The sudden shutdown of the Fort Detrick lab in the United States and the pneumonia outbreak that followed are far from coincidental and should be studied in the scope of the ongoing investigation into the pandemic's origins, a Russian political observer has said.
In his article published in the Free Media online newspaper on Saturday, Sergei Plotnikov outlined some striking events that followed after the closure of the prominent military biological lab in Maryland.
Alongside a lack of transparency from the U.S. government in relation to the closure, there was little coverage of the unknown pneumonia outbreak that happened in two nursing homes in July 2019, which were "coincidentally" located close to the military base, Plotnikov wrote.
While the disease continued to spread throughout the United States with its cause and origins remaining unknown, the U.S. lab remained closed and was not involved in any research, he added.
Local authority quickly linked the unprecedented outbreak to e-cigarette use as victims in Wisconsin, northern Virginia and later other parts of the country continued to suffer from the lung disease.
Specialists from the U.S. National Institutes of Health believe that the coronavirus, which was unknown at that time, started spreading in the United States in the fall of 2019, according to Plotnikov.
"Some of the 24,000 blood samples collected in early 2020 from different places in the United States already had antibodies against COVID-19," he wrote.
Other evidence presented in USA Today and The Palm Beach Post shows there were 171 cases linked to the new coronavirus in Florida in December 2019, where 107 of the patients had not traveled outside of the United States.
Taking into account the shutdown of the lab, the sudden outbreak and the U.S. government's refusal to openly investigate the nature of the primary infections in Maryland, it becomes difficult to call these developments a coincidence, Plotnikov concluded.