China showed the world what a model superpower should be by the way they handled the original outbreak of the coronavirus. At least, that’s what Chinese communist propaganda has been telling us in the last few days.
“China Bought the West Time. The West Squandered It,” reads the headline to an opinion article published Friday by the New York Times.
Earlier, on Thursday, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow hosted reporter Donald McNeil, who explained that China has had “enormous success in beating down its epidemic” because of its advancements in healthcare technology, testing, and mandatory quarantines.
Maddow was so impressed with McNeil’s repeating Chinese talking points that she tweeted out the segment.
How coronavirus testing works in a country that takes the problem seriously. pic.twitter.com/NaYZcDND9o
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) March 13, 2020
The problem with the Chinese spin on their Covid-19 response is that it’s not even remotely true. Even for a commie country, the inventiveness and sheer audacity of the lies are beyond belief.
This is from an NPR story from February 8 headlined, “Critics Say China Has Suppressed And Censored Information In Coronavirus Outbreak.”
China’s state censors have clamped down this week on digital items related to the outbreak of a new coronavirus, removing local news reports that expose the dire circumstances in the city of Wuhan, epicenter of the outbreak, and scrubbing social media platforms of posts from Wuhan residents who say they are ill and desperate for medical care and supplies.
Those restrictions were put to the test on Friday after the death of Dr. Li Wenliang, one of the eight whistleblowers reprimanded by police for warning others about a mysterious pneumonialike disease in December. Less than 90 minutes after his death on Friday morning, the hashtag “I want freedom of speech” was trending on Weibo, a popular Chinese blogging site, with nearly 2 million posts. The posts were gone by sunrise.
In fact, every step the Chinese government took to deal with the initial outbreak contributed to the worldwide spread of the disease. Here’s a timeline the Department of Health in Hong Kong gave to NPR that gives the lie to western media’s praise of China.
The Chinese government suppressed the sharing of relevant information, arresting and punishing medical professionals who tried to warn people that there was something going around with SARS-like symptoms.
Chinese President Xi Jinping later had the gall to criticize the U.S. government after it imposed a temporary (and apparently prescient) travel ban on Chinese visitors. Xi seems to think that China can fool the world, and, based on the way Western journalists are reacting, he might be right.
“This isn’t blanket praise for an authoritarian party-state,” Guardian columnist Bhaskar Sunkara said Thursday, “but thank God this pandemic started in a country with a strong state that took serious public health measures. Imagine if China was run by the GOP instead of the CCP.”
In fact, by suppressing information about Covid-19, the Chinese government invited visitors who stayed in Wuhan to bring a present back home with them. Thousands of international travelers boarded planes to go home, many carrying the seeds of the pandemic with them. There is no escaping this conclusion.
China has apparently bent the infection curve downward. But only after some of the most draconian measures were taken that no western government would dare try. To say, as Maddow does, that China took the outbreak “seriously” is not only incorrect but stupidly and mindlessly parroting propaganda.