China should be held accountable for COVID-19 missteps

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As we finish the sixth week of quarantine here in the states, countries across the world are still being ravaged by COVID-19. The global economy is taking some serious hits.

It’s extremely strange how the U.S remains an area of thorough scrutiny while China remains relatively free of public criticism despite numerous bumblings by the government. The Chinese Communist Party has a long history of trying to save face by lying about public crises. From downplaying the SARS outbreak in 2003 to Tiananmen Square, China has always put its public image over the truth. The coronavirus appears to be no different as reports and testimonies during the early days of the plague say that the cases were much worse than were being reported.

Additionally, several doctors who attempted to speak out about the disease were quickly silenced. While the world told people not to panic, apartment buildings in China were being welded shut from the outside, and hospitals became filled with the ill and dying.

Now, there are investigations being made into whether or not the virus came from “exotic meat” or mishandling of substances at the Wuhan Virology lab. Scientists working in the facility and across the globe have refuted this claim, but I’m not so sure they can be seen as credible.

The Wuhan scientists certainly cannot be trusted to be truthful. They may very well be spewing propaganda to keep themselves and their families safe. A foreign scientist is much more credible, but it’s not clear whether or not these people are taking money from the Chinese government to remain quiet.

In early March, a Harvard professor was arrested for fraud, claiming he was on paternity leave while receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from China’s Thousand Talents program, which gives exorbitant amounts of money, technology and prestige to anyone selected. It’s entirely possible that the people saying that this virus was not engineered are merely covering for the mistakes of China, and while no concrete evidence currently exists to say that China engineered the virus, China’s history of lying and sidestepping human rights as well as their recent mistruths should prompt some sort of punishment for putting their own goals and self-interests over the lives of thousands of people.

There is certainly a lot of speculation about the origins of the virus, but there is clearly enough lying and damage control going on that something must be done about China’s negligence towards human life.

Alex Kirchner

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