General Question

crazyguy's avatar

Did China deliberately lie about coronavirus?

Asked by crazyguy (2007points) 1 month ago

This morning, CNN reports some information from leaked Chinese documents:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/30/asia/wuhan-china-covid-intl/index.html

The documents seem to confirm the suspicion that many of us had over the last few months about China’s transparency.

What do you think?

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43 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. At first they behaved in a manner similar to our current administration. They hoped it would go away.

But, once they knew it was going to be bad they put all hands on deck and shut it down the best they could. They reacted by setting up field hospitals and morgues. They did not encourage citizens to spread it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@LuckyGuy – essentially you’re saying that once they knew, they took it seriously. That’s the difference with the Trump admin.

si3tech's avatar

Is the Pope Catholic?

elbanditoroso's avatar

@crazyguy I just read the entire CNN article, which goes on for pages. My analysis is a follows:

- they were surprised at the virus and it took a while to get their hands around how contagious it was.

- the initial labs had great difficulty getting funding to investigate it, and because of that it got steadily worse. Their CDC was begging for money and it took a while for the Chinese government to come up with it.

- they had all sorts of issues – IT, personnel, protocols, etc. early on that made understanding the virus even worse.

So in effect, their early issues were mirrored here in the US – labs weren’[t set up or funded at the scale needed to get control of the virus.

Two final observations:

- I didn’t see a pattern of lies, which is what you imply. I see a bunch of information that got updated and corrected as the science became better. That doesn’t make it criminal or malicious.

- But what the Chinese did once they understood the seriousness of the virus was day and night different from the US.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with @elbanditoroso.

The US has no excuse for not planning and not taking action sooner. We had information from Asia and Europe and were not blindsided in the way China was. China could have done better, no question, and their reluctance and denial was bad, but it was not for long and then they shared the information with the world.

America had all sorts of lead time and countries offered to help us test and we declined the help, which was ludicrous, selfish, and just for money in my opinion.

If the virus had started in America how do you think we would have handled it under the Trump administration? China locked down Wuhan and stopped it from spreading far across the country. I think America would have had half a million people dead by now if it had started here and much worse across the world than it is now.

Edit: I guess it is possible if China had acknowledged the virus immediately and the world had responded in helping China contain the virus it might have stopped the virus in its tracks and never become a world pandemic, but America really was not responding appropriately from the beginning in my opinion.

It is an argument to stay in WHO and continue working together with countries regarding infectious disease; building rapport and trust.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

We knew they suppressed info early in the pandemic. That isn’t news.

NY Times – Feb. 6, 2020 – Chinese Doctor, Silenced After Warning of Outbreak, Dies From Coronavirus – Wuhan, China — “He was the doctor who tried to sound a warning that a troubling cluster of viral infections in a Chinese province could grow out of control — and was then summoned for a middle-of-the-night reprimand over his candor.

“On Friday, the doctor, Li Wenliang, died after contracting the very illness he had told medical school classmates about in an online chat room, the coronavirus. He joined the more than 600 other Chinese who have died in an outbreak that has now spread across the globe.”

Strauss's avatar

There is scientific evidence that the virus was in the US long before the first “official” case in January 2020.

JLeslie's avatar

@Strauss It reminds me of 9/11 The first crash into the first tower happened and too many officials chose to not take action. They didn’t start to clear out the other tower.

When the second tower was hit I immediately called my dad asking if my mom was in a government building in the DC area, she worked for the government.

I hadn’t heard anything in the news, I just had my sister upset on the phone (She lives in NYC) and while talking to her I saw the second plane crash into the tower on TV. I hung up with her and called my dad.

My dad didn’t seem to quite understand my concern—and then the Pentagon crash happened! It was so obvious to me what could be the next target.

It’s like America was watching what was happening with covid, but not taking action, like not clearing out the second tower and not grounding all planes, and not evacuating government buildings. Not soon enough. It’s a moment of denial or something. A calculation of the havoc that will be caused by acting is in the equation too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Concur with all the above.

Blazin_'s avatar

China shared as much information as possible after they discovered it. China also completely shut down Wuhan – which probably prevented Covid-19 from spreading early on. Of course, the virus still managed to escape and devastate the Earth.

