Monday, April 6, 2020

Why Did China Lockdown Half Its Economy?

That's the question that Charles Hugh Smith poses, as republished at Zerohedge: If Lockdown Is A Needless Over-Reaction, Then Why Did China Lockdown Half Its Economy? I've posed that question from time to time, as well. We know that China didn't simply panic and take that drastic action because of some sentimental concern for the welfare of its citizens. Western leaders know that, too. 

Consider this: Reported total deaths in the US are now 3X those in China, so our actions would seem not disproportionate on that basis. Of course, I don't for a minute believe the Chinese numbers, which means that the true death total in China probably dwarfs that in the US--and intelligence in that regard was part of what sparked our response.

Here are some excerpts from Smith's ruminations:

Everyone who reckons that the lockdown is needless and more destructive than the pandemic that triggered it has to answer this question: then why did China lockdown half its economy? 
The reasoning of those who reckon the lockdown is needless can be summarized as follows: 
1. The lockdown is based on poorly executed extrapolations of faulty data; the death rate is much lower than expected, and most cases are mild or asymptomatic. 
2. Therefore, the lockdown is doing far more economic damage than simply letting the pandemic run its course. 
3. Alternatively, the pandemic and the lockdown are planned operations of elites, the goal being to further consolidate New World Order control in the hands of a few. 
All of these rationales stumble on the question of why China locked down half its economy. It is a real stretch to claim that the Deep State et al. control China, therefore it's unlikely China's decision to lock down half its economy as the pandemic ravaged Wuhan was a U.S. Deep State operation. 
As for the extrapolation of faulty data: what did the Chinese leadership learn that we don't yet know? How can we assume China's leadership over-reacted to faulty data in shutting down half their economy? More likely, they had the best available data and balanced the consequences of letting the pandemic run its course or accepting the immense economic damage of locking down most of their productive economy. 
Why would China's leadership have accepted the staggering economic losses of lockdown if the situation wasn't catastrophically dire? 
What other factors might have influenced China's decision to lock down its economy that we don't know? The true origin of the virus, perhaps? The true death rate in Wuhan? The actual number of dead piling up like cordwood in Wuhan? 
If China's lockdown was a decision reached by its leadership based on information known only to them, then it follows that the information effectively forced their decision to absorb the enormous economic damage of a full lockdown as the lesser of two evils. 
It is quite reasonable to assume China's leadership had the most accurate data available, and that they deliberated very carefully before choosing a response with such grave economic consequences. 
Few commentators have speculated what the intelligence agencies of South Korea, Japan, Singapore and the Western nations might have discovered and shared with each other. China is not exactly a closed country, and there are ample intelligence-gathering opportunities via space-based assets, data collection and meta-analysis of that data, and so on. 
It seems unlikely to the point of absurdity that all these intelligence agencies weren't collating data from every available source and making their own assessments of the risks of letting the virus run its course.

Smith's considerations, in my view, play into my contention that Trump had little choice but to take the actions he took. This isn't a pandemic like the typical flu season that plays out over something like eight months and doesn't overwhelm our hospitals. In the US this has played out over a matter, really, of weeks.

Trump is facing difficult choices in the coming weeks. Weeks to a month. We may get a sense of what choices he faces in the next week or two.


  1. Unless their decision, to absorb the enormous economic damage of a full lockdown, WAS the lesser of two evils.

    What if they knew, that enormous economic damage was coming anyway, and they moved to "set up" a virus to take the blame, to distract blame from prior policies of *their* choosing?

  2. They could've chosen to stealthily exaggerate/ exacerbate a real quasi-crisis, so hide their having built a house of cards to begin with.

  3. Chinese has been lying about CoronaVirus data / information since November. Number of deaths in China is just one of the items that has been lied about. The question is how much are the numbers off? Officially 3,335 dead. Actual, probably at least 40,000. The headache is provinces lie, and then the central government lies, so nobody knows the real numbers. And on top of that, no testing, so the data does not even exist for actual deaths. All that does exist, is the increase in number of deaths from historic, which is not public yet.

  4. I don't expect Western Intel Agencies to give out the real numbers from China. Why?

    1. They don't want to embarrass China
    2. They don't want to be accused of racism
    3. They don't want to make China look worse.
    4. A bit of anti Americanism

  5. Clues on real death rate in China:

    1. 21 Million Cell Phone Users disappeared in China

    2. X10 to 40 Per British Scientific Advisors
    Which would be 33,000 to 133,000 (3,335 is official death rate).

    4. Funeral Urn Guess
    40,000 based on 4 crematoriums in Wuhan, with one giving out 3500 urns per day, and number of people lining up to get remains, before Tomb Sweeping Day (major Chinese Holiday to respect Ancestors).

  6. The question I was asking from early on about the CoronaVirus, is if it's not that severe, why is China acting the way they are.

    Look at their actions, not what they are saying.

    Of course I was hearing Taiwan TV every night from my wife watching it, which has been covering there virus non stop since early January.

    And one of my wife's friends, a piano teacher, was hearing from a student with family in Wuhan, about how dangerous the virus was, how easy it was to spread, and how it could affect your lungs and other internal organs. I admit I was skeptical on the internal organ part, but she was right (this blog helped a lot to convince me of that - thanks for the great coverage).

    1. The Taiwanese HAVE to know what's going on in China and they were all over this. WHO won't talk to Taiwan, but I have to assume Taiwan gave us a heads up. Not many people believed that early.

  7. Taiwan is a bit paranoid about China's truthfulness about viruses. They founds out with SARS in 2003, that China Lied. That has a huge economic impact on Taiwan. And the current President is a China Skeptic, and their VP was head of their SARS Effort.

    Dec 1 - Patient Zero in Wuhan
    Dec 31 - WHO Notified by China of CoronaVirus
    Dec 31 - Taiwan starts testing passengers from Wuhan same day
    Dec 31 - Taiwan told WHO their was Human Transmission
    Jan 5 - China Lab maps out genome virus. Results destroyed.
    Jan 7 - President Xi Jinping personally ordered officials to control the outbreak
    Jan 15 - China says no human transmission
    Jan 20 - Taiwan actives epidemic team
    Jan 23 - Wuhan locked down by China
    Jan 23 - Travel ban from Wuhan to Taiwan
    Jan 25 - Taiwan Suspended flights from China
    Jan 31 - Trump Travel ban from China


    I forgot, the Taiwan Presidential Election was Jan 11, this may have impacted China on being open about the Coronavirus

    Something I have read, I can't find a link yet, was Taiwan sent a Medical Group to China in January to investigate, they picked up the fact they were being lied to - Potemkin Village.

    1. Yes, I read about that last bit somewhere, too. Apparently none of the big medical/scientific orgs in the world learned anything about China from SARS. Or paid attention to the usual Chinese treatment of statistics in other areas, like their economy.

      And we're still seeing that determined ignorance. It's interesting when you compare that to the attitude to Russia--a no longer Communist country that, for all its problems, is a lot more open than China. But it's Russia Bad, China Good in the MSM.