26.06.2023 Author: Christopher Black

Covid and Propaganda: China vs the USA

Covid and Propaganda: China vs the USA

The American attempts to “contain” China, include its increased aggressive actions regarding Taiwan, China’s relations with Russia, its various attempts to disrupt the Chinese economy and trade with the world generally, its slanders about “human rights,” and the never-ending slanders about China’s response to the Covid-19 crisis which is constantly condemned in the West while the American response is downplayed or not talked about at all.

As of June 7, 2023, according to the World Health Organisation, 1,127,152 deaths occurred in the USA from Covid-19 as compared with 121, 236 deaths in China. China had approximately 100 million confirmed cases in that period, whereas the USA had nearly 104 million confirmed cases.

The figures are stunning. China’s population is 1.4 billion people. The United States population is 332 million people. China has four times the population of the USA, yet sustained confirmed infections in less than 10 percent of its population, whereas the USA sustained confirmed cases in just under 30 percent of its population. The death rate in the USA with its much smaller population is nearly ten times that of China. One would think that the western media would be impressed by the Chinese success in containing the spread of the virus and the treatment of those who fell ill.  Instead, China is constantly criticised for taking steps to protect its people from the virus by those who did too little too late to protect their own people.

But the figures on confirmed cases and deaths are replicated with respect to long-term covid cases, which has become a major problem as awareness of the extent of its occurrence in the population is better investigated. In a paper published in Lancet on December 1, a group of researchers analysing all known studies of long-term covid stated,

“This systematic review shows that at an average follow-up time of 126 days, 45% of COVID-19 survivors, regardless of hospitalisation status, go on to experience at least one unresolved symptom. In addition, the prevalence of ongoing symptoms appears to be higher in post-hospitalised cohorts compared to non-hospitalised populations.”

“Fatigue, disturbed sleep, and breathlessness were highly prevalent symptoms reported across hospitalised, non-hospitalised, and mixed cohorts. Amongst the hospitalised cohort, several clinical investigations showed lasting changes in lung structure/function at follow-up. Our updated findings correspond with previous research that reports Long Covid as a complex, multifaceted condition involving a range of symptoms affecting multiple systems.”

World crises can affect economic and political systems in fundamental ways.  Even before the coronavirus pandemic began to develop, the weakening of American hegemony was already taking place, amid the endless American wars under the control of a corrupted leadership, the continuing decline in the American economy and living standards of its people, and evident that the rot has spread throughout its political system.

The world has not yet overcome the virus which still spreads in mutated variations, though the latest ones appear to be milder in form than the earlier versions, and it is now known that long-term covid is a serious problem for all populations infected by the virus. China has adapted its response according to its needs and the changes in the virus and its spread and its consequences. In the West, here in Canada, in the USA, the UK and EU, the virus had almost disappeared from public discussion. It is rarely mentioned in the media or in government statements, though it is still circulating and people are still dying or falling ill, with many suffering long term debilitating effects.

Yet, despite these facts, on September 18, 2022, President Biden declared the pandemic over in the USA, that there was nothing to be worried about, repeating the mistake made by the Trump administration before him, who ignored the threat when it first arose.

His statement was harshly criticised by Michelle Williams, Dean of T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard, who stated on September 27, 2022 in a journal of the School and the US web journal, The Hill that,

“President Joe Biden’s declaration that “the pandemic is over,” made during a September 18 television interview, is premature and harmful to the country’s COVID-19 response. Currently, around 60,000 cases of COVID-19 and 400 deaths are reported in the U.S. every week. Additionally, long COVID is preventing an estimated 4 million people from working. Biden’s remarks undercut the government’s response to COVID-19’s continuing impact, including rolling out the new bivalent vaccine boosters and obtaining funding from Congress.”

“If we accept the status quo as background noise—rather than the urgent and immediate threat it represents—it’s nearly impossible to make the case that we need to do more as a society to protect the vulnerable, respond to surges, or prepare for future crises.”

She added, “I understand the impulse to close the book and move on. But I am deeply concerned that this declaration is not only premature but also dangerous.”

In further contradiction to Biden, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), stated that, though the world “has never been in a better position to end COVID-19 as a global health emergency as many people are vaccinated, and reported deaths from the virus has hit the lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic” he warned that “being able to see the end, doesn’t mean we are at the end.”

“We have spent two and a half years in a long, dark tunnel, and we’re just beginning to glimpse the light at the end of that tunnel, but it is still a long way off and the tunnel is still dark with many obstacles that could trip us up if we don’t take care,”

The history of the American and Chinese responses to the pandemic is well known. In January 2020, when it became clear the virus was beginning to spread in Wuhan, lockdowns were ordered which required citizens to stay home, hospital beds were increased on a massive scale, production of masks and protective gear was massively and rapidly increased, testing for the virus began on a mass scale, effective arrangements were made to deliver food and necessities to people affected by the lockdowns. This system was expanded quickly as other cities and towns became involved and the government and people worked together to get through this crisis that badly affected the productive capacity of the economy. But that consequence of the lockdown policy was considered a necessary consequence of protecting the lives and health of the Chinese people.

