It has been just over three months since President Trump announced the Chicom virus public health emergency on January 31st and restricted travel from China. What have we learned since then? Below are ten of the most important lessons-learned so far.
1. The Chicoms lied about the virus and its origins.
The Chinese destroyed the initial virus sequencing results and other laboratory and clinical data, so the precise origins of the virus are unknown at this point. That said, the first virus epicenter was in Wuhan, China, and the Chinese have tried to lie their way out of that fact for months. China first disclosed the virus to the China-friendly World Health Organization on December 31st. The virus was spreading unchecked in Hubei province for over two months before any quarantine measures were implemented. Yet somehow in a country of 1.4 billion people and in a culture in which communal meals are taken, and where close quarters contacts are the rule not the exception, only 82,800 people were infected as of May 4th. Of the 4,600 total Chinese deaths to date, well over half of those deaths were reported by the Chicom government to be in a single city – Wuhan. But Wuhan wasn’t quarantined until January 23rd, and an estimated 5 million people left Wuhan on Chinese New Year travel before the city was locked down. Given what we know about the highly contagious nature of the virus, are we to believe that the spreading of the virus by some of those New Years’ travelers from Wuhan only resulted in under 2,000 deaths in the rest of the country? Finally, compare the real virus timeline compiled by Jim Geraghty at National Review here with that reported by the China Daily, People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, and other Chicom-run news agencies. The dramatic spread of the virus would have been greatly curtailed and lives would have been saved around the world if the Chinese had come clean about the virus’s origins from the very beginning, as reported here.
2. The Democrats have politicized the virus.
The virus made its debut while Democrats were fixated on a bogus attempt to impeach the President. Yet House Democrats held their first virus-related hearing – with no sense of urgency whatsoever – a full 16 days after the first cases were reported in Washington state. Impeachment was more important to them, politically-speaking, than the health and welfare of their constituents. The Democrats have railed about the President’s response to the virus from the beginning while at the same time claiming that his China travel ban was “racist.” A little over two weeks ago, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) referred to the Trump Administration’s response to the virus as “almost sinful,” yet she has refused to bring the House into session to take any actions to combat the virus. Where are the positive recommendations from Speaker Pelosi or any other elected Democrat in Congress about handling the public health emergency? All we have seen are draconian lock-downs and the curtailment of civil liberties by Democrat governors. The Democrat governor of Oregon has now extended their lock-down to July. Then there is the endless penchant for Democrat investigations of President Trump, as another one is being planned by House Democrats led by Adam Schiff (D-CA), as reported here. Schiff shirked his intelligence community oversight duties for over six months while leading the House impeachment effort. Where are his efforts to do something useful – like investigating the origins of the virus?
3. The legacy media cannot be trusted.
Where to start? The legacy media are completely disgraced after 3.5 years of biased reporting and lies. They have attacked the Administration’s response to the virus from the beginning while propagating the false fatality predictions of a now-debunked model in order to spread panic and dissension throughout the country. Remember the media endlessly blaming the Trump Administration for the shortage of N95 respirator masks? The media made no mention of the fact that it was the Obama administration that was responsible for the shortfall, as reported here. They’ve kept up the pace since, calling the President a “racist” for imposing the China travel ban and then complaining about the “slow response” of the administration in virtually the same breath (can’t have it both ways!). The hit-pieces from the Washington Post and NY Times are endless – a virtual daily occurrence – and the American people have watched aghast at the performance of the White House press corps during the daily presidential virus briefings. Those “journalists” in attendance don’t even show a scintilla of respect for the President, and yet they continue to make fools of themselves every day. The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) even let someone from the Chicom-controlled Phoenix News into the briefing to question the President. The World Health Organization and its director have been exposed as Chinese puppets, yet the media attack President Trump for daring to withhold US funds for the agency. But it gets worse: here is NY Times hack Nicholas Kristof with the audacious claim that President Trump could have “saved lives if he had only listed to the WHO”! The legacy media continue to obfuscate the origins of the virus, which is not-so-strangely aligned with the Chicoms’ ongoing worldwide propaganda offensive. The legacy media continually propagate pro-China commentary from the likes of Henry Kissinger and Susan Thornton. Finally, here is some backlash that NBC News received for kowtowing to the Chicoms by reporting unverified Chicom statistics. The rest of the legacy media have been similarly guilty of repeating Chicom propaganda as fact over the past three months. Even taxpayer funded Voice of America has been called out for repeating Chicom propaganda, as reported here! The European media are equal opportunity Chicom propagandists, too. Here is The Economist claiming that the country that unleashed the virus on the rest of the world while exposing themselves as liars and prevaricators is somehow “winning the geopolitical debate over the virus.” The legacy media, both in the US and abroad, are simply shameless.
