Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 18, 2020

The New Anti-China Campaign Is Built On Lies

To avoid self-examination of the failures that let the U.S. exceed the covid-19 casualty numbers of every other nation the powers that be decided to blame someone else.

Trump's first attempt was to blame the World Health Organization for not providing all information. But 16 U.S. administration officials were embedded with the WHO in Geneva. They relayed real time updates of all information the WHO received.

As the Democrats and the media did not join Trump in blaming the WHO another scapegoat was needed. Everyone then agreed that it China would be the most convenient target.

The intensity of the current anti-China campaign reminds one of the run up to the war on Iraq. The people who now claim that 'China lied, people died' are the very same who ran the Iraq WMD campaign. But all the reports claiming Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were just fantasy. The reports of Chinese culpability are similar nonsense.

As this is an election year both parties try to associate the other side with the new villain:

“Donald Trump sent critical medical supplies to China as Americans continue to suffer. He needs to follow his supposed motto of America First,” American Bridge President Bradley Beychok said in a statement. “We’re making sure that voters across Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin know full well not only how badly Trump botched this crisis, but also how badly he bent the knee to China in the midst of it as well.”
“We are more than happy to let the American public decide whom they trust, President Trump or Beijing Joe Biden, to get tough on China,” said Brian O. Walsh, president of America First, in response to the new ad campaign by American Bridge. American Bridge said the ad is the first of its new offensive campaign targeting Trump, his company, business associates and adult children over their ties to China and other foreign investments.

The group said it plans on rolling out microtargeted digital ads on that theme as part of “an all-out assault on Trump and his family over their corruption — in China and other countries — involving foreign bribes, political favors, shady real estate investments, and parties with dictators.”

This will be bad for other important political issues:

Rania Khalek @RaniaKhalek - 19:27 UTC · Apr 17, 2020

The anti China hawkishness is going to drown out progressive momentum for universal healthcare and cancelling student debt. Like Russiagate, this new yellow peril will lead to greater military spending and more war. Sad so many who should know better can’t see that.

Some lawmakers want to allow random people to sue China over the 'damage it caused'. Other seek to default on the $1.2 trillion of debt the U.S. owns China.

To blame China the hawks are accusing it of three issues:

  • Lack of public hygiene
  • Insufficient information
  • Creating or spreading the virus by accident

The "wet market" in Wuhan did not have hygiene problems. A "wet market" is comparable to a farmers market (vid). It is "wet" in that it provides fresh products like fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. A "dry market" provides the complementary products like rice, flour, tea and sugar. China has yet to be overrun by super market chains. Some 40% of the Chinese people source their daily food at the wet markets.

The wet market in Wuhan was not the source of the epidemic. It did not and does not sell bats. The epidemic started in December at a time when bats hibernate. The first known case was not related to the market at all.

The U.S. claims that China did not inform it sufficiently. The timeline as published by China and confirmed by media reports does not support that claim.

On January 3 the head of the U.S. Center of Disease Control was personally informed by his Chinese counterpart that there was an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan. On January 8 the "unknown cause" was identified as a novel coronavirus. A full genome sequence of the virus was published on January 12 and preliminary testing kits were developed and made available in Wuhan. By January 13 another test and test protocol had been developed in Germany and on January 17 the WHO adopted its refined version.

In the U.S. the CDC insisted on developing its own test and failed by contaminating its test components. It then failed for more than a month to correct the issue.

The German Federal Health Ministry was recently asked if it perceived a lack of information from China or saw reason to criticize China over its changing case numbers. It responded (in German, my translation):

"The federal government is not aware that China held back any data." ... "Considering the interim development the adoption of different definitions of cases during the epidemic in China is comprehensible."

Another claim is that China somehow created the virus or let it escape from a laboratory in Wuhan where it was researching bat viruses.

But scientists see strong evidence that the novel coronavirus is a natural development and they do not believe that it leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan:

Edward Holmes, a biologist at the University of Sydney and a fellow of the respected Royal Society in London, said the Wuhan laboratory blamed by some for the pandemic does have specimens of the bat virus RaTG13, the closest relative of Covid-19 source SARS-CoV-2, but the two are not genetically linked.

RaTG13 strains, he says, are from the southern Chinese province of Yunnan, not the central city of Wuhan, the pandemic’s initial epicenter.
Genome tracing has revealed that the bat virus RaTG13 has at least 20 years of genetic divergence, or evolutionary change, from SARS-CoV-2, and possibly as much as 50 years, ruling it out as the source of the pandemic.

The claims against China made by both U.S. parties do not have a factual basis.

It is no wonder than that Chinese people are asking "What Do You Really Want From Us?"

Posted by b on April 18, 2020 at 17:43 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

> A 'budget' is a figment of the administration's imagination.
>An 'appropriation' is the actual amount of money the Congress
>provides for a particular department through legislation signed into law.

A good description of the annual budget dance. It is mostly for show. Every year the Rethugs cut proposed spending to impress their funders and the Dummycrats restore the cuts in order to impress theirs. Then backslaps all around for a job well done.

Ain't America great?

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Apr 19 2020 13:49 utc | 201

Whether or not the virus came from a lab, we can make one robust prediction:

Everyone involved in gain of function virus research is highly motivated to convince everyone else in the world that the virus is of natural origin and nothing at all to do with any lab anywhere.

They would be more aware than anyone that they could be blamed and lose their funding, reputations, and careers.

Also noticed that the Australian professor quoted is, amongst other positions, "a Guest Professor at the Chinese CDC, Beijing, and an Honorary Visiting Professor at Fudan University, Shanghai".
So not necessarily a disinterested independent observer.

Posted by: Deltaeus | Apr 19 2020 14:01 utc | 202

Posted by: librul | Apr 19 2020 13:41 utc | 202

That's a good point about the Pine Street Inn, I've been wondering for some time, just based on the wide variety of outcomes we see in different places, whether there are different strains running around with different virulence, although there are a lot of other issues to consider in explaining that too. If there were indeed some less virulent strains they would make a good avenue for further investigation. In any case it seems good to inquire further into why so many symptomless cases in some places and so many sick people in others.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 19 2020 14:25 utc | 203

"Everyone involved in gain of function virus research is highly motivated to convince everyone else in the world that the virus is of natural origin and nothing at all to do with any lab anywhere." --Deltaeus @206

That's just Plan A. If Plan A starts falling apart then they will try like crazy to prove that it wasn't their lab that was responsible for wrecking the world. "It wasn't us! I swear! It was them guys over that that dun it!"

