New Op-ed: As China Carries Disease, Elites Carry Their Water
The World Health Organization is a case study of how the Chinese Communist Party infects supposedly apolitical institutions. But it doesn’t end there.
Two dangerous infectious agents are emerging from China. One is the coronavirus. The other is the Chinese Communist Party.
Just as a virus infects the cellular mechanics of healthy organisms to make replicas of itself, the CCP hijacks independent organizations and institutions and reprograms them to serve its ideology.
It is no exaggeration to blame the party for the spread of the contagion.
The novel coronavirus is believed to have infected the first patients in Wuhan, China in mid-December. But Chinese officials did not report the mystery virus to the World Health Organization until December 31. By that time, 5 million potential disease carriers had left the city for the Lunar New Year holiday.
In every important way, local officials were slow to respond in the first crucial days because they didn’t want to get sideways with higher-ups. The mayor of Wuhan said he had to wait for orders from Beijing before he could do anything.
But local officials if slow to respond to the crisis did respond quickly in arresting those who talked about the infection for “publishing or forwarding false information on the internet without verification.”
Police also rounded up journalists covering the story. Reporters at Jinyintan Hospital were “told to hand over all of their footage and photographs so they could be destroyed” and “to stick to reporting government statement on the virus, and not to independently follow up leads on new infections,” the Daily Mail reports.
Official numbers coming from Communist China in such cases are notoriously unreliable. Lacking an accurate count of the number of infections and deaths resulting from the virus, epidemiologists cannot determine the coronavirus’s lethality or contagion factor.
Blame the Chinese Communist Party’s reflexive secrecy and conformity for the many unanswered questions surrounding this outbreak.
While censorship and bureaucratic behind-covering are hallmarks of socialism with Chinese characteristics, they are no longer strictly an internal matter for the People’s Republic and its citizens.
Now the world is paying the price.
The Communist Party’s pathologies, like the coronavirus, don’t stop at the border. They are infecting world bodies.
Critics slammed the World Health Organization for refusing (as of this writing) to declare a global health emergency. Independent epidemiologists say it’s a very real possibility the epidemic cannot be contained in China. After being widely criticized for inaction, the head of the WHO finally announced he will visit Beijing, ostensibly to get his marching orders.
Consider: The director-general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is the first nonphysician to lead the organization. He previously served as Ethiopia’s minister of health. There, he was accused of covering up cholera epidemics.
Tedros won the election to lead the WHO under rules that give all 186 member states, many of them Third World socialist regimes, an equal vote. He said his top priority would be universal health coverage for the world, a leftist dream. Dealing with outbreaks and pandemics was further down the list for the director-general-elect.
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s late dictator who headed the African Union, and Beijing were instrumental in electing Tedros.
The first meeting the director-general took was with Red China’s minister of health and family planning. There, Tedros publicly reiterated his support for the “One China” principle—meaning Taiwan would not participate in WHO functions without Beijing’s permission. He fulfilled the promise by barring Taiwan from a global conference on the coronavirus even though the island has four confirmed cases.
Tedros held up China’s health care system as “a model for other countries in how to make our world fairer, healthier and safer” in an official visit to Beijing in 2017 advertised as “paving the way for stronger and more strategic WHO-China collaborations.” He gushed, “We can all learn something from China.”
The World Health Organization is a case study of how the Chinese Communist Party infects supposedly apolitical institutions.
It has corrupted the United Nations (as if that organization weren’t corrupt enough). Communist China’s checkbook diplomacy buys seats on the U.N. Human Rights Council for itself and allies such as Cuba and Venezuela. Beijing has been able successfully to muzzle or muddle criticism of its internment of more than 1 million Uighur Muslims in concentration camps. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation actually commended China for the repression.
Animals fare no better than humans. Across Asia, Africa and South America, Chinese bribes and investments are clearing forests and destroying habitat for rare and endangered species. Wildlife is a sought after delicacy by China’s growing middle class. (Bat bouillabaisse or kung pao mice anyone?) Can we really expect that global conventions against poaching and trafficking in wildlife would be enforced in a world dominated by the Communist Chinese?
The CCP’s malign influence is not limited to political institutions. Our greatest corporations, financiers, and technologists carry water for Beijing.
We saw the NBA kowtow to China. Hollywood, once a vehicle for promoting American values and culture to the world, now gives Chinese censors the final cut. The princes of Silicon Valley and Wall Street lobby for the right to sell anything, anytime to the Red Mandarins of the Forbidden City despite daily headlines delivering new reports of CCP hackers, thieves and spies stealing what they cannot buy.
Yes, the director-general of the World Health Organization is right when he says, “We can all learn something from China.” In fact, we must learn something.
We must learn the Chinese Communist Party infects and corrupts everything it touches. And like the coronavirus, this political pathogen must be contained.
-Curtis Ellis is the Senior Policy Advisor for America First Policies.