President Donald Trump is coming under fire for referring to the COVID-19 coronavirus as the “Chinese virus.”
The politically correct left is accusing him of racism over it.
But there may be another reason why he won’t drop the term – and it has nothing to do with political correctness.
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He’s sending a message to the communist leaders in Beijing that they’re responsible for this global crisis.
And that when this is over, he intends to hold them accountable.
The issue is not that China caused the virus.
A new study published in Nature Medicine debunks the conspiracy theories and finds that the infection started in either bats or pangolins.
The real issue is that the communist party leaders downplayed it and lied about it to the world – and brutally punished anyone who dared to speak up.
Li Wenliang, the ophthalmologist who warned of the rapidly spreading infection in Chinese social media, was reprimanded by authorities early in the outbreak for “spreading rumors.”
Except the “rumors” turned out to be true.
China later apologized, but it was too late: Li contracted the disease and then died from it in February – among the more than 2,000 deaths from the infection in Wuhan alone (that we know of).
Li’s first warning… the “rumors” he was accused of spreading… came on Dec. 30, when he told doctors in an online chat group that there was an especially dangerous new infection going around.
He warned them to wear protective gear if they come upon sick patients because this potent virus seemed similar to the deadly SARS virus that killed some 774 people in 2002 and 2003.
Li wasn’t alone.
In mid December, labs in China identified the virus – but authorities ordered them to stop the tests and destroy the samples, according to a new report by the Beijing-based Caixin Global media group.
The Times of London called that “the clearest evidence yet of the scale of the cover-up in the crucial early weeks when the opportunity was lost to control the outbreak.”
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Doctors knew. And clearly, scientists knew, too.
But what did China reveal?
Worse than nothing – because they not only failed to warn the world, but they also downplayed the risk. The World Health Organization tweeted in early January that they had been assured by China that there was no clear evidence of person-to-person transmission of the virus:
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China????????. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020
Just one problem: It was already spreading… rapidly.
The very next day, the person who would become Patient Zero in the United States left Wuhan, bringing the virus to Washington… with deadly consequences as the state became the scene of a massive tragedy.
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And just days after that, the Chinese government made what may have been the biggest mistake of the crisis.
They allowed a Lunar New Year celebration to take place in Wuhan.
Some 10,000 people gathered in close quarters.
Just three days later, the city would be placed under lockdown – but as it happened, some 5 million of its residents were allowed to leave without being screened for the infection.
That’s 5 million potential carriers, allowed to travel into the world.
An Axios timeline of the spread is damning.
“China is now trying to create a narrative that it’s an example of how to handle this crisis,” the website notes, “when in fact its early actions led to the virus spreading around the globe.”
For now, the rest of the globe is dealing with the outbreak.
But Trump is signaling that he intends to deal with China next – and Fox News host Sean Hannity put that nation on notice.
“It is an indisputable fact that China lied,” he said.
“We will get through this, we always prevail,” he told his viewers this week.
But once that’s over… once the threat is contained… Hannity said Beijing must be held accountable.
Beijing, he said, failed to warn the world about what was happening – and failed to act swiftly stop the virus from spreading as the leaders there cared more about optics than human lives.
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“This massive cover-up in the critical early stages of this disease is frankly unforgivable,” Hannity said. “People all over the world are suffering and dying as a result of these lies.”
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert, and is the author of “America’s Final Warning.”