In dealing with the public, health officials handling the COVID crisis should present the facts without political agendas. If they want people to take them seriously, they need to be consistent and logical in their policies to contain the virus.
They cannot present one scenario for one place and another somewhere else. Officials must denounce falsity and unfairness wherever it is found.
This lack of zeal for the truth is why the COVID crisis has run into such problems. The sickness is real and has taken a great toll. However, officials are not presenting all the facts. When officials are lying, and people are dying, it becomes impossible to build trust.
The latest developments of the COVID-19 crisis confirm this deception. As the COVID virus subsides in the West, it rages in China. Outbreaks are putting huge areas under radical lockdown. More than twenty-five million people in Shanghai are locked in their homes, as more than 130,000 cases, most of them asymptomatic, have been reported since March 1. Chinese are suffering from a lack of food and other supplies caused by the extreme measures.
However, one strange fact about the outbreak should cause everyone to ask questions. As tens of thousands become infected, Chinese officials report that no one has died, and there is only one patient with a severe illness.
Chinese statistics claim only two people have died of the disease that originated in the country since April 2020. Communist officials pursuing a Zero-Covid strategy insist that no one has died during this most recent outbreak, although there are no independent news sources to verify the claim.
The amazing thing is that officials have locked down 25 million people in Shanghai to protect them against a disease killing no one. They are shutting down vast sectors of their economy in the face of a phantom threat that threatens no one. Worse yet, Western news sources repeat the zero death statistics as if it is all true without question.
Something is seriously wrong with this narrative since it makes no sense. No one takes drastic measures against an enemy that does not inflict casualties. However, this is the Chinese story. World health officials repeat this. This account serves the purposes of the Chinese propaganda machine specializing in supplying the impossible statistics presented as the truth to the media.
And the media accepts or makes excuses for the Chinese. For example, observers like Dr. Sean Sylvia at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill admits the improbability of the statistics. In a recent comment to The Wall Street Journal, he excuses the lack of COVID deaths, which he accredits to the Chinese health establishment’s tendency to blame underlying conditions rather than the virus. “We have estimates,” he says. “But in a lot of places, it’s very uncertain, and China’s one of those places.”
China is not a tiny nation. Such a mistake does not make sense in the world’s most populated country. Accurate statistics are essential to a serious worldwide effort against COVID. However, China gets off the hook from this duty.
The virus is apparently political since it respects borders. The Chinese government could not hide the over 6,000 deaths in Hong Kong during a recent outbreak. However, just across the border, the zero-death variety of the virus thrives without serious consequences.
A more likely explanation of this strange non-lethal variant of COVID-19 is that it is just like all the other ones that have ravaged the world. The communist regime is engaging in systematic data suppression. George Calhoun, a director at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, claims that fatality figures are likely closer to 1.7 million than the 4,638 official deaths it has admitted since the beginning of the plague. Thus, Chinese statistics are comparable to the rest of the world.
Thus, the real reason for the extreme lockdown is probably because it is killing people in the Shanghai area. China prefers to make people suffer than admit its zero-COVID policy is wrong. The communist government would prefer to use fraud than face the truth.
However, the fraud also indicts the world health organizations that make this deception possible. Any serious effort to contain COVID must include data from its nation of origin. This becomes hard to do when China will admit no deaths.
Photo Credit: © Chandra Menard – stock.adobe.com