China lied, people died: There’s no question that Beijing’s early cover-up of its coronavirus crisis led to the deaths of thousands of people around the world. And it’s still lying, blatantly.
After weeks of pressure, it finally upped its official count of coronavirus deaths in Wuhan, where the pandemic started, from 2,579 to 3,869 — that is, exactly 50 percent. Nothing suspicious there.
And it’s still claiming absurdly low deaths in major cities whose citizens are frequent travelers: Just eight total in Beijing (population: 21.5 million) and seven in Shanghai (pop. 24 million). The plague spread from Wuhan to Europe and America, killing hundreds in urban areas — yet somehow barely touched Chinese cities packed with far more people.
Funny: Beijing is still seeing heavy protection measures. Those entering the city go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine, and some have reported surveillance that alerts authorities to anyone coming or going at their residences.
But an official government app identifies the city’s Chaoyang district as China’s only coronavirus “high-risk zone.” It’s home to the Capital International Airport, plus big shopping areas and embassies. Yet officials claim only around 70 people are being treated for the virus in all Beijing hospitals, less than the number in the Inner Mongolia region.
China’s own citizens don’t buy the lies: Their reports of thousands of urns delivered to Wuhan funeral homes helped force officials to admit (slightly) more deaths.
But it never occurs to anyone in authority to be honest: It’s every Communist Party member’s job to squelch any fact that might prove embarrassing.
Beijing knew in December that the virus was suddenly spreading in Wuhan, had originated in bats and could be transmitted from human to human. Since-leaked government reports noted the probability of a pandemic — not just an epidemic.
Yet President Xi Jinping refused to make that probability public. Instead, his minions silenced doctors and scientists who wanted to warn colleagues. State TV broadcast news of the punishment of eight doctors for “rumor-mongering” (telling the truth) on Jan. 2.
It was the Lunar New Year, a time of mass celebration in China — and Wuhan officials gave the go-ahead for a Jan. 18 banquet for 40,000 families. The city of 11 million is a major rail hub, with a major international airport. It’s preposterous to claim that millions of travelers, none aware of the need to take protective measures, didn’t spread the virus all over the country.
They did. Hundreds of coronavirus patients visited hospitals across China in early January, the Associated Press found. In Shenzhen, hundreds of miles south of Wuhan, a microbiologist confirmed six cases in a family of seven — on Jan. 12.
It wasn’t until a case was reported outside China that Communist officials began to act. When Thailand confirmed a case on Jan. 13, Beijing hadn’t even distributed test kits and told health-care workers to screen patients.
It finally allowed World Health Organization workers in for a brief visit to Wuhan from Jan. 20 to Jan. 23. But not until mid-February did it let in WHO doctors and epidemiologists. And American experts — the best in the world — still can’t to visit.
And China keeps expelling US journalists, too.
Beijing is pushing the propaganda line that the Communist Party was able to do far better than free Western governments at stopping the virus. It’s simply one more Big Lie from a regime that simply doesn’t care about the truth or human life.