– Patient Zero was not asymptomatic after all.
– German authors’ timeline of Patient Zero’s illness does not add up.
– Timelines of both patients raise troubling inconsistencies.
Germany’s COVID-19 Patient Zero and Patient One had their respective stories examined recently. A closer look at their timelines revealed inconsistencies in the official story of Germany’s alleged first COVID-19 cluster.
According to the timeline of Patient Zero’s illness provided by a group of German doctors and scientists, the Chinese businesswoman first began feeling unwell on the evening of her first day in Germany, after meetings with German colleagues. She took paracetamol allegedly just this one time. The next day she experienced minor symptoms, but no further medication was taken.
The timeline of Patient One’s illness was provided by Patient One himself in an interview. After testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, he was kept in quarantine for 18 days. According to the timeline, Patient Zero felt cold on the evening of her return flight, but was symptom-free otherwise. However, the original paper claimed she fell ill during the flight.
The woman’s symptoms supposedly only began on the evening of her return, with a 38°C (100.4°F) temperature. Despite this, she was busy all day and even went to the hospital for her sick father. On Friday evening she recorded a higher temperature, prompting her to visit a doctor on Saturday. This somehow resulted in her hospitalisation on that day.
Meanwhile, back in Germany, Patient One began feeling unwell with a scratchy throat and later a cough precisely on Friday and developed a 39°C (102.2°F) fever during the night. He took paracetamol and felt better by Sunday.
The Chinese Patient Zero allegedly developed a productive cough on Sunday, three days after the German Patient One. As of February 5th, when the German group spoke with her, she was reportedly still hospitalised.
The identity of Patient Zero is entirely unknown, raising questions about who infected whom, or if their illnesses were even related at all. All we know is that they both tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
It is unclear what happened to Patient Zero’s symptoms on the return flight, and how the authors knew about them without having spoken to her at the time of the paper’s publication. Furthermore, the timeline of her illness does not add up.
These inconsistencies call into question the entire official story of Germany’s alleged first COVID-19 cluster.
I recently looked at the stories of Germany’s COVID-19 Patient Zero – the supposedly asymptomatic Chinese woman who was reported to have infected a German colleague while on a business trip to Germany, but who was not in fact asymptomatic – and Patient One, the German businessman whom she reportedly infected and who after a very brief and unremarkable illness felt in “top form”. But a closer look at the timelines of the respective illnesses of Patients Zero and One reveals troubling inconsistencies, which call into question the entire official story of Germany’s alleged first COVID-19 cluster.
The official timeline of Patient Zero’s illness comes from a supplementary appendix which was added to the original January 2020 report in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on a case of “asymptomatic transmission” in Germany. The report was submitted to the NEJM by a group of German doctors and scientists. The lead author is Claudia Rothe of the Munich University (LMU) Hospital. The co-authors include the German virologist Christian Drosten, whose famous PCR protocol would go on to detect billions of cases of ‘asymptomatic Covid’ in the years ahead.
The addition of the appendix was the authors’ only response to the revelation in Science magazine that Patient Zero had not in fact been asymptomatic after all and had taken medicine. The authors admitted to not having spoken to Patient Zero, but finally did so after the publication of the Science article for the purpose of compiling the timeline.
The timeline of Patient One’s illness was provided by Patient One himself in an interview he accorded to the Bavarian public radio Bayern1 shortly after being released from quarantine. After testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, he was kept in isolation for 18 days under conditions he described as “more-or-less imprisonment” despite the fact that he was no longer sick.
According to the Rothe et al. timeline of Patient Zero’s illness, the Chinese businesswoman first began feeling unwell on the evening of Monday January 20th, her first day in Germany, after having already had meetings with German colleagues earlier in the day. It was on that evening that she took paracetamol, allegedly “as a preventive measure” and allegedly just this one time.
As noted in both the original NEJM paper and his own interview, Patient One was one of the German colleagues who met with Patient Zero on that day. But, as noted in the NEJM paper, he also met with her on the following day, Tuesday January 21st. According to the Rothe et al. timeline, Patient Zero also experienced minor symptoms on that Tuesday (muscle pain and tiredness, the latter also possibly due to jetlag), but she allegedly did not take any further medication to deal with them.
