SocraticGadfly: Coronavirus Week 112A: Blame Xi Jinping for 2 million dead

June 16, 2022

Coronavirus Week 112A: Blame Xi Jinping for 2 million dead

If American companies didn't hand trade and manufacturing secrets to China like blank checks — another part of America's general craptacular kowtowing to China, including trade relations favorability in the past given to them before Russia — it would still be a backwater, the way it manages COVID.

I'm sure that NONE of the Xi Jinping Thought Kool-Aid peddlers, whether fake leftist and neoliberal grifter Max Blumenthal, alleged leftist but not really Adam Tooze, Green Party twosiders Margaret Flowers and Howie Hawkins, People's Republic of Humboldt County leader Rainier Shea, or Margaret Kimberly and Danny Haiphong of the useful gang of idiots that's left at Black Agenda Report, can explain why, supposedly after China had originally crushed COVID, then a humongous Shanghai lockdown crushed COVID, can explain why China has ANOTHER Shanghai lockdown. Contra Tooze and his kiss-ass book on COVID, China's vaccines suck. Contra the story, Xi is so untrustworthy that I totally do not believe Johns Hopkins numbers of 15K Chinese COVID deaths. (Worldometers, which is good inside democratic and transparent countries, is even worse on this issue, claiming jut 5K deaths.)

The reality? As of January, Forbes, channeling a piece from the Economist that had COVID undercounting rates around the world, said China's real death rate was probably 1.7 million. That was January. (Fortunately, the Economist piece isn't paywalled; the Forbes pieces are straightforward, but their author is a full-on wingnut, going by his Twitter.)

Even worse, when China was actually counting deaths (it stopped, in Ground Zero Wuhan itself after March 31, 2020) it was undercounting. And, in a country with extensive social media and general internet monitoring and able to dragoon foreign nationals into quarantine is surely gathering PLENTY of COVID data — they're just not reporting any of it.

That said, this is more a problem than sucky vaccines. ONLY FIFTY PERCENT of Chinese over 80 are vaccinated, per the first link. Shit, that's worse than red-state antivaxxer America.

Failing lockdowns in the face of a country that still has only gotten half of its age 80-plus population vaccinated, means its surely around 2 million now, per my header.

In addition, Mr. Calhoun, in a second Forbes piece, notes that (like in places like Vietnam, also wrongly touted as "crushing" COVID) rural people, aged or not, are far less vaccinated that rural red state wingnuts, and health care available to them is slim.

So, there's your reality. It would still be half the COVID death rate, per population, of the US, but China likely has 2 million COVID deaths — and still counting.

And, while half the death rate of the US, at 1,400 per 1 million, that's still higher than The Netherlands, Hong Kong (OOOPS), Denmark, Canada, Finland, Norway, South Korea (nearly 3x lower), New Zealand (almost 5x lower), Japan (almost 6x lower) and Taiwan (almost 7x lower), among "advanced" nations with trustworthy stats.

Will Xi get a third term and become China's first "maximum leader" since Deng?


Side note: There's good reason to believe, from the Economist estimates and data modeling, that Russia is lying a fair amount but not ridiculously, while India is the second-biggest liar in the world outside China (Pakistan is the biggest, and per the Economist link, I think Bangladesh is more "challenged" thal "liar"), with possibly 7 million or more deaths on a high-side estimate. (But, just as Xi has Uyghurs to scapegoat, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has Muslims.)

Update: At Unherd, Ashley Rindsberg has a good take on US media gullibility, as well as WHO enabling that.

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