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 19 2020 14:44 utc | 204

@ Posted by: Ivan | Apr 19 2020 14:42 utc | 208

You forgot the fact that, so far, the USA has only tested 3.7 million people (as per Johns Hopkins). That makes it a 20% infection rate.

Posted by: vk | Apr 19 2020 14:54 utc | 205

One thing that is becoming obvious is that anti-Chinese propaganda is becoming increasingly virulent. At the same moment the underlying financial debt situation of the world is becoming depressingly visible. Most people realise that there is a fight to the death between two societal systems, of which predatory capitalism is one. There are too many opinions to choose "one" commenter as containing all the truth, but certain reactions need to be looked into.

One is the hysteria that the US is loosing it's "rightful" place as the centre of the world, and that the Chinese should somehow pay for (or have stolen) all the part that the US is used to in the way of easy living.
The second is that the EU is possibly even less capable of resisting the long term effects of the coming collapse. ie, with a funny money, a super-capitalist "charter", a multiplicity of "leaders" pulling in all directions, and subservience to the US Empire.
The third is the rise of fascist tendencies at the "top" and in the population as a whole. Coupled with a "lockdown" that is being used to eliminate dissent.
The fourth is the coming collapse of over-debted Businesses, people and Banks and the panic that will follow.

As one soldier said to another in the first world war, "if you know a better hole, go to it".
We are in this hole for several years, anyone know a better one or a way out?

This is advice, This won't stop you getting Coronavirus but it might help you not to die from it if you do get it.
Based on empirical evidence. The groups most likely to die are those that do not do any exercise, (old age, obese, pre-existing condition) The second group do aerobic exercise.(Kids etc.). There is some professional theory as to why this is so. (From George washingtons blog - sorry - no link. Try looking it up)
Make of it what you will, I do not have enough knowledge to say if it is true or not but it will not do you any harm !

Exercise-induced EcSOD expression seems to be specific for endurance exercise, not induced by resistance exercise.
*** Exercise-induced increase of EcSOD promotes removal of O2.- and preserved NO availability to effectively prevent endothelial dysfunction. C) O2.- stimulates pro-inflammatory cytokines and expression of cell surface adhesion molecules, such as VCAM-1, ICAM-1, and E-selectin.
*** Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome (MODS), a major contributor of intensive care unit (ICU) mortality, occurs when multiple organs are damaged to the point where they cannot maintain homeostatic function. Emerging evidence suggests that oxidative stress-induced endothelial cell activation (induced expression of adhesion molecules) in vital organs is a key step in the pathology as it leads to exacerbated inflammatory cell infiltration and tissue damage.
*** we demonstrated that EcSOD protected against LPS-induced MODS by preserving lung function, reducing endothelial cell activation, and decreasing endothelial cell adhesion."

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 19 2020 15:03 utc | 206

The only thing that will make this situation worse is politicians trying to escape blame by accusing China, much much worse.
ZeroHedge is my favourite website, largely because it's full of exciting stories. Most of them are wrong but what's a few facts between friends. MOA manages to be interesting and as factual as possible. Probably shouldn't quote ZH stores on MOA unless you actually know what your talking about.

Posted by: ramon | Apr 19 2020 15:13 utc | 207

Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2020 8:26 utc | 157

They are actually compiling them from many different sources, local and state health departments and hospitals. I think they are doing a decent job given how difficult it must be, and I also think they are struggling to answer those questions themselves.

They have been very responsive to my emails (I assume others have also emailed them with similar feedback).

Why has the federal government not been able to provide some data?

Posted by: David F | Apr 19 2020 15:20 utc | 208

I don't know about the French guy, but I don't think anyone is disputing that the COVID-19 virus has a glycoprotein spike like the one the HIV virus uses to enter T cells. William Gruff | Apr 19 2020 10:33 utc

The "passages" occur in nature. A virus is either dormant in a cell, or induces the cell to produce and spread its copies. Immunodeficiency viruses or herpes have long dormant periods, but from what we have read, corona viruses tend to be active. If the result of small mutation yield increasing success in infecting ferrets, it may also be the case with related mammals.

Wiki: "The Chinese ferret-badger lives in grassland, open forests, and tropical rainforests from north-eastern India to southern China, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and northern Indochina. They tolerate human disturbance well, and temporarily reside in agricultural areas such as rice paddies, soybean, cotton, or grass fields.[citation needed]

The ferret badger acclimates well to areas of human habitation, taking advantage of human-made sites suitable as resting spots, such as firewood stacks and rock piles, and using farmland and vegetable gardens as feeding sites. Ferret badgers create limited conflicts with surrounding human populations, as they rarely prey on chickens or livestock, and tend to not damage property."

Different subspecies of siberian weasels are widespread in all China too, and they are more closely related to ferrets. The description of their habits in Wikipedia is more sketchy.

I do not know if their ACE2 has similar structure to human, but this is just an example of a possible species that could participate in evolution if COVID-19. This critter seems to be plentiful in a wide region that includes Hubei (Wikipedia entry has a map). Concerning the mutations caused by a specific pressure from the environment versus "passage of time", there are difference. Evolution clock is most reliable if we count changes that do not change the structure of the protein products, adaptation increases the survival of mutations that give an advantage, so they are concentrated in some region of a gene and result in a structural change. In other words, people who claimed decades of evolutionary distance could have good reasons.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 19 2020 15:30 utc | 209

Walter @ 195 says:

Is Schrödinger's cat question. (Lesser Evil--Trump or Biden)

Whichever cat does not get to be el presidente is the lesser have to open the box to know.
Revolutionary thought is not = to revolutionary action. Only the ruling class can create revolution. Any they only when they're so incompetent as to create it.

well, that's all sufficiently ambiguous and noncommittal. should i order some anyway?

