Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
China lied, and now the Trump economy has almost died.
At this point, we are all aware of China’s failure to disclose their knowledge of person to person communicability of COVID-19 to the World Health Organization (WHO), who’s infamous tweet from January 14th of this year gave the world a false sense of security regarding maintaining the status quo related to international travel.
Reporting from the South China Morning Post paints an even more insidious picture of what can only be considered the criminal malfeasance of communist China. Despite the fact most official timelines show that Chinese Health officials first informed the WHO on December 31st of 2019 about a group of 41 patients that they claim were connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market having a mysterious pneumonia, according to data acquired by the SCMP, the Communist Chinese were aware as of November 17th of last year that there was a 55 year-old victim residing in the Hubei province of China who may have had the first known case of Covid-19.
Additionally, going forward from that date, between one and five new infections were reported every day with the total number of known cases reaching 27 by December 15th. The first day that saw as much as a double-digit increase was December 17th of last year.
Despite this internally guarded information, the Communist Chinese government continued to mislead the world via their protective ally, the World Health Organization. China also failed to restrict travel of the potential carriers of COVID-19 that were residing within their borders. According to the NY Times, prior to the Trump Administration’s ban on incoming high-risk flights, the Chinese government allowed upwards of 390,000 travelers to travel to several major US airports, including ones “in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Newark and Detroit.”
Within its own borders, the Chinese effort to muzzle efforts aimed at warning the global community of the growing pandemic also included unfortunate sagas of Drs. Ai Fen and Li Wenliang. Ai Fen disappeared for a time under controversial circumstances. At the time of her disappearance, Dr. Ai Fen was simply upholding her Hippocratic oath and attempting to advise her fellow doctors of the growing illness at Wuhan Central Hospital. As a result of her efforts, Ai Fen and an additional eight of her colleagues were reprimanded, according to Radio Free Asia.
Dr. Li Wenliang was also targeted by Chinese authorities after raising red flags regarding the coronavirus outbreak during its early days. He posted a warning to his medical-school alumni on the messaging app WeChat, that seven patients that had frequented the “wet market” in Wuhan were quarantined at his hospital with a SARS-like illness. Within mere hours of posting what was private message to his associates, screenshots of his messages were all over the internet.
One day after he sent the message, Wuhan authorities made the first public announcement regarding the outbreak and informed the World Health Organization of the situation.
Days after, Li would be reprimanded by Chinese police for “severely disrupting social order” and “spreading rumors online,” and was forced to sign a statement confessing to having had committed a misdemeanor, and promising not to commit any additional “unlawful acts,” according to CNN.
The truth is, China’s lies and crimes against the rest of the world have continued in an unrestrained manner for years. According to a 2018 report from the United States Trade Representative (USTR), “Chinese theft of American Intellectual Property currently costs between $225 billion and $600 billion annually. In addition, China is perpetually amongst the global leaders in state-sponsored cyber attacks against both government entities and the private sector and continually provides cover for domestic hacking groups like Vicious Panda and others. A February 2018 report from the Office of Economic Advisors that cited China as a primary belligerent engaged in cyberwarfare against the US, stated that the cost of “malicious cyber activity” cost America between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016.
That number is in addition to the massive trade imbalance that the Trump administration had been working diligently to remedy for the past 3 years. Those efforts climaxed with the January announcement of the new “Phase One” trade deal with China. But now, the future of that deal and Sino-American economic dealings as a whole should be called into question, as the world tallies the final cost that China should be held accountable for post-Coronavirus.
The seemingly irreparable damage that has been done to what the President refers to as “the greatest economy in the history of the world,” in addition to the over 225k lives lost as a result of China’s mishandling of the most economically devastating pandemic ever, warrant at the very least, a multi-trillion dollar reparations package to the United States and the rest of the world.
$160 billion in damages? That figure seems to barely scratch the surface.