US politicians have voiced fury over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus crisis but they face a harsh truth — the United States desperately needs China’s supplies. China before the crisis produced nearly half of the face masks imported into the United States — which in normal times cost less than a dollar but have disappeared from shelves amid growing calls for ordinary Americans wear them when outside. As China appears to have contained its own outbreak of SARS-CoV-1, which has infected more than one million people worldwide since first emerging late last year in Wuhan, it is now the first resort for protective gear sought across the world.$200 Visa Gift Card (plus $6.95 Purchase Fee)
A Chinese county that was largely unscathed by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus went into lockdown Wednesday, signaling fears of a possible second wave in the country where the virus originated, The South China Morning Post reports.The county of Jia in Henan province, home to 600,000 people, is now in lockdown after infections reportedly spread at a local hospital. There were previously only 12 confirmed cases in Henan, despite it being situated just north of Hubei province, where China's epicenter, Wuhan, is located. However, U.S. intelligence reportedly believes China under-reported the actual number of cases.Either way, the new lockdown, which shuts down all non-essential business and requires people to carry special permits to leave their homes, and wear face masks and have their temperature taken when out and about, comes at a time when the country clearly wants to get its economy up and running again. It's unclear if such measures will be limited to the county or if it's a sign of things to come for the rest of the world's most populous country, but President Xi Jinping has warned that China must return to normal gradually in the hopes of preventing a full-scale COVID-19 return. Read more at The South China Morning Post.More stories from theweek.com The Secret Service signed an 'emergency order' this week — for 30 golf carts Engineer arrested after allegedly trying to run train into Los Angeles hospital ship Experts warn as many as 1 in 3 coronavirus test results may be incorrectly negative
The Pats’ team jet carrying over a MILLION masks for Americans has safely touched down in Boston … and workers are already swiftly unloading the goods!! Pretty awesome move from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft who sent his team jet on a…$200 Visa Gift Card (plus $6.95 Purchase Fee)
China sent a plane loaded with medical personnel and supplies Saturday to help Pakistan fight the spread of the coronavirus in one of the world’s most populous nations. In Iran, which is battling the worst outbreak in the region, state TV said Saturday another 139 people had died from the virus. China has sought to portray itself as a global leader in the fight against the outbreak, which began a few months ago in its Wuhan province.
Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) and Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) on Tuesday introduced a bicameral resolution to condemn the Chinese Communist Party for its initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak, and called for an international investigation to determine how the coverup hastened the emergence of a global pandemic.“Since day one, the Chinese Communist Party intentionally lied to the world about the origin of this pandemic. The CCP was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent,” Hawley, who first called for an investigation last week, said in a press release.“There is no doubt that China’s unconscionable decision to orchestrate an elaborate coverup of the wide-ranging and deadly implications of coronavirus led to the death of thousands of people, including hundreds of Americans and climbing,” Stefanik added. “This Resolution calls for China to provide compensation for the harm, loss, and destruction their arrogance brought upon the rest of the world. Simply put China must, and will, be held accountable.”The bill calls the international community to “quantify the harm caused” by China’s actions and to “design a mechanism for delivering compensation” from the CCP to those affected.Reports have detailed how Wuhan laboratories in December discovered that coronavirus was related to the deadly SARS virus which broke out in 2002-2003, but were subsequently gagged by government authorities, who ordered them to turn over or destroy evidence.China has also promoted a propaganda campaign to push a conspiracy theory that the virus originated in the U.S., which experts have called “a counteroffensive” and “a kind of blame-shifting.”
President Trump has taken pains over the past week to link the coronavirus outbreak to China, calling it the “Chinese virus” at daily briefings over objections that doing so unfairly stigmatizes an entire nation, and might encourage hostility toward Asian-Americans.
A Chinese government campaign to cast doubt on the origin of the coronavirus pandemic is fuelling a row with the United States, with a Beijing official promoting conspiracy theories and Washington calling it the “Wuhan virus”. The spat comes as China tries to deflect blame for the contagion and reframe itself as a country that took decisive steps to buy the world time by placing huge swathes of its population under quarantine. With cases falling in China and soaring abroad, Beijing is now rejecting the widely held assessment that the city of Wuhan is the birthplace of the outbreak.
