We imagine the mainstream American press would be the first to point out that there’s ‘no evidence’ that Beijing has been lying about its COVID-19 numbers, just like there’s ‘no evidence’ SARS-CoV-2 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
And now that the WHO’s team has come and gone, having neglected to look too closely at the lab, the world may never learn the truth.
As President Xi holds a ceremony in Beijing to honor the Chinese who lost their lives, as well as those who fought and eventually ‘defeated’ the virus, the CCP is couching the event as a declaration of victory in the “People’s War” against the virus.
Chinese President Xi Jinping honored the ‘heroes’ of China’s ‘people’s war’ against COVID-19 at a ceremony, lauding the country’s resilience as well as the decisive role played in containment efforts by the ruling Communist Party https://t.co/3MSv4xjogx pic.twitter.com/Z3rWSqrUXl
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 8, 2020
During the ceremony, held – where else? – at the ‘Great Hall of the People’, Xi defended China’s “open and transparent” manner of battling the virus by presenting the national medal to respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan.
Xi insisted that China’s tallies of COVID-19 were accurate as the Chinese press went all-in on pushing the narrative that the CCP’s actions saved “tens of millions of lives” around the world, despite the mountain of evidence that local officials delayed the response to the virus by at least two weeks, if not longer.
A Xinhua special report published over the weekend waxed poetic about Xi’s sacrifices, including the many sleepless nights he dealt with as he “shouldered the extremely difficult mission of fighting the pandemic.”
But as Beijing proclaims its latest three-week streak without any new “domestic” cases, South Korean health officials have just announced that 5 people traveling to SK from China have tested positive for the virus since Aug. 16, the day that Chinese health officials purportedly confirmed their last case of domestic transmission. Three of them were Chinese nationals, and 2 were South Koreans, according to Al Jazeera.
Five passengers from China arriving in South Korea have been tested positive for coronavirus since August 16, according to South Korea’s health authorities, raising a question over the credibility of China’s claim of no local infection cases for more than three weeks.
Among the five people, two were South Korean nationals and three were Chinese nationals. All of them showed no symptoms.
China has announced that there have been no new locally transmitted cases of coronavirus since August 16.
After taking several tours of foreign journalists through Wuhan in recent weeks, the CCP this week allowed a cotorie of business owners to tour the city, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
But while Beijing has been cracking down on Western journalists, reporters from Nikkei spoke to several locals who claimed to have several family members who died from the virus. All of them hinted that the situation in Beijing is much worse than officials let on.
But not all agree with that notion, even among Wuhan residents. Some people who spoke with Nikkei Asian Review on the street questioned the state response in the early days.
“Had the government told us to wear a mask and take prevention measures earlier, we would not have seen so many deaths,” said a middle-aged man who requested anonymity. “My cousin lost three out of six family members.”
Wuhan accounted for 3,869 deaths, or 83% of China’s confirmed total as of the end of August.
Some people are concerned about the sustainability of an economic recovery driven mainly by state-induced investments.
But thanks to Beijing’s unparalleled surveillance, which is now being applied to the mainland’s contact-tracing efforts, millions of middle-class Chinese can party on without a care like it’s 2019.