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”.