But let’s compare China’s reaction to USA’s reaction. If America was where Covid-19 appeared, then…well….a ton of people would be dead and millions infected within 1 month. Trump…to say the least…does not care about epidemics that have significantly affected the world. That is one reason why Covid-19 is causing even more mayhem almost a year into the outbreak.

Strauss's avatar

Some experts seem to think we could have been better prepared if Trump had not disbanded the NSC directorate for global health and security and bio-defense in 2018.

SEKA's avatar

They said today that the US had its first cases around Dec 19, 2019. So we may have had it here before China had it explode al over them. It seems that thumper kept saying that we didn’t have to worry because he was helping China

My thinking is that if China deliberately lied and thumper subsequently backed them up, they weren’t the only ones deliberately lying

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie With full benefit of hindsight, what do you think the US should have done in January? Please try and be as specific as possible.

Keep in mind the official information from China (by way of the WHO). Here is a link to the WHO info:
https://www.who.int/news-room/statements/5 and

https://www.who.int/csr/don/05-january-2020-pneumonia-of-unkown-cause-china/en/

crazyguy's avatar

@SEKA The CNN article says that China had its first cases in early December and possibly even earlier.

crazyguy's avatar

@Strauss Just how much expenditure can be justified for organizations that may never be called upon?

crazyguy's avatar

@Blazin_ Perhaps. And perhaps the whole world would have been spared. Because we cannot keep any secrets.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy By end of January and especially through February the US should have started testing to see if covid was here. We should have reduced flights from Europe and Asia and had people quarantine who were on the flights. We should have had people coming back from cruises quarantine. We should have been ramping up PPE production.

Ask Americans to not shake hands, to wash hands more often, and basics to not catch cold or flu (we should do this every flu season) and the cooperation of churches to not shake hands and change communion practices if necessary.

Once we found there was covid in NY, Miami, DC, Detroit, we should have locked those cities down tight, no one in or out, so the rest of the country could go on functioning with no lockdown. The whole city stay quarantine for 14 days and people who have to move about be tested.

Ask all Americans to wear masks more and to distance. Increase availability of testing and do contact tracing.

The government should have helped people in quarantine in January and February. Call them daily, provide grocery delivery if necessary. The money spent on helping those in quarantine so they go no where would have been much cheaper than giving everyone stimulus money and unemployment.

I would have set up covid hotels for covid people to stay in voluntarily so they could avoiding infecting family and they would be able to socialize with other covid positive people instead of being along.

Realize that Trump had the people on the cruiseship in the Pacific in quarantine for almost 5 weeks! A jelly was on that ship. They were held on the ship 14 days and then they were moved to military bases for another 14 days. They were handed papers saying the government has the right to detain them. The nursing home in Washington state they basically let the people get infected and die. People wanted to take their relatives out and they weren’t allowed. I thought it was outrageous. If a family member wanted to take their relative out, and the relative was testing negative, I think they should have been allowed to having to isolate along with the relative.

The US government was using draconian methods to try to control the virus. They went too far initially in my opinion, but at the same time were too narrow in their scope. They KNEW covid was exploding in Italy and other parts of Europe, and Iran and other parts of Asia, and we still were taking in flights and people from cruises.

Strauss's avatar

@crazyguy Just how much expenditure can be justified for organizations that may never be called upon?

If the organization existed it would have been called upon and the death toll as of today, December 1, 2020, would likely be far less than the 270,532 of my fellow residents of the US. That’s the population of a large Midwestern city!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@crazyguy “Just how much expenditure can be justified for organizations that may never be called upon?”

How much is spent on maintaining the nuclear stockpile of over 3500 (5800?) weapons? $20 Billion per year to just to revamp them. It is expected to cost over $1.2 Trillion over the next 30 years to maintain them.

They may never be called upon. Imagine cutting the stockpile in half and putting that money somewhere else where we may never need it.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks for indulging me. And doing it so well!

Now let me examine your suggestions in detail.

1. “By end of January and especially through February the US should have started testing to see if covid was here.” I believe tests were being run as early as January, but definitely in February.

