We Cannot Allow China To Engage In A COVID Coverup

By Dave Seminara for RealClearPolitics

China is testing President Biden, but his party is still preoccupied with Donald Trump. Chinese authorities refused to provide World Health Organization investigators with raw data on early COVID-19 cases that could help them determine how and when the coronavirus spread in China.

The stakes in learning as much as we can from this pandemic couldn’t be higher. But it’s unclear if our new leaders are ready to confront China’s increasingly intransigent leaders, who are keen to promote unlikely theories on the origins of the virus that absolve them of culpability.

The virus has killed nearly 2.5 million people worldwide and the International Monetary Fund has estimated that the global cost of the pandemic is $28 trillion. A paper published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, put the total cost in the U.S. at more than $16 trillion, or nearly $200,000 for a family of four.

With case counts declining and vaccines here, we now see a light at the end of the tunnel, but this is no time for complacency.

This should be a “never again” moment where we steadfastly resolve to do everything in our power to ensure that we never experience another catastrophic plague like this one again.

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President Biden has yet to speak publicly about China’s refusal to hand over raw data on early cases, but Jake Sullivan, his national security adviser, issued a statement. “At this critical moment, protecting the WHO’s credibility is a paramount priority,” he said. “We have deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them.”

The statement was better than nothing, but there was no call to action or mention of potential consequences if China fails to comply, which is exceedingly likely given Beijing’s track record on transparency and COVID-19.

Sullivan merely said that “[a]ll countries, including China, should participate in a transparent and robust process for preventing and responding to health emergencies — so that the world learns as much as possible as soon as possible.”

Since the news broke on Feb. 12, other top Democrats have been silent regarding China’s failure to fully cooperate with WHO investigators.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has sent multiple tweets about impeachment but none about China. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has also been silent, but has sent a half dozen tweets about the impeachment.

There’s also been nary a peep on China’s attempted coverup from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has more Twitter followers than Schumer and Pelosi put together, or Sen. Bob Menendez, the chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee who has sent a dozen tweets about impeachment in recent days while remaining silent on China.

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Vice President Kamala Harris has made no mention of the WHO team’s China mission, but the day after the news broke, she sent a tweet warning of xenophobia. “Hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans and Asian immigrants have skyrocketed during the pandemic. That’s why our Administration has taken actions to address these xenophobic attacks.”

Combating xenophobic attacks is a laudable goal, but my fear is that the too-woke, too-cozy-to-China Democratic Party may not act forcefully for fear of stoking xenophobia. Remember, for example, how then candidate Joe Biden called Trump’s China travel ban “xenophobic,” and how Democrats like Pelosi and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urged Americans to visit Chinatowns at the start of the pandemic.

For years, the Putin-obsessed Democratic Party has acted as though Russia is still our primary geopolitical adversary when China is clearly our biggest threat.

We can demand accountability from China without inflaming anti-Asian sentiment. President Biden must use forceful diplomacy to bring other world leaders around to force China’s hand. Finding consensus will be difficult, but issuing statements of concern is clearly not enough.

The Chinese government should be given a deadline to turn early COVID-19 case data over to the WHO and there must be clear consequences for failure to comply.

Any number of sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans for China’s leaders, should be on the table. We should also strongly encourage the WHO to immediately send its team of investigators back to China. They should remain there until China’s leaders fully cooperate, and if they don’t, team members should hold daily press conferences to shame them.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a bill, the COVID-19 Accountability Act, last May calling for sanctions on China if it failed to fully cooperate with the U.S. and international organizations conducting investigations. The bill never received a vote but now is the time to reignite talks of how to respond to China’s dangerous lack of transparency.

China doves and free-trade-at-all-costs types will insist that we can’t afford to confront China, which is our third largest trading partner.

But when you stack up the economic cost that may arise from rising tensions with China against the potential cost of enduring another pandemic, the choice is clear.

It’s time for Joe Biden and other world leaders to send a clear, united message to China that the world will not allow them to persist in what looks like a COVID-19 coverup.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

Dave Seminara is a former diplomat and author of “Footsteps of Federer: A Fan’s Pilgrimage Across 7 Swiss Cantons in 10 Acts,” forthcoming on March 2.

The post We Cannot Allow China To Engage In A COVID Coverup appeared first on The Political Insider.

Here We Go: Democrats Equate Halting WHO Funding To ‘Impeachable’ Offenses

House Democrats are using language which compares impeachment to President Trump’s order to halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The President announced earlier this week that his administration would stop funding until a review could be conducted into whether the WHO was responsible for “severely mismanaging and covering up” spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“So much death has been caused by their mistakes,” he said at a press briefing.

Democrats Side Against America

To nobody’s surprise, Democrats have all lined up in unison behind the WHO and against America. They have suggested President Trump lacks the authority to cut funding already approved by Congress.

The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday tweeted that Trump’s actions were “illegal.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also claimed Trump’s move to defund the group was “dangerous,” “illegal,” and will be “swiftly challenged.”

We’re starting to get an idea of what she meant.

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The WHO is an organization that helped spread Chinese disinformation on the coronavirus and urged nations to keep their borders open during the pandemic.

Countless lives were lost either to their corruption or coordination with the Chinese Communist Party.

That said, Pelosi’s threat to ‘swiftly challenge’ Trump’s move to halt funding to such a group apparently equates to yet another push for impeachment.

“In a desperate attempt to deflect blame, President Trump is violating the same spending laws that brought about his impeachment,” said Evan Hollander, House Appropriations Committee spokesman.