Posted by: john | Apr 19 2020 15:35 utc | 210

librul | Apr 19 2020 13:14 utc | 193

"Who offered "proof"? Did you mean evidence? Do you even know the difference?"

While the two words do indeed have different meanings, they are irrevocably interrelated. Do you understand that? If evidence doesn't constitute proof, then it is meaningless garbage. Aren't pedantic word games fun?

I presumed you offered the link because it supported or agreed with your point of view. If that is not the case why provide it?

There are certain links I won't even bother to read, and they also indicate to me that the person providing them is not to be taken seriously. For instance, the NYT, zero hedge, and the dailymail.

Posting link to ZH tells me that the person is almost certainly a misogynist, racist, homophobic, gold hoarding, prepper, barely literate gun freak who is going to defeat the federal government all by himself from his bunker.

Do your own homework, it is not my responsibility to find corroborating evidence of your assertions.

Posted by: David F | Apr 19 2020 15:43 utc | 211

B just cleaned this up, and here are some folks immediately making a mess again. I see one poster has literally cut and pasted a deleted post.

Posted by: David F | Apr 19 2020 15:48 utc | 212

@Posted by: David F | Apr 19 2020 15:43 utc | 219

"There are certain links I won't even bother to read"

You have offered yourself as evidence that people should create a list of "won't even bother to read".

Posted by: librul | Apr 19 2020 15:51 utc | 213

David F 215

Thanks. My thought is the the likes of worldometers are putting up reasonable ballpark figures under the circumstance.

Keeping tabs on coronavirus numbers appears very low on the Trump admin list of priorities.
Trump looks more intent on getting China and Iran's numbers up so US doesn't look so bad in comparison.
"PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP on Saturday openly challenged reporting of coronavirus statistics in China and Iran as the U.S. death toll climbed to 38,000 – almost doubling over the prior seven days."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2020 16:00 utc | 214

librul | Apr 19 2020 15:51 utc | 221

"You have offered yourself as evidence that people should create a list of "won't even bother to read"."

Of my entire response to you, it is interesting that that is what you took from it.

Well, yeah. I do indeed have a list of people I won't read, any intelligent person does. There is useful information, meaningless information, and misinforming information. When trying to understand something or arrive at a decision, it is important to only seek the first of those, and to ignore the latter.

Some sources, such as the NYT, have lied so many times, I would never consider reading them. There are also certain commenters here that have shown themselves to not be worth paying attention to.

Interesting fact; of all the commenters I have put into my blocked list 3/4's or more of them go away when b cleans up the comment section. YMMV

Posted by: David F | Apr 19 2020 16:00 utc | 215

Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2020 16:00 utc | 222

I agree. It is so fucking sad that that is where the 'donalds' priorities lie, making others look bad so he looks better by comparison, and actually caring more for how he feels and looks than the welfare of our country and its citizens.

ps I had the impression that you were from Australia, but after seeing a comment above, I think you are in Austria. Is that right?

Posted by: David F | Apr 19 2020 16:05 utc | 216

Don Wills | Apr 19 2020 2:00 utc | 119

How many more here believe the CCP on this issue?
I believe their statistics are as accurate as they can make them. I can imagine that it is hard to be very accurate when you are collecting data in an emergency situation. In general I think the Chinese government is accurate, because they got badly burnt by dud statistics in the "Great Leap Forward" and ended up very short of food.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 19 2020 16:08 utc | 217

David F

Correct the first time. Australia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2020 16:08 utc | 218

@Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 19 2020 14:25 utc | 206

Thanks Bemildred,

Yes, the way different populations have reacted to the virus gives much food for thought.

I did more reading about the 1918 Influenza. Generally speaking there are two subsystems to our immune systems: the innate and adaptive systems.
The innate is the first line of defense and the second, the adaptive, has memory. In 1918, it would appear, the young and healthy demographic successfully fought off the early version of the influenza with their innate system, the adaptive system was not brought into play and thus the immune system had no memory of that influenza. The older demographic had a weaker innate system and thus their adaptive system had to fight the influenza in it's first form and in the process developed a memory of it. When the influenza mutated into it's more virulent form the older demographic had more immunity than the younger demographic and that is why more young people died in the 1918 Influenza.

Perhaps the Covid-19 virus bears some close relationship to a virus that was unevenly distributed throughout the world (a year ago?). Perhaps, say, northern Italy, never experienced this hypothetical virus and thus has been hit especially hard by Covid-19.

Posted by: librul | Apr 19 2020 16:17 utc | 219

Yes, I think it is way more complex than people appreciate, we tend to pick the low-hanging fruit theory and information wise and then want to pretend it is all that simple. I come from a math and computer science background, where I spent a lot of time untangling the much simpler messes that get made there, and I think biology is way the heck more complex than that.

Right now everybody wants to have solid data, and it is just not there yet, may not be for long and long yet. But what that means is you have to assume the worst, or something close to it, or risk much bigger losses. This is what we ARE seeing right now, the great variation in outcomes. This is (roughly) Talib's argument, and I agree with it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 19 2020 16:27 utc | 220

From Global Times, Every move to stigmatize China evokes our historical memory
'Finally, I would like to suggest that in addition to publish the changing epidemic situation every day, Chinese media should also publish another data table, which record the words and deeds of foreign politicians and media who stigmatize China every day. The data table should be recorded, published and updated daily. You may ask why. The answer is simple: First, we should analyze these words and deeds just like analyzing viruses to see where the root cause is. Second, we should expose these dirty mental viruses to human conscience. And finally, we should remember them.'

Posted by: md | Apr 19 2020 16:38 utc | 221

@Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 19 2020 16:27 utc | 229

I have a related background and one of the most important lessons I learned over time
is that:

Assumptions are often critical for finding a timely solution
nothing can burn and blind you like assumptions.

Double-edged sword.

Posted by: librul | Apr 19 2020 16:40 utc | 222


"But what that means is you have to assume the worst, or something close to it, or risk much bigger losses."

Exactly. This is the only prudent course of action.

Posted by: David F | Apr 19 2020 16:41 utc | 223

How many more here believe the CCP on this issue?

