To what extent is the Chinese Communist Party responsible for the scourge of the coronavirus? This conspiratorial premise looms over the intriguing documentary Tracking Down the Origin of Wuhan Coronavirus.
The film questions the official narrative that pinpoints the origins of the virus among the seafood and wildlife markets of Wuhan, China. One significant challenge to this narrative comes from the first reported case of the mystery pneumonia: a patient who had absolutely no exposure to the markets. In fact, this was true of the first 14 of 41 reported cases. If this data is accurate, it could indicate the virus had been spreading among the human population as early as November 2019.
Why has this theory taken hold when over a third of the initial cases of the coronavirus were unrelated to these markets? The filmmakers find further complications in China's early suppression and eventual announcement of the infections. This flow of information was guided by a panel consisting of several communist party propagandists.
The conspiracy deepens from there. Scientists have since unlocked the genetic sequence of the new virus and found striking similarities to other SARS-like infections originating from bats. Curiously, the amino acid make-up of COVID-19 is 100% identical to one of these infections discovered at a Chinese military university in 2018. This has led many to believe that the new virus must have been purposely manufactured.
What ensues is a deep dive into the research of synthetic virus construction, and its susceptibility to cross-species infection. Along the way is the presence of the Chinese Communist Party and their eagerness to silence and reluctance to publicize sound scientific findings. The film's argument for conspiracy is further supported by a particularly damning series of communications between scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Tracking Down the Origin of Wuhan Coronavirus goes week by week throughout the timeline of this new virus to exploit countless inconsistencies and curiosities. Accented by a ghostly soundtrack and a constant barrage of supposedly convincing research papers and insights, the film provides much to ponder, particularly for those who have a high tolerance for conspiracy-laden narratives.
Directed by: Natalia Hu, Karen Chen