What’s More Racist

I will never understand why “China developed COVID-19 in a lab” is any more racist than “Chinese people ate bats and infected half the planet.”

Conducting experiments in a lab is something everybody does. Eating bats… is not. Conducting experiments will never become a negative stereotype because it’s a highly valuable intellectual activity. Nobody is going to say, “gosh, those savages, with their labs and their science.”

The lab-made version might exaggerate the capacities of the Chinese government. But to be racist it needs to relate to ideas of racial superiority and inferiority. And what works better for a racist narrative, “Chinese have labs” or “Chinese eat bats”?

Obviously, I’m not saying it’s racist to observe that bats are eaten in China. But at least one could conceivably arrive at something racist if one went very far in this direction.

COVID Link of the Day

The Oxford University Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine has updated its estimates of the infection fatality rate of coronavirus to 0.1-0.36%.

Here’s the full article.

Guess what? There’s no “science” that makes a prognostication early on and then remains unchanged in the face of new data. There’s no need to confuse science with the opinion page of the NYTimes that’s been stuck in a one-note tune for years. We are going to keep finding out new facts about the virus and will have to do the unthinkable: change our minds. Maybe even several times.