Compared to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003, the novel coronavirus that broke out in China last year has spread faster and wider, affecting more than 50 countries in just two months.
There have also been cases in which the incubation period extends beyond 14 days and the infected patients show no symptoms, making it harder to stem the virus’ spread.
Another challenge is the lack of preventive vaccines or therapeutic drugs. Although a number of companies are working or planning to work on it, the outcome remains uncertain.
Remdesivir, a new drug made by Gilead Sciences, for example, is expected to work only on mild or moderate cases. The lengthy drug approval process may also mean that even before a drug is put on the market, the quick spread and mutation of the virus may have made it beyond treatment.
Some hope that the epidemic would fade like SARS as the temperature rises, but there is no evidence yet. “We absolutely don’t know that,” says Trudie Lang at the University of Oxford. “I keep asking virologist colleagues this and nobody knows.”
Millions of people are placed under quarantine as the Chinese communist regime scrambles to contain the virus. With no end of quarantine in sight, many, especially those in Wuhan, feel trapped in their own homes, and their mental health is worrisome, which may lead to another humanitarian crisis.
As China’s leaders grapple with the epidemic and its devastating impact on the economy and people’s physical and psychological well-being, I am writing this open letter to share my understanding of the plague. I hope that they will learn from history and find a solution that addresses the fundamental, underlying causes of the epidemic.
Plagues in Ancient Times
A lot can be learned from plagues in the ancient times, whether in China or in the West. During the Ming Dynasty, for example, a plague broke out in 1580 and infected more than half of the families in Datong (in today’s Shanxi Province), and it later spread to Beijing as well as southern China.
When it broke out again in Shanxi Province in 1633, many people fled and some families had no survivors. Another surge of the plague in 1641, three years before the dynasty’s end, wiped out a significant portion of the population in China.
Besides plagues, the Ming Dynasty also faced other threats, such as the rebelling forces from Li Zicheng (also known as the Dashing King).
The plagues, though, seemed to infect only the Ming Dynasty’s troops, not soldiers of Li Zicheng or the invading Manchus. Moreover, after infecting China for decades and weakening the Ming forces, the plague diminished in 1644 after the Manchu established the Qing Dynasty. To some extent, this plague seemed to be a catalyst for the transition of dynasties.
In the West, the plagues in the Roman Empire were also well known in history. After Nero began to persecute Christians, several major plagues took place: the Autumn Plague in 65 AD, the Antonine Plague (165-180), the Plague of Cyprian (250-270), and the Plague of Justinian (541-542).
During the Antonine Plague, for example, there were up to 2,000 deaths a day in Rome. With a mortality rate of about 25%, the total deaths were estimated at five million. The disease killed as much as one-third of the population in some areas and weakened the Roman army, ending a relatively peaceful period of Roman history.
The plagues stopped miraculously after people awakened in 680 and began to reflect on the cruelty against Christians as well as the general moral decay of society.
In 680, Roman citizens carried the bones of Saint Sebastian (256-288, killed during the persecution by Diocletian) and processed through the streets. As people repented of their wrongdoings, the plague miraculously vanished in Rome.
People in other areas of the empire heard about this and followed their example, asking for the bones of Saint Sebastian to offer repentance.
When a plague broke out in Venice in 1575, about 50,000 people died. Similarly, a plague occurred in Lisbon in 1599. In both cases, people marched with the bones of holy people in repentance, and the plagues ended.
Origin of the Coronavirus Outbreak
So how did the coronavirus epidemic start in Wuhan?
One theory pointed to a seafood market in Wuhan, but the first documented COVID-19 cases had never been to the seafood market.
Attention was soon turned to China’s only Biosafety Level 4 microbiology lab in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, known as the National Biosafety Laboratory and equipped to handle deadly coronaviruses, Ebola, and other pathogens.
The New York Post published an article on February 22, 2020, warning its readers, “Don’t buy China’s story: The coronavirus may have leaked from a lab.” The article noted, “the People’s Liberation Army’s top expert in biological warfare, a Maj. Gen. Chen Wei, was dispatched to Wuhan at the end of January to help with the effort to contain the outbreak.”
Chen is an expert who has studied SARS, Ebola and anthrax. The report pointed out, “This would not be her [Chen’s] first trip to the Wuhan Institute of Virology either, since it is one of only two bioweapons research labs in all of China.”
Wang Yanyi is the director general of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Her husband, Shu Hongbing, is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and has close ties with the Academy’s former deputy president, Jiang Mianheng, the eldest son of former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin.
Some speculate that Jiang Mianheng is the real boss of the Institute and may have ordered the leaking of the virus in an attempt to cause trouble to the current Chinese leadership and help his father to exert more influence in political infighting.
Whatever the theories are, the outcome of the epidemic is disastrous to China. So many people are dying, and the economy is suffering badly.
While people are venting their distrust in the government and calling for a change of the system, I believe there is a deeper reason for everything.
History Has the Answer
Much like the plagues in ancient Rome that occurred after Nero began to persecute Christians, I believe that the fundamental reason for the coronavirus outbreak is the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
Falun Gong, a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, has enabled millions of its practitioners to improve both health and character since its introduction to the public in 1992.
