GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
In recent posts, I have drawn attention to the wide gap between the number of deaths from Covid in the US/UK, now in excess of 1m, and the number of deaths from Covid in China now at 4,750. A regular correspondent has noted that “the UK, with its more open and accountable political system than China’s, has long been accused of suppressing its true Covid numbers. Why should we, therefore, believe China’s figures, China where this pandemic was first identified and China who refused to allow international scientists to visit the Hunan laboratory to satisfy the world that the virus was not man-made?”
The correspondent concludes that “the jury must still be out on whether China’s claims for its low Covid numbers are true and, therefore, whether autocracy is the best way to keep a country’s citizens safe.
Two Points;- first, China does have questions to answer? – in particular, why was four weeks lost in reporting the outbreak of this dangerous and highly transmissible virus. But, second, as Richard Horton, the Editor of Lancet notes “binary verdicts of guilt or innocence misunderstand its intentions…it was Chinese scientists that first described the human threat of this disease on 24 January 2020; that first documented person-to-person transmission; that first sequenced the genome; that first called attention to the importance of scaling up access to personal protective equipment, testing and quarantine; that first warned of the threat of a pandemic.
Horton further underlines that, despite the uncertainties in December 2019, it was Chinese doctors who quickly warned their government and the Chinese government that warned the world. Western democracies failed to listen to the warnings and then handled with delay and ambivalence as the loss of life in the US/UK reached 1m
I will have more to say about the Wuhan man-made laboratory. In the meantime, the US and the UK continue to face unanswered questions about 1m+ deaths in the two countries.
#366 2 MARCH 2022