Don't Follow China's Example on COVID-19

China's dictators are quick to take extreme measures against whatever they see as a problem.


The media tell us China "beat coronavirus."

I don't believe it. The Chinese government lies. Derrek Scissors of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) argues that they've underreported the number of COVID-19 cases by millions.

Still, it's possible that China has the virus under control.

But at what cost?

Most of us in America now practice "social distancing." I've barely left my house in a month. I do that voluntarily.

Forty-two states do have some sort of shelter-in-place orders, but most of American's social distancing is voluntary.

Not so in China. China's dictators are quick to take extreme measures against whatever they see as a problem. They locked down Wuhan—closed roads to the city, stopped public transit, and banned private cars. Chinese police have even welded people into their homes to keep them inside. They've tied people to posts for not wearing face masks.

China spies on every citizen, using more than 200 million cameras and social media tracking. Electronic eavesdropping lets them analyze every person's political leanings and social interactions. They use that to give everyone a trust score.

Your "trust" score drops if you criticize the government—or the trust score system. You lose points if you do things like play "too many" video games, watch porn, or have friends with low scores.

Then the government punishes you by doing things like slowing your internet speed, keeping your kids out of good schools, or stopping you from getting good jobs.

Now, some Americans say our government should be more like China's.

"Still no nationwide stay-at-home order!" complains MSNBC's Rachel Maddow (even though that would be unconstitutional—the 10th Amendment leaves such things to states).

Frightened people push bad law.

"You're walking toward the communists voluntarily! That scares me," said Li Schoolland, an immigrant from China I interviewed before the pandemic.

"After I came to the United States I thought, no more politics. I'm in the land of the free!" she recounts. But after she saw some Americans embracing authoritarian ideas, she thought, "No, I have to tell the American people, 'Don't let this happen.'"

Schoolland survived China's Great Leap Forward, Great Famine, and Cultural Revolution. Her parents were doctors, "intellectuals," which meant they, and she, were sent to horrible work camps where they received communist "re-education."

I thought this repressive era of communism was over. Starting in the late 1970s, China's leaders modernized their economy and became a major trading partner with the United States.

But no, "The repression is not over," says Schoolland. China's spying on people to create "social trust" scores is an example of it.

"The control of people's mind, people's mouth, people's pen, never stopped."

That's something to think about now in America, when so many politicians are eager to do more.

Florida set up checkpoints on highways and planes, requiring people who enter from coronavirus hot spots, like New York and Louisiana, to self-quarantine for 14 days. Travelers must give officials contact information so officials can check up on them.

In Rhode Island, police went door to door, checking on people with New York license plates.

Colorado police handcuffed a man for playing softball with his daughter in a park. Father and daughter were more than 6 feet apart, but the officers clustered together to make their arrest.

California police ordered a group of young men to sit on the ground while they photographed them and fined them $1,000 each because they bought beer at 7-Eleven that was an hour away from their homes.

Of course, in a pandemic, some extreme measures are needed.

But repressive government controls like China's should not be our role model. The virus began in China and spread farther because their autocrats suppressed information, denied the virus could spread between people, and punished scientists who told the truth. Even people who post opinions about the virus may be locked up in China.

I'm glad I live in America, where I'm free to say anything I want about the virus—or my government.


NEXT: Even in a Pandemic, ‘Constitutional Rights Still Exist’

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  1. The Commies were liars before 2020 and Kungflu and will be liars after wuhanvirus passes into the #memoryhole.

    Same with propagandists that run the MSM. They were liars before Kingflu and are still lying every day.

    1. Have you by chance watched the HBO series “Chernobyl?”

      China’s actions are right out of that playbook. Most telling is the scene with the local communist committee celebrating how they are going to “shine” by locking it all down.

      1. That movie should terrify the shit out of people.

        Not only is massive gamma radiation exposure horrifying to see its effects on human tissue but Commie incompetence is inevitable.

  2. I spent a little time on the mountain, I spent a little time on the hill
    Things went down we don’t understand, but I think in time we will.

    One way or another, this darkness got to give.

    1. Hmmn… this is really serious!

  3. I’m glad I live in America, where I’m free to say anything I want about the virus—or my government.

    So far.

