The Coverup That’s Killing Thousands…
If you think back a decade or so, you probably recall SARS as a big health scare.
In the recent past, we’ve also had brushes with MERS, Ebola, the H1N1 avian flu, and a few others.
Each time, the media whipped the public into a frenzy. News reports fed fears of widespread illness and even death.
And each time, there were a few cases that made their way into the U.S., but the illnesses never got to the level of pandemic that we were all warned about.
Because of these seemingly never-ending health scares, when Coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19) made it onto the nightly news a few weeks ago, most people shrugged it off as just another bad flu in China.
Then, as things progressed, people began to experience small inconveniences.
Brides-to-be weren’t going to receive their dresses on time. Shipments of new iPhones were going to be delayed.
As the virus continued to grow in impact, the role that China plays in the global economy and the West’s reliance on it started to show itself in very scary ways.
You see, back in 2003, when SARS was the disease du jour, China was responsible for a significant portion of global trade. Because the outbreak was relatively short lived, it didn’t have too much of an impact on trade.
Everything is different in 2020. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, we now rely on China for twice as much.
And because Chinese workers are now too sick, scared to go to work, or quarantined. The ripple effect is estimated to be enormous.
The Nikkei Asian Review reports, “An estimate shows that a $10 billion decrease in Chinese manufacturing output would reduce the rest of the world’s output by $6.7 billion. South Korea, Japan and the U.S. in particular are likely to feel the impact, and taking into account the ripple effect on peripheral industries, production worth about $65 billion would be curtailed.”
$65 billion – wiped out. You think we won’t feel the impact of that?
Far worse than these economic consequences, however, is the toll that many people – mostly Chinese – are paying with their lives.
So far, as of writing, over 80,000 people have been diagnosed worldwide.
In addition to the 82,549 cases and 1000+ deaths in China, countries as far away as Norway and Italy now have confirmed cases, and the death rate in Iran is now topping 14%.
From all accounts, this is a terrible situation.
And while it’s theorized that the virus came from a market in Wuhan province when an infected animal’s virus changed and jumped to a human carrier…
It’s gotten completely out of control because the Chinese government mismanaged the situation.
(And that’s putting it lightly.)
Indeed, this virus magnifies the human rights violations taking place every day in China, and I’m not the only one who believes this.
My recent guest Kenneth Roth is the executive director of Human Rights Watch, which is one of the world’s leading international human rights organizations. They’re currently active in more than 90 countries.
Prior to his work with Human Rights Watch, he served as a federal prosecutor in New York and then for the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington, D.C.
In his current capacity, Kenneth conducts human rights investigations around the world.
When asked about China, he says, “This Chinese model of governance, which is supposed to be so wonderful, is actually very self-serving… And when push comes to shove, power preservation is actually much more important than public protection.”
“Public Health 101 says be transparent, give out information, and move quickly because if you can nip something in the bud, you can save many, many lives. With SARS (another coronavirus that broke out in China) in 2003, they covered it up at first and it spread around the world.
Now they’ve done the exact same thing with this coronavirus.”
He went on to explain why this is such a problem.
“Everybody is reluctant to criticise China… But it is still a regime that focuses foremost on itself and that has come through with this Coronavirus outbreak. They show an indifference to the individual, which is telling. That’s the way that China is. The same government that has been investing big time in very visible, job-producing projects like the bullet trains, the highways, the high rises – at the same time they’re underinvesting in public health.”
“You see these horrible scenes coming out of a handful of hospitals in Wuhan, and they’re utterly overwhelmed. People are begging, they’re sitting in lines, waiting and hoping to be treated, probably infecting each other in the process.”“This is a human rights disaster.”
What You Should Do
On a personal level, this virus is frightening, but there are ways you can prepare.
Officials at the CDC say they expect to see the number of cases increase as the disease spreads, while also stressing that the immediate risk remains low.
But just in case, it’s always a good idea to follow the basics of infection prevention. Wash your hands with soap and water, stay hydrated, avoid those that are obviously ill, and if you become ill, stay home until you’re well again.
You know, the common sense stuff.
On a global level, though, we may need to do more than just wash our hands to prevent the next outbreak.
We need to take a stand with the citizens of China and push for better treatment. We need to pay attention to the human rights violations that take place every day – not just the ones that could potentially affect us.
We may not be able to vote for a better Chinese government directly, but we can always vote with our dollars.
We can create change by paying attention to the world around us all the time – not just when it’s convenient – and then by reacting accordingly when something is clearly wrong.
Is it time to pressure our leaders to stand up to China?
Is this illness the last straw?
That remains to be seen, but I do know this.
If we don’t react this time, you can expect that we’ll soon be in this situation again very, very soon.
We can either react this time or just hope and pray that next time won’t be worse.
Which do you prefer?
Editor, Brian Rose Uncensored