I believe their statistics are as accurate as they can make them.
That is the way I look at it too.
It seems that China has beat the virus. There is no way they could be hiding it from their own people. The people would know if there was still a lot of sickness and death going on.

Beating the virus required good data and reporting so that makes the data believable. But more important, there is no way they could have gotten it down to less than one new case in a million per day (for all of China) in about a month if the numbers had ever been a lot higher than reported.
At the peak Wuhan reported close to 300 new cases per day and was down to about 10 a day after 6 weeks. In the rest of China there were a small number of cases that never got out of hand.

Posted by: jinn | Apr 19 2020 16:50 utc | 224

Zerohedge is one of my favorite sites, but you have to be intelligent and well informed to weed out the gold from the muck and bias
HA HA HA the gold is not at all hard to find...
ZH exists to sell gold to suckers and to drive the price up by aggregating all the media stories that instill fear, uncertainty and doubt which are the ingredients needed in the minds of morons to persuade them to put their savings into gold.

Posted by: jinn | Apr 19 2020 16:59 utc | 225

ZH, has always been a doom/fear porn site IMO. Lately they have added every second article for China bashing propaganda.

Posted by: arby | Apr 19 2020 17:08 utc | 226

Ivan @211,
I'm pretty sure Keynes did not say to keep the money taps on in the "good times".
Greenspan turned them on in 87 and they were never turned off after that.

Posted by: arby | Apr 19 2020 17:10 utc | 227

It may be impossible to achieve perfect privacy, but we can at least make the snoopers' job harder, which will limit how much they can achieve. To that end, I suggest not carrying cell phones, since they seem to be the snoopers' first recourse.

Posted by: lysias | Apr 19 2020 17:41 utc | 228

@203 krypton | Apr 19 2020 13:46

"And on top of these there's still the "when" and "where" that's unknown and the fact that viruses continue to rapidly evolve no matter what their origin. So for anyone to blame China or any other country for the outbreak is plain silly at best."

You will see from the ZH story below that the whole antibody trail is laid out for science (and China and others) to dig back through and find 'patient(s) zero' etc. Sometimes the poor bums surviving on the street have their value -- or at least their blood does. Once a comprehensive scientific testing regime is implemented across the USA and other places -- and it can't be stopped (delayed maybe for Nov 2020 agenda then forgotten with the next mass distraction du jour) -- the necessary patterns will emerge to point to likely origins. It is no Black Swan -- been predicted for years. Therefore no Force Majeure should apply. There had better be some deep pockets around. And if it is proven to have been imported into China (by whatever of a dozen routes and means) from elsewhere then what? Spanish Flu 1918 started in the US. This one may well turn out similar. Then all this accusative noise will suddenly go as quiet as a 'Building 7' controlled demolition engineering report.


Posted by: imo | Apr 19 2020 17:56 utc | 229

Posted by: librul | Apr 19 2020 16:40 utc | 232

"nothing can burn and blind you like assumptions

Yes, "it's not the things you don't know that gets you, it's the things you know that ain't so."

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 19 2020 18:00 utc | 230

Sorry, but new entrants to this community don't seem to understand that MoA is not about clickbait or outrageous nonsense like many other "alt" sites.
nCOV is not the zombie apocalypse.
It is equally not a nothingburger.
It is a serious public health issue - the treatment for which has serious economic consequences. China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and even Japan have largely handled nCOV with a minimum of loss of life as well as economic activity.

The numbers of nCOV deaths per 10M in these countries is literally 10 to 200 times less than Western countries. South Korea is tooling along at a 45 nCOV deaths per 10M compared with 1,191 in the US (9,090 in New York), 4,783 in Belgium, 4,446 in Spain, 3,838 in Italy, 2,967 in France and 2,361 in the UK. Even Germany's 541 rate is more than 10x that of South Korea.

The above countries not only enacted public health measures, they also enacted economic ones ranging from providing free food and income replacement to building hospitals.

The one lesson that is 100% clear from nCOV in the West so far: social democracies are almost uniformly incompetent dealing with a serious public health threat - particularly one which forces an interruption of the service economy.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 19 2020 18:01 utc | 231

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 19 2020 13:45 utc | 202

Appreciate your corrections to the nonsense, but just to add: Dr. Li Wenliang was never at any point "appointed the head of a team of medical workers dealing with the outbreak,", because he had no special training in respiratory diseases. He was an ophthalmologist--an eye doctor. All he did was share second-hand information (at a time when official Chinese CDC investigation had already begun) in a closed chat group for physicians, while specifically asking the other members of the group not to spread the information in public. Someone else (identity unknown) in the group screen-capped his words and posted it on public forums anyway, attracting local police attention. While his death was tragic, it had no direct causal relationship with his run-in with the local police.

Posted by: Chinese American | Apr 19 2020 18:51 utc | 232

The Dana Milbank opinion piece is hardly anything to use as a reference. Milbank talked to bureaucrats who claimed they were handling the pandemic in January and February remotely. But no one was actually allowed inside China until February 16th. Does Moon of Alabama actually think that any meaningful answers could have been found on the virus’ origins and the timeline of the China’s handling of the pandemic remotely? China stonewalled WHO as well as U.S. medical experts at the CDC while they destroyed the evidence at the Wuhan wet markets, according to
The NY Times.

In short, Milbank’s shoddy assertion that WHO and CDC were somehow doing all they could do during that time leaves out the important fact that the Chinese government had shut them out of any on-the-ground investigation. None of this absolves Trump from his lack of foresight and incompetence, but I find China’s refusal to let the leading international health body into the country pretty suspicious.

China’s own website shows the date they let WHO and CDC in:

“Feb. 16 -- The China-WHO joint expert team started a nine-day field visit in China, scheduled to inspect cities including Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Wuhan.
“The team consists of 25 experts from China, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea (ROK), Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, the United States and WHO.
“Foreign experts include senior WHO adviser Bruce Aylward, Tim Eckmanns, researcher with the Robert Koch Institute, Dale Fisher, professor at the National University of Singapore, Chikwe Ihekweazu, head of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Cliff Lane, researcher with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the United States, Jong-Koo Lee, associate professor at Seoul National University College of Medicine, Natalia Pshenichnaia, Aleksandr Semenov, Hitoshi Takahashi, scientist with the National Institute of Infectious Diseases of Japan, Maria van Kerkhove, head of WHO's emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, and Weigong Zhou.”