Its main teachings, Zhuan Falun, has been translated into 40 languages, and people in more than 100 countries practice the spiritual discipline.
As more and more people were drawn to Falun Gong, Jiang Zemin launched a nationwide campaign against the practice in July 1999. The scale and severity of the persecution are unprecedented.
In the past 20 years, numerous practitioners have been arrested, detained, imprisoned, tortured, or even had their organs harvested.
More than 4,300 are confirmed to have died as a result of the persecution. Due to the communist regime’s information blockade, the actual death toll is likely to be much higher.
Jiang’s policy of “defaming their [Falun gong practitioners’] reputation, bankrupting them financially, and destroying them physically” is no less severe than what Nero did to Christians.
One plague after another struck Rome after the persecution of Christians began. If history is any indication, could the current coronavirus outbreak be a hint from heaven to warn against the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, which has entered its 21st year in 2020?
The coronavirus outbreak originated in Wuhan. An ancient prophecy, Taibai Mountain Monument Inscription from the Ming Dynasty, predicted the time, location, and susceptible population of the coronavirus outbreak.
Written by Liu Bowen, an ancient sage in the Ming Dynasty, Taibai Mountain Monument Inscription predicted the location of the outbreak in the following verses:
One worries the onset of disaster in Huguang (a region in China that includes Hubei),
which then spread to all provinces across China.
As a result of the delayed warning and continued cover-up, all provinces in China have now had confirmed cases, with Tibet reporting its first case on February 4, 2020, and becoming the last province to be infected with the coronavirus.
Then, why is Wuhan so special?
When Jiang Zemin planned to suppress Falun Gong in April 1999, Zhao Zhizhen, then managing director of the Wuhan City Radio and Television Bureau and Wuhan TV Station, took the lead in following Jiang’s order.
In late June 1999, Wuhan TV Station dispatched three staff members and filmed a 6-hour defamatory video entitled “About Li Hongzhi” (the founder of Falun Gong).
This video not only played a critical role in damaging Falun Gong’s reputation but was also replayed through numerous media channels to stir up hatred against Falun Gong from the general public. Other media agencies followed the political direction and soon produced their own slanderous videos.
Many people have been misled by the demonising propaganda and aided in the persecution of Falun Gong.
Companies fire their star employees for practicing Falun Gong. Neighbours report Falun Gong practitioners living next door to the police for cash rewards.
People divorce their Falun Gong practitioner spouses for fear of being implicated. Even parents, brothers and sisters assist the authorities in their attempts to force the practitioners to renounce their faith.
In the forced organ harvesting crimes, many medical workers, whose job was to save lives, were turned into merciless murderers.
One such example is the Organ Transplant Research Institute of Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, the originator of organ transplantation in China.
It is currently the largest comprehensive medical service and research institution in China that specialises in clinical and experimental research in organ transplants.
It is also a mainstay in the CCP’s state-sanctioned organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners. In February 2005 alone, the hospital performed more than 1,000 kidney transplants.
Liu Bowen wrote in his prophecy:
Heaven has eyes, earth has eyes,
and everyone has a pair of eyes;
Heaven is looking, earth is looking,
[by nature] life is happy and worry-free.
The “eyes” means that people will be held accountable for their actions. While Chinese people believe that “Good and evil will receive their due retribution,” Western society also talks about the idea of “What goes around comes around.”
Many such stories are recorded in the Old Testament. Because Noah was a righteous person, he was spared during the flood.
Another example is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham pleaded for the lives of any righteous people living there, such as his nephew Lot and his family. God agreed to spare the cities if ten righteous people could be found. Two angels were sent to Lot in Sodom but were met by a vicious mob, who intended to violate the angels. Since only Lot and his family were righteous, the angels warned Lot to quickly evacuate the city and not look back. The city was then destroyed by fire and brimstone.
A Path to Safety
In ancient China, when disasters hit, emperors often reflected on what they didn’t do well that invited misfortune to their dynasties and subjects.
The plagues stopped in the Roman Empire when its rulers and people started repenting for the sins committed against Christians.
In my view, if China’s leaders reflect on what they did to their own citizens and stop the persecution of Falun Gong, the epidemic will disappear and the entire country will be blessed.
Liu Bowen wrote,
Good people are able to see the future,
while those who commit wrongdoings are doomed;
In an era when some are spreading the great gospels,
it is not worthwhile to remain foolish and lose the future.
Falun Gong practitioners have been working tirelessly over the past two decades to expose the persecution of their spiritual faith and tell people that Falun Gong is nothing like what’s depicted by the CCP’s hate propaganda. There have been numerous stories of people who averted danger or saw their health restored by supporting Falun Gong and its practitioners.
As the coronavirus is ravaging China, Falun Gong practitioners are encouraging people to recite, “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” Minghui.org has published stories of people heeding the advice and recovering from the coronavirus.
I hope China’s top leaders take a cue from people who received blessings for identifying with Falun Gong and its universal principles.
I urge them to abandon the CCP and stop the persecution of Falun Gong, which will help return the country to health and prosperity.