Masque of the Red Death II

The Federalist:
China Is Lashing Out Because Wuhan Flu Has Unmasked It To The World

Real Clear Investigations:
Unpacking China’s Viral Propaganda War

Wall Street Journal:
China’s Count Excluded Infected People With No Symptoms

China said more than 1,500 people who were infected with the coronavirus but haven’t shown symptoms weren’t included in its tally of confirmed cases.

That Wall Street Journal number of 1,500 is odd since the South China Morning Post is reporting:

Classified government data seen by the Post showed more than 43,000 people in China had tested positive for Covid-19 by the end of February but had no immediate symptoms. They were quarantined but not included in the official tally of confirmed cases.

One wonders why “infected with” and “tested positive” do not equate with “confirmed” in Mandarin. And whether the rest of the world might have been interested in that information a little earlier.

Elsewhere in that SCMP article, Lu Jinxing, party secretary of China’s National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, is quoted:

A top Chinese health official sought to allay growing fears over asymptomatic coronavirus carriers on Monday, saying there was “no evidence” they could spread the illness…

Lu told the state broadcaster: “We have observed a great number of asymptomatic cases and found that people had a relatively long duration of viral shedding,” referring to the rate at which an infected person “sheds” the virus.

“In terms of whether they are infectious, we have not done detailed studies so far,” Lu said.

There is “”no evidence” asymptomatic carriers” with “a relatively long duration of viral shedding” are contagious? Well, yes, you won’t find evidence you haven’t looked for.

Someone should remind Mr. Lu that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Then again, there is evidence:

Public fears were heightened on Sunday after officials disclosed the case of a 59-year-old woman in Henan province who contracted Covid-19 after she had contact with a doctor who was an asymptomatic carrier.

Maybe the WSJ is wrong about the 1,500. Maybe the SCMP is wrong about 43,000. Maybe all but 1,500 of those 43,000 later became symptomatic. Maybe that woman was infected by someone other than the asymptomatic doctor, and the Chinese surveillance system missed the contact. Maybe word of that transmission hadn’t reached the party secretary.

Maybe the party secretary is lying.

Witless

Gretchen Witless (my nickname for Michigan’s Governor predates, and is better than Trump’s “half Whitmer”) is threatening to lift the licenses of doctors and pharmacists over prescriptions of chloroquine.

She wants to prevent hoarding, so she makes sure no CCP virus patient can get it.

She implies doctors are making sure their families have it. Well, they certainly should.

The doctors are hoarding? I bet there are some unethical doctors of which this is true. I bet two other things:

For the vast majority of docs –
1) If they are prescribing it off label, it isn’t so the general public can add it to their toilet paper storage facility.

2) If they are doing it for their families and other health care workers at extreme exposure risk, isn’t that just like donating some N95 masks? Who more needs the drug than those exposed to CCP virus in the trenches?

Here’s a situation where that might matter…

Our small city has no centralized site for COVID testing. As such, any feeling need to be tested, have to drive to the larger center of Edmonton to get in line at a drive through testing site. Out nurses out here have met and are discussion setting up a testing site here and are looking for volunteer Dr’s to lead. I was asked. Here it is. One of those moments. I’m 59 and have a 40’s wife a 13 y old and 10 y old son and an 89 year old (sure to die if he gets the virus) father in law living with us on oxygen and home care. I want to do the right thing and need to make a decision. “Decision” from the latin root scisserae. Meaning to cut. “Decision” to cut away all things blocking one from the truth and the answer is there to see. Gonna sleep on it. I did a parking lot nasal swab on one of my patients just an hour ago, and looking at her, she was unwell and a high likelihood positive. But doing it 20?30?50 times in a day? Not sure if I want to take the risk. I know if I was a 59 year old bachelor, I would.

For God sake Gretchen. What you should have done is placed an order for Michigan to stockpile it.

