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OPINION

China's Deadly Lies About COVID

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

The only thing not going viral in China is the truth. Chinese officials are spewing lies to cover up the massive COVID outbreak there.

Worse, U.S. public health officials dawdled for a week, allowing air travelers from China in without testing, while other countries immediately blocked infected travelers from entering.

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Aerial photos and videos from China show body bags stacked outside hospitals and crematoria, funeral home parking lots full and hospitals overwhelmed with COVID patients jammed into hallways. In Beijing and Sichuan, over 50% of the population is infected, according to internal government documents.

Yet the Chinese government officially claims there was only one COVID death in all of China on Dec. 31, none on Dec. 30 and one on Dec. 29. That's in a nation of 1.4 billion people.

More dangerously, China is also withholding laboratory evidence about what strains are sickening its population. Is it the omicron variants we are accustomed to treating, or something new? We are all part of the human race and need to share this information.

People in China are rushing to the exits. Outbound airline bookings nearly tripled in the 24 hours after the government announced travel restrictions that have been in place for almost three years would be lifted.

It's reasonable that the U.S. and other countries are requiring air passengers from China -- of any ethnicity -- to provide a negative COVID test to board.

MSNBC's TheReidOut Blog is slamming the COVID test requirement as "jingoistic, reactionary and inhumane."

MSNBC is in sync with the Chinese Communist Party. Chinese officials are attacking the test requirement as "discriminatory" and warning that it will discourage global cooperation. What cooperation? China still refuses to allow investigations of how the virus originated.

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On Sunday, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exclaimed that in 2020, China's President Xi Jinping "sent people around the world who he knew were infected." Now "he's doing it again." Pompeo said, "There is no reason we should allow the Chinese to do this again."

Amen.

The debate over whether to restrict travelers from China reveals the cowardice in our nation's public health apparatus.

On Dec. 28, Italy imposed a negative COVID test requirement, after nearly half the passengers on two flights from China to Milan were found to be infected. Italy made its requirement effective immediately.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also announced its testing rule on Dec. 28, but made the start date Jan. 5. That's crazy.

Officials said the test would "help limit the number of infected people" coming in from China. So why wait until Jan. 5? To make life easier for airlines.

United Airlines, Delta Airlines and American Airlines are operating dozens of flights from China to American cities each week.

Lawrence Gostin, a public health lawyer at the World Health Organization, said the distant date "could let in a flood of visitors who are not vetted."

If a lethal strain invades from China, thank the bunglers at the CDC.

It's also worrisome that many U.S. scientists reject the most basic tool of infection control -- separating the sick from the healthy. These scientists, infused with a globalist mentality and misplaced loyalties, argue the U.S. should rely on vaccination only and allow everyone in.

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That's wrong. The U.S. needs to employ every tool -- travel controls as well as vaccines --- to protect our population. In the United States, the latest COVID strain, dubbed XBB, resists vaccines and boosters. Fortunately, it's somewhat mild, and isn't causing a surge in deaths.

But what if China is coping with a variant that resists vaccines and causes serious illness?

In China, infections are spreading so fast that scientists predict new variants will emerge soon. "The situation in China makes us very worried," reflected Emory University scientist Wilbur Lam. The world needs to be notified as soon as new variants appear. China won't cooperate.

This is no time for political correctness or fuzzy globalist thinking. Travelers from China who are infected must be barred from the U.S.

And the CDC must toughen up. Our lives could be at stake.


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