Preface

My thanks to publisher/owner Reade Brower for his column in the March 26 issue, outlining the steps he has taken to assist the entire community in many ways via his publications. Additionally, his assurances that the “Main stream media is here to sort out what is happening and to vet the information to present to you, with as little bias as humanely possible,” are welcomed. We “columnists” are categorized as providing “conversation starters” toward civilized discussions. So if the main stream media gives something a good-leaving-alone, there is usually a reason and we will examine those issues. Tip of the hat to Reade; we will get through this.

Please note that, even if I had a 3,000-word limit, I could not cover all the important new information regarding this epidemic that has become known in the past week.

The entire world is struggling to deal with the Wuhan virus and America is now the next “hot-spot” for cases, and sadly deaths. The human and economic toll is beyond comprehension. All this was done without a single catalytic military event, army, missile, or bomb. No one outside China had any idea it was coming. Now for generations to come, nations will suffer to pay for this, and hopefully prevent it from recurring.

It is time for the international community — the American public especially — to ultimately recognize the causative actions behind the global pandemic, and hold those responsible for the reparations due the rest of the world for the damages done. The spread of the pandemic is entirely the fault of the Chinese Communist Party government of China, along with the painfully incompetent actions of the World Health Organization as an abettor.

The current propaganda campaign by China to burnish its image worldwide as the savior and benefactor of many nations terribly damaged by this virus is beyond reprehensible. The Chinese government by way of one of its media mouthpieces, the Beijing Review (not registered as a foreign lobbying arm here), has gone so far as to take out full-page ads in The Economist, made to look like news stories, touting their rapid response within China and assistance to other countries ― and they have American media flacks spouting the same nonsense. They have pulled out all the stops, flooding all forms of media with various forms of disinformation about their role.

The bureaucracy of the World Health Organization (WHO) has an “Emergency Committee” that issues advice on declarations of a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” (PHEIC). This committee is to be composed of “experts in the field” and has to include one expert from the affected country, in this case China.

The legal ramifications of issuing a PHEIC are noted by international legal scholars as being closely tied to the political considerations of the WHO as follows: “Nevertheless, disregarding the advice of the Emergency Committee would amount to political brinksmanship. If the response is enhanced as a result of a PHEIC declaration against the advice of the Committee, it could lead to a boost in the confidence towards the WHO, and specially its Director-General. But, if the aftermath is considered to be negative, a decision bypassing — or downright disregarding — the Committee’s advice could have dire political consequences for the Director General, and possibly legal ones for the WHO.”

I reference this point specifically as it has come to light recently that the Chinese government had leaned heavily on the WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in order to prevent a PHEIC declaration.

As late as Jan. 22, Ghebreyesus was saying, “I was very impressed by the depth of China’s presentation. I also appreciate the cooperation of China’s Minister of Health, who I have spoken with directly during the last few days and weeks. His leadership and the intervention of President Xi and Premier Li have been invaluable, and all the measures they have taken to respond to the outbreak.”

It is noteworthy that the Chinese Health Ministry has not given cooperation to the American CDC or State Department. As of Jan. 23, the WHO’s Emergency Committee expressed “divergent views” on a declaration of a PHEIC, but decided not to declare it as such. That legal aspect of the WHO lacking unbiased credibility, coupled with the continuous lack of cooperation by Chinese authorities from day one of this crisis, makes it clear we are dealing with a dishonest regime doing everything it can to deflect attention from its responsibility. The WHO has in its International Health Regulations (IHR), under Article 12.2 (C), “this covenant provides an obligation for states to ‘take steps’ to prevent epidemics.” Not only did China fail to ‘take steps’; they actively suppressed information and punished medical personnel who spoke out about the virus.

A brief timeline of what has been documented to date of the Wuhan virus epidemic is in order.

Wuhan virus timeline simplified

According to The Lancet (British medical journal) Dec. 6, 2019, one of the documented early cases had been noted on Dec. 1, 2019, in Wuhan city. The female patient had been seriously ill for at least five days at that point, and there was no indication she had any contact, or connection with, the so-called “wet-market” prevalent in later narratives as the source of the yet-to-be -named illness. Keep that date in mind — Dec. 1, 2019.

Between Dec. 1 and Dec. 20, 2019, there are no known documents about other cases from China. By Dec. 21, 2019, Wuhan physicians were reporting “a cluster of pneumonia cases with an unknown cause.” On Dec. 25, 2019, several medical staff at two Wuhan hospitals are suspected of contracting a viral pneumonia and get quarantined.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, by late December 2019, Wuhan hospitals had noted “an exponential increase” in cases that cannot be connected to the fabled Huanan Seafood Wholesale market (the so-called “wet-market”).

Dec. 25, 2019, is another noteworthy date, because the WHO as late as Jan. 14, 2020, was still parroting the Chinese government line, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in Wuhan, China.” That was three weeks after they had evidence to the contrary and the virus was spreading in Wuhan like wildfire.

On Dec. 30, 2019, in Wuhan, Dr. Li Wenliang sent out an email to colleagues warning them of this new virus which had similarities to the dreaded SARS virus of years ago (2003). He was summoned the next day by the Wuhan Security Bureau and accused of “spreading rumors.” Forced to sign a confession two days later at the police station, he was released ― only to become hospitalized Jan. 12, and subsequently died of the Wuhan virus Feb. 7. He has become a martyr to many Chinese citizens for trying to sound the alarm, and being forcibly suppressed.

The world’s pandemic was about to begin.

To understand how rapidly this virus spread across the globe, current travel data shows that 21 countries have direct flights to Wuhan, and during the pre-virus months of 2019 on average 4,422 people per month flew to U.S. locations. The Chinese government did not even contact the WHO until Dec. 31, 2019. And remember the WHO was still saying two weeks later that human-to-human transmission was not happening, despite contrary reports. So by Jan. 14, an estimate of travel to the U.S. could easily tally 8,000 people from Wuhan. The WHO did not declare the PHEIC on the Wuhan virus until March 11, 2020. That day Italy’s death toll was 827, up over 200 from the previous day.

A study done in March by the University of Southampton, UK, indicated that had the Chinese government acted appropriately in early January, the contagion could have been curtailed by 86% to 95% worldwide. (southampton.ac.uk/news/2020/03/covid-19-china.page)

Fast-forward to the third week of March 2020. With the entire country attempting to self-quarantine or shut down, demands that our government help shore up the financial gap in everyone’s situation reached a peak. After an appalling display of foot-dragging and pork-barrel rolling by Democrats, the Coronavirus Relief bill was close to being passed by Congress for an astounding price tag of approximately $2 trillion. We have a lot of work ahead of us, no question, but no one should lose sight of the fact that one regime caused this worldwide pandemic and that regime must be held accountable for it.

Another View is a Maine Press Association award-winning column written by Midcoast conservative citizens/writers Jan Dolcater, Ken Frederic, Paul Ackerman, Doc Wallace and Dale Landrith Sr.