A week or so ago the figure for the number of Covid-19 infections around the world passed the 1,000,000 mark and, as a result, the news was full of stories reiterating that China is responsible for the virus, that they had covered up the outbreak of the virus thereby making it certain that the virus would spread around the world, and that China should be held to account for what it has done. Today the total number of deaths from the Covid-19 virus surpassed 100,000 and, as with was the case when the total number of cases passed 1,000,000, the news was full of stories with the anger of the world directed at China. Australia had a particular reason to be angry, something that we will come to shortly.
For now, in the first and perhaps most controversial story of the day, Sky News host Andrew Bolt claims that the Covid-19 virus might have originated in virology labs in Wuhan. I would not, at this stage, put too much credence in the theory even though there is a second story from a reputable source that has Australian Liberal MP Andrew Hastie briefly mentioning the idea that the virus might actually originated in a Wuhan laboratory. The interview with Andrew Hastie is fascinating and I would recommend watching the video in full. If, however, you just want to substantiate the points that I am making, you can click on the hyperlinks which will take you to the relevant sections of the video.
According to Andrew Hastie, the Chinese government locked down travel in China in the early stages of the virus but allowed Chinese travellers to travel around the world thereby ensuring that the virus became a pandemic. Thus, the virus in China did not reach Beijing or Shanghai but it did infect every country and province around the world with, in many cases, devastating infection rates and very high death rates. In the above news story one of the interviewers, Peta Credlin, brings up the subject of biological warfare. Credlin makes the point that a rouge nation could well look at what has happened with Covid-19 and see how biological war could be used to bring the Western world to its knees in a matter of weeks.
However, I would make another point. Could it be that China locked down travel within China but allowed Chinese citizens to travel overseas because, in reality, China was engaging in an act of biological warfare? People may think that I am going too far in making this claim but I am not so sure. The fact is that China did restrict travel within China, particularly travel from the Hubei Province, whilst allowing its citizens to travel around the world. Essentially this means that China was trying to stop the spread of the virus in China – meaning that China knew that there was human to human transmission of the virus – at the same time they were spreading the virus around the world by allowing international travel.
The World Health Organization (WHO) should also be held to account for the fact it did the bidding of China through peddling a story in the early stages of the virus that there had not been any human to human transmissions and through not recommending that countries close their borders at a time when the virus was being spread around the world. WHO General Manager Tedros Adhanom’s attempts to address criticisms of the actions of the WHO along with criticisms of his own role in the WHO’s Covid-19 mistakes would be laughable if this were a laughing matter. However, it is not and so we will simply refer to Adhanom’s claims that he has been subject to racist attacks from anti Beijing voices in Taiwan as a shameful – and very likely Chinese driven – attempt to divert people from the truth.
I have made the point that charges of racism are too often the refuge of the week minded who find themselves embattled and with no argument against accusations or charges levelled against them. And so we have Adhanom throwing out charges of racism when he should have been answering for the WHOs’ Covid-19 mistakes. However, as has been argued many a time, the WHO is beholden to China and, if this story is to believed it is no wonder as Adhanom was put in place as the WHO General Manager by Beijing. No wonder he is doing everything that he can to divert people from the truth of his incompetence because his incompetence is the story of an agenda driven by the Chinese Communist Party and he certainly wouldn’t want the truth of the Chinese control of the WHO became apparent.
Over the last couple of days a story has emerged about Australia receiving flights from Wuhan with the flights bringing in, as far as we can tell, medical supplies. I had thought that there was a single flight coming into Melbourne but there has also been a flight into Sydney – where Wuhan air crew were left free to roam the city – with more flights into Australia apparently planned. Whilst I generally like to think that I have the capacity to express myself with exactitude, I was almost at a loss for words to convey my incredulity that Australia had let such a thing happen. Ultimately I would have to admit that the news story below has done a much better job than I in explaining the true import of Australia letting these flights into the country.
The story makes the case that not only is the world fighting a deadly virus deliberately allowed to infect the world from its origins in Wuhan, it is also fighting a Chinese propaganda war with the Chinese seeking to peddle the lie that the Chinese government is a superior form of government capable of beating the virus and providing aid to the world. There is another significant point about this story. One of the panellists feels compelled to repeatedly say that there would have been nothing racist about assigning a police escort to the Wuhan crew to ensure that they remained in isolation for the duration of their stay in Australia. Come on. There have been over 100,000 deaths from the Covid-19 virus and still we pussy foot around in case someone levels the charge against us of being racist.
