As U.S. coronavirus cases spiraled past 150,000 on Monday, China’s government claimed that Wuhan – the city where the outbreak was first identified – had recorded its sixth straight day with no new infections. To which Ben Sasse had a simple retort: bulls–t.
Okay, Sasse didn’t put it quite so bluntly, but he may as well have. The U.S. senator from Nebraska epically trolled the Communist Party, quipping that “Chairman Xi’s super-hot, totally-real Canadian girlfriend found the cure!”
Quite frankly, his tweet is a refreshing dose of reality.
While broad swaths of the media and political establishment have taken China’s official statistics at face value – even morbidly “celebrating” as confirmed U.S. cases surpassed the CCP’s tally – those statistics might be even less believable than Xi Jinping’s fictional Canadian girlfriend developing a coronavirus vaccine.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lied about the outbreak for weeks, potentially to secure favorable trade deal terms with the United States. Even after acknowledging the outbreak, Beijing repeatedly played games with its COVID-19 reporting policies.
And as Ben Sasse’s tweet hints, it looks like that’s precisely what’s happening in Wuhan.
Apple Daily HK, a tabloid newspaper based in Hong Kong, claims that Wuhan’s COVID-19 case toll has flatlined for a simple reason. The government has stopped testing.
Another Hong Kong news outlet – public broadcaster RTHK – levied a similar accusation, reporting that hospitals in Wuhan have been ordered to turn patients away to “back the official data,” which claims there are no new local infections. As one source alleged, China has eradicated Wuhan of coronavirus using “not medical, but political treatment.”
That doesn’t mean that Xi and his cronies are secretly concealing hundreds of millions of active coronavirus cases.
After all, there’s no denying that the gears of China’s economy have begun to grind back to life. And there’s little doubt that the state’s draconian containment policies mitigated the spread of COVID-19.
But it does look like the CCP is preparing for a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak. Or more accurately, preparing to shift the blame for the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.
Consider the evidence.
Item one: Beijing has made a show of shipping medical equipment to Western countries hammered by the pandemic, prompting headlines like “US awol from world stage as Chian tries on global leadership for size.”
Item two: Chinese officials and state-run media outlets alike have already floated the narrative that COVID-19 did not originate in Wuhan.
Item three: Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s science advisors reportedly told him that China may have lied about the scale of its local coronavirus outbreak by a factor as great as 40 times.
Item four: China’s National Health Commission confirmed 31 new cases on Monday, 30 of which it says were “imported.”
Item five: On March 27, Chinese film regulators quietly reversed a decision to allow more than 600 movie theaters across China to reopen.
Item six: U.S. journalists have been expelled from China.
President Donald Trump’s critics have torched him for using the phrase “Chinese virus” to deflect from his own administration’s failure to halt COVID-19’s advance into the United States. But don’t let cries of racism distract you from the ugly truth about this pandemic.
Xi’s regime may not have secretly created COVID-19 in a bioterrorism lab. Yet it’s become startlingly clear that – through a deadly combination of incompetence, opportunism, and face-saving behavior – the Chinese Communist Party has weaponized it.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.