4. The Chicoms, Democrats, and legacy media have virtually identical narratives.
They all have the same political objectives and are exploiting the Chicom virus to achieve their end, which is the defeat of President Trump in the November election, and ultimately the replacement of Western values with Chinese Communist authoritarianism and Chicom “standards.” The Chicoms resent being confronted on the world stage by the first US president since Nixon and Kissinger opened Communist China to the world in 1972. They particularly resent being forced to renegotiate trade practices as manifested in Phase I of the recently-signed US-China trade deal. As an aside, that deal was signed in the White House on January 15th, well BEFORE the Chicoms disclosed the virus to the world. How many Chicoms in attendance during that signing ceremony brought the virus along with them? We will never know. The Democrats have been trying to take out President Trump even before Inauguration Day in 2017. The virus is just the latest catalyst that they hope to exploit, following on seamlessly from their failed Russian collusion, Mueller special counsel, and Ukraine-related impeachment gambits. Where is the Democrat criticism of China throughout this pandemic? To the contrary, the Democrats are making common cause with the Chicoms because they want the same end result. And the media have been the hand-maiden, enablers, and co-conspirators for the Democrats throughout all of their attempts to “get” the President. Now the media have taken on the role of defending Beijing from Trump Administration efforts to hold China accountable for the virus. Despicable.
5. The federal bureaucracy responsible for pandemic responses failed the country.
While all of our attention over the past three-and-a-half years has been focused on Washington, DC, the Center for Disease Control, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, has been flying under the radar screen. Now that the CDC (and National Institute of Health) are in our cross-hairs, we are learning that those organizations suffer from the same Obama-corruption disease, too. And why wouldn’t they be susceptible, as the preponderance of federal civil servants are after all Democrats? For example, in the 2016 election cycle, federal civil servants gave 95% of their campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton, as reported here. Makes me wonder how many of the CDC/NIH experts interviewed on TV are actually Democrats. The CDC and NIH were woefully unprepared for the Chicom virus and have been playing catch-up from the beginning. The two most prominent “experts” at the daily White House virus briefings are Dr's. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx. The country has been under a virtual house arrest thanks to their advice, which was partly derived from a debunked model that predicted 2 million US deaths. This propensity to use flawed model predictions has been put in play by the experts (and the Democrats and their media lick-spittle) during this Chicom virus pandemic. There has been a great deal of publicity given to the estimates stemming from a Chicom virus model developed by an infectious disease modeler from Imperial College in London. He has sensationally predicted an upper bound of 500,000 deaths projected for the UK (population: 66 million) and over 2 million for the US (population: 330 million). That 2 million number was used by the CDC/NIH to browbeat the nation into the lock-down we have experienced for the past month or more. How can he possibly produce these numbers without making some gross (and flawed) assumptions? What is known about the number of “asymptomatic” people who have been infected but who only suffered “flu-like symptoms” and recovered without the need for hospitalization – or even knowing that they had the Chicom virus to begin with? The number of those people (a completely arbitrary input for his model at this point) would greatly affect any of his model outputs. Yet, we are learning virtually every day that the virus is more widespread than known, that the mortality rate among the wider population approximates that of the annual flu, and that herd immunity may be a decisive factor in slowing/stopping the spread of the virus. Death statistics are almost surely inflated, as reported here, due to confusing reporting guidelines promulgated by the Center for Diseases Control (CDC). Hospitals are also apparently incentivized to report coronavirus deaths as Chicom virus-related, as reported here. CDC rules were responsible for the delayed development, certification and roll-out of testing kits. The infectious fatality rate remains the most under-reported statistic, yet we never seem to see any expert commentary on that vital number. In addition, Fauci and Birx under-report the demographics with the highest mortality rates (the elderly and those with underlying conditions) and the recovery rates of people in other demographic groups. Finally, the goal endlessly repeated by Fauci, Birx, and others has been to “flatten the curve,” i.e., to decrease the rate of virus infections in the general population. However, as this article eloquently points out, instead of flattening the curve, we flattened doctors, hospitals and the US healthcare system. Knowing that there are no coincidences in politics, was that their goal from the beginning (leading to a nationalized healthcare system out of the ashes)? So much for the “experts.” It’s time to reorganize and re-purpose the CDC and NIH.
6. US think-tanks aligned with the Chicoms have been exposed.
We have seen pro-China US think-tanks exposed as nothing more than Chicom propagandists who have been taking money from the Beijing for decades while promoting Chicom geopolitical objectives, especially in the UN and US. The list (with linked example articles) includes Brookings, the Atlantic Council (and their media organ, The Atlantic), the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Harvard University, the Asia Society, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, etc., etc. You get the idea. None of these outfits have a single dirty word to say about the Chicoms’ conduct throughout this crisis, despite the Chicoms’ suppression of information about the virus from the get-go. These institutions are all about continued kowtowing to Beijing and sacrificing Western values on the altar of Chicom-led efforts to supplant Western values and the world’s economy with a Communist version of globalism and authoritarianism.
