As the world is grappling with COVID-19, restrictions on people’s movement have been lifted in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus originated. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is also promoting the ostensible superiority of the “China model” while vilifying the west, especially the United States. As the CCP continues to deflect blame for the outbreak of the virus on the United States, it is also painting western countries’ responses as chaotic and ineffective, and spreading conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus.
It is true that many governments and leaders around the world share the blame for not acting quickly enough to halt the spread of the virus, including President Trump. But the CCP cannot challenge an undeniable fact, in spite of the best efforts of its propaganda: the virus originated in China, and the CCP’s secrecy, tendency to suppress dissent and conceal the truth, as well as the cover-up of the outbreak are responsible for the global coronavirus crisis by depriving the rest of the world of precious days and weeks of preparation.
According to a study in The Lancet, the first patient with evidence of a new deadly new virus emerged on December 1, 2019, and “5 days after illness onset, his wife, a 53-year-old woman who had no known history of exposure to the market, also presented with pneumonia and was hospitalized in the isolation ward.” This was the first evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus.
On December 30, Dr. Li Wenliang warned his colleagues that the illnesses of the new patients may have been caused by SARS and that the virus could transmit from humans to humans. However, he was later summoned by the government and forced to repent for “making false comments on the internet.”
The next day, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission stated that, “The investigation so far has found no obvious person-to-person transmission, and no medical personnel have been infected,“ even though local doctors, including Dr. Wenliang, believed otherwise.
On January 12, Dr. Wenliang, who was treating patients at the Wuhan hospital, was hospitalized after developing a fever, and other Chinese doctors also found cases of transmission of the virus. Dr. Wenliang subsequently died of coronavirus in February.
Only on January 20 did China officially recognize that the novel coronavirus could pass from person to person, more than a month after the first evidence appeared, in spite of the fact that weeks ago Chinese doctors raised alarm but were suppressed. It is apparent that China covered up the outbreak of COVID-19 for weeks.
While the actions of the Chinese Communist Party are, without doubt, responsible for the spread of the disease all over the word, the World Health Organization (WHO) is complicit as well.
Even though by mid-January Chinese doctors knew that there were cases of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus, on January 14, the World Health Organization (WHO), echoing the claims made by Beijing, tweeted that, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in Wuhan, China.” And all this time, the WHO has been praising China for its “openness for sharing information.” And after Taiwan notified the WHO that the coronavirus was transmitted between humans on December 31, the WHO paid no heed to this and subsequently denied any help to the country, dovetailing Beijing’s official narrative about the coronavirus as well as Taiwan.
When the Trump administration restricted travel from China on January 31, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the decision would “have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit,” even though it was crucial in containing the spread of the coronavirus. Despite contributing only a tenth as much to the WHO’s budget as the US does, the organization is kowtowing to Beijing’s demands and is spreading its narratives.
Recently, China announced that the death toll in Wuhan has been underestimated and raised it by fifty percent. And it is also highly likely that the country is underreporting the number of COVID-19 cases, and it has been estimated, based on the crematoria activity, that the real number of deaths in Wuhan alone is more than 40,000, which is far above the official death toll (3,300). If this is true, then the Communist Party is also responsible for tens of thousands deaths in countries like Italy and Spain, which downplayed the threat due to China’s “low” numbers relative to its huge population.
Washington must be prepared to meet the challenges that China poses to the interests and national security of the United States and its allies. Thus, the White House must take the lead in the global action against the coronavirus and should, along with its allies, launch an investigation into the origins of the virus as well as the actions of the CCP and the WHO.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.