Commentary by Carl Brizzi
Prosecutors are trained to follow evidence. A case is rapidly building against China that in addition to deliberately covering up and suppressing information about the coronavirus outbreak, Chinese agents are now disseminating false information promoting anti-American conspiracy theories. According to the New York Times, Chinese officials are now taking advantage of the crisis to spread disinformation and widen political divisions in the United States.
The fact that China would exploit the crisis it created by flooding U.S. social media with disinformation to foment further chaos is evidence of its nefarious intentions. If we follow the evidence, a timeline of China’s initial response shows that doctors in Wuhan were aware of the virus as early as Dec. 21, 2019.
The Chinese government began quarantining medical staff on Dec. 25, 2019, which is further evidence they were aware of the possibility of human-to-human transmission. However, on Dec. 31, 2019, the Wuhan Health Commission declared that it had “not found any evidence of human-to-human transmission and no medical staff infection.”
Even more pernicious, on Jan. 1, the Chinese government censored, and detained, eight doctors from speaking about the outbreak and its dangers, accusing them of “spreading rumors.” It took 17 days from the time Chinese researchers discovered the COVID-19 genome sequence before they reported the outbreak to the world. By this point, millions had already visited and left Wuhan during their Lunar New Year celebrations.
There is a saying in the world of prosecution that the cover-up is often worse than the crime. If the virus accidentally came from a lab, then silencing whistle blowers is certainly the more serious of the two. The Chinese government officials responsible for covering up the initial outbreak and threatening doctors who tried to come forward are no better than organized crime bosses.
If China’s government is going to act like a tyrannical criminal enterprise promoting a climate of fear, censorship and misinformation, then we need to start treating it like the obvious enemy it is.
China is not a responsible global actor and need to be held accountable.
Carl Brizzi is a Fishers resident and a candidate in the June 2 primary election for the 5th Congressional District of Indiana. You may write him at firstname.lastname@example.org