First this from IBD‘s Paul Sperry:
Guess who gets to name these pandemic diseases coming out of China? The liberal World Health Organization, which renamed Wuhan Pneumonia "COVID-19" b/c WHO discourages naming diseases after China/Chinese to avoid "unintended negative impacts by stigmatizing certain communities."
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) March 14, 2020
As I said on Twitter, the World Health Organization “cares” unless it’s a country that China hates, then WHO is fine risking lives for politics:
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) is convening an emergency committee of experts to assess whether the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, constitutes an international crisis. But one of the countries affected, Taiwan, will not be represented.
But Taiwan is no longer able to attend the World Health Assembly, WHO’s annual policy meeting. China has prevented Taiwan from attending since 2016, after President Tsai Ing-wen was elected for the first time. Since her election, Beijing has stepped up its existing military and economic pressure on Taiwan, viewing Tsai’s pro-sovereignty status as a veil for Taiwanese independence.
Under what other circumstances would 24 million people be excluded from representation in such an important organization? Beijing—and the WHO authorities that bend to its will—is allowing political and diplomatic sensitivities to interfere with the administration of global health and safety.
Beijing’s successful attempts to exclude Taiwan from international organizations have serious consequences.
While Taiwanese officials receive information on unfolding health crises such as coronavirus from counterparts in China or elsewhere, no formal mechanism exists to ensure that it is received in a timely manner.
Taiwan has a history of managing previous outbreaks in the region, from SARS to swine flu, well. It shouldn’t simply be a passive recipient of thirdhand information; it should have a seat at the table in the planning and preparatory meetings of WHO.
Tragically, China has become used to politically exploiting big disasters to trivialize Taiwan. One other such event came some two decades ago. One day after a massive earthquake killed more than 2,000 people in central Taiwan on September 21, 1999, the secretary general of the Red Cross Society of China, Sun Aiming, interrupted the international community’s assistance to Taiwan by claiming that all assistance to Taiwan should be approved by the Red Cross Society of China because Taiwan was part of China.
China bends the WHO to its will, endangering lives:
Sitting alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was effusive in his praise of the country’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
“We appreciate the seriousness with which China is taking this outbreak, especially the commitment from top leadership, and the transparency they have demonstrated,” Tedros said, in comments that would be repeatedly quoted in China’s state media for weeks.
This was in late January, after Xi had taken control of the situation due to local officials’ apparent failure to contain the outbreak to Hubei province. As the two men met in the Chinese capital, the number of cases was rising, and revelations were emerging that officials in Hubei province and Wuhan — the city where the virus was first detected — had sought to downplay and control news about the virus, even threatening medical whistleblowers with arrest.
This is also after China hid the virus’ genome sequencing for 14 days:
China only allowed the release of the genome sequence of COVID-19 to the World Health Authority (WHO) on 11 January, two weeks after they got hold of the result. Caixin’s report is explosive since it showed how Beijing had withheld a very significant public health information for 14 days. The genome sequence is essential not only in the production of a diagnostic test but also in tracking the origin of the virus and prevent an outbreak in the future.
The investigative report was quickly removed online but netizens archived the report here.
This is not the first time Caixin’s investigation was erased by the propaganda authority. In early February, an investigation that questioned the data of the confirmed infection and death toll was also censored. A doctor from the fever branch of a Wuhan hospital told Caixin that out of 120 fever patients they received on a single day, about 80 of them had pneumonia but only 5 were admitted while the rest had to quarantine themselves at home. Caixin’s reporters also interviewed a dozen families who shared that many of their relatives had died of unexplained pneumonia before testing for COVID-19 became a standard procedure.
To save face, China began pushing a conspiracy theory that the Wuhan Coronavirus/COVID-19 is the fault of the United States despite knowing exactly how and when it originated — in the same area where SARS outbreaks previously began (China even razed the market to the ground).
There is also this, which I saw fly through my Tweetdeck columns:
Many Italians in Northern Italy sold their leather goods and textiles companies to China. Italy then allowed 100,000 Chinese from Wuhan/Wenzhou to move to Italy to work in these factories, with direct Wuhan flights. Result: Northern Italy is Europe’s hotspot for Wuhan Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/eKZ0T59cUY
— David Vance (@DVATW) March 12, 2020
The long thread of history connecting Prato with textiles stretches back to the 12th Century, when garment manufacturing was regulated by the wool merchants’ guild.
Before the arrival of the Chinese, thousands of small Italian textile units were a source of cheap “Italian made” clothes, producing them on the side from Italian-made fabric – often with the help of hired Chinese workers.
But the Chinese have beaten the Italians at their own game by setting up their own businesses and driving down prices by importing far cheaper fabrics from China.
The Prato industrial zone now accounts for more than 30% of Italy’s textile imports from China.
There really isn’t anything to confirm a concrete travel path between Wuhan and and Italy’s textile capital Prato (and thus it’s difficult to make the claim that this was the travel path of the virus), but Prato does have history of demonstrations against sweatshops full of suffering Chinese workers overworked by Chinese business owners:
Up to two thirds of the Chinese in Prato are illegal immigrants, according to local authorities. About 90 percent of the Chinese factories – virtually all of which are rented out to Chinese entrepreneurs by Italians who own the buildings -break the law in various ways, says Aldo Milone, the city councilor in charge of security.
This includes using fabric smuggled from China, evading taxes and grossly violating health and labor regulations. This month a fire, which prosecutors suspect was set off by an electric stove, killed seven workers as they slept in cardboard cubicles at a workshop.
Italian officials acknowledge they haven’t cracked down effectively on the mushrooming illicit behavior.
The Chinese firms gradually expanded their niche, making clothes for middle-tier brands, like Guess and American Eagle Outfitters. And in the past decade they have become manufacturers for Gucci, Prada, and other luxury-fashion houses, which use often inexpensive Chinese-immigrant labor to create accessories and expensive handbags that bear the coveted “Made in Italy” label. Many of them are then sold to prosperous consumers in Shanghai and Beijing. It’s not just Italian brands that have profited from this cross-cultural arrangement: a Chinese leather-goods entrepreneur I recently met with just outside Prato was wearing a forty-thousand-dollar Bulgari watch.
The bigger point here is that so too is fashion now replying upon cheap and abused Chinese labor, in a manner similar to how the U.S. relies on China for cheap products and antibiotics. Lots of money going back to Beijing’s communists in exchange for quick satisfaction. Instead of focusing on this, many in our media are parroting China’s communist propaganda. In fact, the majority of our media aren’t even piecing together that Taiwan successfully curtailed the Wuhan Coronavirus/COVID-19 despite every effort by China to exclude them from WHO walks — nor are they asking why Taiwan was excluded when other countries might have learned from their efforts.