In Belgrade, there is a billboard with Chinese President Xi Jinping glued to it in a suit and tie. He also wears his iconic Mona Lisa smile. In Serbian it is written: “Thank you, Brother Xi.
On April 8, a local New Jersey police department hovered a drone over her hometown of Elizabeth to warn people about social distancing.
They saw it in China first.
Billionaire Pony Ma’s WeChat in China two weeks ago – wait, step back, billionaire Jack Dorsey’s Twitter deleted a tweet from Rudy Guiliani touting the potential of hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug first mentioned by the President Trump as a potential bright spot in the treatment of COVID -19, the disease caused by the novel SARS coronavirus. Guiliani made the mistake of saying he was “100% effective” in treating COVID-19. While hundreds of doctors around the world are using it, no one will say that it is 100% effective. It might not be better than prophylaxis for medical staff or like NyQuil with the flu for early stage COVID patients. but it’s better than nothing. Regardless of Guiliani’s formulation, Twitter’s “virologists” censored and deleted.
Not to be outdone, Twitter “medical experts” from Brazil deleted two twitter messages by President Jair Bolsonaro for mentioning hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment and for downplaying the quarantine measures recommended by doctors. They decided, as a foreign company, that the Brazilian president, elected by more than half of the nation, was spreading disinformation and that this post must therefore disappear.
You could argue that social media giants, including Facebook and YouTube owner Google, are just going after the right wingers.
Not so fast! Twitter deleted a message from Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, for recommending a natural remedy to fight the coronavirus a few days earlier.
This type of censorship is unknown in the United States, although it is increasingly common thanks to these companies. Instead of the government ordering the removal of something deemed disinformation or hateful, only three multinational companies take it upon themselves to remove the content, acting in a way not so different from what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) does to its people. . Go against the grain of the official discourse in China? You have problems.
Chinese censorship is impacting the United States in other ways, not just by reproducing the CCP’s editorial judgment on Twitter.
According to a report released today by CNN, Beijing has ordered science labs and universities to remove research papers on the novel SARS virus from their websites.
Beijing is censoring the news after the US government said China failed to provide all of its information on the origin or lethality of the bat-borne virus.
A Chinese researcher who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal told CNN that censoring these scientific research reports means colleagues around the world are losing the field discoveries of knowledgeable Chinese scientists.
“I think this is a coordinated effort by (the) Chinese government to control (the) narrative and paint it as if the epidemic is not coming from China,” the researcher told CNN. “And I don’t think they will really tolerate an objective study to investigate the origin of this disease.”
The original story of the new SARS coronavirus is that it was discovered in patients by doctors at a hospital in Wuhan. These doctors let it be known on social media that a new SARS had been discovered. Not only were their messages deleted, but they were arrested for spreading rumors. One of them later deceased viral infection.
Their warnings were ignored. But they were right.
The coronavirus would come from a species of bat. But it’s not clear if it came from a bat that was sold in a meat market for human consumption, if a human came into contact with something that a bat had also eaten. , like a fruit, or if it escaped from a virology lab in Wuhan. Getting this information out of China is difficult because no one talks, unless sanctioned by local party leaders, who are simply inclined to say he was from the United States and had been brought to Wuhan.
One thing is certain, to fight against the disease, everyone takes a Chinese approach. More and more Americans are wearing surgical masks. Everyone lives in quarantine. Social distancing is one thing now.
Outdoor religious services in some southern states have been banned on Easter Sunday, although people are in their cars all the time. Still, do you want to see someone in a colorful costume get run over by a cute millionaire in pantyhose? You can. Drive-ins are open in many towns in the south.
In early February, leaders of the Chinese Communist Party said the Western world would learn that their top-down, authoritarian approach to running a country was better. Especially in emergency situations.
Were they right?
It really looks like this.
On an overpass in an American downtown, someone spray painted: “Welcome to Wuhan – CCP”.
Democrats and their defenders who spent three years calling Trump a dictator tell people they i can’t even go fishing by themselves, or at some point send the national guard to summer residences to ensure people coming from the tri-state area were in quarantine.
Will the United States continue to adopt Chinese-style censorship? Probably.
Will the police use drones to, at the very least, take pictures of people on street corners selling narcotics… and then come and visit them the next day at home? I think so.
China is presenting itself as an expert in the fight against SARS to smaller and poorer nations.
Back in Belgrade, officials told Reuters in a item released on Sunday that they welcomed Chinese support.
“We have changed our approach and with the support of Chinese experts, we have carried out more extensive tests,” a source close to the Serbian presidency told Reuters yesterday. “We have adopted the Chinese model of reaching and treating as many people as possible,” the person said.
It’s more like the South Korean model, but whatever.
In Hubei, the epicenter of the virus, law enforcement has locked people in their apartments in Wuhan for more than a month. Only around 3,000 people have died, possibly thanks to these draconian measures severely limiting the number of people allowed to go out.
But the official view of Washington is that these numbers are shifted by several thousand.
No one knows for sure of course, and no one will ever know Hubei’s death toll. This lack of solid information has put countries back several weeks in their understanding of how to prepare for a new disease and flatten the infection curve.
China’s support, whether from government or a private company, is welcome. China might actually be more helpful, but Beijing doesn’t want its scientists to share too much information. How is that not a problem?
What the world should not welcome is a post-pandemic Chinese-style Orwellian police state. Instead of affecting a few hundred thousand people, it affects hundreds of millions and threatens to kill a way of life for all.
The book is still on where this is heading. Some of you may have already made up your mind.
Meanwhile, for Wall Street, the only difference here is that the Fed supports the bond and loan markets, while the People’s Bank of China supports the stock market. The Fed is pulling silver bazookas on Wall Street, the PBoC is holding its own. No one expects this to last. The PBoC will have to do something. It’s a race to see who is the stock market in the lead after the pandemic.
China’s central bank has said it will step up policy easing to support the coronavirus-ravaged economy, but debt concerns and housing market risks will prevent it from fully following the Fed.
So in that regard, maybe the United States is a bit like Japan. Anyone else can write it.