“The President does not have the unilateral authority to withhold the United States’ assessed contribution to the World Health Organization.”

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They Care More About China

Congressional Democrats never opposed Barack Obama on the numerous occasions that he put conditions on aid to other nations or organizations when they weren’t serving the best interests of the United States.

The most famous of which, naturally, was when the Obama administration, according to former Vice President Joe Biden’s own words, threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine until they fired a prosecutor investigating a company involved with his son, Hunter.

Rep. Chip Roy of Texas said that Democrats seem to care more about protecting China and the World Health Organization than they do about the well-being of our own country.

Roy suggested America should “encourage the WHO to step up and get it right,” as opposed to siding with “the communists in China” and “against the interests of the United States.”

But then, they wouldn’t be modern-day Democrats if they sided with America.

The post Here We Go: Democrats Equate Halting WHO Funding To ‘Impeachable’ Offenses appeared first on The Political Insider.

The Coronavirus: Is it Time to Panic?

By LifeZette Staff | January 31, 2020

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably read all the front-page headlines about a deadly outbreak that started in China and has been working it’s way into other areas of the world despite great efforts to contain it.

In fact, last Thursday the World Health Organization declared it a “global health emergency,” and at the press of a button, it seems, has started quite the world-wide panic…

But what are the facts?  Should you be concerned, and just how deadly is this new virus?
Well, as it turns out this new apocalyptic contagion is about as dangerous as the common flu.

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Dr. Trish Perl, chief of infections diseases and geographic medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center says, “So far the mortality rate for the virus is about the same as a bad year of the flu.”

So basically it’s just a different strain of the common flu?
Yeah, pretty much!

According to the CDC, the worst symptoms associated with the virus include Fever, Cough, and possible Shortness of breath.  Other symptoms that could arise are runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, and maybe a general feeling of being unwell.

What you won’t hear from the news, or many official health sources, is information about how long the symptoms last.  I find that rather interesting because the coronavirus does not kill the vast majority of the people it infects.

Telling people that the virus is similar to the common flu and will most likely put you in bed for a week and then you’ll be fine, could calm the panic that they’ve started and that might be a little too anti-climatic for them.

If you read closely you’ll see first world countries are at little risk.  World health officials have noted several times that the highest risks were for countries with less sophisticated health care systems.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization commented at a recent press conference, “Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, and which are ill-prepared to deal with it.”

I don’t mean to take anyone’s health issues lightly, especially something like a virus that has taken human lives, but I also think it’s important to understand the reality of the situation.  And the fact is, if you are healthy and have a normal functioning immune system there is no need for panic.

The coronavirus has claimed about 140 lives at the time of this writing.  A life is a life, and I send my prayers and condolences to their loved ones.

What should you be worried about?
Even though 140 lives lost is a tragedy, it’s important for us to keep a perspective and understanding of what the most dangerous health risks are and what we should be doing to avoid them.  …If you live in an industrialized country like America, chronic disease is the real epidemic!

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This year alone worldwide, heart disease will claim 17.9 million lives, cancer 9.6 million lives, and diabetes 2.2 million lives.  Those are scary numbers!

The epidemic of chronic disease is nowhere near being contained. Currently 1.9 BILLION adults are overweight or obese.  These people are at great risk for developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes if they don’t already have it.

I don’t mean to frighten you, but the most dangerous diseases are already here in this country.  They are not spread by air-borne transmission, but by sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and lack of exercise.

Dr. Tabor Smith, DC is the Executive Producer of A Better Way, the Feature-length documentary film. You can learn more about this film at www.abetterwayfilm.com

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Chinese Virus May Have Been Exposed to 21 Students in Virginia

By David Kamioner | January 23, 2020

Like a scene from a classic sci-fi thriller like “The Andromeda Strain,” a fatal Chinese coronavirus that has broken out in the city and province of Wuhan may be present in America.

Inadvertently causing this possible threat are 21 Chinese exchange students from the same province in China.

They were scheduled on Wednesday to attend classes in Falls Church, VA. Multiple media outlets confirm this information.

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Fairfax County Public Schools, the students are at Longfellow Middle School, last night decided to bar the students from attending class until February 3rd.

The just-arrived students will instead stay at hotels and visit tourist and cultural sites, which is odd because if they have the virus won’t the chance of contagion be greater at public venues?

At this point, there have not been signs of the virus amongst students or staff. The incubation period is three to 14 days.

The Chinese regime has restricted travel in several cities and suspended public transportation in the Wuhan epicenter of the virus. The government is trying to stop the spread of the pestilence that has killed 17 and sickened 500 and counting.

18 million people are thought to be potentially affected by the spread of the disease, 11 million in Wuhan immediately so.

In a nation like China, where hundreds of millions reside in the close quarters of its teeming cities, that number could grow exponentially to a level that would classify it as a pandemic readily able to surmount national boundaries in a single bound.

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Gauden Galea, of the World Health Organization, told The Associated Press, concerning the quarantine of Wuhan, “To my knowledge, trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science. It has not been tried before as a public health measure. We cannot at this stage say it will or it won’t work.”

If the peril were to spread outside of Wuhan, perhaps even outside of China and Asia, and successfully jump to the U.S., the public health threat could be grim.

If the virus goes airborne, spread by American travelers from China already back from that country, then a simple visit to a movie theater or a grocery store could act as the accelerant to a health brushfire that could turn into a conflagration making the plot of the film “Outbreak” seem gentle by comparison.

U.S. public health officials are closely monitoring the situation.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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