Update, 03/31/20 12:30PM,
Another example from a friend:

I have talked about my daughter, ____, from time to time. She made an interesting comment the other day, about her role as a nurse practitioner, in an emergency room setting. Her concern was not about her own participation in serving patients, but she is very concerned about returning back to the house. When we talked, she still was not comfortable with the data on how it spreads, and what she may be carrying back to her family. Her pattern is entering through the “laundry room entrance”, disrobing there with her clothes going directly to the washing machine, putting on fresh garments, and then entering the house. She returns to disinfect everything she might have touched in the process, and then goes on. And her concern is, is this enough? I could tell from her voice that this unresolved question was creating stress.

I think there’s an argument here for prophylactic use.

From Michigan Capitol Confidential:
March 27 – Michigan Licensing Bureau Vs. Dr. Fauci On Off-Label Coronavirus Treatment
March 31 – Feds Permit Malaria Drugs For Coronavirus Patients, State Has Not Rescinded Threat Of Sanctions

The Masque of the Red Death

Gatestone Institute:
The West Needs to Wake Up to China’s Duplicity

National Review:
The Comprehensive Timeline of China’s COVID-19 Lies

Real Clear Politics:
Has the U.S.-China Cold War Now Begun?

The CCP hides their totalitarianism behind a “state capitalism” mask.

Market Leninism is more like it.

Sinophilia Syndrome

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.
-Sun Tzu

These days, using the word “virus” preceded by “Wuhan” or “Chinese” will get you banned from Twitter or Facebook, dissed on MSNBCCNNCBSNBCABCRT, pilloried by the authors of the 1619 Project, and their newsprint co-conspirators, and denounced by the Chinese Communist Party.

This is not merely Trump derangement syndrome, it’s an attack on free market and limited government ideals conducted by opportunistic water carriers for the Chinese State. And there is a movement to call the Chinese “state capitalists” rather than communists. “State capitalism,” is a label intended to introduce a sliding scale where authoritarian central planning is morally and philosophically indistinguishable from free markets, private property and individualism.

Kimberly Strassel at the WSJ makes the point.
Coronavirus Vindicates Capitalism
Gated, here’s a slice:

The left is never apt to let a serious crisis go to waste, as we see with its daily use of the coronavirus pandemic to bash the Republican administration. The bigger danger is the efforts it is already making to exploit the panic for its longer-term goal of destroying U.S. capitalism.

Socialist Bernie Sanders led the charge last Sunday in his Democratic primary debate with Joe Biden. Bernie rolled out his usual themes, this time through the virus lens. The pandemic “exposes the incredible weakness and dysfunctionality” of the U.S. health system, he said; the cure is centralized, socialized care. Americans can’t get the drugs they need because “a bunch of crooks” run drug companies, “ripping us off every single day.” The virus exposes the “cruelty and unjustness” of an economy that allows “big-money interests” and “multimillionaires” to profiteer off “working families…”

[T]he federal and state governments are playing crucial roles in coordinating resources, imposing public-health measures, and keeping the public informed. But the single biggest mistake so far came from the government. The feds maintained exclusive control over early test development—and blew it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s failure delayed an effective U.S. response, and the private sector is now riding to the rescue…

Anyone who thinks this would be happening in a socialist America is smoking something. Government doesn’t have anywhere near the money, the speed or the creativity to stay ahead of a crisis like this—and the Trump administration deserves credit for embracing its private-sector partners. The business altruism on display is partly the usual American spirit, but it has been encouraged by free-market policies that have underwritten three years of economic boom and put companies on a better footing to confront hard times. And the profit motive and competition liberals detest remain the beating heart of the resourcefulness U.S. companies are now bringing to bear.”

Meanwhile, there are those who object to the Western wing of the CCP’s moral relativist brigade. I made an objection yesterday.

The CCP has floated a conspiracy theory that the US Army seeded the virus in Wuhan. This amounts to starting a branding war with Donald Trump (H/T Scott Adams), which was a big mistake. It’s why Trump insists on calling SARS-CoV-2 the Chinese virus. He’s got the MSM saying it over and over and over.

China seems to be fighting the last propaganda war, which would have been against Obama. They forgot to read far enough into The Art of War:
Of old the expert in battle would first make himself invincible and then wait for his enemy to expose his vulnerability.
-Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu didn’t call his book “Art of the Deal.”