2. “We should have reduced flights from Europe and Asia and had people quarantine who were on the flights.” I agree. And damn the popularity of the idea, or the lack thereof! I think this was one instance where Trump should not have listened to his advisers.

3. “We should have had people coming back from cruises quarantine.” Agree 100%. However, I am not certain, the Federal government can impose this requirement. And if they do, they have to manage the quarantine.

4. “We should have been ramping up PPE production.” Agreed. However, please keep in mind that the exact quantity that may be needed is a guess at that stage.

5. “Ask Americans to not shake hands, to wash hands more often, and basics to not catch cold or flu (we should do this every flu season) and the cooperation of churches to not shake hands and change communion practices if necessary.” I believe this was done. In fact, we did a major disservice to the science and people’s co-operation by including disinfecting surfaces and not touching anything that may have a virus on it. I remember one round of golf where a playing partner marked my golfball on the green. When I got to the marker, without thinking, I picked up the marker and tossed it to her. She said, visibly angry: “Now, you keep it!”

6. “Once we found there was covid in NY, Miami, DC, Detroit, we should have locked those cities down tight, no one in or out, so the rest of the country could go on functioning with no lockdown. The whole city stay quarantine for 14 days and people who have to move about be tested.” Again, I am not sure the Federal government is authorized to act in such a draconian fashion.

7. “Ask all Americans to wear masks more and to distance. Increase availability of testing and do contact tracing.” Social distancing was recommended, but certainly not enforced. Testing was increased substantially. I am not certain contact tracing can be done even today. Without a detailed analysis of the exact pathogen, you cannot even be certain if A gave it to B or vice versa. So, to me, contact tracing has been just a notion. Masks, I think, are a good idea that should have been pushed more.

8. ” The government should have helped people in quarantine in January and February. Call them daily, provide grocery delivery if necessary. The money spent on helping those in quarantine so they go no where would have been much cheaper than giving everyone stimulus money and unemployment.” I think this is a great idea that I have never heard before. But why restrict it to “January and February?”

9. “I would have set up covid hotels for covid people to stay in voluntarily so they could avoiding infecting family and they would be able to socialize with other covid positive people instead of being along.” Another great idea. I believe states are in a better position to do this than the Feds. However, the possibility of graft is large. So, if the Feds are asked to underwrite the costs, I can see there would be a lot of pushback.

10. Last but not least, you say: “The US government was using draconian methods to try to control the virus. They went too far initially in my opinion, but at the same time were too narrow in their scope. ” This I disagree with. You will have to define where the Feds used “draconian methods”.

crazyguy's avatar

@Strauss @LuckyGuy You guys make some good points. Like all advance preparation for eventualities, budgeting is hard, and easy to second guess when you know which eventuality became real.

jca2's avatar

Contact tracing is done in the County I work in. Part of contact tracing is finding out if people have someone to deliver groceries and other necessities, and hooking them up with it. The whole point, in addition to notifying others who may have been exposed, is making it so the sick people don’t have to go out to buy food or get medication. If nobody is available to buy food for them, the government can and does provide that service.

I took the contact tracing in the spring, as required by my job.

crazyguy's avatar

@jca2 I am intrigued by your statement: “I took the contact tracing in the spring”. Was that a course?

I thought contact tracing went like this:

1. Person A test positive.
2. You try to find out which people s/he has had contact with in the 1–2 weeks before the positive result.
3. By the way you do this while protecting the identity of the positive.
4. Once you find which positives the latest positive had contact with, you try to find out who else may have been infected.
5. You test them all and start a whole new chain.

That is only my understanding of how it is supposed to work. The problem is we cannot even figure out how Trump got infected, let alone anybody else!

jca2's avatar

@crazyguy: It’s a five hour course. Like I said it’s not just letting others know. It’s letting the sick person know that you can provide services if they need it, so they can stay in the house.

si3tech's avatar

Does the bear sh*t in the woods?

SEKA's avatar

donnie got it at one of his rallies and he passed it on to Melania and Hope Hicks. Most likely, Melania passed it on to Barron because it’s unlikely that donnie ever got that close to him. He had it for days before the public was allowed to hear about it

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

The problem is we cannot even figure out how Trump got infected

Why is that a problem?