7. The “China hands” were horribly wrong.
The China hands are the people who got on the Henry Kissinger bandwagon after Communist China was “opened” in 1972. They have infested the US State Department and various pro-China think-tanks for decades. They have been at the forefront of claiming massive benefits to mankind by “bringing the Chicoms into the world economy.” They pushed Chicom access to international bodies like the World Trade Organization and “most-favored nation” status for gaining access to US markets. These pro-China globalists have pushed “free trade” (the absence of tariffs) for decades, with the result being the greatest wealth transfer in history from the US manufacturing and industrial sector to Communist China over the past 40 years. How does that look now after we see their performance on the world stage through this crisis? This quote from an article in the National Review says is all: “The bet that the United States could be partners with China was catastrophically wrong, an error that makes the intelligence failures on Iraq, 9/11, Vietnam, Pearl Harbor, and God knows what else look like small potatoes.” The Chicoms spawned the virus and covered it up for six weeks while allowing their people to travel and spread the virus around the world. During that same time-frame, they bought up personal protective equipment (some 2.2 billion masks) and are now using this PPE to enhance their soft power by providing the same PPE back to other countries’ first responders (while making a profit from it!). Yet, the China hands continue to deflect criticism of Beijing and defend continued “cooperation” with China on all fronts. Ridiculous! It is time for the world to reset relations with Communist China and consign the “China hands” to the dustbin of history!
8. Socialized medicine equals death for some.
The wages of socialized medicine – which every Democrat supports! – is rationed healthcare, and as we are learning from Italy, the UK, and Spain, that equates to life-and-death care choices being made on the basis of availability of respirators and treatment options. The physicians in those countries (and others) are essentially practicing triage analogous to that performed by battlefield medics – deciding who will live and who will die (the Left does this based on a faulty calculus of “worth to society” as they see it). Yet, here in the US, where the Democrats and other assorted leftists continually denigrate our healthcare system, not a single American infected by the Chicom virus has been denied access to a respirator or a hospital bed throughout this crisis. And look at the medical and pharmaceutical communities’ responses in the US compared to elsewhere! The development of quick tests in short order, clinical trials on drugs to combat the viral symptoms, accelerated development of vaccines, respirator production ramped up quickly, etc. This is the free market at work rapidly developing solutions to help people through the crisis.
9. Key supply chains need to be reconstituted in the US.
We have learned that 90% of the precursors for our pharmaceutical drugs originate in China/overseas. An editorial in the NY Post on March 7th recommended restoring US pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities by investing in Puerto Rico, which would also help restore the devastated Puerto Rican economy. Even some Democrats have come to realize that problem and support the new bill by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) to end dependence on Chinese pharmaceuticals. There are other supply chains that need to be moved, as well, including virtually everything that is “Made in China” by my reckoning. We need to reduce our China dependencies such as those reported here in Forbes, “A recent study found that the United States is now dependent on foreign suppliers and producers for not only cheap components and consumer goods like sneakers and plug-in headphones, but also high-end electronics, major pharmaceutical inputs and medical equipment, and also defense supplies and technology. The latter does not single out China. U.S. defense contractors like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have manufacturing in strong ally states like India, which makes the wings for the C-100 Hercules, and numerous weaponry electronics are made in Mexico. Those factories are now closed, so the U.S., if it needed C-100s, would have to rely on the Tata Group to get its factory workers back to work in the middle of a pandemic.” To help correct these supply chain problems and “decouple” the US from China, we need to incentivize the return of US manufacturing concerns from China to the US. As this Reuters article summarizes, the Trump Administration is working toward that end: “The U.S. Commerce Department, State and other agencies are looking for ways to push companies to move both sourcing and manufacturing out of China. Tax incentives and potential re-shoring subsidies are among measures being considered to spur changes, the current and former officials told Reuters.” A bipartisan commission on how to prioritize and facilitate the return of key industries to the US would be a wise move in jump-starting these efforts, too.
10. Border control is a national security imperative.
The President bought the country time through early implementation of the China travel ban on January 31st. Unfortunately, Chinese nationals were still able to enter the country illegally across both porous borders. As of early March, over 300 Chinese had been apprehended crossing the southern border by ICE. How many more succeeded in illegally entering the US, and how many of those were infected with the Chicom virus? The ability to completely shut down entry into the US, as well as to conduct on-the-spot testing for all people entering the US is a key lesson-learned from this pandemic. The Democrats aren’t squawking much about open borders lately because the public has awakened to the importance of strictly enforced border security in order to stop the entry of infected people into the US. It is simply common sense.
The above is a starter list of lessons-learned from the Chicom virus. Holding the Chicoms accountable for loosing the virus on the world must be pursued, and resetting overall relations with Communist China has become an imperative for both the US and the World.
Stu Cvrk served 30 years in the US Navy in a variety of active and reserve capacities, with considerable operational experience in the Middle East and the Western Pacific. An oceanographer and systems analyst through education and experience, Stu is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, where he received a classical liberal education. This functions as the key foundation for his political commentary. He threads daily on Twitter on a wide range of political topics, such as the military, foreign policy, government, economics, and world affairs.