Coronavirus: Is Xi Jinping Telling the Whole Truth?

Coronavirus: Is Xi Jinping Telling the Whole Truth?

Coronavirus: Is Xi Jinping Telling the Whole Truth?

It seems like every time we hear updates from China about Coronavirus, the news is ever more grim. Now, as of Saturday evening, the death toll from the virus has reached 56, with a total of 1,975 infections. That’s a jump of 15 deaths and 688 infections within 24 hours.

Chinese President Xi Jinping appeared on state TV calling Coronavirus a “grave situation.” In addition, Xinhua news reported that Xi met with Communist Party leaders to create a central committee to contain the virus. Xi said:

“Life is of paramount importance. When an epidemic breaks out, a command is issued. It is our responsibility to prevent and control it.” 

Well, that’s a start. At least Xi isn’t making excuses for the death toll like his predecessor Mao Tse-tung, who claimed that natural disasters killed millions of Chinese during his “Great Leap Forward.” In reality it was Mao’s Communist policies which led to the mass deaths.

Xi, of course, can’t get away with that sort of cover-up, since Coronavirus has spread worldwide, including now five confirmed cases in the United States. It’s especially hard to conceal the epidemic when Western social media spreads all sorts of information, whether corroborated or not.

And spread it does. Here’s a Twitter video which supposedly shows a man seizing from a 120° fever caused by Coronavirus. Which is quite interesting since the highest known fever was 115° in a heat stroke victim.

Plus, the British tabloid Daily Mail published a frightening account of a nurse from Wuhan, ground zero for Coronavirus. In a video, which you can watch at YouTube, the woman claims that there are not 1,975 victims, but 90,000 patients suffering in Wuhan:

“I’m in the area where the coronavirus started. I’m here to tell the truth. At this moment, Hubei province, including Wuhan area, even China, 90,000 people have been infected by coronavirus.”

“We don’t care what the government says. I will tell you through social media. . . .Currently our resources are not enough.”

Naturally I can’t confirm the accuracy of those claims. But considering how Xi Jinping’s government maintains secret internment camps for Uighur Chinese, it wouldn’t be surprising to find that the Chinese government isn’t telling everything it knows about Coronavirus.

For example, American attorney and China expert Gordon Chang wrote at Twitter:

“A virologist in #Wuhan reports the government there has become paralyzed and has lost the ability to fight the coronavirus outbreak. This person believes Beijing is also incapable and is therefore appealing to the international community for immediate help.” #China #WuhanOutbreak

He also tweeted this:

“There has been a noticeable lack of candor, along with big doses of happy talk, from public health officials.”

In addition, writer James Gorrie of the Epoch Times writes that the “math doesn’t add up” when it comes to infections.

“As it stands, these figures would put the fatality rate at two-to-three percent. Compared to the nearly 10 percent overall fatality rate of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2002-2003, the lethality level of this new virus looks relatively tame. That’s the story out of Beijing’s official news outlets.”

Hong Kong infectious disease expert Yuen Kwok-yung describes how rapidly Coronavirus can spread:

And Dr. Yuen should know. He’s the microbiologist who discovered the SARS coronavirus in 2003.

Yes, SARS and today’s Coronavirus are related. In fact, they appear to have originated in the same sort of environment.

That would be the ubiquitous street markets where Chinese meat vendors sell their products, alongside live animals. Not only that, but besides the usual fare of beef, pork, lamb, and chicken, vendors also sell exotic meats. It’s stuff that most of us would find repulsive: like snakes, rats, civets, and even wolf cubs. Needless to say, there is no attempt to control whatever pathogens may be lurking in the products, whether alive or dead.

coronavirus

Credit: tefl Search/flickr/CC BY 2.0.

Now, in the face of the Coronavirus epidemic, China is finally cracking down on the wild animal trade, but they’re receiving pushback as well. As one manager of a company that sells wildlife protested:

“Are you sure it is eating wild animals that has caused the epidemic? We observe the law. This is a completely legal business.”

Right. And his company sells porcupines, guinea pigs, and bamboo rats for consumption. I rather doubt that there’s much control over what diseases those animals may carry.

