Recent events in China have some Americans questioning why the United States as a whole relies so much on the Asian nation for its goods, including medical supplies.
One event in particular — the sudden collapse late Saturday of a hotel in Quanzhou City that was being used as a coronavirus quarantine — especially drove the point home for some critics, as seen below (*Language warning):
Not only do these poor bastards have coronavirus, but the hotel they were in collapsed & buried them. That’s China. The place we get all our stuff from. Feel safe, yet?
Hotel in China holding coronavirus victims in quarantine collapses | Daily Mail Online https://t.co/yw3kjmKHZ8
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) March 7, 2020
China’s unable contain Corona.
China’s unable to apologise for Tiananmen Square.
China’s unable to apologise for Tibet.
China’s unable to become a Democracy.
China’s unable to build Hotels.
— Dr Bruce Masters (@TheBruceMasters) March 7, 2020
Bugger. If the coronovirus doesn’t get you, shoddy #Chinese building standards will.
— Wayne Gorrett ?? ? ? ? ✍️ (@WaynesWorldAuto) March 7, 2020
The collapse reportedly occurred late Saturday evening.
“A five-story hotel being used for coronavirus quarantine collapsed in the southeast Chinese port city of Quanzhou on Saturday trapping about 70 people, state media said,” CNBC has confirmed.
“A video stream posted by the government-backed Beijing News site showed rescue workers in orange overalls clambering over the rubble of the Quanzhou Xinjia Hotel and carrying people towards ambulances.”
That video stream may be seen below:
Needless to say, this is bad. Rescue workers scrambling to dig people out of a collapsed Xinjia Hotel in Quanzhou, Fujian province. Chinese media report the hotel had (at least partially) been converted into quarantine housing for suspected coronavirus patients. pic.twitter.com/5aamKU85fu
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) March 7, 2020
There were no known immediate deaths, though an estimated 70 people were in need of rescue.
“A woman named only by her surname, Chen, told the Beijing News website that relatives including her sister had been under quarantine at the hotel as prescribed by local regulations after returning from Hubei province, where the coronavirus emerged,” CNBC reported. “She said they had been scheduled to leave soon after completing their 14 days of isolation.”
“I can’t contact them, they’re not answering their phones,” Chen said. “I’m under quarantine too (at another hotel) and I’m very worried, I don’t know what to do. They were healthy, they took their temperatures every day, and the tests showed that everything was normal.”
See more footage and updates from the collapse below:
#Update: The Ministry of Emergency Management has sent a team to the site of Xinjia hotel, which collapsed in E China’s Quanzhou on Sat evening, to assist local rescue work. The hotel is a medical observation site for close contacts with #COVID19 patients. https://t.co/44iEe8I1SV pic.twitter.com/L2ADWCrXr9
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 7, 2020
Around 19:30, the building collapsed in Xinjia Hotel, Licheng District, and about 70 people were trapped. Quanzhou and Licheng District governments are organizing search and rescue efforts, and 23 people have been rescued by 21:00.
Following live video pic.twitter.com/aObRG9Azrv
— Tomato Mch (@mchtomato) March 7, 2020
#BREAKING: A five-storey hotel in Quanzhou in the Fujian province suddenly collapses on March 7 evening. Several Chinese media outlets say that the hotel is currently being used as a quarantine site for #COVIDー19. About a dozen have been rescued. Internet video. pic.twitter.com/dMIJivGXlI
— Ezra Cheung (@ezracheungtoto) March 7, 2020
Pictures posted by netizens on Chinese social media platform Weixin has revealed that the Xinjia Hotel, which is believed to be a #coronavirus quarantine site, has completely toppled down. As of 7.30 pm, 16 people have been rescued, according to Chinese media. pic.twitter.com/ex93XNxzx6
— Ezra Cheung (@ezracheungtoto) March 7, 2020
#Updated By 9:55 pm, 34 had been rescued, according to Quanzhou municipal government.
Xinjia Hotel was used as a quarantine site for isolating people that had close contacts with infected patients. pic.twitter.com/2zA0SbS7zB
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) March 7, 2020
While tragic, the hotel’s collapse is one of innumerable events — all of them potentially preventable — that have plagued the Eastern country this year.
From its widely criticized handling of the coronavirus outbreak to its lying about the crisis and its punishment of those willing to speak the truth, China has failed at every step of the process, including at maintaining a quarantine.
Yet China, a country beset by endless failure, remains the source of so many supermarket products, including medical supplies. In fact, the U.S. government has in recent days reduced tariffs on incoming medical supplies from China.
“The U.S. Trade Representative’s office in recent days granted exclusions from import tariffs for dozens of medical products imported from China, including face masks, hand sanitizing wipes and examination gloves, filings with the agency showed on Friday,” Reuters reported.
“Medline International Inc. has already received exclusions on 30 products ranging from surgical gowns to face masks and medicine cups, most of which the company applied for at the end of January. A number of the exclusions were granted on Thursday, USTR documents showed.”
And that’s just medical supplies. The list of imports from China including billions and billions of dollars in computer equipment, furniture, etc.
“The U.S. imported a record $539.5 billion in goods from China in 2018. The U.S. is a net importer from China in most market segments such as consumer electronics, apparel, furniture and industrial supplies. The one major exception: agriculture,” MarketWatch noted last year.
“By contrast, the U.S. shipped a much smaller $120.3 billion in goods to China last year, Census trade figures showed.”
And by even greater contrast, the U.S. isn’t known for its collapsing quarantines …
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