News & Politics

Communist China Was Always One Lab Accident Away From Becoming a Supervillain

In this Jan. 22, 2020, photo released on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, by China's Xinhua News Agency, medical workers of the Union Hospital with the Tongji Medical College of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan participate in a ceremony to form an "assault team" to battle against a coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 23, 2020. China closed off a city of more than 11 million people Thursday in an unprecedented effort to try to contain a deadly new viral illness that has sickened hundreds and spread to other cities and countries in the Lunar New Year travel rush. (Cheng Min/Xinhua via AP)

The findings are clear: A deadly virus that could kill untold numbers of people worldwide escaped from a Chinese research lab.

Chinese health officials have confirmed four suspected cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), including one death, which appear to have been caused by a safety breach at a laboratory… It’s the first SARS death reported since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the initial SARS outbreak more than nearly a year ago.

That’s from BioSpace, 2004. The words may have changed over the past 16 years, but the song remains the same.

There were also reports that officials may have encouraged doctors not to report new cases when SARS spread to Beijing. In April 2003, Time magazine obtained a letter from Jiang Yanyong, a physician at an army hospital in Beijing, alleging the actual number of SARS cases in the capital city was much higher than the official count. This turned out to be true, and Chinese officials released the real numbers that month (and also began to monitor Jiang).

The common denominator here is the communist party that rules China with its jade fist. Just read this comprehensive timeline of the COVID outbreak by Jim Geraghty. While there is still debate over whether the novel coronavirus leaped from animal to human in a “wet” market or from a Wuhan research lab, it’s clear that the communists’ lies made the situation far worse than it should have been. The world lost weeks thanks to China on the one hand and the execrable World Health Organization on the other. The latter played sock puppet for the former, blandly assuring the world that COVID-19 posed no threat even while it was spreading worldwide on airplanes from Wuhan bound for everywhere.

Call it the Kung Flu, the Shanghai Shivers, the Wuhan or Chinese virus, or COVID-19 — whatever you want — communist China lied and so far thousands worldwide and the global economy died. The interconnected world has two main hubs, the United States and China. What happens in one will affect the other, as long as China remains the world’s manufacturing and supply hub. You cannot buy antibiotics, Nike shoes, or untold thousands of other products we use every single day that did not originate in part or in whole in China.

Geraghty’s timeline does leave out a couple of dates that bear mentioning. The Democrats in the House passed the articles of impeachment against President Trump on December 18, 2019. On January 15, after sitting on those articles across the holidays, they walked them over to the Senate while the mainstream media gushed over the solemnity of the occasion.  That same day, the first human carrying the coronavirus landed in the United States. He traveled here from China, as thousands did every day. Of course, no one knew he was carrying the deadly virus at the time. China and the WHO were still lying about the outbreak.

The impeachment saga lasted until February 5, 2020. Of course, President Trump and his core team were focused nearly exclusively on that, while at the same time they had little choice but to rely on what the WHO was saying about what was happening in Wuhan. Virus outbreaks come and go and none have caused a global crisis in more than a century. Impeachment was an immediate existential threat to Trump’s presidency and a political act designed to destroy him. When President Trump announced the China travel ban on January 31, the Democrats and the media carried China’s water and denounced the action as an attack on immigrants. As if business travelers and tourists are the same things as immigrants.

Joe Biden was among the first to denounce the move as “xenophobic” “fear-mongering.”

That didn’t age well, did it? Neither has impeachment. The Democrats have since changed their tune on the travel ban, but have they changed their thoughts on China?

The 2002-2003 SARS outbreak could have served as a wake-up call to never trust China on matters of science and public health. They lied then. But it can also be seen in another light. Presidents are briefed on emerging threats every day and must choose which ones to act on. The SARS outbreak’s death toll was under 9,000 worldwide. There were only 8 cases in the United States and none of those were fatal. Early on, thanks to China’s perfidy and the WHO’s statements, the COVID-19 outbreak looked very similar to SARS.

And President Trump faced a more immediate threat in the form of impeachment. Of course, that political show had an impact. There really should be no credible debate on that point.  The Democrats knew the GOP-controlled Senate would never convict him. The point of impeachment, its whole purpose, was to cripple Trump as president heading into the 2020 election.

Looking forward, we need clear and unified thinking in the West when it comes to China. The communists suppress open media and all dissent domestically. The left ought to hate that. They lie for any reason and no reason at all. They punish scientists for discussing facts. They bury findings that don’t suit them. The coronavirus outbreak has exposed both the WHO and the UN Human Rights Council as bad and unreliable actors who favor China’s communists over their own credibility. The Hong Kong protests exposed much of the western media and even the NBA as cowards more concerned with their bottom lines than the freedoms they rely on to exist. China has used the wealth generated from becoming the world’s manufacturer to buy influence across the world with its Belt and Road programs and to undermine American influence at the same time.

Only Richard Nixon could have gone to China, but that trip may have turned out to be his greatest mistake. Decades later free Taiwan is marginalized, Hong Kong is under threat and the communists in Beijing are more influential, richer and more powerful in overt and insidious ways than ever. The whole world is reeling thanks to China’s rulers. In every way, as long as communists rule China, it should be viewed as a hostile and unreliable entity — villainous in the extreme and an enemy of freedom, decency and human dignity.

*The title of this post is a paraphrase of a joke from the Big Bang Theory TV show.

Bryan Preston is the author of Hubble’s Revelations: The Amazing Time Machine and Its Most Important Discoveries