Posted by: Tito D | Apr 19 2020 19:29 utc | 233

"To blame China the hawks are accusing it of three issues:

Lack of public hygiene"

OMG this is so disgusting.
In China there are no homeless people urinating and defecating in the streets for want of any other option.

It is embarrassing. What was that thing about glass houses and throwing stones?

Is this some supermarket chain's CEO trying to eradicate the Chinese way of shopping for food? Just when not only the numbers of homeless American citizens but the terrible health and hence vulnerability of Americans is on show for the world to see?

Posted by: Really?? | Apr 19 2020 19:31 utc | 234

"In short, Milbank’s shoddy assertion that WHO and CDC were somehow doing all they could do during that time leaves out the important fact that the Chinese government had shut them out of any on-the-ground investigation. "

It is very likely that China was not sure if it was under attack and did not know who to trust. I'm not saying that is why but I'm certain they are on guard for things like . They are not blind to the US's provocations.

Posted by: arby | Apr 19 2020 19:50 utc | 235

john @188--

I asked again for the simple reason my first attempt elicited no replies. My query certainly doesn't imply that I contemplate voting for either; to do so shows bias on your part.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2020 19:55 utc | 236

"The wet market in Wuhan (...) did not and does not sell bats."

Yes but that's ignoring the larger point: some amount of wildlife traders and extremely poor hygienic circumstance in terms of spacing and separation had been already a few times identified at some (indeed minor) parts of this market. While it doesn't look like the place of origin of the virus, it did quite likely facilitate as one of the earlier clusters unless one wants to make the point that Chinese authorities made it all up. There's a good chance these traders brought the virus with them from places where bat trade was indeed present. As you can see, there's still a larger problem with a certain subculture of food trace in China and other Asian countries. Which market sells exactly what is simply not the essence of the critique!

Posted by: John Dowser | Apr 19 2020 19:58 utc | 237

Whatever may be the case, the reality is that the CCP’s cash and influence operations will not hold as much sway going forward. There is a broad developing sentiment that the CCP can’t be trusted.

Here’s an editorial by Bild in Germany.

This must reflect sentiment in certain segments of the population. We are seeing similar sentiments being expressed in mainstream media all over Western Europe. In Eastern Europe there is a significant hardening of attitudes against the CCP as expressed by leading political figures.

Then there’s sentiment in the US which is turning quite dramatically. A recent Harris poll shows that 70% of the American people believe that China is responsible for the spread of the coronavirus. Opinions like this are becoming more widespread.

And there’s even these kinds of hysterical opeds on mainstream TV.

There is going to be a slow building reaction in many parts of the world against the CCP. Xi Jinping will even have opposition building to his “President for Life” position within the CCP.

Posted by: ab initio | Apr 19 2020 20:01 utc | 238

The "China lied" hypothesis doesn't hold up against the public record, as any investigation process will have to reluctantly admit. A formal decoupling would take years to accomplish. There is no "punishment" available short of war, although an attempt to recognize Taiwan as an independent state may stand in for a war.

It is hard to account for what exactly elected officials, such as the reliably vicious Senator Cotton, are trying to achieve with public statements such as: "The Chinese Communist Party is responsible for every single death, every job lost, every retirement nest egg lost, from this corona virus. And Xi Jinping must be made to pay the price." (Cotton tweet). Fomenting wartime hysteria in the population without a corresponding intent to engage in war will psychologically damage your own people. Tolerance for official psychopaths is part of America's dysfunction.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 19 2020 20:02 utc | 239

ab inito,

This is not a slow mistrust that just happens to be building. This is a heavily promoted mistrust that is being flagrantly sponsored by the folks that want to stop China's rise.
I think that is blatantly obvious.

Posted by: arby | Apr 19 2020 22:23 utc | 240

It is interesting that so many people believe China is at fault because they allowed the personal freedom of a truly free market to exist in Wuhan.

The belief is that had China simply stamped out the old fashioned food market that allowed anyone to sell anything to anybody

Posted by: jinn | Apr 19 2020 22:30 utc | 241

had China simply stamped out the old fashioned food market that allowed anyone to sell anything to anybody

then none of this would have ever happened

Posted by: jinn | Apr 19 2020 22:33 utc | 242

This is a must see documentary:- John Pilger’s The Coming War with China:

Posted by: PeaceHawk | Apr 19 2020 22:59 utc | 243

@ 60 jen.. quote "I did get an impression while reading the article that the CDC had its arms twisted to grant re-accreditation to the facility due to pressure from the White House to get a vaccine ready in time before November this year." interesting... they are open at any rate as peter brought to our atttention...

@ 71 mina.. good comment! yeah - what privacy??

@ 80 mina - port of guangzhou - busiest post in south china! -

@ librul... that dailymail link was one of only a few that went into the boston shelter with 146 testing positive.. thanks for bringing it to my attention.. i don't really care for that site, but it was on a number of other sites too!

@ 212 david f... here is a link to cnn which covers the same ground as the dailymail link you didn't seem to like! 'We need to fix it quickly.' Asymptomatic coronavirus cases at Boston homeless shelter raise red flag

@ 242 / 243 jinn... i don't believe china is automatically at fault.. i do believe that is what the usa msm is peddling 24-7 at the moment though..

Posted by: james | Apr 19 2020 23:00 utc | 244

I have heard countless scientist say that at this point they can only speculate on the origin of the virus. Some think it is China, some dont, but few scientists are making declarations one way or the other. The only people who make statements with any certainty that it is or isnt China are the politicos without the scientific background to make that determination.

Posted by: Turk 152 | Apr 19 2020 23:11 utc | 245

In Zhongnanhai, the area in central Beijing where leaders of the Chinese Communist Party and the state government have their offices, "there are now serious concerns over foreign companies withdrawing from China," a Chinese economic source said. "What has particularly been talked about is the clause in Japan's emergency economic package that encourages (and funds) the re-establishment of supply chains."