HONG KONG—Bombastic Chinese government officials are laying the groundwork to blame the United States for the global coronavirus pandemic, and in turn extricate the Chinese Communist Party from any blame. Trumpian rhetoric, it seems, has a clear mirror reflection on the other side of the globe. The American president calls the pandemic sweeping the globe “a foreign virus”? The Chinese are calling it an American one.Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry and face of the CCP, insinuated by tweet in both English and Chinese on Thursday that the United States is behind the the novel coronavirus outbreak in China: “CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in U.S.? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! U.S. owe us an explanation!”The rant was inexplicably paired with a video clip from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield’s testimony before Congress on Wednesday, subtitled in Chinese, about Americans who may have been misdiagnosed with the flu when they actually had COVID-19, the disease brought on by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.Zhao’s creeping escalation of rhetoric is the latest example of the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to shift blame after its officials bungled efforts to contain the virus at the onset of the outbreak. And who better than its key geopolitical foe—the United States—to be the scapegoat?The claim by Zhao was first seeded in late February, when Zhong Nanshan, a seasoned epidemiologist and pulmonologist who identified the SARS virus in 2003, said that the coronavirus “may not have originated in China” even though the first known cases were in the city of Wuhan and the majority of confirmed infections were there and in the rest of Hubei province.It didn’t take long for state media and Chinese trolls to grab hold of Zhong’s talking point, merging it with the crackpot theory that the coronavirus is a bioweapon. Soon they were asking which nation has sophisticated biowarfare capabilities and can release its viral weapons to wipe out an unsuspecting population. The obvious conclusion, for them, was the United States.Simultaneously, on Chinese social networks like Weibo, hashtags for the “Japanese virus” and the “Iranian virus” helped shape the narrative that SARS-CoV-2 could be of foreign origin, and China merely got a raw deal. Now, the “Italian virus” tag is doing the same.Never mind that Chinese researchers, like Shi Zhengli, the “Bat Woman” virologist profiled by Scientific American, have conducted field research in China’s rural areas to locate and identify dozens of lethal viruses that are similar to SARS and the coronavirus that is now infecting many around the world. They recognize that there are many more strains that could make the leap to humans, causing new viral outbreaks like the one China went through in the past three months.Like Trump, Zhao has a history of posting combative outbursts on Twitter, which is banned in China except for some of the party’s officials. He is one of the first Chinese diplomats to register and run an official account on Twitter—and the first to weaponize his feed, rallying China’s paid trolls through talking points spewed onto the social network. Last August, he was promoted from his post as deputy chief of mission in Pakistan to become deputy director of the Chinese foreign ministry’s information department.That’s all to say, in an age of post-truth misinformation and disinformation, Zhao is Beijing’s vociferous master of spin. Other Chinese officials often echo his talking points online. There is little doubt that the CCP’s ranks coordinate the content of their Twitter feeds.As new infection numbers taper off to mere dozens per day in China, the pandemic is politicized more than ever. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan this week in what was essentially a victory tour for the country’s “war” against the virus. To prevent the embarrassing situation from the previous week, where residents shouted “It’s all fake!” from their balconies when a CCP official staged a photo op, two police officers were stationed in every apartment near locations where Xi was set to appear.Right now, people in mainland China and Hong Kong are baffled by the current situations in Western Europe and the United States. There have been months of warnings from Asia, and thousands have died from COVID-19, yet all of that was insufficient for many nations in the West to prepare for the virus’ landfall.“If it were purely a financial crisis in Asia—an illness of capital,” a venture investor said to me offhandedly this week, “institutions [in Europe and America] like banks and hedge funds would have reacted with no delay.” But public health, she suggested, wasn’t as much of a concern even in an era of globalization, when, normally, many millions of people are moved across continents each day.In the past three months, some of those who suffered in China thought their cases would be signals of a global threat. That their warning signs were mostly ignored may serve to feed Zhao’s disinformation suggesting the U.S. is behind it all.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Some vital industries in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, were told they can resume work on Wednesday, a day after President Xi Jinping visited there for the first time since the outbreak began. The city of 11 million has been in lockdown since late January but Xi’s visit signaled the tide was turning in the government’s favor as it fights to contain a virus that as of Tuesday had infected 80,778 people in China and killed 3,158. The lifting of some restrictions in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December, comes as the vast majority of new cases are now being reported outside China.
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