BRITISH and US spies have been urged to probe wild claims that China purposefully tricked the world into lockdown to trigger an economic crash.
An open letter appealing to the intelligence services has been signed off by a number of lockdown sceptics including lawyers, human rights activists, and a former US Air Force general.
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American lawyer Michael Senger, from Georgia, has led the charge as he last year revealed the theory that the Communist Party promoted nationwide shutdowns in a bid to actively cripple rival economies.
He and the co-signees of the 11,000 word document allege lockdown policies may have been a "fraud of unprecedented proportions" perpetuated by China.
The letter urges security agencies to "commence or expedite" investigations into whether China peddled faulty data to push the world towards lockdown.
Scientists however have estimated that lockdowns have saved millions of lives worldwide and helped contain the pandemic.
Lockdowns remain government policy and are supported by scientific advisors the world over after first being used in China.
"We are writing this letter to request that a federal investigation be commenced and/or expedited regarding the scientific debate on major policy decisions during the Covid-19 crisis," the letter reads.
"In the course of our work, we have identified issues of a potentially criminal nature and believe this investigation necessary to ensure the interests of the public have been properly represented by those promoting certain pandemic policies."
China continues to face questions over its handling of the pandemic as evidence mounts that it covered-up the initial outbreak and may have hampered the global response.
It has however vigorously defended itself from any allegations of improper behaviour over Covid.
Some 2million have been killed by the virus, while more than 91million have been infected since it first emerged in Wuhan.
The public supports lockdowns because the alternative is a possibility too evil for most to contemplate
The coronavirus pandemic has triggered the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression – with the global economy contracting by 5 per cent in 2020.
It is estimated around 400-million full times jobs have been wiped out by the pandemic as businesses were forced to close, according to the International Labour Organisation.
China is however forecast to enjoy one of the of the most significant economic growths in 2021 – with an expansion of 7.9 per cent forecast by the World Bank, following growth of 2.0 per cent in 2020.
The United States is forecast to have growth of 3.5 per cent, while Europe will have 3.6 per cent following respective dips of 3.6 per cent and 7.4 per cent in 2020.
Senger and his colleagues' letter – titled The Chinese Communist Party's Global Lockdown Fraud – has been addressed to the FBI and MI5 along with security services in Canada, Germany and Australia.
It has been signed off by figures such as retired US Brigadier General Robert Spalding, Brit human rights activist Maajid Nawaz, former Australia government economist Sanjeev Sabhlok, and Canadian lawmaker Randy Hillier.
It reads: "Given the gravity of the decisions being made, we cannot ignore the possibility that the entire 'science' of Covid-19 lockdowns has been a fraud of unprecedented proportion, deliberately promulgated by the Chinese Communist Party and its collaborators to impoverish the nations who implemented it."
The letter adds: "For the general public, the idea that anyone might accept some outside incentive to support such devastating policies while knowing them to be ineffective — needlessly bankrupting millions of families and depriving millions of children of education and food — is, quite simply, too dark.
"Thus, the public supports lockdowns because the alternative — that they might have been implemented without good cause — is a possibility too evil for most to contemplate."
The lengthy document breaks down the signees criticism of lockdown into 11 sections – all of which claim allegedly faulty lockdown modelling can be traced back to China.
It controversially alleges lockdowns are based on totalitarian policies of the Communist Party and Chinese president Xi Jinping rather than science.
It claims China orchestrated an effort to push nations towards lockdown through a "global propaganda campaign".
The letter details how apocalyptic videos from Wuhan went viral early in the pandemic, such as showing people collapsing in the street, but these scenes were never repeated elsewhere.
China then placed several cities into lockdown and appeared to get the virus under control – with it never experiencing another wave on the scale that has been seen in the Europe and the United States.
Thousands of posts then started being circulating online from accounts linked to the China which praised the regime's response.
Twitter is known to have taken action to crackdown on disinformation apparently being used to boost China's message and praise the Communist Party's response.
It is claimed much of this effort was focused on Italy, the first Western nation to go into lockdown – which sparked many others to follow.
WHO described the lockdown of Wuhan as "unprecedented" in January, before actively encouraging other nations to follow China's lead just one month later.
Lockdowns however have been credited with saving millions of lives and some suggested they may actually help economies in the long term.
A study by Imperial College London assessed the impact of restrictions in 11 European countries – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK up to the start of May.
It estimated some 3.2million people would have died if not for measures telling people to stay home and closing businesses in the first wave.
The study included estimations Boris Johnson's decision to go with lockdown saved 470,000 lives in the UK.
US scientists also published a study in the journal Nature claiming that lockdowns in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France and the United States had prevented or delayed around 530 million Covid-19 cases.
Solomon Hsiang, who co-led the second study at the University of California, said: "Without these policies, we would have lived through a very different April and May."
WHO have admitted however that the lockdowns can have a "profound negative impact on individuals, communities and societies by bringing social and economic life to a near stop".
The International Monetary Fund has also said while lockdowns may "impose short-term costs" they may lead to "faster economic recovery" by "bringing infections under control".
It added: "Lifting lockdowns is unlikely to lead to a decisive and sustained economic boost if infections are still elevated, as voluntary social distancing will likely persist."
China is facing renewed international scrutiny as a team of scientists from WHO arrive to begin investigating the origins of Covid.
Cover up fears rage as China deleted 300 studies carried out by its famous "Batwoman" virologist, and MPs called on the UK government to probe renewed allegations of a "lab leak".
Britain faces potentially even tougher lockdown rules as infections continue to surge as cops have been urged to be tougher than ever on flouters.
The number of excess deaths recorded in the UK since the start of the coronavirus pandemic has now passed 88,000.
It has been warned the NHS is now being stretched to its limits after weeks of spread leading up to Christmas.
China has recorded 87,591 cases and 4,634 deaths, while the UK has suffered 3.1million infections and 83,203 fatalities.
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