• 02 March, 2024
Geopolitics & National Security

Second Wave – India at War

Prof MD Nalapat
Fri, 07 May 2021   |  Reading Time: 6 minutes

Second Wave – India at War

It is odd that the possible perpetrator of an activity being investigated becomes the judge and jury deciding whether the perpetrator (himself) was responsible for the activity or not. From 2014 to 2019, Peter Daszak managed to convince the guru of healthcare in the US, Dr Anthony Fauci, to fund “Gain of Function” studies on bat corona viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. Although this laboratory complex has been stamped by the WHO as a BSL4 (or highest grade of safety) lab, the organisation seems to have ignored the fact that the Wuhan Institute has several labs, ranging from BSL2 to BSL4. Or that much of the initial research into the SARS-CoV-2 (or SARS2) virus was done by Dr Zhengli Shi in partnership with Dr Ralph Baric from the US.

It may be noted that it was Baric who in 1999 first began researching the virus that was studied in Wuhan, and which in 2020 brought such disruption and death to the world. The funding for the SARS2 studies was approved by Dr Anthony Fauci on the basis of inputs from Baric and Daszak. This included the money used to develop “Gain of Function” capabilities in the virus. In other words, make it more infectious and more deadly to human populations than it would otherwise be.

Owing to the risk of viruses escaping from labs, “Gain of Function” research had been banned in the US under President Obama in 2014, but reinstated for domestic funding by President Trump in 2017, who disliked any regulation by government, even those necessary for the public good. Peter Daszak saw to it that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was provided with the funding required to carry out “Gain of Function” research in its laboratories from 2014 till 2019.

As the records of the institute are a state secret, it is impossible to know whether such activity was carried out in 2019 in a BSL2 or 4 lab. Even BSL4 labs across the world have been known to have accidental leaks of deadly pathogens, and to assume that Wuhan was the exception to this rule (as the WHO concluded) was based more on faith than science.

Once the “lab leak” theory surfaced, the Funder of the research by the Wuhan Institute into the corona virus, Peter Daszak, ensured that a letter was published in LANCET on February 19 that debunked entirely any suggestion that the virus may have accidentally been released from a lab at the institute. Another US-based researcher, Dr K G Andersen, got written a similar letter in NATURE MEDICINE on 17 March 2020 making the same assertion. It is a reflection on the carelessness of international media that these two letters (which were not scientific papers but a mere expression of personal views) became the basis for the conclusion in media across the world that the highly probable “lab leak” theory was a conspiracy theory invented by Sinophobes, and that the SARS2 pathogen had its origins in the Yunnan bat population. MERS and SARS1 also had their origin in bats, but it was quickly discovered that MERS had travelled from bats to camels and thereafter to humans, while SARS1 had jumped from bats to civet cats and after that, to humans. This far, there is no indication even from Chinese officials of what animal, if any, was the intermediate vector of the virus after it had spread from Yunnan bats.

Wuhan, where the virus first appeared, is nearly 1500 kilometres from that location, another reason why the “lab leak” theory has salience over the “wet market” hypothesis. Despite his connection with the work done by the Wuhan institute and written denunciation of the “lab leak” hypothesis, Peter Daszak was named by WHO as the lead investigator into the origins of the virus. Not surprisingly, the Wuhan lab complex was exonerated in the WHO probe, which was carried out 13 months after the outbreak first, came to attention through PRC social media. The report seems to have been written on the assumption that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the same in February 2021 as it was in November 2019.

Social media posts in China (almost all of which have disappeared) during November 2019 began carrying reports of an outbreak of a flu-like ailment that attacked the lungs. Some posts spoke of micro-containment zones being enforced in the vicinity of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. By the close of the year, the posts increased. The authorities in Wuhan, however, seem to have dismissed the possibility that a new type of SARS had begun infecting human beings, and permitted flight after flight to depart from Wuhan to locations across the world. The WHO certified such flights as safe, even after the warning from Taiwanese specialists in December 2019 that a new disease had begun manifesting itself among the human population in China. Soon afterwards, preceded by North Korea and followed by India, flights from China to Taiwan were banned.

The US and the UK, obeying advice from the WHO, continued such flights even after India barred them. By then, the
virus had spread everywhere, and with a virulence that suggested that there was indeed a  lab-induced “Gain of Function” in the toxicity of the virus. Doctors in Wuhan began to use social media during the final weeks of 2019 to
draw attention to a danger that the authorities in that city (and in Hubei province more generally) seemed to take lightly. Word of the risk to public health seems to have finally reached Beijing by the end of 2019, when the authorities in Hubei realised that they were unable to keep the genie bottled up.

On January 23,2020, Xi Jinping ordered the indefinite lock down of Wuhan and the quarantining of Hubei province from the rest of the country. The WHO still maintained that flights from there to other parts of the world were safe, and the UN body was believed across the world for some weeks, before it realised the error caused by blind faith rather than discovery through science. The series of errors made by the WHO in the matter of SARS2
did not discourage authorities across the world from having the same faith in the prognostications of the WHO as the organisation did in the official reporting coming from the PRC. The pandemic has hit both lives and livelihoods in a manner as savage as is the case in wartime. 

That SARS2 was studied intensively by both US as well as Chinese experts for several years is undeniable. That the Wuhan laboratory complex was carrying out “Gain of Function” research into creating a more virulent form of the pathogen was not a secret. That the absence of an intermediate vector from bats to humans in the case of SARS-CoV-2 indicates an absence of evidence to buttress the theory of the Wuhan “wet market” for live animals is also on record, as is the fact that the speed of transmission of the virus causing
(a simpler way of designating it than other names used) and its toxicity resembles a virus that has been created in a laboratory  rather than having evolved from nature.