Dutchess_III's avatar

If he had a cold we wouldn’t think twice about where he got it from. Covid is transmitted as easily, and in the same way, as the cold.

crazyguy's avatar

@jca2 I think what you are describing is different from contact tracing, which is what I am talking about.

crazyguy's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay That is not a problem. However, the mantra of Test, Contact Trace is a problem. At least try and get the context before responding.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@crazyguy “What I said is a problem is not a problem.” Grow up, child. Learn to admit a mistake.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jca2 works for the state. She is saying she sat through a 5 hour seminar on contact tracing, I assume to be educated on how it’s done so it’s accurate.
It’s probably part of her job now.

jca2's avatar

@crazyguy: I work in local government. I took a five hour contact tracing course. I passed a test to get a certificate to be a contact tracer. What I described above is what the course taught me and what the test was about and what my certificate certifies me to do in my state. I have no idea what you are talking about. When I tell you what I learned, and you want to call it something else, feel free. In my state, its called contact tracing.

crazyguy's avatar

@jca2 I am just going by the words: “CONTACT TRACING”. I am sure what you describe as being part of your training, is indeed part of contact tracing. However, my question is: Did the course include some instruction on how to identify the transmission of the disease so as to identify more potential victims?

filmfann's avatar

Did the Chinese government lie? Of course they did.
Did Trump lie about it? He told Bob Woodward he did.

Remember the 1919 Spanish influenza pandemic? It didn’t start in Spain.
It got that name because every other country was lying about their country’s infection rate. Only Spain was honest about it, so because their numbers were so much higher that the other reported rates, everyone blamed Spain.

I think we need to get past who is to blame. Certainly we need to stop the wet markets from offering bat, but this shit happens. Look at Ebola. The only reason that isn’t a glodal epidemic is the travel routes in Africa restrict the contagion.

I was on the Grand Princess and we got quarantined for two weeks at Travis Air Force Base. We knew then how badly this was being managed, but it took time for everyone to learn what works amd what is necessary, and what is not.
Even now, on this third wave, people are still hoarding toilet paper.

jca2's avatar

@crazyguy: The course taught us who else would or could possibly be sick, and details about exposure dates and stuff like that. “You were at the party on Saturday and you got a fever on Tuesday. OK, what did you do on Friday?”

crazyguy's avatar

@filmfann Your post reveals just how effective China’s lies were. The latest thinking seems to be that the seafood market and mandolins had nothing to do with covid-19.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Pangolins. Mandolins are musical instruments.

jca2's avatar

@crazyguy: Where are they saying it’s from now?

crazyguy's avatar

@jca2 I am not sure they are saying it only now. Here is probably the most thorough analysis of the origins of the virus:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/coronavirusfrontlines/2020/06/19/did-covid-19-come-from-a-lab-was-it-deliberate-bioterrorism-a-biodefense-expert-explores-the-clues/?sh=402cfb53356d

From the Forbes article:

“Viral geneticists can track how a virus evolves over time. Evidence of sophisticated bioengineering to create a brand-new pathogen or alter a known pathogen’s genes could indicate human manipulation. This is where the COVID-19 story gets a little dicey. Scientists have weighed in on both sides of a debate whether SARS-CoV-2 is natural or manmade . The latest accusation that the virus was engineered came from a Norwegian team of scientists, which was swiftly attacked by other virologists, who argued that the viral genetic material is similar to other viruses found in nature Still, adding fuel to the debate is the revelation that scientists from the Wuhan lab published articles that described manipulating coronaviruses (so called “gain of function” experiments) – thereby producing all the ingredients for conspiracy theories and suspicions of nefarious intent.”

filmfann's avatar

That’s still an improvement on some of the far right wackos who claim it was started by 5G cell signals.

Strauss's avatar

~~~~OK! OK! I’m sorry! I never should have practiced my mandolin so close to that 5G tower!~~~~

Blazin_'s avatar

@crazyguy

Because we cannot keep any secrets.

True…

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