If this really picks up steam and many relocate manufacturing outside China, then CCP will be in big trouble as their loss-ridden banking system is already teetering. Then there’s the massive shadow banking system with questionable credit quality. Overt takeover of the banking system could cause a run on the wealth management products.

The thing to watch over the next year is are supply chains reorienting from China.

Posted by: ab initio | Apr 19 2020 23:35 utc | 246


It probably would be wise to tighten regulation of these markets, particularly with regard to wildlife. and most especially live exotic species. These practices seem to me inconsistent with sound environmental protection and hygiene principles.

If the Chinese govt had attempted this in the past, the favoured narrative of the Western media would doubtless been 'ruthless communist suppression of traditional culture', a la Falun Gong Epoch Times etc.
Another likely section of that choir are some self - professed 'evangelical Christians, wedded to a dominionist ideology that favours unfettered exploitation of the natural world, and that is indifferent to animal welfare considerations. The past propaganda campaigns against the 'one child' policy also come to mind.

Posted by: johnf | Apr 19 2020 23:44 utc | 247

From conservative commentator David P. Goldman:

"China stopped the epidemic by combining conventional public health measures with the largest application of information technology to public health in history, including locational tracking of likely carriers, identification of probable nodes of infection, continuous monitoring of the vital signs of a large proportion of its 1.4 billion people, and the use of smartphone apps to regulate the quarantine of individuals.

China was able to marshal so many digital resources against Covid-19 because it has invested massively in big data, artificial intelligence and other information technology resources in the healthcare field over the past decade. These range from digitized health records – something that Google tried to do but abandoned due to American privacy laws – to smartphone attachments that read vital signs and take EKG’s, smartphone apps that transmit these vital signs to the cloud in real time, DNA sequencing on a vast scale, remote surgery using virtual reality headsets over 5G mobile networks, and artificial intelligence applications to diagnostics and drug development.

...The Covid-19 pandemic gave China the opportunity to show what it can do, and the results are startling – so startling that every major European pharmaceuticals company is angling to be part of the perceived Next New Thing in healthcare."

Posted by: daffyDuct | Apr 20 2020 1:17 utc | 248


Ah yes, more "China bad" because some "undisclosed anonymous sources" said so. We definitely never heard of this lame oropaganda schtick before.

Just as tired as the "China patents are IP stolen from the West" meme. Does anybody with a brain cell or two believes greedy rent seekers of the Western corporate types ain't going to patent their supposedly fabulous self-developed new IP before China does?

Posted by: JW | Apr 20 2020 3:09 utc | 249

A plausible macro-scenario, imo.

Framed here as another 9/11 effort by the usual suspects.
Perhaps operationally; however the overall macro-history aspect is closer to "opium wars" but on a much shorter fuse.

"US torpedoed the entire global economy to stop China's rise
Saturday, 18 April 2020"


Posted by: imo | Apr 20 2020 3:52 utc | 250

239 ab initio,241 arby.

never trust Bildzeitung,they are with the oligarchy for over 100 years.At their 100 Jahre-Bild fest,guests of honor included Joshua Wong,Juan Guaido,the syrian head of White Helmets,and the mayor of Kiev.Some reference,of course they are frontline in China-bashing.

Posted by: willie | Apr 20 2020 10:56 utc | 251

B, like post 8 noted "you are not thinking evil enough!"

Posted by: ERing46Z | Apr 20 2020 11:31 utc | 252

willie, I think ab inito is full of shit.

The US has been after China forever because it is Communist and it really stepped up under Obama and his "pivot to Asia".

The board seems to be getting a lot of China bashers of late.

Posted by: arby | Apr 20 2020 11:42 utc | 253

This just shows that it does matter where the virus came from.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Apr 20 2020 11:44 utc | 254

Langley faults China for not restricting flights leaving Wuhan to foreign destinations as it did for flights within China. This could prove malicious intent and liability.

The key to China's culpability here is what it had disclosed by the time of the foreign flights in question, including the disclosure of its own flight restrictions from Wuhan.

With the Wuhan Patient Zero lab worker going ill in November and infecting her medical providers then, January seems a quite long time to wait.

Posted by: Liberty Blogger | Apr 20 2020 12:16 utc | 255

Wow, this place is turning into Zero Hedge.
Just shows you how powerful the propaganda machine is and how many are more then willing to jump on the bandwagon.

Posted by: arby | Apr 20 2020 12:28 utc | 256

Actually it is scary because the end of this idiocy could be nuclear. I hope that all of the finger pointers are content with that.

Posted by: arby | Apr 20 2020 12:30 utc | 257

The campaign to throw the kitchen sink at China is as intricate but also as stupid and contradictory as can be. A tennis podcast I watch was stupid enough to include a rant against the Chinese, based on a meme that was picked up from Twitter and was patently false: "Preliminary investigations by the WHO show no human to human transmission of the Covid-19 virus" dated January 14 (tweet by Damian Byrne).
How about reading the WHO site and see that the first WHO general report on this was on January 21, which detailed all interactions with the Chinese authorities with not a whiff of this; in addition, the virus received its name by WHO as 'Covid-19' only mid February.... If we know and learn anything from previous propaganda efforts, we know that whatever mud you sling, it matters not how true it is or how obviously made up; what matters is repetition and spread of rumors and rumors about rumors. Douse it with some pop psychology of making up some skewed motivation on the part of whoever is the evil-doer, and you have a story that will become a fact. Like the Skripal case, the Russiagate stories, Steele dossier, now the China pointing by both Trump and the Democrats: it is a fantasy game that will unfortunately be gladly copied by the western media and will obtain a non-doubtable mantra.

Posted by: Josh | Apr 20 2020 14:26 utc | 258

arby @257

Advertising revenues for ad-supported websites have dropped 70% as of the middle of last week. On top of that many pop culture websites in the west were paying as little as $5/article to their writers (includes outfits like BuzzFeed) even before the covid killed revenues. This has forced a number of really crappy writers to scramble for any nickels they can find, and there is really nothing out there right now paying anything except astroturf organizations contracted with US State Department and Atlantic Council fake NGOs and similar troll farms. Because of the availability of all of that cheap labor the amount of (poorly) paid trolling has gone through the roof.