Given this, it would have been prudent to assume that the SARS2 global outbreak in 2020 was the consequence of (perhaps an inadvertent) “bio-terror attack”. Or that GHQ Rawalpindi and its all-weather friends in the PLA may have seen the deadly impact of the first wave, and got designed other variants more deadly than the first.

This is not a complicated matter, and it is less a question of scientific capability than of ethics that has prevented more such bio-weapons from being developed. Add the fact that a second wave hit several countries in Europe and other countries that in many was deadlier than the first. Those given the responsibility in 2020 by PM Modi of protecting the lives and livelihoods of the people of India ought to have understood that what they were facing was a war situation.

Had this possibility crossed their minds, they may have been more diligent in utilizing the last ten months to erect barriers to harm done to the people by a new wave of the pandemic, whether engineered or not.The performance of the multiple task forces and empowered groups to prepare against the second wave that began to ravage the country in February 2021 was dismal.

A similar avoidance of acceptance that India is engaged in a war on multiple fronts by the GHQ Rawalpindi-PLA combine may have been the cause of the February withdrawal by the army from the Kailash heights despite
warnings that such a concession would not be met with any from the Chinese side.

Having missed the second wave, India has become the first country to warn of a third wave. This when actionable data on the second wave is still being collated, and (unlike during the second wave) the third wave has yet to appear anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile, the nation continues to struggle with the consequences of not taking worst case scenarios seriously, which unfortunately is Standard Operating Procedure in the Lutyen’s Zone. To assume (as was done in February) that the PLA would reciprocate once India gave up its own advantage on the border, or to believe that a second wave would not hit India when it had so many other countries, indicates the
need for moving to a war footing.
This needs to occur before any Third Wave does. India cannot any more afford the luxury of ignoring where its enemies are working to take it, or working harder and better to ensure that they fail.


Prof Madhav Nalapat
Prof MD Nalapat, Editorial Director, ITV Network. His latest book, on “Foreign Policy for India in the 21st Century”, will be brought out by the close of the year.


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Sreedharan Modon

May 12, 2021
A well researched article indeed. The findings are objective but alarming to India as well as the rest of the world. The response of the world nations is no where near what one expected. India surely have first class scientists but the question is are they giving correct advice to the authority? Or is it because those advices are not taken seriously? In either case the whole nation is paying dearly for the criminal fault of powers that be!

Tirthankar Ray

May 10, 2021
This article was food for thought for some deeper scouting, Thanks!


May 09, 2021
Instead of blaming other countries, India should look into its own and show some humility into its success achieved through science and technology. India is basically a poor, dirty, filthy country whose GDP is worse than some of the African countries, happiness index of people is the the lowest in the World (ok, may be there are few war-torn African countries worse than India), its medical infrastructure is worse than Bangladesh. If not for the billion plus population that corporations want to have access to, India would have remained at foot note 21st century history for its abject poverty.


May 08, 2021
Well Researched Article

Rajjesh Sharma

May 07, 2021
What would PLA gain from the pandemic? GDP growth, manufacturing consolidation, rise in chinese products, killing industries in other countries, espionage and spread of counterfeit in countries which are competitors, illegal occupation of neighbouring countries and many more such gains. It has created world's largest institute of virus research and came across a Virus variant which can be mutated at will to spread a pandemic type situation in the whole world wrecking havoc, innocent deaths, loss of industrial activities, rendering people jobless thus giving its own economy a cutting advantage. Biological warfare!! Required is a befitting reply and trial like being given to the Nazis and their supporters else this will not be the last pandemic but a recurring ritual.


May 07, 2021
It is high time for India to leave the policy of using no first use policy of nuclear weapons. For country like China, they learn only when they get attacked and defeated in the war. Also, India need to strengthen its relationship with USA & western allies . If we can escalate bio war, it is obvious US/west would also want to retaliate on China. US is all free of Pandemic to retaliate. Indian need buckle up fast and pave way. China need to either pay for the loss or ready for the war. OR Maybe there is another non-violent option. I hope this works well too without much of violence. World need to abruptly cut all business ties with China for 15 years. Nations that put relations with China will be fined heavy too. I hope India will start initiating on this. Sarve Jana Sukino bhavanthu.

Sudhakar Chopra

May 07, 2021
The worry is the role of WHO. Will the truth of WHO playing to the gallery ever come out? So far the medium thru which the virus spreads has not been identified with certainty. First droplets, aerosol, touch, surface, now it is thru air. If it is a Bio war, then could the spread be thru an entirely different medium? Are we missing the soldier in a bio war? Hidden n quiet doing his job. Could the spread be thru food that we consume?

B L Koul

May 07, 2021
Article,informative demanding preventive measures in advance. But a country with poor resource capability cannot afford counter /face the lethal consequences. Countries world over alone can fight against. In our divided world community that too is a distant dream. God alone save mankind from the nuisance employed by vicious forces that be it.

Kanupriya Prashar

May 07, 2021
India needs a stable policy. Increased Pricing and hoarding is wrong. Please make medicines and vaccines adorable for all. How can a poor person afford 900 rupees medicine ?

Ramakant Tiwari

May 07, 2021


May 07, 2021
Very interesting article. I am amazed that the world has not done more to find the source of the virus or for china to take more respsonsiblity for it while they are celebrating instead. This shows how deeply china has infiltrated the lobbies of the world.

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