    1. And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free I’m quarantined…

  4. All i want to say it is that China is Evil.

  5. It is difficult to judge whether China’s coronavirus is under control.
    However, the virus of concern in the United States is still spreading wildly, and we should continue to carry out social isolation measures and strive to resume work as soon as possible.

  6. North carolina yesterday, the police arrested at least one person out of group for protesting the lockdown. Their rationalization was that “under these current and temporary declarations, protesting is not an essential function”.

    I wasn’t aware that the constitution and right to assemble could be thrown out on a whim. The number of protesters there sounded relatively small (they didn’t give an exact number), but the group they’re a part of has about 30k people. Have more people show up next time, armed, and see if the cops are still so keen to step on people.

    1. Have more people show up next time, armed, and see if the cops are still so keen to step on people.

      Cops broke up a house party here recently.

      I wonder when an armed conflict will occur. How many deaths will it take to change things?

      Four dead in Ohio? 50 years ago in a few weeks.

      1. was that the one in NJ where some boomers were having an open-air concert or a different one?

    2. These cops should be fired on the spot. It’s unjustifiable tyranny.

      Peaceful assembly is as important a protected right as the protect right to keep and bear Arms.

  7. Mr. Stossel correctly called out Red China for their behaviors, and actions. The bottom line here is that China deliberately obfuscated and lied about the Wuhan coronavirus. Those actions have now lead to the deaths of thousands of Americans. That doesn’t even begin to account for the direct economic damage, and deaths of despair.

    This is something that cannot go unanswered, and unpunished. You do not kill Americans and fail to pay a heavy price.

    We need to reassess our relationship with China. For now, we are doing business with them. But I would change the rules. Two things we should do, very quickly. We need to send as much military aid to Taiwan as they can possibly buy – and then some. And permanently station a battle group right there in the South fucking China sea. Next, take action to formally recognize Taiwan as an independent country.

    The Red Chinese need to feel pain, and it has to be permanent and long-lasting. We can kick their ass in a straight-up conflict, and they know it. Recognizing Taiwan as an independent country, and stationing a battle group right at China’s doorstep, will guarantee Taiwan’s sovereignty.

  8. “Of course, in a pandemic, some extreme measures are needed.”

    And there you go. How was the kool-aid John?

    No, extreme measures are not required.
    What is/was required is to make sure the public has accurate information on how to reduce their chance of catching the disease, and let them act on that information voluntarily.
    We know this works, because it is what was done successfully for all other contagious diseases, up to and including the 100% fatal (at first) AIDS.

  9. So , which are the 8 states without stay-at-home orders or similar?

  10. What is worse, that power-hungry politicians (any other kind?) want to push authoritarianism? Or that paranoid collectivist people demand to be shepherded?

    And that all of the above consistently demonstrate ignorance if not disdain for both history and our founding principles.

    1. “…power-hungry politicians (any other kind?) want to push authoritarianism? Or that paranoid collectivist people demand to be shepherded?”

      Yin and yang, two to tango, opposite sides of the same coin.

  11. China’s celebration of the year of the rat was cancelled. Normally it would have been the largest migration of people (returning to their hometowns) on the planet. Louisiana didn’t follow China’s example. The Mardi Gras festival was held as normal, and now Louisiana is a ‘hotspot’ of the virus, as even Stossel admits. China seems to have take the virus very seriously, undoubtedly chastened by their criminally disastrous performance mishandling the SARS outbreak a few years back. This time around the Chinese seem to be doing better.

  12. Stossel tells it like it is. I laugh out loud when people act as if we can’t just assume China lies. And I don’t hate China. They had some smart moves during this crisis; they rolled out testing quickly, they quarantined, and they had all their people wearing masks fast, unlike the slowboat USA. I believe that they built that hospital and mobilized super fast. But their death rate went down way too fast; the math shows their lies, so it must be that they just stopped reporting cases and deaths. I do believe they even do have it under control at this point, but they are still lying liars. It is inconceivable that there are no new cases or deaths in a country with a population greater than 1 billion.

  13. So , which are the 8 states without stay-at-home orders or similar?

    Home Ideas

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