Hopefully that helps shine a light on why they are so bitter about the economy being stalled.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 20 2020 18:32 utc | 259

@Liberty Blogger #256
If Langley was so knowledgeable, why didn't *they* block flights from China to the US?
For that matter, Trump did wind up closing down incoming flights - and was lambasted for it.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 20 2020 19:12 utc | 260

I am now watching another in that Belt and Road series-- There is a whole other world out there that most in the west have no idea of it's existence. I see the US deep state has noticed though, and you can see why.

Posted by: arby | Apr 20 2020 19:39 utc | 261

Well, we all have to admit Wuhan China is not anything like Vegas; What happened in Wuhan, certainly didn't stay in Wuhan......

Posted by: Robert | Apr 20 2020 22:26 utc | 262

@tout & admin
A part youtube Fb & tweeter je viens de découvrir pour la première que votre site ose aussi a censurer les points de vues des autres qui sont contraires aux vôtres.
Vous n'avez pas le droit de supprimer les commentaires de vos lecteurs tant qu'ils ne sont pas violences-crimes ect...
C'est des gestes qui vous mènent nulle part sauf vers une dictature déguise.
Ce que vous faite n'est pas le bon moyens pour la recherche de la vérité indépendamment de trump ou de la chine ou...qui vivra verra
Ce commentaire aura peu chance a rester dans votre serveur
C'est ma dernière visite chez vous ADIEU
for @tout & admin
I just discovered for the firsttime that your site also dares to censor the views of others who are contrary to yours.
You do not have the right to delete comments from your readers until they are violence-crimes ect ...
These are gestures that lead you nowhere except towards a disguised dictatorship.
What you do is not the right means for the search for the truth independently of trump or china or ... who will live will see
This comment is unlikely to remain on your server
This is my last visit to your place

Posted by: Ahmed | Apr 21 2020 0:17 utc | 263


I wrote some comments on the Week-in Review /Open Thread (WiR/OT) that are relevant to this thread. My comments concern a post by pl at SST:

- WiR/OT @346: an exchange between Yeah, Right and pl

- WiR/OT @381: a comment by jjc debunking the pl's post

- WiR/OT @396: pl's reply to jcc


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 21 2020 1:25 utc | 264


It was interesting Trump stopped flight very early from Wuhan or China but did not expand that when outbreaks started popping up in other parts of the world.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 1:38 utc | 265

blame china: Mehdi Hasan style

Mehdi Hasan
Xi Jinping makes MBS look like a choirboy but doesn’t get even 1% of the outrage or negative coverage in the Western press, or in liberal/left circles, that MBS (rightly) gets. And I’m as guilty of giving him a pass as anyone else, though at least I’ve written about the Uighurs.

Posted by: brian | Apr 21 2020 2:37 utc | 266

Whitney Webb reports today on a USG body:

“…dedicated to examining how artificial intelligence can ‘address the national security and defense needs of the United States’ discussed in detail the ‘structural’ changes that the American economy and society must undergo in order to ensure a technological advantage over China, according to a recent document acquired through a FOIA request. This document suggests that the U.S. follow China’s lead [emphasis mine] and even surpass them in many aspects related to AI-driven technologies, particularly their use of mass surveillance. This perspective clearly clashes with the public rhetoric of prominent U.S. government officials and politicians on China, who have labeled the Chinese government’s technology investments and export of its surveillance systems and other technologies as a major “threat” to Americans’ “way of life.”

“In addition, many of the steps for the implementation of such a program in the U.S., as laid out in this newly available document, are currently being promoted and implemented as part of the government’s response to the current coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. This likely due to the fact that many members of this same body have considerable overlap with the taskforces and advisors currently guiding the government’s plans to “re-open the economy” and efforts to use technology to respond to the current crisis…”

Am unable to get the hidden link to work.

Posted by: suzan | Apr 21 2020 2:59 utc | 267

Trolls all putting their bit in on the tail end of the thread hoping b won't come along with his pooper scooper.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 3:02 utc | 268

who knows less must believe lot
Wikipedia on the Bioweapons Convention:
"However, since the agreement does not contain any specific arms control agreements, effective monitoring of compliance has proven to be impracticable. Attempts to solve this problem through an additional protocol, which would include disclosure requirements and inspections, have so far failed."
a science that feels committed to humanistic ideals would certainly be able to answer the question whether sars-cov2 originated from a petri dish or as a whim of nature. Unfortunately, the scientific community and civil society currently do not seem to be able to think against the interests of government and private donors. In this situation, the efforts of the state actors are not aimed to promoting scientific work (i.e. no disclosure requirements and inspections), but at establishing opinions and beliefs.
It is boring to answer whether details are really negotiated in media-based struggles or just one donkey says to another donkey "long-eared".
some should then believe that a doctor in wuhan was not reprimanded because he violated medical confidentiality, but because he wanted to draw attention to a danger from which he later died, and the state authorities in china manipulated the information on victim numbers to distract from a possible connection to high security laboratories and biological virus research.
the others should then believe that it is normal for a us-congressman, and member of a congress subcommittee that monitors activities of the us secret services abroad, to be shot in front of a camera, together with other delegation participants, and the gathered rulers of the secret service of the usa, can only get hold of one person from the documented group of death shooters, who, after conviction, is released from prison early. that a doctor from bethesda, the site of the first military bio-high security laboratory in the usa, gave instructions to a jungle settlement (which the us-congressman had visited) on how to cope with a "twin operation" via a connection in long-wave radio, should appear as a nice gesture. that the residents of the jungle settlement were subjected to extensive medical monitoring before the visit of the us-delegation should appear to be caring, and their abrupt demise as tragic communal suicide. the fact that the officially stated victim numbers more than doubled within a week after the us military had gained control over the jungle settlement is said to have been due to the inability to count previous crime scene inspectors.
if you don't want to believe it, see leo ryan, larry layton and jonestown.
luc montagnier should have shout "jacusse" when he found the two hiv versions. but he probably only reached his old age because he didn't do so. whether jonestown is the "manhatten project", "hiroshima" and "tchernobyl" of genetic engineering should be a question of knowledge, but is still a question of belief at the moment.

