Coronavirus Maliciously & Further Weaponized against China


Chinese experts who will fly to Italy to help fighting the coronavirus pneumonia on 11 March, 2020 © Photo by TPG/Getty Images

‘From villain to hero? After its badly botched response to the Covid-19 outbreak, China now seeks to be the world’s savior’, Damian Wilson, RT.com, March 20, 2020

“While China still faces criticism for its mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak at the start, first by refusing to admit it existed and then by arresting those doctors who tried to raise the alarm, when the government finally came to terms with reality it performed a massive U-turn in front of the entire watching world.

Now, while it seems to be mopping up the worst of its problems at home, Beijing has turned its attention abroad, sending experts and medical supplies to Italy – now surpassing the Chinese death toll from coronavirus with more than 3,400 victims – and Iran, where 1,284 people have died in the pandemic so far.” [snip]
“A cynic might suggest that there is something intrinsically wrong with China arguably being entirely responsible for spreading a disease then selling its cure back to those nations who have not managed to avoid its killer path.” [snip]

“And it’s not just Europe that the Chinese are looking to help in this new spirit of generosity. The billionaire founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, Jack Ma, has seemingly ignored the Trump administration’s taunts about the “Chinese Virus,” “Wuhan Virus” and “Kong Flu” and sent those highly sought-after coronavirus test kits and masks not only to African nations in need but also to the USA.

The Chinese government is trying to “establish itself as a global hero that saved many people both in and outside China,” Lee Seong-hyon, the director of the Center for Chinese Studies at the Sejong Institute in Seoul, told the US Foreign Policy magazine this week. “On the other hand, America is not investing enough resources to help its traditional allies and friends, and not investing enough in this narrative war.”

China Is Avoiding Blame by Trolling the World; Beijing is successfully dodging culpability for its role in spreading the coronavirus’, March 19, 2020, theatlantic.com,  Shadi Hamid, Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution

The evidence of China’s deliberate cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan is a matter of public record. In suppressing information about the virus, doing little to contain it, and allowing it to spread unchecked in the crucial early days and weeks, the regime imperiled not only its own country and its own citizens but also the more than 100 nations now facing their own potentially devastating outbreaks. More perniciously, the Chinese government censored and detained those brave doctors and whistleblowers who attempted to sound the alarm and warn their fellow citizens when they understood the gravity of what was to come.”

Hamid’s ‘censored and detained’ link goes to Nick Kristof at the NYT, behind a paywall for me: ‘‘I Cannot Remain Silent’; A brave voice in China cries out about the regime’s mishandling of the coronavirus, Feb.12 2020, with a photo captioned:

When Dr. Li Wenliang warned about the coronavirus outbreak, he was attacked as a rumormonger. He died from the disease.

And yes, as I’d remembered, correctly,  Dr. Li was an opthamologist, not a virologist, FWIW.

“China has a history of mishandling outbreaks, including SARS in 2002 and 2003. But Chinese leaders’ negligence in December and January—for well over a month after the first outbreak in Wuhan—far surpasses those bungled responses.”

“This is what allowed the virus to spread across the globe. Because the Chinese Communist Party was pretending that there was little to be concerned about, Wuhan was a porous purveyor of the virus. The government only instituted a lockdown in Wuhan on January 23—seven weeks after the virus first appeared. As events in Italy, the United States, Spain, and France have shown, quite a lot can happen in a week, much less seven. By then, mayor Zhou Xianwang admitted that more than 5 million people had already left Wuhan.

If that weren’t enough, we can plumb recent history for an even more damning account. In a 2019 article, Chinese experts warned it was “highly likely that future SARS- or MERS-like coronavirus outbreaks will originate from bats, and there is an increased probability that this will occur in China.” In a 2007 journal article, infectious-disease specialists published a study arguing that “the presence of a large reservoir of SARS-CoV-like viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic mammals in southern China, is a time bomb. The possibility of the reemergence of SARS and other novel viruses from animals or laboratories and therefore the need for preparedness should not be ignored.” It was ignored.

The political scientist Andrew Michta has drawn controversy and accusations of racism for stating what any measured overview of the evidence makes clear. “The question about assigning agency and blame is pretty straightforward to answer,” he writes in The American Interest. The Chinese state, he says, is culpable.

But is this a time for blame? Yes, it is. Accounting for responsibility when a disaster happens—particularly one likely to devastate entire countries, leaving thousands dead—is not beside the point, particularly as Chinese officials move to take advantage of the crisis and launch a disinformation campaign claiming that the U.S. Army introduced the virus.” [snip]

“Of course, Americans will have to be vigilant against scapegoating Asians in general or the Chinese people in particular. With one of the highest infection rates and death tolls, Chinese citizens have suffered enough. The Chinese leadership, however, is another matter. A government is not a race. It’s a regime—and easily one of the worst and most brutal in our lifetime. Criticizing authoritarian regimes for what they do outside their own borders and to their own people is simply calling things as they are. To do otherwise is to forgo analysis and accuracy in the name of assuaging a regime that deserves no such consideration.”

