False or Not?

We keep assuming that the Chinese fatalities are falsified because they are too low. But what if they aren’t and the virus is simply not that dangerous?

26 thoughts on “False or Not?”

  1. “Chinese fatalities are falsified ”

    I think this is probably fairly accurate, monitoring cremation furnaces suggests a death toll at least 10times that of the official figures… which is bad but nowhere near the apocalypse that some had predicted. And of course had the totalitarian CCP been honest from the beginning the rest of the world wouldn’t have had to work everything out on its own and thousands of lives would have been saved.

    https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-chinas-death-toll-in-wuhan-called-into-question/news-story/77c897f425f171e7ad61a7429f66a99f

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    1. The population of China is over 1 billion. One percent would be… How many deaths?

      The population of the US is 320 million. One percent would be….? Not the projected 68,000.

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    2. ” even if it “only” kills 1% of the population”

      No one has ever really claimed that AFAIK it’s usually more like 1% of those with symptoms… In Poland it’s been about 3 % of those diagnosed (but testing has not been very broad, mostly only those suspected of having the virus are tested).

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  2. I think the virus is serious. China’s number don’t need to be counted to know that. Italy is an open society, and we’ve seen how many deaths happened there, and how overwhelmed the healthcare system got. I don’t think the virus is apocalyptic, but it does show the cracks in healthcare systems around the world — not enough supplies, and not enough organization.

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  3. “But what if they aren’t…”

    We are in the midst of a propaganda war concerning this subject. I’m inclined to be skeptical of both sides. As a general rule, I don’t believe much of anything that appears in the Washington Post or the NYT as they make the era of yellow journalism look like a golden age or journalistic truth.

    China does have a civil society of sorts and if the death toll was really 16 times higher than the official account it seems improbable that this could stay hidden from local view. A recent German study indicates that the draconian Wuhan lockdown was effective in saving lives.

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3079528/coronavirus-china-got-it-right-locking-down-wuhan-german-study

    Looking forward rather than backward, the Chinese news on vaccine development is concerning.

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3079678/coronavirus-mutation-threatens-race-develop-vaccine

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    1. China clearly doesn’t want a vaccine and doesn’t want for the current situation to end. Having seen how easy it is to terrorize us with this, why won’t the Chinese release the next virus on purpose?

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      1. “China clearly doesn’t want a vaccine”

        Agreed, but I also get the impression that clamping down on public life is the greater priority for Western governments as well….

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        1. My sister and I were talking yesterday about how easily people in the US and Canada embrace totalitarian measures and develop a totalitarian mentality. There is about 20% of people who question the big brother. The rest accept everything readily and with a military obedience. And rejoice in narcing on their neighbors.

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            1. True. It’s sad that people aren’t realizing what it is that we are sliding into. In Montreal, my sister knows that if she’s spotted driving a car with her parents in it, she’ll be stopped and questioned, maybe fined. She’s hiding her own parents in her house from neighbors and authorities. This is absolutely insane.

              They are all observing the quarantine, so nobody is in any danger.

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          1. “how easily people in the US and Canada embrace totalitarian measures”

            The impression I have in Poland is that people are mentally done with the quarantine and kind of itching for relaxation measures. Despite the alarmist nature of the media if you look at the eight week timeline it’s either close to the end of the the peak or just past it and relaxation of some measures (and a few new measures like obligatory face covering in public) are going to be introduced by the end of this week and a tentative date for beginning classes has been announced (april 27).

            I’m not sure how classes are supposed to work (especially in some kind of crowded ones I have) but I have had enough of quarantine too especially in interfering with my exercise walks (I was able to keep it up through January and February and no there are problems? no…..)

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      2. Do you mean to say that the leadership of the CCP “doesn’t want a vaccine” and you question whether the leadership of the CCP will “release the next virus on purpose”?

        Or, do you think all or most China’s 1.4 billion people want efforts to find a vaccine to fail? And, that their view of this doesn’t matter to the CCP? And, that the 90 million Chinese who are currently members of the CCP would willingly expose hundreds of millions of their family and friends to deadly plagues so that China could “terrorize us” for geostrategic gain?

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        1. The USSR did much worse things and the population sincerely cheered. I have no idea to which extent the Chinese population is brainwashed. Maybe the brainwashing is weak. Maybe it isn’t. But I know very well that it’s not impossible to get people to welcome death for ideological reasons. Unfortunately.

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  4. China has obviously used the occasion for some internal housecleaning. It is difficult to gauge, in a totalitarian state, what measures are “worth it” to the people in power. Worth what? Crashing the economy is a big deal in a democratic state: you get voted out of office! China… not so much. How many kulaks did the soviets starve with artificial famine? What was the goal there? Was it accomplished? “They wouldn’t crash their own economy on purpose” seems kind of naive.

