Fast forward to Sept. 12, 2019, when WIV’s online database of virus samples suddenly disappeared from WIV’s computers and has not been found since. In the weeks following the data disappearance, searches for “cough” spiked in the Wuhan area on Chinese search engines, and satellite data shows parking lot volume at five hospitals close to WIV also reached daily highs.
Then on Oct. 18, 2019, athletes from around the world arrived in Wuhan for the Military World Games. A Luxembourg participant described Wuhan as a “ghost town” while there. He found it odd officials took his temperature when he arrived at the airport.
A Canadian athlete reported the city “was in lockdown” — in October 2019. He recounted he and 60 of his colleagues became sick 12 days after they arrived.
Athletes from Italy, Brazil, Sweden, and France also complained of COVID-like symptoms while in Wuhan. Each of these countries has since documented COVID-19 cases in their country before the outbreak became public in January 2020. In short, the Military World Games in Wuhan appears to have been the world’s first superspreader event.