Bill Gertz writes the following in the Washington Times:
A Chinese general with a long record in biological warfare defense was dispatched to Wuhan at the end of January, fueling suspicions about the origin of the deadly virus and whether the outbreak is linked to a secure medical laboratory engaged in COVID-19 research.
People’s Liberation Army Maj. Gen. Chen Wei joined the effort to contain the outbreak in Wuhan, the state-run Pengbai news outlet reported Jan. 31, describing the general as “our nation’s ultimate expert” in biological and chemical weapon defenses.
Gen. Chen was credited with working on the fight against the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, and the Ebola virus outbreak a decade later. According to the Pengbai report, Gen. Chen also is the leader of a team of experts at China’s Biological Hazards Prevention and Control Program.
The expanded role for China’s military in the epidemic fight comes as Chinese authorities drag their feet on repeated appeals from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow a full team on international experts to travel to Wuhan to study the virus and the efforts to contain it.