But as for the mounting cases and deaths in Italy, these may be of interest you:

‘Why have so many coronavirus patients died in Italy?; The country’s high death toll is due to an ageing population, overstretched health system and the way fatalities are reported’, telegraph.co.uk, March 22, 2020

One brief snippet not in the title:

“But Prof Ricciardi added that Italy’s death rate may also appear high because of how doctors record fatalities.

“The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

And ‘A Swiss Doctor on Covid-19,  Published: March 14, 2020; Updated: March 22, 2020, swps.org

A Swiss medical doctor provided the following information on the current situation in order to enable our readers to make a realistic risk assessment.

Two interesting paragraphs of many on Italy not mentioned at the Telegraph:

“The doctor also points out the following aspects:

Northern Italy has one of the oldest populations and the worst air quality in Europe, which has already led to an increased number of respiratory diseases and deaths in the past and is likely an additional risk factor in the current epidemic.”

Less than 1% of the deceased were healthy persons, i.e. persons without pre-existing chronic diseases. Only about 30% of the deceased are women.”

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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ggersh's picture

R's to the left of D's, China comes to the rescue,while the good ol us of a fiddles

thesaker.is

Earlier this week a delegation of Chinese medics arrived at Malpensa airport near Milan from Shanghai on a special China Eastern flight carrying 400,000 masks and 17 tons of equipment. The salutation banner the visitors rolled out on the tarmac, in red and white, read, “We’re waves from the same sea, leaves from the same tree, flowers from the same garden.”

In a stance of supreme cross-cultural elegance, this was inspired by the poetics of Seneca, a Stoic. The impact, all over Italy, where people still study the classics, was immense.

The Chinese were consulted in advance and they preferred Seneca to a Chinese saying. After all, for China, a 5,000-year-old civilization-state that has confronted perhaps more than its share of instances of luan (“chaos”), there’s nothing more rejuvenating than post-chaos.

China is donating coronavirus test kits to Cambodia. China sent planeloads of masks, ventilators – and medics – to Italy and France. China sent medics to Iran, which is under unilateral, illegal US sanctions – and to Iraq, which the Pentagon is bombing again. China is helping across the (Eurasian) board, from the Philippines to Spain.

President Xi Jinping, in a phone call with Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, pledged in the wake of Covid-19 to establish a Health Silk Road, a companion to the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative.

Thus, finally, there’s the Philosophical Silk Road celebrated at an Italian airport, a meeting of Greek/Latin stoicism with Chinese stoicism.

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tRump amerika's last president

Prez tRumpet blows hard, nothing comes out

#J6PBailoutreadyyet?

CB's picture

propaganda machine.

Brookings Institution a Leading Propagandist for U.S. Invasions

I take issue with the misleading and outright false GARBAGE report by Shadi Hamid you have included in this essay.

“The evidence of China’s deliberate cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan is a matter of public record. In suppressing information about the virus, doing little to contain it, and allowing it to spread unchecked in the crucial early days and weeks, the regime imperiled not only its own country and its own citizens but also the more than 100 nations now facing their own potentially devastating outbreaks. More perniciously, the Chinese government censored and detained those brave doctors and whistleblowers who attempted to sound the alarm and warn their fellow citizens when they understood the gravity of what was to come.”

Here is the truth:

Coronavirus - On Western Government Failures And Possible Therapies
...
China warned us early on. The WHO was informed in late December. On January 3 the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was informed by his Chinese colleagues. After China recognized that the new SARS-CoV-2 virus indeed jumped from person to person it took radical measures to get a grip on the epidemic and those measures have worked well. China has only 3,255 death in a nation of 1.4 billion people. Today all checkpoints were removed from Wuhan city and life there is slowly turning back to normal.

Other Asian nations have likewise reacted fast and effectively. It was and is the 'west' which, despite having been warned, is responding poorly to the crisis.
...

Here's the report from the World Health Organization which has global reponsibity for epidemics and pandemics.:

Data as reported by: 20 January 2020
SUMMARY
Event highlights from 31 December 2019 to 20 January 2020:

• On 31 December 2019, the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. From 31 December 2019 through 3 January 2020, a total of 44 case-patients with pneumonia of unknown etiology were reported to WHO by the national authorities in China. During this reported period, the causal agent was not identified.