But another question is this: do we need to worry here in the United States?

Personally, I’m not alarmed. While we already have five known cases, and health officials are monitoring others, travelers from Wuhan to the US can fly only to five designated airports, where workers from the Centers for Disease Control screen these passengers. The CDC has also raised its travel warning from Level 2 to 3 — the highest possible level. Moreover, the CDC recommends that all travelers avoid any non-essential travel to Wuhan. Plus, the Chinese government has already locked down about 20 million residents of the Wuhan region — an abhorrent idea for us Americans, to be sure. But better that infectious people stay put.

Of course, also keep in mind that the media loves its horror stories. As Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, writes:

“In the early days of any epidemic, the reporting will be skewed to severe cases and will render any fatality estimates unreliable.”

So if you’ve got a visit to China on your bucket list, you’d better not book that trip yet. In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, China has shut down tourist attractions such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and even Shanghai Disneyland. You won’t even be able to get a burger from a McDonald’s in some cities.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if Xi Jinping is able to control this epidemic.

 

Featured image: thierry ehrmann/flickr/cropped/CC BY 2.0.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

7 Comments
  • Lloyd says:

    Any fool that has China on his bucket list, should learn the words to, and sing that old song, “My Bucket Has A Hole In it!”

  • Scott says:

    Ok, go ahead and call me a crazy conspiracy theorist, but “modern” China has never had a problem killing hundreds of thousands of its own people to advance it’s agenda, from the great leap forward to human wave attacks, etc…
    In that light, the 20 million people they have locked down could just be the cost of doing business, if this (as well as SARS, etc) are just Chinese govt experiments with bio warfare. Look at it this way, they develop some new virus or strain, the release it into the population, including a number that are are going to travel internationally (these may or may not be willing participants), and then they track the spread patterns, lethality, and countermeasures used by the US and others, and then work on the next release.. While they have the perfect cover story with their open markets, they are hardly the only country that does, yet they seem to be the main originator of these new “plagues”.. Just a coincidence??? Maybe, but then again, maybe not…

  • Kate says:

    Reminder, the Chinese government has been known to lie, it is their nature it seems.

  • Kodos the Excutioner says:

    Q: How do you know if a communist is telling the truth?

    A: Is his mouth moving? Then he’s a damn liar.

  • Joe in PNG says:

    Another factor to consider- there’s a good reason why the various dread disease outbreaks that ravage the undeveloped world tend to stop cold at the USA. Our general health is better.
    As a general rule, Americans are physically healthier, eat better, have far better sanitary habits, aren’t suffering from endemic parasites, have access to clean air, water, and proper sanitation- ect and so on.

    The fact that China is getting hit badly by these diseases appears to me to be an indication that they don’t have the same level of general public health. There’s a lot of implications with that.

  • GWB says:

    the Centers for Disease Control screen these passengers
    If the non-symptomatic incubation period is as long as some claim, that screening won’t help at all.

    As to Xi lying – why, yes, of course he is. The real question is “how much?”

  • Linda S Fox says:

    I have some concern.

    Why?

    Because the Chinese government is bat-shit scared. Their reactions are WAY over-the-top for a relatively mild respiratory infection.

    It, therefore, lends some credence to the idea that this is an escaped lab-engineered virus. They just don’t know how bad this might get – and it scares the hell out of them.

    All speculation aside, there is good news for Americans:
    – At this time of year, the travel is mostly TO China, rather than FROM China.
    – Americans generally are in good health, compared to the vulnerable populations in many Asian countries, particularly our seniors. We have widespread immunization, a decent health infrastructure, and both knowledge of sanitary procedures, as well as the supplies to keep that up.
    – We live farther apart from our neighbors than most other countries. We keep a greater social distance from both friends and strangers.
    – Most of us have more than a few days food supplies. We have treated water, and, often, home filtration systems.
    – We have experience with mobilization in disasters, and the money to fund that relief.
    So, no, we needn’t panic. It would be prudent to stock up on nursing/infection supplies (in my local area, the N95 mask supplies are nearly depleted). Good home nursing will make the difference in a quick, uncomplicated recovery.

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