A few points, right off the top: First, the US response to coronavirus has been poor in some aspects, better in others, and is complicated by an uneven patchwork of state and local policies. Some of the failures can be laid at the feet of the federal government -- including within both the Trump administration and previous administrations -- while other levels of government also have mistakes to answer for. Second, whenever you see a graph purporting to demonstrate that America's reaction to the pandemic has been the worst in the world, proceed with extreme skepticism. Some of these graphics fail to adjust for population size (see this helpful explainer), and almost all of them take "official" statistics from nations like China and Iran at face value. The numbers from these secretive regimes cannot and must not be believed. Consider the juxtaposition between the claim of zero new cases in Wuhan for nearly an entire week running and other emerging evidence. Bogus data:
NEW: China's city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus was discovered, has reported no new cases for a sixth straight day, as the number of global infections surged past 724,000 https://t.co/rrsZx6VpLn— Axios (@axios) March 30, 2020
As authorities lifted a two-month coronavirus lockdown in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, residents said they were growing increasingly skeptical that the figure of some 2,500 deaths in the city to date was accurate. Since the start of the week, seven large funeral homes in Wuhan have been handing out the cremated remains of around 500 people to their families every day, suggesting that far more people died than ever made the official statistics. "It can't be right ... because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died?" an Wuhan resident surnamed Zhang told RFA on Friday. "They started distributing ashes and starting interment ceremonies on Monday," he said. Seven funeral homes currently serve Wuhan -- a huge conurbation of three cities: Hankou, Wuchang and Hanyang. Social media users have been doing some basic math to figure out their daily capacity, while the news website Caixin.com reported that 5,000 urns had been delivered by a supplier to the Hankou Funeral Home in one day alone -- double the official number of deaths.
Some social media posts have estimated that all seven funeral homes in Wuhan are handing out 3,500 urns every day in total. Funeral homes have informed families that they will try to complete cremations before the traditional grave-tending festival of Qing Ming on April 5, which would indicate a 12-day process beginning on March 23. Such an estimate would mean that 42,000 urns would be given out during that time. Another popular estimate is based on the cremation capacity of the funeral homes, which run a total of 84 furnaces with a capacity over 24 hours of 1,560 urns city-wide, assuming that one cremation takes one hour. This calculation results in an estimated 46,800 deaths. A resident of Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, said most people there now believe that more than 40,000 people died in the city before and during the lockdown.
It's impossible to know exactly what is happening on the ground in China because the communist government is actively lying, expelling foreign journalists, and "disappearing" its critics -- including medical professionals -- thus deterring truth-telling and whistle-blowing:
Just two weeks ago the head of Emergency at Wuhan Central hospital went public, saying authorities had stopped her and her colleagues from warning the world. She has now disappeared, her whereabouts unknown. #60Mins pic.twitter.com/3Jt2qbLKUb— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) March 29, 2020
It is long past time for the American media to stop regurgitating Chinese propaganda, which exploits journalists' desire to cast President Trump's efforts in the worst possible light. The World Health Organization also appears to be at least somewhat compromised. The facts are clear: The disease did originate in China. It was covered-up by their government, harming the global response. And that cover-up is ongoing. Their formal tallies of infections and deaths are fiction, and their clumsy (yet successful) goodwill PR theatrics are also garbage:
Hey, I'm noticing a pattern. pic.twitter.com/hsVs4MjjLD— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) March 28, 2020
It seems the British government is seeing things pretty clearly on this front:
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government is said to be furious over China's handling of the novel coronavirus, with one British official quoted on Sunday saying Beijing would face a "reckoning" once the COVID-19 crisis was over. UK government officials are accusing China of spreading disinformation about the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in its borders, the Mail on Sunday reports. The newspaper says scientists have told Johnson that China could have downplayed its number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus "by a factor of 15 to 40 times." China had reported 81,439 cases at the time of writing...The newspaper quoted three UK officials, who all reported fury within Johnson's government. "It is going to be back to the diplomatic drawing board after this," one said. "Rethink is an understatement." The second unnamed official said "there has to be a reckoning when this is over," while the third said "the anger goes right to the top."
Their Prime Minister and top Health official have each tested positive for the virus. President Trump was exactly right to accurately pin blame on Beijing, the woke sensitivities of some critics notwithstanding. But this sort of false moral equivalence lets China off the hook, and he should know better:
Trump, when asked about Chinese misinformation about coronavirus, on Fox News:— Toluse Olorunnipa (@ToluseO) March 30, 2020
"They do it and we do it... Every country does that."
I'll leave you with a stunningly ignorant, credulous hot take from a New York Times reporter, followed by actual data from the country that has been most successful at suppressing the disease, as opposed to information:
US outbreaks may be too far along for the South Korea model to work. The only thing left is the China model. It’s the only known success at subduing a full-blown epidemic. Instead of working with Beijing on finding lessons, the US is scapegoating China to deflect political blame.— Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) March 30, 2020