    The better question is “What is China trying to accomplish?” Because from their own apparent reaction to the virus, I think there are two possibilities: 1) The virus is apocalyptically lethal and they are doing what has to be done to contain it. Or 2) Virus containment is moderately important, but not the top priority, and China is using the virus as cover for some heavy-duty internal housecleaning.

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    1. “The better question is ‘What is China trying to accomplish?'”

      Maybe the ‘better answer’ is that, in their many hundreds of millions, Chinese people want to survive this plague – not “accomplish” something with it. The idea that China in 2020 is a totalitarian copy of Stalin’s 1930s Ukrainian Holodomor or Mao’s 1960s Cultural Revolution is an intellectual dead end that precludes looking for answers to important questions.

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        1. “hundreds of millions in China have a say…”?

          Huge question. But please allow me to turn it on its head: is it reasonable to think that only the leadership cadre of the CCP has a say in how this plague is managed and Central Politbureau decisions are taken without any reference from public opinion? Consider the stories in link below as a micro-view of the pressures the CCP is under from sick individuals, occupational groups like medical personnel, party members (90 million!) and their families who are sick or worried about becoming sick, owners of quarantined shuttered private businesses and factories etc. (remember that 60% of China’s GDP is located in the private sector and some 80% of its urban jobs). Multiply this pressure by the hundreds of millions of Chinese who are worried about being infected and realize the limits to understanding decision-making in China through an exclusively top-down political prism without any reference to its formal and informal civil society.

          https://www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/viewpoint/were-hardly-heroic

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          1. I mean, Chinafile is a publication of the Asia Society, which has an agenda. Its explicit purpose is to promote “mutual understanding” (read: global trade that benefits billionaire oligarchs) between China and the US. Why should I trust it? Are there less biased sources that back it up?

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            1. Oh my goodness! Do you really think that these personal accounts of difficulties faced by Chinese medical personnel in Wuhan were made up to further the global trade political agenda of “billionaire oligarchs”? Wait, maybe I’m a Soros plant paid by the word to argue that China has a complex internal social, political, and economic dynamic not captured by “totalitarian” sloganeering??

              And, what’s the alternative to “mutual understanding” between the west and one-fifth of humanity – war?

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              1. No, I don’t think they were made up. But I do assume they were vetted for how well they conformed with the agenda of the website, and they don’t tell me anything useful about the general state of political unrest/pressure inside of China, or how empowered/disempowered the “millions” are.

                It would be like if you were trying to find out about local politics in my Florida town, and I sent you an article from the Florida Tourist Board, where it interviewed 2 people about their trip to our beaches. You read the article. It’s a compelling human-interest story. Now what do you know about the local politics?

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  5. It would be illogical to assume or suggest that things in China are under control because of simple deduction.

    In Western states that publish figures openly, people of the North Asian type (ie Chinese) have been observed to be sickened by SARS-CoV-2 at an equal to higher rate than other racial types.

    It is logical to deduce, then, that infection rates in China would be at least the same or higher as those in multicultural Western nations eg the USA, Canada etc. since there are people of the same racial type in both places.

    Next, a comparison of Chinese medical technology and resourcing compared to Western technology and resourcing reveals that China has few beds, machines, drug stocks etc that, naturally, would probably translate into a higher death rate.

    Next, China was the first infected nation, and as such suffered an information disadvantage. Knowing less about the novel virus, Chinese people would logically have been less aware, less protected, more vulnerable, and hence more greatly infected (and affected) by the virus.

    Still next, Chine experienced the upswing of its outbreak as winter set in, which, naturally, lends itself to viral transmission as is standard.

    Lastly, the novel and less well understood SARS-CoV-2 is related to the greatly studied SARS-CoV-1, which was shown to have a high death rate, and disproportionately affected (and killed) people of the North Asian (ie Chinese) type.

    All of these factors suggest higher rates of infection, morbidity, death etc in China, not less.

    The only factor that realistically goes towards China experiencing better outcomes is that the centrally planned authoritarian nature of government allows China to rapidly quarantine and isolate the population, although I personally wouldn’t put that factor forward as changing things particularly much in light of the very long incubation period of the virus coupled with an R0 of about 5.

    So to me, it just doesn’t make sense to think that a nation whose people have been shown to be more affected by that kind of virus, which was hindered by an information disadvantage, resource disadvantage etc as compared to other nations would fare better than those other nations.

    Personally, based on what I know from unusual sources, I would probably take Chinas numbers and multiply by about 30. At least.

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  6. Not related, but Justin Trudeau asks Canadian to stay home while spending the Easter weekend in his country house with his entourage.

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