So. November 12, 2019.
Not to beat a dead horse but this is vastly more incriminating evidence than was ever available on Sverdlovsk... up until Ken Alibek defected, wrote his memoirs and said yeah Jerry put up a post-it saying 'don't run the exhaust fans the filters are out' but the glue on our post-its sucked so the note fell behind the cabinet. Other than that, the language is the same, the party responses the same, the euphemisms the same.
Party speak is “its own lexicon,” explains Reid, now 44 years old. Even a native Mandarin speaker “can’t really follow it,” he says. “It’s not meant to be easily understood. It’s almost like a secret language of Chinese officialdom. When they’re talking about anything potentially embarrassing, they speak of it in innuendo and hushed tones, and there’s a certain acceptable way to allude to something.”
During the Cold War, lack of reliable information about the country forced Western analysts to "read between the lines" and to use the tiniest tidbits, such as the removal of portraits, the rearranging of chairs, positions at the reviewing stand for parades in Red Square, the choice of capital or small initial letters in phrases such as "First Secretary", the arrangement of articles on the pages of the party newspaper Pravda and other indirect signs to try to understand what was happening in internal Soviet politics.
To study the relations between Communist fraternal states, Kremlinologists compared the statements issued by the respective national Communist parties, looking for omissions and discrepancies in the ordering of objectives. The description of state visits in the Communist press were also scrutinized, as well as the degree of hospitality lent to dignitaries. Kremlinology also emphasized ritual, in that it noticed and ascribed meaning to the unusual absence of a policy statement on a certain anniversary or holiday.
The Soviets had advantages and disadvantages. The French didn't help them with their labs, but they also weren't trying to do marketable research. On the other hand, nobody of any credibility in the US pretended the Soviets were anything but Soviet.
By then, however, the battle lines had been drawn. If you backed the lab-leak theory, you were with Trump. If you believed in science, you supported the natural-origin theory generally and the market-spillover theory in particular.
There will come a time when liberals will realize that Trump can be right AND China can be awful. I don't know if I'll live to see it, however.
That tag is a hard one to peruse.