The Chinese authorities covered up the origin of the COVID-19 illness.


Unconfirmed, the origin of the COVID-19 has yet to be determined.


This video from The Epoch Times shows a reporter investigating the origin of the COVID-19 illness. The reporter casts doubt on the origin of the disease being the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, saying that the Chinese authorities initiated a cover up of the true origin of the disease. The video claims the authorities ordered a clean up of the Huanan Seafood Market on 1st January 2020, before the market was confirmed as the epicentre of the virus. The reporter says that COVID-19 cannot have come from the seafood market as no bats are sold there (the likely animal reservoir for the coronavirus SARS-COV-2), and many of the first patients reporting to Wuhan hospital with COVID-19 symptoms had not been near the market. 

As we have previously written, the identity of the first person ‘patient zero’ to contract the COVID-19 illness has not been confirmed. The Lancet paper from 24th January did find that 13 of the 41 (32%) of the initial patients with COVID-19 were thought to have not had direct contact with the seafood market. In a later study, less than half (49%) of the patients were thought to have a history of exposure at the market. There are conflicting reports about when the first case of COVID-19 was reported, with some saying it was as early as October or November 2019, much before the seafood market was identified as a potential source of the illness. Whilst the virus (SARS-COV-2) is thought to come from bats, it may have moved to an intermediate animal species before infecting humans. It is unconfirmed whether bats themselves were for sale at the Huanan Seafood Market, but there are reports that wild animals such as snakes, beavers, badgers, civet cats, foxes, peacocks and porcupines have been on sale.

A huge effort has been put in to try to identify ‘patient zero’ as this will help officials understand where the virus came from and how it spread. This information can be vital in understanding how to slow the spread of the virus, and prevent future pandemics. Whilst the exact origin of the virus is unknown, the Chinese authorities continue to work with the World Health Organisation and others to determine its cause.


Lancet: Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China

Science: Wuhan seafood market may not be the source of novel virus spreading globally

Lancet: Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China

WHO: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 32

WHO: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 94

CDC: COVID-19 emergence

Guardian: How did the coronavirus start and where did it come from? Was it really Wuhan’s animal market?

The Wall Street Journal: How It All Started: China’s Early Coronavirus Missteps

Guardian: What is a wet market?

New Scientist: The hunt for patient zero: Where did the coronavirus outbreak start?

Origins of Claim


“I began looking into the now widely-known coronavirus in early February… Videos and messages from Chinese citizens leaking through the censorship suggested that the situation was much worse than what the regime was reporting… From what the Chinese Communist Party said this allegedly started spontaneously from the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, China…

Why was this [the Lancet paper] a challenge to the official narrative? I think this journal article is very important, it reveals a lot of very important information, for example this paper talks about the first patient was actually on 1st December 2019…The expert panel created a set of diagnostic criteria [for COVID-19]…that stipulated contact with Hunan Seafood Market, the person having a fever and displaying the whole genome sequence. All three standards have to be met to confirm a case [of COVID-19]… Why did the panel impose a history of seafood market exposure as a criteria of diagnosis, knowing that at least a third of the cases were unrelated to the seafood market?… It can go a long way to covering up the origin source, by imposing a place and you’re not looking at the actual victims, then you are only allowed to find your keys under the light post.”