Further on the use of racism to obscure the truth, consider this article from Andrew Lieu in “The Guardian” which argues, amongst other things, that the spread of the virus from China to overseas can be thought of as the result of economic liberalisation and globalisation that has seen China become increasingly interconnected with countries around the world. In other words, Chinese cultural habits such as eating pangolins purchased from diseased markets are not really the point. Notice too how Lieu cleverly shifts attention away from the fact of China’s responsibly for the virus in favour of invoking impersonal economic forces. At the same time Lieu weaves the racist argument through his writing which might be considered as an attempt to ensure that people back off from criticising him too heavily.
I now want to return to the interview with Australian Liberal MP Andrew Hastie who argues that Australian University campuses might be considered modern battle grounds of covert influence and interference, populated as they are by State funded Chinese students. These “battle grounds” are also sites for more subversive activities such as intellectual theft and espionage. For Hastie, this is but one example of how China takes a whole of nation approach to achieving its strategic objectives. More broadly, a whole of nation approach involves targeting a nation’s economy, its trade, its technologies, its schools, its universities and so on as vectors where the Chinese Communist Party might realize its political aim of becoming the dominant world power.
Think about the fact that China pillaged the world for essential medical equipment and medical supplies at a time when it was covering up the Covid-19 virus. China used its trading relationships – with the United States, for example, from whom it bought millions of dollars of respirators – to ensure that its own political agenda to evidence a supposedly superior form of government would be realized. Chinese companies in Australia essentially downed tools in the early weeks of the virus to scour the country for medical supplies and medical equipment which were shipped back to China under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Daigou also stripped Australian supermarkets of medical supplies and we have no idea how many of these shoppers were doing so under the direction of the CCP.
Whilst empty supermarket shelves in Australia certainly resulted from the fact that supermarkets could not restock shelves quickly enough, there is also a supply chain issue with keeping supermarket shelves stocked. First, supply chains for any particular product may involve dozens of countries such that if one country ceases to operate then the supply of that product can no longer be guaranteed. Secondly, supermarkets operate on lean supply model, holding only enough stock of some products to last for a week or two. Hence, if the supply chain is disrupted, hoarding may lead to supermarkets running out of stock in just a few days. Third, significant amounts of manufacturing have been shifted offshore. If an offshore country goes into lockdown then supplies will be disrupted.
The day would not be complete without yet another news story telling us how incredibly well Australia is doing in beating the Covid-19 virus. I have laboured the point about my disgust at Australia’s reporting of Covid-19 data for days now and so I will simply make the point that I made yesterday. You only find what you are testing for and Australia is not testing for very much. Hence Australia has figures for Covid-19 cases that make the country appear to be one of the most successful countries in the world with respect to fighting the virus. This “falsehood” continues to be delivered daily in the Australian news including, as of today, a story that references Australia’s aim to be one of the most successful countries in the world in combatting Covid-19 deaths.
Australia is, of course, not the only country that is reporting data that may not be entirely accurate. We all know that China is deliberately falsifying its data. However, other countries around the world are under-reporting the number of cases and the number of deaths because they are simply overrun by the virus. Indonesia, for example, is currently being ravaged by the virus and is only testing 73 people per 1000,000 of the population meaning of course that Indonesia’s data on the number of infected people in the country – currently 3,512 cases – is nowhere near accurate. Data modelling actually suggests that around 1000,000 people may be infected.
At the same time, the reported number of deaths in Indonesia stands at 306 as of today 12th April 2020, when all reports from the ground would suggest that the death toll is significantly higher with data modelling suggesting that up to 120,000 people may eventually die from the virus. Figures from the United States, which as of today 12th April 2020 show 502,876 confirmed cases and 18,747 deaths, may also not be accurate. However, the reason here is, as with Indonesia, is that parts of the United States are simply overrun by the virus such that certain cities, New York for example, simply cannot keep up with the number of infections and the number of deaths.
The question naturally arises why Australia has embarked on a course of carrying out such minimal testing. Here is one answer. Australia has considered a future scenario in which the virus is allowed to run its course leading to “herd immunity”. Some people would die but not too many if medical care was directed at the most vulnerable members of society. It seems entirely plausible that Australia has, in fact, already embarked on this course of action whilst not naming it as such. In other words, the virus is being left to run its course through social transmission with the Australian government playing a dangerous game of betting on the fact that the country will not be overrun by critical cases.
First Published April 20th, 2020