Commentary on Political Economy

Sunday, 10 January 2021



Covid lies expose China’s threat to the world

Workers wearing protective suits walking next to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province, in March. Picture: AFP
Workers wearing protective suits walking next to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province, in March. Picture: AFP
  • An hour ago 

The first death from COVID-19 was recorded a year ago. On January 11 last year, the Chinese media reported that a 61-year-old man had died in Wuhan from a yet-to-be-identified virus. Forty-one people had been diagnosed with the pathogen and Chinese Communist Party officials finally made public that they were dealing with a new type of coronavirus. Critically, however, the CCP denied evidence of human-to-human transmission and the World Health Organisation advised countries to keep borders open to China.

A year later, the global death count from COVID-19 is more than 1.9 million. The intergenerational debt count is climbing by the day. In Australia alone, COVID debt is forecast to reach more than $1 trillion. Yet no one has been held accountable for the pandemic and hopes that justice might be served are dimming. In late September, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee published a comprehensive report on the origins of the pandemic. It included stunning research on the role of the CCP in concealing key medical evidence, censoring vital scientific information and delaying public notification about the degree of danger posed by the virus. The committee concluded “the CCP could have reduced the number of cases in China by up to 95 per cent had it fulfilled its obligations under international law and responded to the outbreak in a manner consistent with best practices”.

China must not get away with ‘protecting themselves’ on the origins of COVID-19

Sky News contributor Daisy Cousens says China must not get away with protecting themselves and the narrative regarding the origins of COVID-19.

The committee added that the WHO could not be trusted to govern the global response to COVID, given its early involvement in concealing key facts about transmissibility, its advice to keep borders open to China and its ongoing praise for the Communist Party’s management of the pandemic. Last week, the CCP once again refused to allow an independent study into the origins of COVID-19. It denied entry to international scientists commissioned by the WHO to investigate the source of the virus. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted his disappointment, but did not hold the Chinese government to account. He should have.

The CCP has lied consistently about its role in censoring early medical reports about COVID’s severity. It detained doctors who tried to warn people. It shamed whistleblowers on state media. It ordered medical institutes to destroy samples that showed the virus was similar to SARS. It refused to share the virus gene sequencing with the WHO, despite having the life-saving data on January 2, 2020. It permitted tens of thousands of people to travel in and out of Wuhan for the Spring Festival in mid-January, despite knowing the danger the virus posed to humankind. It denied evidence of human-to-human transmission until January 22. According to the Associated Press, Xi Jinping knew about it well before. The CCP continues to deny the world access to the truth and it is utterly without remorse.

Just before the WHO team was due to arrive in China last week, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying expressed support for the WHO. In response to questions from Agence-France Presse about the upcoming study and whether the WHO team would visit Wuhan, Hua said she had “no specific details”. Then she added: “More and more evidence or research suggests that the pandemic was likely to have been caused by separate outbreaks in multiple places in the world in the latter half of the year 2019 … China is more than ready to co-operate with WHO.” Two days later, China had refused to co-operate.


Chinese state media shows vaccine production line

Chinese state media CCTV on Tuesday put out footage of a newly approved COVID-19 vaccine developed by an affiliate of state-backed pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm.

If the CCP were a person, one might venture to speculate that he was an inveterate liar. In 2003, the one-party state neglected to notify the WHO about the SARS virus for months. Subsequently, states lobbied for reform of the International Health Regulations. Under the revised regulations, state parties are required to notify the WHO of “events which may constitute a public health emergency” within about 24 hours of assessment. They must also provide the body medical data, including laboratory results. Scholars are questioning whether the CCP could be held liable for violating international law if, as reports suggest, officials knew of the public health emergency posed by COVID-19 weeks before notifying the WHO.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison led the charge in demanding an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19. At the time, the US was governed by hawkish Republican conservatives. The question of how incoming president Joe Biden will approach the totalitarian state will only be answered in time. His plan to build an alliance of democratic states — a “Summit of Democracies” — against autocratic regimes sounds promising. But the lofty visions of aspiring statesmen rarely survive the fall to Earth and Biden’s great summit is already overshadowed by a newly minted trade pact between the European Union and China.

For all its pretensions to being the party of scientific progress, the CCP has failed to uphold the basic principle of the scientific method; to pursue and reveal objective truth. Instead, it concealed key medical data that could have saved lives around the world and punished scientists who dared to tell the truth. In the coming year, the CCP will celebrate the centenary of its founding. It is the only totalitarian regime to survive the past century. It is determined to rule the next. We ignore the threat at our peril.

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