If you take it from the U.S. news media, China is suddenly a trustworthy American ally, and you can believe everything that comes out of the nation’s Communist Party leadership. This sudden turnaround apparently comes for no other reason than it allows the American press to take sides against President Trump, and it lets them parade around and gloat – yes, gloat – that the United States now has the most coronavirus cases anywhere in the world.
It may surprise you that the left-wing elitist media would take joy in reporting that, but it probably shouldn’t. They’ve made it pretty damn clear for the last few years how much they hate this country.
But once you swim beyond the confused, dark waters of the American media, you can find clarity among our (actual) allies. For instance, take Great Britain, where advisers to Prime Minister Boris Johnson are reportedly warning that China’s official coronavirus figures must be taken with a grain of salt. Scientific advisers at 10 Downing Street are telling Johnson that China’s real numbers may be “15 to 40” times worse than the claimed cases.
“There is a disgusting disinformation campaign going on and it is unacceptable. They [the Chinese government] know they have got this badly wrong and rather than owning it they are spreading lies,” a UK government source told The Daily Mail.
While the majority of voices in the U.S. media are urging us to trust the numbers coming out of China, there have been a few notable moments of dissent. For instance, there was this piece in the Washington Post last week, playing off an earlier report in a scientific journal:
An article in the journal Science estimates that 86 percent of Hubei’s cases were undocumented by the time authorities extended the lockdown to Wuhan and other cities on Jan. 23.
It is also likely that officials reported lower numbers of deaths from covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Especially once the central government’s propaganda mission to win the “people’s war” against the virus became clear, numbers shifted to achieve that vision. Such shifts would probably be subtle — not hundreds or thousands of hidden deaths, but instead excluding deaths that could be attributed to other types of pneumonia or heart failure, for instance.
Let’s face it: Given China’s track record (including how they handled this very outbreak in the early months), it would be more surprising that the claimed numbers were accurate than to learn that Chinese officials were lying to the world. President Xi Jinping knows full well that there will be a reckoning when this is all over, and the consequences could be damning indeed for China’s global growth efforts. He’s going to do anything and everything he can to downplay the severity of the outbreak, if only to make his country look better in comparison with the West.