News and Commentary

Victor Davis Hanson: China ‘Ruined Their International Brand’ With COVID-19 Pandemic
In this photo illustration the People's Republic of China flag logo seen displayed on a smartphone with a computer model of the COVID-19 coronavirus on the background.
Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As Americans feel the full effect of COVID-19 strangling the economy, many have put their focus on the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the role it played in the global pandemic. Speaking with Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday, Hoover Institution Fellow Victor Davis Hanson argued that the country “ruined their international brand.’

“[China] knew that that virus was not only epidemic but infectious and could be deadly to older people. They didn’t tell anybody. They didn’t tell us. In fact, they did something far worse — they accused us of causing it and then they threatened to cut off supplies of medical needs and pharmaceuticals,” Hanson said, as reported by Fox News.

Going forward, Hanson said that companies in countries like Italy or Switzerland will think twice before tying up business in China.

“You think if you’re Italy or Switzerland or Germany or Australia, you really want to have your antibiotics produced in China when this is all over?” said Hanson. “If you’re a tourist and you went to China and somebody said there’s a virus contained but don’t worry, it’s contained — would you believe that?”

“Anybody in their right mind would know that the existential threat is China,” he added.

In recent days, reports have increasingly shown how the Chinese government’s response to the outbreak in Wuhan has helped create a global crisis, which included aggressively tamping down on whistleblowers trying to raise awareness about the COVID-19 outbreak. Beyond that, the Chinese government’s hands-off approach to the so-called “wet market” animal trade has also come under severe scrutiny. From Business Insider:

The Wuhan coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is likely to have started in a wet market in Wuhan in the Chinese province of Hubei. The markets are known for selling both live and dead animals, often in poorly regulated conditions.

The Wuhan coronavirus is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it originated in animals. Some experts have suggested the novel coronavirus spread from bats, to snakes, to people, though many others say snakes are a highly unlikely intermediary species (a mammal is more probable). China initially imposed a ban on live animal sales in the city of Wuhan in light of the outbreak.

Fred Fleitz, president of the Center for Security Policy, told the Washington Times that “criminal negligence and incompetence” created the crisis Americans are enduring now.

“Criminal negligence and incompetence by China’s communist regime,” Fleitz said. “It withheld information about this disease for weeks and refused to cooperate with international health officials.”

“Beijing also failed to close its border or limit travel. And the government refused to close the animal wet markets, which are a known source of serious diseases that spread to humans,” he added. “And now this corrupt regime is trying to blame the United States for its criminal negligence and incompetence.”

As reported by The Daily Wire Wednesday, a recent report from Southampton University found that the COVID-19 pandemic could have been curtailed by 95% if the Chinese government had acted earlier.

“[I]f interventions in [China] could have been conducted one week, two weeks, or three weeks earlier, cases could have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent and 95 percent respectively — significantly limiting the geographical spread of the disease,” the university’s study concluded.

In the midst of this, President Trump has taken heat for referring to COVID-19 as the “China Virus,” with critics denouncing the term as “racist.” The president rebuked that assertion during a press conference on Wednesday.

“It’s from China. It’s not racist at all, no. Not at all. It comes from China. That’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate,” said the president. “I have great love for all of the people from our country, but as you know China tried to say at one point … that it was caused by American soldiers. That can’t happen, it’s not gonna happen, not as long as I’m president. It comes from China.”