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COVID-19: Has China Failed The World? – OpEd


US President Trump has been repeatedly accusing China  for not informing the world adequately and in right time about the seriousness of the Coronavirus issue in China,  which have caught several countries unaware.

According to Trump, due to the lack of information from China, the world has not prepared itself to face this dreaded virus. While the pledged critics of Trump accuse him of being “uncharitable in his views” and holding China responsible for rapid worldwide spread of this virus, the fact is that there appears to be considerable truth in what Trump has said. Instead of replying to Trump’s charge with facts and figures, China is simply accusing Trump of making false allegations.

The fact and ground reality is that Coronavirus originated in Wuhan region in China and spread rapidly to several parts of  China.

It should be agreed that China fought against the Coronavirus on its own without seeking support from elsewhere. In the process, several thousands of Chinese living in China suffered and more than three thousand Chinese citizens lost their lives. 

Many multinational companies from Europe, USA and other developed countries have set up large number of factories, research centres and trade offices in different parts of China, apart from Shanghai and Beijing. Several developing countries and under developed countries too have trade outfits in China. Therefore, many families from other countries live in China and they have been criss crossing in China due to business activities.

International travelers and business men have been frequently flying into China and flying out of China. Further, travel of Chinese business men and tourists to other parts of the world have been in large number and frequent. Obviously, virus from China to other parts of the world have been carried by these travelers.

Realizing this situation, the Chinese government should have warned the other countries and World Health Organisation about the situation in China and must have asked them to take preventive measures and exercise precaution. The Chinese government did not do this.

All said and done, it is well known that mainland China is a “closed country” for all practical purposes, with information about happenings in China hard to get. Media in China is severely suppressed and Chinese citizens and outside world receive only official communication from Chinese government, with little accessibility to verify and counter check them.

While the dreaded virus has spread to other parts of the world causing deaths and sufferings, Chinese government now claims that it has “conquered the virus” and brought the situation in China under control. If so, Chinese government has not cared to share with the world any information as to how it controlled the situation and “drove out the virus”. Little is known about the strategies it has adopted. While some people doubt as to whether China has really brought the situation under control and if so to what extent, many think that China must have adopted draconian measures and forced the people to remain indoors.

Now, some vague claims have been made by Chinese government  that  it has developed drug/vaccine to treat the coronavirus but there is no conclusive proof that it has done so and no clinical trial results have been announced.

If China has warned the world about the impending coronavirus disaster when it happened in Wuhan in the month of November / December,2019 , worldwide efforts could have started at the right time to develop a suitable drug / vaccine.

Since the massive outbreak of viral disease happened only in China, any new drug developed could be tested only in China to ascertain its efficacy and usefulness. By not sharing its experience with other countries and World Health Organisation in dealing with this coronavirus and opening its territory to international researchers to study the issues in depth and develop remedial measures, China certainly stands accused of letting down the world citizens.

Now, huge research efforts are being made across the world to find the drug / vaccine to treat coronavirus, which has already spread to a very serious level across the world.

Several press releases and briefings of World Health Organisation, which is supposed to monitor the heath issues across the world, indicates that this world organization also lacks credible information on the matter. Though World Health Organisation has not accused China of keeping it in darkness, it is very obvious.

As the Chinese government has done the damage to the world cause,  at least now, better late than never, it should call for a world conference of medical researchers to share its experience and information at its command to find a way out to save the world community from further disaster.

President Trump has the courage to say openly that Chinese government has failed in its duty to forewarn the world about the dreaded  coronavirus. The Chinese government should view Trump’s charge in the proper perspective and act responsibly to fulfill its obligations to the world’s citizens.

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N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

2 thoughts on “COVID-19: Has China Failed The World? – OpEd

  • March 24, 2020 at 9:25 am

    Well said Sir, good article!

    I would also point out the corruption of the WHO, especially its highest officials, whom have lavished China with praised during most of January and February, even for most of early March.
    They should resign in shame and disgrace. It is clear that CCP money made it difficult for them to see, speak, hear and act properly, even less so to accurately evaluate the facts on the ground.

  • March 24, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Trump knew initially the China had the Coronavirus and was informing them to announce the number of individuals died. Similarly, he was telling the Islamic Republic of Iran to show the figure of the number of the cases caused by Coronavirus. At the same time, he was telling the American people that Coronavirus is a hoax.
    So, over the last two months Trump was doing nothing for the American people and the world. He was trying to purchase a cure from German company to monopolize the the sell to the world. It looks like he failed. Suddenly, Trump has become interested in Coronavirus to capitalize on it for his re-election.
    But Trump’s waste of time and his efforts to capitalize on the Coronavirus, China has been able to contain the Virus and will normalize the condition on the ground. China has been supporting other countries to tackle the Coronavirus.
    I read somewhere that even the Islamic Republic of Iran has been able to obtain a cure of the next seven days. In addition, some Iraqi doctors have also stated that they have most likey found a medical solution. And so have some French doctors.
    Again, Trump has been changing his position on the Coronavirus and using a coin toss whether to take this course of action or the other. He has no idea what to do and finally he tries to explain away the problem by arguing that the economy has to be working again. Frankly, American Monopoly capitalism has been based on looting and has been collapsing against the Coronavirus. They system suffers shortages and people are running to stores to buy and store foods and drugs. Free market is not working as usual. Trump is planning to bailout companies including his business with a few dollars to families. His Fed has cut the interest rate to zero and now is buying stocks and pumping money.
    You feel very bad about this great country that has been in chaos with some few dead only. I remembered Bush 1and 2 massive bombing on Iraqi civilians killing millions since 1991 and I remember Trump’s recent bombing of Iraqi forces and how the US chopers were flying over Baghdad terrorizing all people as they did not know when and where Trump’s bombs started falling.
    I assume, as Trump puts it always it is business as usual, a principle he likes to use it now in America, which means that the cure of Coronavirus ( actual costs plus cost of the economic shotdown) should not be higher than cost of Coronavirus: the economy is more valuable than the killing of the Coronavirus or it is Malthusian idea in Trumpian’s application: let some people die to reduce population or as Bohm-bawerk put it his marginal utility theory let me eat the donut and let my dog die.
    Peace to All People of the world


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