Posted by: marquessa theresa | Apr 21 2020 3:58 utc | 269

We do know that lab employees in China do not shy away from selling used test animals to wet markets for pocket money, many have officially been blamed or punished for that in the past.

We do know the P4 lab in Wuhan had been working on chimeric corona like virus as shows the labs referenced here

It is very easy, tempting and plausible that they bungled up badly in that P4 lab ....

Posted by: Wamb | Apr 21 2020 6:25 utc | 270

@ 270 Peter AU1
Hey Peter — If you’re including me for posting the Whitney Webb reporting, go ahead, take a look at it. No way am I advocating for workers returning to unsafe work conditions. Just sharing a link to investigative reporting that sheds some light on USG official policy thinking pre pandemic.

The FOIA was used to pry the report Webb discusses out into public view. As usual, the report reveals there is PR spiel designed for the american public to hear and then there’s policy views which contradict what public is being told kept under wraps — in this case how to dominate in AI, intel and silicon valley global market share for 4th generation tech. The path forward they envision in FOIA-ed document is emulating China and “restructuring” (ending) the “american way of life” with its “legacy” features like privacy, personal autos, in-person medical doctor care, etc. (Of course much of this is already transitioning.)

Just because I personally adhere to the maximum-risk-potential view re the novel virus and therefore advocate utmost caution based on sound science approach to this crisis, I do not dismiss information that sheds light on how the USG failed to respond to epidemic in timely fashion, and why.

As I’ve said before the timeline shows US CDC was in no hurry to stop the epidemic. Now WW reveals that there was a pre-existing agenda for restructuring “legacy” aspects of “the American way of life” before spread of nvirus which is being implemented now as we are forced to suffer real-time contagious sickness that forces change.

Posted by: suzan | Apr 21 2020 14:09 utc | 271

Peter AU1, I forgot to include paperless money or cashless society. That is also on the NSCAI (National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence) wish list.

(We’ve talked B4 — i changed the spelling of my name from susan to suzan to avoid confusion.)

Posted by: suzan | Apr 21 2020 14:32 utc | 272


When I was looking through the posts and then posted mine, yours had not appeared.

In many ways, COVID-19 has been manna from heaven for the Trump admin. Decoupling from China - both US and vassals, bringing back strategic manufacturing - or at least the complete chain required for military manufacturing, closing borders to immigrants, Boeing bail out, blocking Chinese 5G ect ect.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 14:49 utc | 273

@Peter AU1 #267
Not really - Trump has repeatedly referred to Global South nations as shithole, and Europe as "good".
A stopped clock is right twice a day...
I would note, however, that Trump Derangement Syndrome notwithstanding - it is likely the airline lockdown which is why New York is dramatically affected but not California. Note that Trump didn't ban *all* flights, but in reality restricted flights by non-Americans.

Nonetheless, it does seem possible that these restrictions made a difference.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 21 2020 18:38 utc | 274

I recently came across an article penned by an over-the-top propagandist going by the name of Helena Glass. Judge Jeanine would probably kill to have Helena Glass on her show.

Some of the juicier excerpts mixing fact with fiction:

PANDEMIC: China Setting Stage for North America Colonization

It all began – in the beginning – 1995.

October 1, 1995, the Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev Foundation gathered 500 of the world’s most important statesmen, economic leaders and scientists including George W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Zbigniew Brzezinski, as well as George Soros, Bill Gates, Deepak Chopra, George Schultz, Desmond Tutu, Jane Fonda...

The Gorbachev Foundation – its members, advisors and funders were essential in coordinating this effort. Russia was given Alaska and parts of Canada, China would take over the lower 48 states, and other countries were given ‘looting rights’.

In 2001, Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chi Haotian, gave a speech to high members of the Chinese Communist Party that provided a blueprint for how and why China would take over all of North America, and possibly Australia. Simply speaking, he understood that China had reached a point of no return and their existence depended on taking over our lands because they had destroyed their own. Food shortages, pollution, depleted resources, lack of water, changing climate, too many people, and a need to become once again the Central Global dominant force was paramount given Chinese are ‘far superior to all other races’.

Gen. Chi recognized that such a takeover could not be attained through traditional means such as a nuclear attack because the land would be destroyed and the land was vital to the mission. The means he recommended was biowarfare. That was in 2001.

Chi’s speech was translated by The Epoch Times in 2005. In his speech, he refers multiple times to ‘cleaning up’ America. Meaning killing a sufficient number of the population through biowarfare so that Chinese nationals will be free to move to North America and colonize the country. Dissenters would be dealt with accordingly, whether they are American or westernized Chinese. People will adapt – or die.

The scary thing is the number of people that must lap this stuff up!

Posted by: krypton | Apr 22 2020 11:33 utc | 275

Posted by: David F | Apr 19 2020 16:00 utc | 216

"Some sources, such as the NYT, have lied so many times, I would never consider reading them"

Then you're missing a lot of great NYT recipes! ;-)

Posted by: krypton | Apr 22 2020 11:56 utc | 276


I went back and checked the time line. Jan 23rd travel ban on Wuhan to US. Jan 31st when small outbreaks can be seen outside Wuhan Trump bans foreign travelers who have been to China in the previous 14 days.
March 11 Trump bans travellers from Europe. By then, there are 12,400 confirmed cases in Italy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 22 2020 13:01 utc | 277

Joe Lauria on the NYTimes taking up the Blame China story and adopting it-a new Russiagate.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 22 2020 22:01 utc | 278

The new industry that drives more & more foreign policy and often wars , is the new thechnology of lies : lie designed by industrial means . This has developed as a dominant software and is thriving as a true power inside the political structures ! A totalitarian new power , because of the nature of the basis it can rely = no more true checked facts , but a forged landscape built on industrial lies ! (Israel already developed this habit) .Generaly backed by the medias of their conspiracy-group , there is no limits to their power , except few very courageous citizen . ( as E.Snowden )

This new activity and specific technology should be monitored and watched very closely by a federal service or magazine depicting these hi-tech lies . This is a matter of survival for hi-tch nations as USA .

Posted by: kerboriou | Apr 23 2020 13:07 utc | 279

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