BRANDON J. WEICHERT | THE WEICHERT REPORT
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AL) has been on the leading edge of public officials who have been questioning the origins and overall voracity of the data coming from China about the outbreak of the coronavirus (CoVID-19). As I have written at this site, the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t add up–at least that which we’ve been told by the Chinese Communist Party.
I’ll not get into the repetition of how the CCP has changed its story since the official announcement made mid-January acknowledging the presence of the CoVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan (after the disease spread throughout their country unabated for some time before that announcement).
Needless to say, both Senator Cotton and myself have been lambasted by the “mainstream” media for having supposedly proliferated “conspiracy theory.”
First of all, it’s not. Second, consider that the World Health Organization, which has become the official cheerleader for China’s degenerate regime in the West, insists that Cotton and I are incorrect. Well, I say that they’re incorrect. They are relying on data sets given to them primarily by China. The data is inherently corrupted–especially as social media posts from frontline medical professionals working in China prove that things are far worse than the media is letting on.
Meanwhile, The WHO and other official Western organs–experts all–praise China’s response time to the disease. The implicit assumption in this is that China’s centrally planned totalitarianism is just what they as doctors need in times of crisis (even as they paradoxically insist that the West not close any of its borders lest the blessedly enlightened CCP retract their data sharing agreements with the WHO and other international medical groups). But, Beijing has been playing catch-up with the outbreak since its start. Initially, the CCP pretended like the thing wasn’t happening.
This was proven by Dr. Li Wenliang, who tragically died from the disease. Before he died, though, he was arrested and made to sign a false confession by CCP secret police because he sent private messages to fellow medical doctors in Wuhan back in December warning them to take precautions as there was clearly a new disease floating around their city. The CCP did not want to acknowledge this fact–even after the Communist Party apparatus was dutifully warned by the good–now dead–doctor. It was bad timing for the regime politically. Better to ignore the outbreak and pretend like everything was A-OK.
Still, the WHO has their data set and they are sticking to it. Of course, several outside researchers have indicated their bafflement that the WHO and US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other Western medical groups have not declared the CoVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic, seeing as it has spread well beyond China and does not appear to be abating.
No, the WHO leadership chooses instead to both trust the inherently untrustworthy CCP (even as the disease has spread across the world) while singing high praises for China’s supposedly forceful containment of the disease. But, how can that be, when as many as five million people fled Hubei Province (where Wuhan is located) before the glorious Chinese military could contain the city and, supposedly, the disease?
We’ve got a funny definition of “contained” in the West, apparently. When something is contained it cannot leave or exit the place of its origin. It is locked up; imprisoned. Immobile. This is not the case. As I’ve continually reminded my readers: the “travel ban” that the Trump administration instituted at the beginning of February was far from a ban–or even a moratorium.
It was all for show.
Rather than crackdown on travel coming in and out of China, Washington opted instead to rely on individual air carriers and US airports to decide which flights to take in from China. A handful of US air carriers, to their credit, did restrict flights from China. But, most major US airports remained open to travel from China. Until the middle of February, for example, China’s most prominent air carrier, Air China, continued flying from all over China into the United States.
Meanwhile, absolutely no attempt was made to slow down travel from other affected countries in Asia, such as Singapore, South Korea, Japan, etc.
So, even if there had been a total ban on travel coming directly from China, people fleeing the outbreak in China–who may have evaded China’s “strict” containment protocols–could hop a flight to any country in the region and then head over to the United States.
What’s more, as I’ve reminded my readers repeatedly, by February 28, unless the president acts boldly, direct flights to the United States by Air China will be allowed to resume.
In fact, many readers have sent me photos of them going online and making reservations for traveling from China to the United States–with no warning that flights have or were suspended or even delayed due to the travel ban–for any time of the year. Some travel ban.
Senator Cotton has also been with me on the source of the outbreak. Neither he nor I believe the China’s explanation that the disease randomly evolved from infected meat sold at a Wuhan meat market that provided patrons with exotic animal meat (bats, snakes, even dogs, for example).
Of course, this is scientifically possible (and it would be preferable to consider this as the culprit rather than much more macabre alternative) but one cannot deny the fact that, for decades, Wuhan has been the source of the Chinese military’s bioweapons program. Further, Wuhan is home to a Level 4 Virology Lab that specializes in coronavirus research. Some reports have even indicated that the Chinese researchers who worked at the lab were complaining of poor containment protocols.
Then, as Tom Rogan over at The Washington Examiner today reports, Cotton took a proverbial victory lap over social media, as even China’s state media appears to acknowledge the possibility that the coronavirus outbreak emanated from the virology lab:
Don’t just listen to me, here are the words of very reasonable and moderate Tom Rogan:
This is notable because Global Times, which is indeed China’s foremost Western-focused propaganda outlet, wouldn’t have run this story unless Xi Jinping wanted it to run. And that means China is using this story either because it A) wants to draw attention away from the biofacility in Wuhan, B) believes foreign powers will find out that the Wuhan market story was a deliberate deception, or C) both A and B.
Rogan is correct in his assessment. And here again is Rogan with a conclusion that I made weeks ago:
It’s critical to note here that the Chinese Communist Party’s inherent impulse is toward control and the appearance of infallibility. This is why Xi’s reaction to the coronavirus outbreak has been so similar to the Soviets’ reaction to the Chernobyl disaster. The regime is caught between confronting a truth and admitting its own flaws, or hiding a truth that cannot be hidden for long and covering up its flaws.