On the next day, Wednesday January 22nd, she was apparently symptom-free, the only notable development being that she “felt slightly cold… when wearing light business attire”. That evening, she boarded a 10:20pm return flight out of Munich, which was apparently likewise uneventful. Arriving in Shanghai at 4pm local time on Thursday January 23rd, she, unsurprisingly, “felt tired upon arrival” but “otherwise” – still – “healthy”.
This already brings out a first contradiction, since Rothe et al.’s original paper claims that the previously asymptomatic Patient Zero fell ill precisely on this return flight, as illustrated by the first line in the below Figure 1 from the paper, which shows symptoms developing during the flight starting on January 22nd. What happened to these symptoms? And how did the authors know about them anyway, since, as noted above, they had not spoken to the Chinese businesswoman at the time of the publication of the original paper?
According to the supplementary timeline, the woman’s symptoms – in fact, if the revised version of the story is to be believed, now her second bout of symptoms – only began on the evening of that Thursday January 23rd, when she recorded a 38°C (100.4°F) temperature. “This is the first moment I recognised getting sick,” she reportedly told the German group when they finally got around to speaking with her.
But she could not have felt that bad, since on the next day, Friday January 24th, she reportedly “went to get medicine in the hospital” – not for herself but “for her sick father”! Furthermore, she was otherwise “busy all day”! So, she supposedly had fever on Thursday evening, but was out-and-about and even going to the hospital on behalf of her sick father on Friday. And what, by the way, was her father’s illness and what contact had she had with him?
It was only on Friday evening that she reportedly recorded a higher temperature (38.7°C, 101.7°F), thus finally prompting her to visit a doctor on her own behalf on the next day, Saturday January 25th. This would somehow result in her being hospitalised in turn on that very day! For what, is not at all clear, since she did not report experiencing any particularly severe symptoms up to this point.
Note that this means that the ostensible Patient Zero, having returned to China, was now at long last “really” falling sick at almost exactly the same time as Patient One back in Germany whom she supposedly infected! As discussed in my last article, Patient One, per his own account, began feeling unwell with a scratchy throat and later a cough precisely on Friday January 24th, and during the night (which would mean already on Saturday January 25th) he developed a 39°C (102.2°F) temperature. (For those keeping track, Shanghai time is six hours later than Munich time.)
The next day, on Saturday January 25th, while Patient Zero in China was visiting her doctor and, for some unknown reason, being admitted to the hospital, Patient One in Germany was staying home and taking paracetamol. By the next day, Sunday January 26th, he felt perfectly fine.
Not so, however, the ostensible Patient Zero back in China. According to the Rothe et al. timeline , she developed a cough on Sunday January 26th, was transferred to a different hospital on Monday January 27th, and her cough became productive on Tuesday January 28th.
But as reported in the original NEJM paper, Patient One developed a productive cough on Saturday January 25th (i.e., during the night, according to his own account). So this would mean that the Chinese Patient ‘Zero’ developed a more severe symptom, a productive cough, three days after the German Patient ‘One’!
So, not only was Germany’s “asymptomatic” Patient Zero not in fact asymptomatic, as originally claimed by Rothe et al. Closer inspection of the timeline of her illness published by Rothe et al., apparently in an effort to salvage the German group’s original claim, raises still more troubling questions: who, after all, was Patient Zero and who was Patient One? Who infected whom? Or were their illnesses even related at all?
All we know is that they both reportedly tested positive for SARS-CoV-2: Patient One, on January 27th, per a test conducted in Germany by none other than Christian Drosten, and Patient Zero on January 26th, per a test conducted in China, but we do not know by whom. Were they perhaps battling other viruses?
Patient Zero’s productive cough, which was first reported on January 28th, is said to have lasted another three days and then subsided, which would take us to February 1st. Nonetheless, as of February 5th, when the German group is supposed to have spoken with her, she was reportedly still hospitalised!
How is this consistent with the statement in the original NEJM paper that Patient Zero’s illness was – like Patient One’s – “brief and nonspecific”? This is to say that it appeared already to have been over by the time the original paper was published on January 30th.
It should be stressed that Patient One’s timeline comes from his own public, first-hand account in his interview with Bayern1. The radio station withheld his name on his request but reported knowing it. Patient Zero’s timeline, on the other hand, is not only based on hearsay – what the German authors say she said – it is hearsay that cannot even be contradicted, since the identity of Patient Zero is entirely unknown. What is clear, at any rate, is that the German authors’ account of her illness does not add up.