Here’s some more on how that branding tussle is playing out.

Axios doesn’t even mention how important Trump’s ban on flights from China was, but that conclusion will leap out at you:
Timeline: The early days of China’s coronavirus outbreak and cover-up

“China is now trying to create a narrative that it’s an example of how to handle this crisis when in fact its early actions led to the virus spreading around the globe.”

Even the Atlantic Monthly felt compelled to note the CCP perfidy. This whole thing is made well worth reading because the magazine has been a Chinese apologist:
Atlantic Monthly tries to clean up its reputation as China’s water boy (they supply several links to themselves in this article to demonstrate):

“But is this a time for blame? Yes, it is. Accounting for responsibility when a disaster happens—particularly one likely to devastate entire countries, leaving thousands dead—is not beside the point, particularly as Chinese officials move to take advantage of the crisis and launch a disinformation campaign claiming that the U.S. Army introduced the virus.

Well before the new coronavirus spread across American cities, the Chinese regime was already rather creatively trolling U.S. publications, expelling American journalists, and “weaponizing wokeness” over anything it perceived as critical of China’s role in mishandling the epidemic. To hear Chinese spokespeople use the language of racism and prejudice is somewhat surreal, considering this is a regime that has put more than 1 million Muslims and ethnic minorities in “reeducation” camps.”

As I noted yesterday, we even have people calling China’s medical system “extreme capitalism.” This Orwellian delusion must be resisted.

Saying “state capitalism” is “weaponizing wokeness.”

Chinese capitalism

This phrase keeps showing up in one form or another in comments defending the Chinese Communist Party’s handling of their virus.

Example one

It is also worth noting that China is at least as capitalistic as the United States and their technology is quickly eclipsing ours…

The health system in China is actually a pure capitalist system…

China is dealing with a lot more humans in a confined area. Make no mistake, they are extreme capitalists.

Example two:

I would rather live in a western style capitalist society than a Chinese state capitalist style society with its obnoxious and intrusive social credit system but let us not delude ourselves into thinking that the former represents some shining beacon of liberal democracy in the world.

I haven’t the patience here to debunk the appropriation of the word “capitalism” by these utopian naifs, and I won’t say they’re Chinese bots and shills. There are, after all, useful idiots. Witness Bernie Sanders’ voters.

I realize the use of “state capitalism” is perhaps necessary since the SJW’s ruined the word “fascism,” but this insistence that China has a capitalist, therefore free market, economy is just an “everything is relative” way to denigrate capitalism.

This moral equivalency trope is worse than yelling “racist” whenever anyone says “Wuhan virus.”

I saw somewhere a suggestion we call it the “CCP virus.” I like the idea.

If the United States public health system tolerated anything within two orders of magnitude of the virulent disease breeding Chinese “wet markets” there would be FDA officials hanging from street lamps. Where’s the Chinese Upton Sinclair when you need him?

If the United States, for example, practiced the same health policies as the Chinese Communists wouldn’t we expect doctors critical of the Administration to be disappeared? That happened in China to doctors reporting the CCP virus 5 months ago. The CCP covered it up from day one.

If the United States regarded their citizens with equal contempt, wouldn’t we deny human to human transmission was taking place? Well, maybe we can’t because the CCP already tried that. That, and travel restrictions employed 3 months late (5 million were able to leave Wuhan after CCP virus had been confirmed), and their unless-you-hug-a-Chinese-stranger-you’re-a-racist propaganda didn’t work out too well for Italy.

Wouldn’t the US have millions in Uighurs type re-education camps, ready to draft as forced labor? (Not that we don’t have re-education camps here, but people, including many Chinese, pay to go to them. They’re called universities.)

The airy comparison of the Chinese surveillance state economic system to Western democracies’ partially free markets is intended to hide all that.

Anytime you find people promoting China as capitalist, and especially if Chinese problems are blamed on capitalism, you are in a mess of ignoramuses, liars, or both. The only time the words “capitalism” and “China” (they always omit the word “Communist”) should be used in the same sentence is something of this order: “China is a surveillance Big Brother thugocracy which has appropriated some of the ideas of free-market capitalism in order to avoid total societal collapse.”

