What is happening in China?
We now know that Dr. Li Wenliang of Wuhan raised early warnings about the coronavirus. Taken into custody, the doctor was “reprimanded by Wuhan police and forced to sign a letter acknowledging he had made ‘false comments’ on the Chinese Internet.” By trying to conceal the virus, the Communist Party of China (CPC) allowed it to spread not only in China, but also around the world.
Chinese authorities report that Li, age 34, died February 6 of the virus.
Though the numbers keep changing, this past weekend the Chinese government reports that over 1,000 Chinese have died of the virus, and that 42,708 cases have been identified. The virus has spread to at least 24 other countries.
The question is: Is the CPC telling the truth about the number of those infected and those who died?
On February 7, Breitbart News reported that the Epoch Times, which Breitbart describes as “a Chinese-American anti-communist newspaper,” sent investigative reporters undercover to crematoriums and funeral homes in and around Wuhan. These reporters found that the numbers of bodies being cremated greatly exceed the official reported numbers. They also discovered that authorities might be incorrectly attributing many deaths to diseases other than the coronavirus.
Employees in these crematoriums are working around the clock to dispose of the dead, with many of them complaining of exhaustion and lack of protective clothing and masks. Google “crematorium workers overwhelmed in China,” and you’ll find a dozen news outlets reporting the massive numbers of bodies requiring disposal.
At Voice of America, Xiao Yu informs readers that “On February 4, Xu Zhangrun, a former law professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, published a long article about the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. The article, ‘Furious People No Longer Fear,’ went viral online before censors removed it.”
Yu writes that “the epidemic was causing a nationwide panic” and that the Chinese people’s anger “has erupted like volcanoes. Furious people are not scared.”
Why the deception? Why the initial denials and the present cover-up, if indeed the government is engaging in deliberately underreporting the damage done by this virus?
Suppose, as so many novels and movies have depicted, invaders from an unknown planet – let’s call it Corona – attacked planet Earth. With their massive spaceships and deadly weaponry, these vicious Coronans strike around the globe: China, America, India, Europe. Wouldn’t the governments and peoples of these places cooperate in resisting such an invasion? If the Coronans first struck Houston, would America try to cover it up, understating casualties and cremating bodies to hide the facts?
Of course not. Attacked by the Coronans, nations around the globe would band together, pool their resources, and fight back.
A virus is that sort of invader.
A virus doesn’t care about the color of your skin, your gender, your religion, or your political beliefs. It’s as alien and as threatening to a human being as a Coronan with a ray gun. It is an enemy of humanity.
All of us – Chinese, Americans, Indians, Russians, and everyone breathing the air on this planet – should understand that concept. When a strange virus appears, we should not hide or downplay the event. When a doctor reports his suspicions that a deadly virus may be in the offing, authorities should not haul him before the police and force him to write a confession that he relayed false information to his colleagues. When hundreds or thousands of people are keeling over dead and tens of thousands require hospitalization, we should know the true nature of these things.
All nations are different from one another. China sports a communist government, America a republican one. Other countries range from democracies to dictatorships. Each of these countries has enemies and friends. Each lives by a different philosophy, a different set of laws, different views of faith, and different visions of the future.
The coronavirus and other infectious diseases stand outside these human constructs. It is, as I say, the alien invader wreaking death and damage with no regard to its victims.
Because our world is shrinking through such technological advances as air travel, we need to regard such diseases as a threat to all humanity, not as some scandal to be covered up or denied. The shame in the case of coronavirus belongs not to the outbreak of infection in China, but to the Chinese government for its foot-dragging and suppression of the facts.
If ever we should cooperate as human beings rather than as antagonists, it is in the face of a crisis like this one.
When plagued with such alien invasions, we are all on the same team.
[Image Credit: Pixabay]
Jeff Minick lives in Front Royal, Virginia, and may be found online at jeffminick.com. He is the author of two novels, Amanda Bell and Dust on Their Wings, and two works of non-fiction, Learning as I Go and Movies Make the Man.