Each new day brings revelations of the Chinese Communist Party’s lies and malfeasance regarding the Chinese coronavirus from Wuhan, China. Just today, an Associated Press investigation revealed that counterfeit N95 masks sold across the U.S. during the pandemic likely trace back to a Chinese factory owned by a member of the Communist Party. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese officials refused to cooperate with an investigation into the origins of the virus. Also yesterday, Newsweek reported that the CIA claims China pressured the World Health Organization (WHO) into delaying its declaration of a global health emergency — perhaps in order to allow China time to suck up the world’s personal protective equipment (PPE) before other countries realized they were likely to need it.
Let’s dwell on that last story for a moment. Early during the coronavirus crisis, China asked other countries for PPE and received 2.4 billion pieces. Then the virus spread outside of China, and countries suddenly needed the medical equipment they had sent to Beijing. When those countries asked China for PPE, China extorted them — only sending valuable medical aid if political leaders agreed to publicly praise Beijing. Meanwhile, the Communist Party also prevented U.S. companies from shipping their own medical gear back home, where it is sorely needed.
It seems tragically plausible that China did pressure the WHO to delay its emergency declaration just so that other countries would not realize their need for PPE until only after they had sent all of theirs to the Middle Kingdom. If so, this is a heinous crime.
The AP investigation into counterfeit masks is also harrowing. Federal trade law enforcement agencies had long sleuthed out knockoffs like luxury goods and computer software, mostly from China. During the coronavirus crisis, they have focused on medical supplies. In this vein, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has netted 11 arrests and 519 seizures. The AP focused on counterfeit N95 masks — which included forged stamps, making them appear approved by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
“On a day when COVID-19 cases soared, healthcare supplies were scarce and an anguished doctor warned he was being sent to war without bullets, a cargo plane landed at the Los Angeles International Airport, supposedly loaded with the ammo doctors and nurses were begging for: some of the first N95 medical masks to reach the U.S. in almost six weeks,” the AP reported. “But the shipment arriving that night in late March wasn’t going to solve the problem. An Associated Press investigation has found those masks were counterfeits — as are millions of medical masks, gloves, gowns and other supplies being used in hospitals across the country, putting lives at risk.”
The masks bear the name of the Chinese factory Shanghai Dasheng, although the factory has not accepted responsibility for them. However, many European countries have reported faulty medical gear coming from China amid the pandemic and it seems unlikely the Chinese Communist Party is unaware of the substandard PPE shipped out of the country.
The Communist Party’s refusal to help investigate the origins of the virus also seems par for the course.
After all, on January 1, 2020, a CCP official in Hubei Province ordered coronavirus tests halted and samples of the virus destroyed. When Dr. Li Wenliang sent a message to his friends about the outbreak on December 30, the police started investigating his friends. They forced Dr. Li to pledge not to spread “disruptive rumors.” By that date, unpublished documents obtained by the South China Morning Post put the number of coronavirus cases at 266. Dr. Li died of COVID-19, which he had contracted from his patients.
By his own admission, Xi Jinping had “issued requirements for the prevention and control of the new Coronavirus” as early as January 7, but Wuhan was not put under lockdown until January 22-23. On January 26, Wuhan’s mayor admitted that 5 million people had already left the city. A University of Southampton study found that if strict quarantine measures had been introduced three weeks earlier, the coronavirus’s spread would have been reduced by 95 percent.
China only reported the outbreak to the WHO on December 31, and the country claimed there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission, even though the SCMP documents show a confirmed 266 cases just one day earlier. When the WHO reported some human-to-human transmission on January 14, Chinese sources evidently complained, because the WHO quickly retracted the claim, citing Chinese sources.
As the coronavirus spread across the globe, the Communist Party put out a video encouraging Italians to hug Chinese people to prove they weren’t racist. It also attempted to blame the U.S. for the virus, and when President Donald Trump responded by branding it the “Chinese virus,” the CCP said that was racist, too.
This is likely just scratching the surface of China’s malfeasance on the coronavirus.
The British think tank the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) claimed that the G7 countries should sue China for damages in excess of $4 trillion for its malfeasance. A new report compiled by the “Five Eyes” intelligence agencies of the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Britain painted yet another damning portrait of the CCP’s response to the virus. The State of Missouri has already filed a lawsuit to hold China accountable, and there is a growing chorus of voices demanding the U.S. sue the Chinese Communist Party in international court.
Americans want to see China held accountable for this malfeasance, and it is only likely to continue to get worse.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.