This leads us back to Cotton. We still don’t know exactly where and how this outbreak originated, or how effectively China has responded to it, but we have ever-increasing reasons to ask questions.
On February 22 of this year, the Chinese-controlled state media outlet, The Global Times, as Rogan and Cotton both noted, all but acknowledged that which until now has been decried as a “global conspiracy.”
This is part of the drip-drip-drip that totalitarian governments engage in when they are seeking to manage expectations and perceptions of not only their people, but the wider world. The Soviets did something similar during the Chernobyl crisis.
Of course, this is slightly different because the presence of the bioweapons facility specializing in the exact same kind of disease that is now spreading like wildfire throughout the world.
The question remains: why would the Trump administration trust the Chinese regime, even as they’ve waged a “Trade War” upon Beijing and consistently challenged Beijing at every turn of its aggressive actions against the West and its regional allies since taking office in 2017?
The reason, I believe, is the same reason why I told Gordon G. Chang and John Batchelor on-air behind the Trump administration’s decision to make a phase one trade deal with Beijing: politics. The 2020 election is going to be the most contentious of our lifetimes (yes, I know how that sounds, every election is described this way but we’ve never had an actual socialist openly running as we do with Bernie Sanders).
Should Bernie Sanders receive the nomination of his party (a distinct possibility at this point), Trump will face a rival who is both radical and has as much of a rabid base of supporters as the president does.
Any significant lag in the economy will undercut the president’s greatest claim for reelection: that the economy has quantitatively done better under his leadership than under his predecessor’s leadership, He’s right. At the same time, though, if the coronavirus proliferates widely to the United States, it won’t matter.
Rush Limbaugh recently argued that the coronavirus was not a big deal (no worse than the common cold) and that it was being fashioned as a weapon with which to destroy President Trump. I agree with Rush on the last point but quibble with him on the first (though that remains in the Zen Master’s category of “We’ll see.” Obviously we should be praying that he is right, but I’m not convinced about that part).
Anyway, Trump is damned-if-he-does-damned-if-he-doesn’t. But, in this case, discretion is the better part of valor.
By sealing America’s borders and beginning the long and tenuous process of removing the global supply chain out of China and into the United States, Trump could be positioned in the long-term to fulfill his most prominent points of his campaign platform: on-shoring manufacturing capabilities that had been long ago lost to China (and fueled their meteoric rise to become the second-largest economy in the world in GDP terms and the largest economy in the world according to Purchasing Power Parity). Trump could also use this as an excuse to double-down on the necessary tightening of immigration policy. What’s more, Trump could reposition America in the global trading network. It is a risk, but it is necessary.
The people around Trump, as the people leading the World Health Organization, are telling the president to simply take Xi Jinping’s word and not rock the boat too much. They fear two things: the slowing down of the economy which will harm reelection chances (and most likely make the otherwise hopeless Democratic case for voting Trump out a stronger one) and they, like the medical community, fears that China will shut the information flow completely down.
Then again, though, Beijing has enjoyed information from the start–lying about the source, timing, duration of the disease–let alone manipulating the data coming out about the disease, in order to prevent themselves from looking bad and further losing-face (an important aspect in that culture) to the world and their people.
One way or the other, the great distancing; the global contraction is happening. The coronavirus, we are told, will abate around next month. The WHO is making these claims based on information provided to them by China. Plus, the WHO’s definition of pandemic includes a provision for announcing a pandemic when there is a high likelihood of a vaccine being developed soon.
Much to their credit, the WHO has been working with Western pharmaceutical firms to manage the creation of a vaccine and Gilead’s stock prices have soared as their scientists inform the world that they are nearing the creation of a potential, viable vaccine to CoVID-19 (we may, then, hopefully, miss a redux of the Spanish Flu).
Then again, the vaccine is not yet here. Plus, the hope that warm weather will force the disease to abate is hopeful but is only a theory. The CoVID-19 mirrors influenza and there are plenty of outbreaks of influenza during the summer. What’s more, the entire transmission process of the disease has changed.
Initially believed to be difficult to spread, Chinese medical authorities are warning of a fecal-oral transmission process that is much faster than originally believed. Meanwhile, some patients have infected others at faster rates than others, and there is a chance that the disease may yet mutate over the next few months.
Basically, we are taking a big risk by praising China and taking them at their word. Thus far, the only thing they’ve managed to contain in China is the full data stream about the outbreak. They’ve been allowed to give the West just enough information to potentially create a vaccine while ignoring the origins of the disease.
As I have reported for years now, China’s biotech sector is a threat–mainly because they embrace a leap-without-looking policy of development: just beat the Americans, gain a strategic advantage over them, exploit that advantage at all costs, any downside risks–such as an outbreak of an experimental bioweapon–can be managed (as it currently is).
Our elites, for various reasons, refuse to even acknowledge the possibility that the CoVID-19 is both from a bioweapons lab, that China has poor safety standards and this could happen again–especially as China’s biotech sector continues expanding–and that China is totally in-over-their-heads for managing let alone resolving the outbreak.
While China perfectly stage-manages the release of information to the world–and everyone from The WHO to the White House takes them at their word–we will soon be told to simply accept the presence of CoVID-19 in our lives as we accept Ebola, SARS, the flu, and the common cold. A new medical paradigm will exist “Everyday life + CoVID-19.”