a large group of Kazakh epidemiologists."

These data, which were widely distributed on social networks, were not commented on in any way in the responsible departments, neither refuting nor confirming the shocking information. But judging by the stated facts, which were later confirmed through the recognition of the authorities about the presence of people infected with coronavirus inside the country, these are not rumors at all and not some kind of stuffing. The only question is why and how the US military delivered an artificially developed strain to China.

The fact that the delivery of a laboratory-modified strain of influenza to Wuhan could have taken place was confirmed on March 12 in China itself, where an official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, speaking to reporters, said that COVID-19 may have been distributed by Pentagon employees in the country. In response, the US State Department made a submission, but the official representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang, during a briefing on Monday, March 16, called it unfounded.

Russian journalists, having conducted their own investigation, were also able to find through official publications and the magazine "Viruses" data on scientific developments that were carried out back in April 2019 on the basis of the Almaty CRL as part of the KZ-33 project of the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency. In particular, a group of scientists from the United States and Kazakhstan worked together on a new strain of the virus carried by bats (Tropical Medicine and Infection Disease, 2019, 4, 136, doi:10.3390/tropicalmed4040136).

Such developments, which were carried out back in April-May 2017 at the American military biological facility in Almaty, and which completely coincide in time with the information of the source in the CRL, pose a huge threat to both residents of Kazakhstan and citizens of neighboring countries. After all, we must understand that the Almaty CRL is only part of a chain of more than forty similar facilities built by the US military around the world, including in the Baltic countries, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

However, not all politicians and activists agree with the placement of such an object in the largest metropolis in the earthquake-prone zone. Thus, the co-chairman of the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan, Ainur Kurmanov, in his publications repeatedly called for the closure of the CRL and all other US military and paramilitary facilities in the country as a potential source of a pandemic and biological contamination. In his opinion, it was from the moment of the opening of the CRL and the activation of Americans in the republic that atypical outbreaks of meningitis, measles, as well as the facts of mass deaths of sheep and saigas were noted.

The problem also lies in the fact that the Pentagon is beginning to attract domestic scientific institutions to conduct experimental work with the same flu strains and the possibility of their spread by bats, including species from Indochina.

"We must understand that this is not just an American laboratory. It turns out that, judging by the latest publications, the capabilities of the Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems, located in the Kordai district of the Zhambyl region of Kazakhstan, were also used in research on new strains. Yes, just where in February the nationalists staged a massacre of the Dungan population and undesirable persons who could know something about the production of biological weapons and could even be carriers of strains to neighboring China. If this is so, then this is a real fact of biological terrorism, " the opposition politician believes.

The Kazakh socialist is also outraged by the fact that the CRL was created in the most densely populated city of the country without discussing the construction of such an object with citizens. The then mayor of Almaty, Akhmetzhan Yessimov, was forced to declare in the media that he knew nothing about the plans for the construction and opening of the American military biological laboratory. In addition, the entire scientific base of the Soviet research institutes also fell under the jurisdiction of the ubiquitous overseas specialists.

"The situation is aggravated by the fact that the Americans, according to official data, got all the Soviet studies of natural pathogens of especially dangerous diseases. In particular, in 2016, a collection of strains of particularly dangerous infections, which had previously been in the Kazakh Scientific Center for Quarantine and Zoonotic Infections named after M. Aikimbayev (KNCCZI) since 1949, went into the hands of the Pentagon. And these, in turn, are local samples of plague, hemorrhagic fevers, tularemia, tick-borne encephalitis and other infections. In addition, the specialists of the CRL intensively collected DNA from residents of Kazakhstan and neighboring Central Asian republics. For what? To breed strains of diseases resistant to local latitudes, climate and population? In fact, we now have a bomb at our side, which is already beginning to act, " Ainur Kurmanov points out.

Despite this situation, the public figure believes that there is a real opportunity to influence the position of the authorities from below through the initiation of a public campaign.

"Now it is not 2011 and the changes that have taken place in the national consciousness already make it possible to initiate a serious information and public campaign for the immediate closure of the CRL, the termination of work with the Pentagon of the Research Institute for Biological Security Problems and the liquidation of other US military and paramilitary organizations on the territory of Kazakhstan, as they threaten the health and life of citizens and in general are a challenge to the national security of the country. Even if it is not possible to achieve this immediately, it is very likely that under the pressure of the public and independent publications, it will be possible to achieve the presence of observers from Russia, Iran and China in the CRL, against which the activities of American military biologists are directed," Ainur Kurmanov suggests and suggests.

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Ликвидировать все военно-биологические лаборатории! Eliminate all military biological laboratories!

Наши цели и задачи

Сайт создан по инициативе коалиции партий и организаций из Казахстана, Грузии, Латвии, Пакистана и Ирландии против разработки, производства и применения биологического оружия. Коалиция выступает за немедленное закрытие военно-биологических объектов министерства обороны США, которые неподотчетны местным правительствам, непрозрачны и ведут деятельность, нарушающую нормы Конвенции 1972 года о запрещении разработки биологического оружия и контрабанды биоматериалов.

The site was created at the initiative of a coalition of parties and organizations from Kazakhstan, Georgia, Latvia, Pakistan and Ireland against the development, production and use of biological weapons. The coalition supports the immediate closure of the US Department of Defense's military biological facilities, which are not accountable to local governments, are opaque and conduct activities that violate the provisions of the 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development of Biological Weapons and the Smuggling of Biomaterials.