See also:
China Did This, and Saying So Isn’t Racist

China’s Real Disease: Not Coronavirus

China: Exploiting False Accusations of Racism

There are also false accusations of capitalism to be concerned with.

From German and Spanish; to Lyme, Ebola, Norwalk, and Lassa; on to Gehrig, Tourette, Hodgkin, and Parkinson

But “foreign virus” is xenophobic. Much less “Wuhan virus.” Which is racist.

I read BIRTH OF A VIRUS … several days ago and found the commentariat there split: Between 1) people who are critical of China’s political system and public sanitation practices; and 2) those defending China, primarily by accusing the blogger (Regie Hamm) of xenophobia and racism. For good measure this faction attacked the United States health care system as insufficiently socialized.

Mr. Hamm did call China a “cesspool of filth.” He gave first hand evidence. For a large plurality of the population, China’s sanitation most certainly is… um, unsanitary.

It is true there have been individual instances of xenophobia on New York subways, for example, and many people decided that dining out at Chinese restaurants – in crowded sanctuary cities where immigration credentials are suspect – was not their first choice. Even before their dining out preferences were eliminated.

Donald Trump’s travel ban on flights from China, the infection source, was not racist. Nor was Mr. Hamm’s post.

No country has a perfect health care system, but some are objectively better than others. Mr. Hamm’s suggestion was that Chinese public health suffers from the country’s totalitarian political system. This observation is not xenophobic. It is indisputable.

The Chinese Communist leaders razed the Wuhan wet market – a theretofore approved pit of disease and pestilence. Only after acknowledging it was ground zero for a major new pathology, however.

And that’s not to mention world famous unbreathable air, drinking water on par with the input to Mexican waste processing plants, and worse than San Franciscan sidewalks.

Xenophobia and racism cannot be reasonably inferred from the article. Briefly paraphrased, Mr. Hamm said: “A totalitarian government, well known to hold little regard for the effect on its citizens of third world class public sanitation, will also be likely to produce a substandard health care system.

This view is not likely to please Xi Jinping. It invites consideration of the lingering effects (unfettered, preferential abortion of girl babies) from China’s former one child policy… and it might rekindle inquiries into forced organ harvesting. Most particularly, it could raise more questions about the covering up of the coronavirus outbreak. After previously having done the same thing with diseases like swine and bird flu. China’s health system has a track record.

Then, as the Quillette article below notes:

[T]he Chinese government has learned to weaponize our own progressive tendencies, and has learned to exploit false accusations of racism against democratic societies.

The Big Lie: Chinese officials are pushing a conspiracy theory that the United States Army planted the virus in Wuhan.

Mr. Hamm’s critics are probably not Chinese disinformation agents, but they certainly read the talking points. (“The Washington Post routinely comes delivered wrapped in a special advertising section called “China Watch.” It’s official, state-sanctioned Chinese propaganda that reports fake news.”) Perhaps they are merely unable to distinguish between the Chinese people and the Chinese Communist government. That does say something about their knowledge of history and political theory.

China: Exploiting False Accusations of Racism

China’s Real Disease: Not Coronavirus

WATCH: Chinese Government Encourages Italians to Fight Coronavirus Racism By Hugging Strangers

Coronavirus Crisis Caused by Decisions of Chinese Government

Does Beijing’s COVID-19 Victory Prove the Superiority of the “China Model”?

NO. IT. DOES. NOT.

Oh, and this just in. 4:49PM:
Time to ban wet markets

Trans Exclusionary Radical Virus?

Speculation on TERV Wars from the UK Daily Mail:
Doctors claim new Coronavirus ‘may cause damage to a man’s TESTICLES’
I’d guess it’s click-bait, so no link.

The only reason I mention it is to ask this biology question:
“Does coronavirus know that “Trans women are women?”

I think not.

Update: 3:02PM
Despite early reports, Coronavirus is not Ageist.

All six ICU patients at NJ hospital are between ages of 28 and 48

Sexism is still in play, all 11 patients there are male.

Their pronoun preferences are not known.