Sunday, March 29, 2020

Recommended Reads: The Corona Crisis--China, New York, And The World

Two highly recommended articles today.

The first is by Italian journalist Giulio Meotti, who writes for the "centrist" Il FoglioThe West Needs to Wake Up to China's Duplicity. It's fairly long but, IMO, very good. What I'll provide here is the summary at the beginning:

* In an article in Xinhua, one of the Chinese Communist Party's mouthpieces, Beijing threatened to halt pharmaceutical exports, after which America would be "plunged into the mighty sea of coronavirus... — Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health, Council on Foreign Relations, Twitter, March 4, 2020. 
* China's leaders are probably hoping that you cannot challenge a powerhouse that is selling you most of your vital medications. 
* "Hidden behind declarations of solidarity, China plans to buy out our troubled companies and infrastructure" — Bild, March 19, 2020. 
* Italy, a country hit hard by China's coronavirus pandemic, is now at the center of a strategic Chinese propaganda campaign. Beijing has sent doctors and supplies to Italy and is doing the same all over Europe. In Italy you can see posters saying, "Go, China!" China is trying to buy our silence and complicity. Sadly, that is already taking place. 
* China is not helping at this point out of "solidarity". The Chinese regime is now seeking to portray itself as the world's savior. Beijing, at the beginning of the pandemic, did not care about the lives of even its own people: it was busy censoring the news. 
* "The West is so tolerant, passive, accommodating and naive towards Beijing. Westerners... are seduced like an old man in front of a young girl.... Europe shows all its weakness. It does not realize that the Chinese offensive threatens its freedom and values". — Liao Yiwu, Chinese writer exiled in Berlin, Le Point International, April 6, 2019.

Here's a nice item that's related. In addition to all the placebo testing kits China has sent to Europe, Netherlands recalls 'defective' masks bought from China:

China is sending millions of masks and medical supplies to countries across the world to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Countries that are receiving China's supplies include Serbia, Liberia, France, Philippines, Czech Republic.

Thanks for the 'help', China!

Closer to home, Joel Kotkin reflects on The End of New York: Will the pandemic push America’s greatest city over the edge? It's a long and very interesting article that chronicles the decline of New York City, as it's super wealthy have pushed the middle class out, leaving a monstrous gap between an ueber-upper class and the majority who live on the brink of poverty. And that ueber-upper class is starting to flee the sinking ship. The COVID19 pandemic is exposing it all. Lots of reflections on America in general.


  1. To expand, slightly, on what Kotkin says.

    I'm in a suburb, a town where too many utterly empty-headed young white, college-educated (oxymoron that) women take daily to FB to excoriate neighbors who aren't quite towing the social distancing line.

    The fellow living in the inner city, who is maybe reliant on tips, or who has in the last week lost his job, presumably low level, in one of the businesses that has been shut down completely, for the public good, this fellow uses a different risk assessment calculus than the one used by frothy women who take to FB.

    Unlike them, he has nothing to lose. What's worse, he knows it. He's got no money coming in. His betters get their money direct deposit, without interruption.

    What will happen when the man who has nothing to lose realizes that those fat cats standing up there with Trump, the ones telling him how to behave, will still have their fat cat academic and government sinecures when all this is over, while he remains unemployed?

    1. My answer to T28, is, “we don’t know”. But we don’t know that that person (presumably male, though the job categories may be shared by both sexes) will not be employed when the businesses that employed him/her reopen. Workers, regardless of gender, will be needed. I don’t share the negativity.

      Those "fat cats" seem to be doing their best to provide some bridge funding for the unemployed. Adding to unemployment, extending unemployment period, sending cash payments.

      I have never done FB. I believe it is inhabited by persons who feel little-noticed in their everyday world so they head there to find some sort of audience. Hardly influence-makers. They don’t concern me.

  2. I should have added that the fat-cats have worked to provide bolstering for struggling businesses that employ the "working class". If I understood correctly, some of that support may not have to be repaid if it is in fact spent to pay workers.

    I found myself wondering how the huge amount granted to the Kennedy Center will work out now that they almost immediately informed the National Symphony Orchestra that they will no longer be paid. We may not have heard the end of that story.

  3. "Estimates Show Wuhan Death Toll Far Higher Than Official Figure"

    1. Common sense considerations alone would lead anyone to conclude that the authorities are lying. One of the articles I examined re the likelihood that this was an engineered virus that escaped through negligence claimed that this was a "significant depopulation event." Consider, too, what we've discussed about long term health damage. Not a funny thing.

      Now, think about this. Presumably Trump has been receiving intel assessments on this for quite some time. He probably has had as good an idea of the truth of what happened in China as anyone. I wish all those people who want to minimize this would think about that. My view remains: Trump had no choice but to take the steps he has taken.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I agree with your assessment of the CCP. They are duplicitous as well as incompetent. Master plan? Don't think they could pull it off.

  5. A lot of White Collar jobs will probably leave NYC long term due coronavirus.

  6. WASHINGTON — China and Russia have both seized on the novel coronavirus to wage disinformation campaigns that seek to sow doubts about the United States’ handling of the crisis and deflect attention from their own struggles with the pandemic, according to American intelligence officials and diplomats.

    Kremlin-aligned websites aimed at Western audiences have trafficked in conspiracy theories to spread fear in Europe and political division in the United States, the officials said, noting that Russia’s diplomats and state-run news media have arguably been more restrained.

    China has been more overtly aggressive. It has used a network of government-linked social media accounts to spread discredited, and sometimes contradictory, theories. And China has adopted Russia’s playbook for more covert operations, mimicking Kremlin disinformation campaigns and even using and amplifying some of the same conspiracy sites.

    The propaganda campaigns show how both countries turned to a typical authoritarian tactic of spreading propaganda to undermine their shared adversary, the United States, rather than addressing public criticism of their own problems.

    In the days to come, China is likely to back off the public spread of disinformation through its Foreign Ministry and network of embassies and to further embrace the more subtle Russian-style approach, relying on its intelligence services to spread misinformation about the origins of the virus and China’s handling of it, senior American intelligence officials assessed.

    More here:

    The NYT is supposedly providing its articles on the coronavirus to those of us without subscriptions. There should be no paywall.

    1. It's not just Chinese + Ruskies, it's also Dems, see :

      "What did the President know and when did he know it? People are dying.
      — Nancy *Pelosi* (@TeamPelosi) *March 29*, 2020

      That’s what Pelosi and her fellow Democrats are saying now, but they sang a *different* song two months ago, when Trump, on January 31, stopped flights from China.

      Dr. Anthony Fauci later said, “one of the things we did right was, very early, cut off travel from China to the United States.”

      At the time, Democrats were *appalled*. Pelosi called Trump “un-American”:

      The Trump Admin’s expansion of its un-American travel ban is a *threat to our security*, our values and the rule of law.
      Barring more than 350 million people from predominantly African countries from traveling to the US, this rule is discrimination disguised as policy.
      — Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) *February 1*, 2020"

      This is but one key quote, from the Am Thinker page.
      It shows plenty more, e.g. from De Blasio's hacks, urging NYers to attend the Chinese New Year shindig, over a week after this travel ban from DJT (which so set off the Left).


    2. The question we need an answer to--re Covid19--is: What did the Dems know and when did they know it? After, Congress gets regular intel briefings of all sorts, and we know our IC was following the unfolding pandemic in China.

    3. I'll bet you mean "After ALL, Congress gets regular intel...."
      I should've highlighted the Pelosi part about "discrimination *disguised* as policy".

      Let's all-but cram these quotes down the throats of those (e.g. never-Trumpers) who refuse to face the degeneracy of his leading foes.