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.

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.

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

The investment that’s Left

Last week the president took time off from golf and fundraising to brag about what a great thing he did in bailing out the UAW General Motors:

“Now, I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.”
Barack Obama, Pueblo, Colorado – Thursday Aug 9

“I want to say what we did with the auto industry, we can do it in manufacturing across America.”
Barack Obama, Colorado Springs, Colorado – Thursday Aug 9

That’s what we’re all afraid of.

The president should have waited to comment on the wonderfulness of Government Motors, as these stories from Forbes and Investors Business Daily show:

General Motors Is Headed For Bankruptcy — Again
Obama’s $25 Billion Government Motors Lemon

Any competent CEO/CFO would insist on knowing these facts, certainly he would do so before wishing GM’s fate on every other US manufacturer. I’m sure Mr. Obama did know these things. Think about it. Unlike every other CEO/CFO, he has the CIA, the NSA, the CBO, the GAO, the FBI, Tim Geithner, Harry Reid and John Corzine to help him out with industrial intelligence.

The president failed to mention his accomplishment in trashing the contracts for GM bondholders. Nor did he speak of raping Delphi salaried pensioners. Recognizing those acts as counter to the rule of law would involve ideas, not intentions.

At the moment, the GM bailout is just barely a better investment than A123 and Solyndra, two “green” initiatives the president has funded. He is at least consistent. The president dumped $500 million into A123 for batteries, and $500 million into Solyndra for solar electricity to charge the batteries.

What’s the return on investment from that? A bunch of temporary jobs in China, a taxpayer funded bankruptcy and the Chevy Volt.

And the winner the statists picked is… China

China just bought the battery manufacturing darling of the US DoE and the Granholm adminstration.

A company that two years ago was one of the most promising U.S. innovators in the clean-fuel auto industry was rescued from collapse Wednesday. Its buyer: A Chinese auto-parts company.

Wanxiang Group Corp., one of China’s biggest parts makers, offered a $450 million lifeline to A123 Systems Inc., a maker of advanced batteries for electric vehicles that received U.S.-government backing. The deal would put the firm’s lithium-ion technology and its U.S.-funded manufacturing plant into the hands of a company that has slowly acquired a passel of auto assets across the Midwest.

A123 has ripped off the American taxpayer for $249 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. It was one of former governor Granholm’s favorite picks, to the tune of $100 million. The Chinese are grateful, I suppose, for taxpayer assistance while A123’s stock dropped from $26.00 to $0.82. Without said assistance, A123 might have been gone before they could buy it. Worse yet, from Obama’s point of view, Bain Capital might have turned it around.

TOC has mentioned A123 as an excellent example of government “investment” failure.

So. Is anyone wondering why the Chinese didn’t buy Solyndra? My guess is that they, unlike the Obama administration, sometimes know a hopeless investment when they see one. And the fact that Obama himself deigned to appear at, and specifically cite Solyndra, while leaving A123 to the likes of Debbie Stabenow, does tell you that the more money government uses to tilt the market the higher the political profile, and the worse the results. A123’s jobs may be going to China now, but at least there are still jobs.