CNN is running this article titled “US intelligence agencies started tracking coronavirus outbreak in China as early as November.” This has the potential to be a sensitive issue for Trump going into the elections. Beijing announced the virus on December 31st, and Trump on January 3rd. There is debate on when the president was informed of the outbreak, but US intelligence was monitoring the outbreak back in November of 2019.
The president has been threatening to drop US funding of the World Health Organization. This International Business Times article cites the WHO response, accusing Trump of politicizing the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as this Real Clear Politics story points out; China has too much clout with the organization. “The CCP has a crucial say over who holds senior positions at the WHO, and it shows.” The WHO was fed misleading information and their leadership is afraid of confronting the Chinese government. The author, Charles Lipson, goes on to suggest a new health organization run by NATO countries and it’s allies. Such an organization would operate free of the influence of the socialist Chinese government.
Meanwhile, the Chinese propaganda machine has been trying to blame the US for the outbreak. This article from Foreign Policy talks about the Chinese efforts, conducted in several languages, in the Middle East, Africa and Asia to place the blame on the US defense establishment. Western medical experts attempting to model the severity of the outbreak had nothing but bad numbers from the government in Beijing. Doctors and scientists in China attempting to help have been silenced by the regime.
One thing the pandemic has revealed; the closed, one party government in Beijing cannot be trusted to be forth coming when the chips are down. This outbreak has affected the entire world, not just China. Students of history and socialism should not be surprised by this. Centralize power in the hands of a few and they will abuse it. It’s time to cut reliance on China for medical supplies, electronics, and anything else we deem essential. Mr Lipson’s suggestion of a new health organization is an excellent idea. Abandoning the naive and misled faith in World Trade is a better one.