• On 11 and 12 January 2020, WHO received further detailed information from the National Health Commission China that the outbreak is associated with exposures in one seafood market in Wuhan City.

• The Chinese authorities identified a new type of coronavirus, which was isolated on 7 January 2020.

• On 12 January 2020, China shared the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus for countries to use in developing specific diagnostic kits.

• On 13 January 2020, the Ministry of Public Health, Thailand reported the first imported case of lab-confirmed novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

• On 15 January 2020, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan (MHLW) reported an imported case of laboratory-confirmed 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

• On 20 January 2020, National IHR Focal Point (NFP) for Republic of Korea reported the first case of novel coronavirus in the Republic of Korea.

If you want the truth about the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus (including information about Dr. Li Wenliang) I suggest you study the following: Pandemic chronology

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CB's picture

for one comment by one individual you label Chinese officials? One YouTube video has become a disinformation campaign? Have you even watched the actual video the individual made?

But is this a time for blame? Yes, it is. Accounting for responsibility when a disaster happens—particularly one likely to devastate entire countries, leaving thousands dead—is not beside the point, particularly as Chinese officials move to take advantage of the crisis and launch a disinformation campaign claiming that the U.S. Army introduced the virus.” [snip]

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wendy davis's picture

@CB

correctives, but again, you seem pissed at ME for posting these lies. give over, please, CB. i am not the enemy, the anti-chinese liars are. did you read the title?

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@wendy davis what you were doing, just re-printing it for us to know what the liars are saying, but I wasn't really sure either at first. May be the concern is people who haven't read this site before thinking you agreed with what you quoted?

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

CB's picture

@wendy davis
plus add editorial comment as countering points to the misleading statements contained within. (Much like I have done in my responses.)

Sorry for taking it personally but I am so f*ing pissed at how the Trump government and their media lackey's are portraying this dire situation. You can be assured that if any one of them gets infected they will have full access to quality health care that we Proles can only dream of.

I suppose I am overly sensitive due to fighting this kind of shiite in DKos for years and I don't want to see it here.

In reference to this remark:

“But Prof Ricciardi added that Italy’s death rate may also appear high because of how doctors record fatalities.

“The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

The very opposite of this was true in the US. During a hearing, a witness admitted that there had been a number of cases where deaths were attributed to the regular flu. Later it was discovered that they had actually died from COVID-19. He didn't have actual numbers to give. (This most likely would be kept confidential as were secret discussions from the intelligence agencies and National Security)

“The doctor also points out the following aspects:

Northern Italy has one of the oldest populations and the worst air quality in Europe, which has already led to an increased number of respiratory diseases and deaths in the past and is likely an additional risk factor in the current epidemic.”

“Less than 1% of the deceased were healthy persons, i.e. persons without pre-existing chronic diseases. Only about 30% of the deceased are women.”

Absolutely true. China came up with same statistics. The world is no longer safe for us old sick men.

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wendy davis's picture

@CB

i'm outta here for good. Pfffft.

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CB's picture

the US could have the hope that their COVID-19 outbreak would look like the following chart. Don't forget that China has 5 times the population of the US and is not nearly as wealthy. Look very closely at the dates in the chart. The Chinese were exceptional in their rapid response.

Look here to see where the US is now headed. It will not be a pretty picture one week from today. The country can only blame their leadership instead of scapegoating China for their abject failure in responding to this pandemic.

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@CB @CB look at that tiny red line stretching from jan through march.
Normal flu in just the US killed 10,000 in Jan. alone.
Put that on your graph and now ask yourself why the national over reaction?
Because Italy misreports CV deaths?

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wendy davis's picture

also get healthy must faster than elsewhere. even CNN says so, although i've mislaid the link.

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CB's picture

@wendy davis
These patients were stuck in a hospital bed under quarantine for two weeks or more. That's a terribly long time to be immobile. The medical staff seems to be very supportive. In China, they still have a lot of respect for their elders.

When I was hospitalized for 7 days last September, I was up and about the day after my operation pushing my pole with the pain pump and several intravenous bags.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...as the Black Swans landed around us, I would choose Pepe Escobar.

I want to know the exact point of change, the tipping point that sent us hurtling into this future.

I want to know which decision or action flipped everything in the world.

I think Pepe's last two essays are pertinent here:

How Black Swans Are Shaping Planet Panic

China locked in hybrid war with US

People still seem to be missing the obvious:

The Coronavirus in China, Iraq, and Italy were engineered in the US.

Oil marks the beginning and the end for the US.

Oh, and Israel did develop the vaccine.

Except for a chosen few, the elected government knows nothing.

The Great De-population has turned on us. The only question that remains is whether the dying Empire will turn to nukes.