In the United States, President Trump did next to nothing. In the first months, the federal government reacted slowly and with little effect, as did the various states. There was never any order from the federal government for lockdowns across the country, partly from jurisdictional reasons, but also because of pressure from business groups that regarded profit a higher priority than the lives and health of Americans. These right-wing groups backed protests against any suggestion of lockdowns, against masks, mandatory testing and other measures. Gradually states and local communities did impose some sort of lockdowns, but they were ineffective because they were loose. People still moved around freely and so the virus spread, and fast. The result was a cascade of economic chaos as people fell ill, failed to show up for work due to illness or fear of being infected, as half measures were imposed that confused the situation further. Testing was carried out belatedly, but on a volunteer basis. There was never any compulsory mass testing of the population as took place in China.  Americans had to deal with a confused mess, and each day the number falling ill climbed.

Trump relied on private initiatives more than government ones to deal with the problem and the promise of vaccines which finally came but too late for many and refused to permit the use of Chinese, Russian and other vaccines developed by other nations which those nations were willingly sharing with poorer nations affected by the pandemic. Indeed, the USA, as did some EU countries, tried to monopolise the control of existing vaccines so that poorer nations could not get sufficient doses for their needs.

Changes in the virus, the availability of the US vaccines and other measures finally brought the virus under more or less control in the US, but only after a terrible loss of life and continuing damage to the health and welfare of millions of citizens who were infected and survived.  Yet, the US government, after declaring the pandemic over and again abandoning efforts on a federal government level to protect the health of Americans, has the nerve to criticise China over its covid policy.

In early January of 2023, President Biden claimed, and the Emergencies Director of the WHO, Mike Ryan, an American, quickly followed suit, that China was underreporting deaths from covid in China, after China decided to relax some of its covid measures in light of the fact the new strain in circulation was milder than previous ones.  They cited no evidence of this. In response, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a regular media briefing in Beijing that China had transparently and quickly shared COVID data with the WHO.

“Facts have proved that China has always, in accordance with the principles of legality, timeliness, openness and transparency, maintained close communication and shared relevant information and data with the WHO in a timely manner,” Mao said.

Behind this criticism is western anxiety about losing money, the loss of profit due to the disruption of the economy, supply chains, manufacturing and distribution of goods, not concern about the health and lives of the people. In June of 2022, the US Center for Strategic and International Studies in a report on covid and China’s response to it, stated,

“China’s Zero-Covid has extended its reach well beyond China itself. Zero-Covid is now routinely identified as one of the primary factors fueling worldwide inflation and heightening the risk of a global recession. In the meantime, foreign business confidence is plummeting. Many Western multinationals are reassessing their future in China; many have held off adding new capacity in China, while some have indeed begun to shift production elsewhere.”

They also used this as an excuse to accuse China of increasing “suppression and state control.”

The Americans do not stop attacking China’s anti-covid measures which demonstrably have been more effective at saving lives and protecting the people from illness than the negligent, even criminal response of the American government. They are so embarrassed by their own failures, and the devastation they permitted Covid to wreak on their own population, that they go further and even accuse China of fabricating the virus or negligently allowing its release from a lab in Wuhan.  Of course, the evidence that the US was doing research on these types of viruses for war purposes at Ft. Dietrich, Maryland and the Russian evidence found in Ukraine of US Army controlled biolabs engaged in similar research, of pathogens to be used in war, is not mentioned.

They also ignore the fact that researches have discovered the virus in tissue samples from ill persons in the USA and Europe who fell ill months before it was detected in Wuhan. And every study by scientists, be they in China, Russia, Europe, the UK, or elsewhere of the DNA structure of the virus indicates it almost certainly arose in nature and was not fabricated in a laboratory somewhere.  But the facts do not matter to them. They are concerned with one thing only, slandering China as part of its attempt to control and subdue China.

Meanwhile, China treats the pandemic very seriously. China has been one of the role models in implementing WHO’s instructions on fighting the pandemic, as the country’s regular prevention and control measures such as tracing the virus and nucleic acid testing are in line with the UN health body’s call, providing the world a strong example in containing, as quickly as possible, a rapidly spreading virus such as Omicron and other variants which are sure to appear.

On May 22, 2023, China’s top respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan said that China-developed vaccines covering the XBB variant are expected to be available soon.

In further response to developments, China’s National Health Commission, in April unveiled the latest plan for COVID-19 vaccination, aiming to increase the immunity levels across certain groups and reduce the risks of severe infection and death caused by the virus and the government is adjusting its response to the virus as new circumstances require to ensure the health and lives of the Chinese people as resources and knowledge permit.

Meanwhile, here in North America, nothing is being done to protect the people against the new strains being reported. In China, new vaccines are being developed. Here, we have no choice but to use the distrusted American vaccines, but their use is not mandatory. There has been too much distrust of them created by right-wing groups to be able to apply such measures and no other measures are being taken due to the right-wing backlash against any form of lockdowns even the very loose ones used here.  So, the people are pretty much on their own. But there is no public criticism of the Canadian government or US government approach of doing little and that badly.  They are told everything is fine or told nothing at all, Instead, the people are fed propaganda about China to hide from them the inability and unwillingness of their governments to protect them from this and future pandemics.  But in the end, it all comes down to saving lives and, in that regard, China was successful and showed the world what can be done with socialism with Chinese characteristics, which puts people first, in contrast to the USA, where profits are king and people’s lives are treated as nothing.


Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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