The Chinese are to blame for this Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. Their containment methods were laughable, their officials refused to inform the public, and people died. They allowed Wuhan to celebrate Chinese New Year, exposing potentially tens of thousands to the disease. Some five million left the city before they enacted a quarantine. And now we’re hearing that they knew about human transmissions. The Wall Street Journal’s piece on how this whole international fiasco began all but places the blame where it should rightfully be directed: China
It was on Dec. 10 that Wei Guixian, a seafood merchant in this city’s Hua’nan market, first started to feel sick. Thinking she was getting a cold, she walked to a small local clinic to get some treatment and then went back to work.
Eight days later, the 57-year-old was barely conscious in a hospital bed, one of the first suspected cases in a coronavirus epidemic that has paralyzed China and gripped the global economy. The virus has spread around the world and sickened more than 100,000.
For almost three weeks, doctors struggled to connect the dots between Ms. Wei and other early cases, many of them Hua’nan vendors. Patient after patient reported similar symptoms, but many, like her, visited small, poorly resourced clinics and hospitals. Some patients balked at paying for chest scans; others, including Ms. Wei, refused to be transferred to bigger facilities that were better-equipped to identify infectious diseases.
When doctors did finally establish the Hua’nan link in late December, they quarantined Ms. Wei and others like her and raised the alarm to their superiors. But they were prevented by Chinese authorities from alerting their peers, let alone the public.
One of the first doctors to alert Chinese authorities was criticized for “spreading rumors” after sharing with a former medical-school classmate a test result showing a patient had a coronavirus. Another doctor had to write a self-criticism letter saying his warnings “had a negative impact.”
The Chinese government deleted lab work and samples and intimidated their doctors to cover up any trace of it while also lying to the World Health Organization. I'm fine calling it a Chinese Government Virus as well. NBC has been on the front lines pushing PRC propaganda. https://t.co/5UmTbJOTu7— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) March 18, 2020
Remember this https://t.co/w0sn5vkFni— Eli Lake (@EliLake) March 18, 2020
And now, there are reports that Chinese scientists destroyed evidence about the virus back in December (via The Times UK):
Chinese laboratories identified a mystery virus as a highly infectious new pathogen by late December last year, but they were ordered to stop tests, destroy samples and suppress the news, a Chinese media outlet has revealed.
A regional health official in Wuhan, centre of the outbreak, demanded the destruction of the lab samples that established the cause of unexplained viral pneumonia on January 1. China did not acknowledge there was human-to-human transmission until more than three weeks later.
The detailed revelations by Caixin Global, a respected independent publication, provide the clearest evidence yet of the scale of the cover-up in the crucial early weeks when the opportunity was lost to control the outbreak. Censors have been rapidly deleting the report from the Chinese internet.
Those who do slam the Chinese government’s antics vanish, as National Review’s Jim Geraghty noted, among other things. One doctor in Wuhan tried to raise the red flags about this virus in December and the state came down on her (via Business Insider):
A Wuhan doctor said she wishes she could rewind the clock to December when she first sounded the alarm about a new pneumonia-like virus — only to back away after being reprimanded by Chinese officials.
Ai Fen, director of Wuhan Central Hospital's emergency department, told Chinese magazine People that a colleague sent her a diagnostic report in late December of a worrying infection that mirrored severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), according to the South China Morning Post.
Ai shared a picture of the report on a WeChat group on December 30, and then its members circulated that photo more widely. Whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang, 34, who was silenced by Chinese officials and then died of the COVID-19 virus, was part of that group.
Ai said she also gave hospital authorities a heads-up about the virus.
"I even grabbed our hospital respiratory department director, who happened to be passing my office, and told him that one of his patients was confirmed to have been infected with a SARS-like virus," Ai said to People magazine, the Post reported.
…doctors were not allowed to report cases that they encountered.
"It's fairly easy to fill out the disease reporting form," a doctor told Caixin. "When we get cases of hepatitis B or other severe infectious diseases, we can make a diagnosis directly on the computer, fill in the infectious disease report in a pop-up window and just click OK." But "to do that, a diagnosis must be made," the doctor said.
A law enforcement official visited the hospital on January 12, Caixin reported, and told medical staff that the infectious disease forms could only be completed and submitted with guidance from experts at the city and provincial levels.
The next day, Wang Wenyong, who leads infectious disease control at Wuhan's Jianghan district disease control center, told Wuhan Central hospital to alter a suspected coronavirus report to say that patients were suffering from other illnesses.
The Chinese knew. They tried to arrogantly suffocate this news with a pillow. They kept medical staff in the dark. They strong-armed doctors who tried to save lives and do the right thing. Like all authoritarian governments, disasters of this scale cannot be allowed to happen. Look how long it took the Soviets to realize that Chernobyl was, uh, a HUGE problem. The same applies here. China didn’t want to look weak, powerless, and ineffective in a massive public health situation. They thought if they ignored it, it would go away. It didn’t. And now they’ve unleashed this mess onto the world. It was them.
It’s all their fault, those pathetic communist morons. But what to do about it needs to wait. We have to get a handle of this thing because the market can’t keep taking 6-10 percent hits every day.