[edit = content added to bottom]

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...about the China critics you have excerpted:

Just like the froth-mouthed victims of media-induced Russia hysteria, the victims of media-induced China hysteria are always unable to justify their sudden Beijing anxiety in a way that makes any coherent sense. I’ve spent the last few days debating these poor wretches online, because that’s what I do whenever a new sociopathic establishment narrative surfaces to gain an understanding of how it works, and I have yet to encounter a single one which can coherently reconcile the sudden uptick in shrieking China hysteria with the thing that China has always been throughout its historical existence.

They’ll tell me it’s because China lied about the virus and made errors in the early days of the outbreak, but can’t lucidly explain how screaming about this helps fix any problem, and can’t justify the fact that lying about the virus and making errors is exactly what their president just spent weeks doing. They’ll tell me it’s because China is authoritarian, but can’t explain the sudden uptick in outrage over this since China has always had an authoritarian government and that has nothing to do with the virus. They’ll parrot establishment narratives about Uighurs and organ harvesting, but, again, can’t explain how this has any connection to the virus.

When I point out that there are extremely powerful government agencies which stand much to gain from manufacturing consent for new escalations against America’s primary geostrategic rival I mostly get more outraged, incoherent sputtering, but once in a while a more thoughtful China Derangement Syndrome victim will say they don’t want any escalations against China, they just want to end an economic relationship between China and the US which they perceive as unfair. But, again, this has nothing to do with the virus, and also it’s a mighty interesting coincidence that they’ve formed this opinion about the one nation who just so happens to be America’s primary geopolitical foe.

This inability to draw a rational straight line from the facts in evidence to their hysterical anti-China bleating tells you that they are not rending their garments over China because of facts in evidence, they’re reacting emotionally to recent propaganda narratives they’ve been spoon fed and then listing off the things they’ve heard about China in an attempt to justify their irrational behavior.

In reality these people are rallying behind the campaign to blame China for the health crisis they’re now facing because they understand that otherwise the blame will land squarely on the shoulders of their president, who’s running for re-election this year. Deep down they know full well that this isn’t really about China, but about protecting their president. But what they are actually doing, unwittingly, is manufacturing consent for an agenda which is far bigger and far more consequential than who wins the election in November. And it’s no accident that they’re being shepherded in this direction with the help of right-wing establishment narrative managers.

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janis b's picture

@Pluto's Republic

All the Russia and China distortion over the years has very effectively fed other monsters, who've taken the conflict to a more personal, one-on-one basis. It's crushing, and at least as significant a contamination as the virus is.

It was interesting to go back and read Caitlin’s ‘A Little About Me’. What a voice of reason she is.

Kia Kaha (Stay Strong) all.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@janis b

Wish I were there.

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janis b's picture

@Pluto's Republic

but might be in the future, if our imaginations are harvested, and nature abides.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12318941

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@janis b

...but it seems to be executed by gaining the consent of the People in advance. That's not possible in the US where there is neither consent nor consensus. The lying and betrayal... has broken the social trust.

If I understand this right, the 103 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand involve people who were infected while traveling overseas. I assume the disease appears after they return home. So far New Zealand hasn't had a single case of community transmission.

To prevent any spread of Covid-19, affected areas of the country have been under Level Three restrictions, with limited travel, cancelled public events, closed public venues. Some non-essential businesses are closed, schools are closed, and there are no elective hospital procedures, and no face-to-face consultations with primary care physicians. That's pretty restrictive.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just told the nation "we are all now preparing as a nation to go into self-isolation in the same way we have seen other countries do. Staying at home is essential". That would give the health system a chance to cope, she said.

Level Four for a month is bold and aggressive. I think it's smart. The Prime Minister sounded compassionate but resolute. I'm in my fourth week of self-isolation. It's doable. Without masks and mass testing in the US, boosting the immune system is the only real defense we have. As an aside, it's very disturbing when political leaders become infected. It suggests institutional ignorance. If they are too careless to protect themselves, are they qualified to lead in this crisis?

I hope your country will be a good example for the world.

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janis b's picture

@Pluto's Republic

I think it was a good choice at this time, when it’s clear that community transference is already present and will inevitably grow.

Good for you, that you have managed 4 weeks of isolation - any secret clues to success would be appreciated.

Check this site out for some hopefully welcome diversion, and possibly even for inspiration.
https://thedailyblog.co.nz/category/bloggers/martyn-bradbury/

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Don't add up.
A lot of people reacted negatively to what I said but even so, the numbers didn't add up.
Germany: 0.3% death rate.
Italy: 10% death rate.

Having CV when you die and dying because of CV are two different things. Unless you're in Italy.

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