I haven’t gone anywhere.
The coronavirus, however, has severely disrupted my life like it no doubt has for many, if not most, of our readers. I have my family at home now 24/7 and it is more difficult for me to collect my thoughts and write with so much more noise in the house. I have also been glued to Twitter and the television watching this unfolding national trainwreck which is accelerating by the minute.
When I last wrote an article on Occidental Dissent on March 18, there were 51 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Alabama. As of this morning, there are 644 confirmed cases of coronavirus here and 4 deaths. The virus has spread to 53 out of 67 counties in Alabama. It has arrived on my doorstep in the Alabama Black Belt and local clusters are in the process of forming. In the span of just a week, it has spread all over the state. The data we have now is also anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks out of date.
I saw this monster coming on January 24. In late January/early February, I started closely following the epidemic in China. Soon afterwards, I found and started sharing videos from Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity, Max Howroute and Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding on Twitter. The videos that were coming out of Wuhan clearly showed how serious the situation was in China. I will never forget Super Bowl weekend. The mainstream media was downplaying the coronavirus as “just the flu” at the time. USA Today was more interested in the Puppy Bowl. I was so shocked by it that I embedded tweets from the USA Today Twitter feed to show our readers how lightly the situation was being taken in the United States. By the beginning of March, I was so alarmed by the spread of the virus that I dropped everything I was doing to stock up and make arrangements to shelter my own family from the storm. As I write this, there are now 116,050 confirmed cases in the United States and 1,937 deaths. The United States has by far the most infections of any country on earth. We will have a third more confirmed cases than China by the day is over. We should have a million confirmed cases by April 6th.
The thing that finally triggered me to resume writing was this article “The Trump 2020 Strategy” on Identity Dixie. The article makes the case that Donald Trump should just blame it all on China in order to to “deflect attention from the fact that he talked about a lot of this stuff in 2016 but didn’t do anything about it.” This demagogue took us for a ride the first time. Even though we know better after three years of experience, we should learn nothing from it. Instead, we should just blame everything on China, lie to the public and vote for the GOP in order to “buy us time.”
Is the coronavirus really China’s fault though? Undoubtedly, China shares a lot of the blame. The most plausible scientific explanation for why the whole world has been plunged into this pandemic is the persistence of wet markets, “trophy meals,” Chinese folkways that favor “fresh food” and the international trafficking of pangolins which is the world’s most hunted mammal. There is a market for exotic bushmeat in China. It most likely the backwards side of China that the Chinese Communist Party has tolerated after the SARS epidemic that has given us the virus. Alternatively, the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan which is many times worse although that explanation seems increasingly less likely. China also stumbled in its own initial response to the virus in December and wasn’t completely transparent about the threat it posed to the world. While China’s response to the virus wasn’t an “A,” it certainly wasn’t an “F.” Once the Chinese state swung into action, it was highly competent in suppressing the virus.
The world knew how bad this virus was in late January. American intelligence agencies certainly knew how bad it was and briefed Donald Trump and Congress about the issue. Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan knew and took the virus seriously and responded to the threat it posed and quelled their local outbreaks. We watched China swiftly lockdown Wuhan and Hubei province when it only had a cluster of 500 or so confirmed cases. We watched over half of China shutdown to quell the outbreak by the middle of February. The idea that the Chinese Communist Party would shutdown half of their country and quarantine Wuhan to stop a virus that is “just the flu” is preposterous.
How did Donald Trump react to the virus? As the president of the United States, he ignored the threat, dismissed and downplayed the virus in spite of having access to better intelligence about it than internet bloggers, anonymous Twitter accounts and YouTube channels. He spent the whole month of February cheerleading the stock market and the GDP until it suffered the worst crash since the Great Depression. He said the virus was going to just go away like a miracle. It was completely contained. America was “airtight” and couldn’t be penetrated by the virus even though we weren’t even bothering to test for it until community transmission of the virus was confirmed in Washington State. The only action he took was to impose a flimsy travel ban on Chinese citizens. There was nothing to stop Chinese Americans from returning to the United States after the Lunar New Year. Even as the virus spread to South Korea, Iran and Italy, Donald Trump downplayed it until the markets crashed in the second week of March.
Because of the swift response of the Chinese government, China only had one Wuhan and the overwhelming majority of cases of coronavirus were confined to Hubei province. Doctors from all over China were able to fly into Wuhan and provide care for patients at the epicenter before it spread like wildfire across the entire county. Contrast Xi Jinping’s response to Donald Trump and the GOP’s response. Instead of having one Wuhan, the virus has been allowed to establish itself and metastasize in nearly every county in the country in just under two weeks. Even as we approach April with over 100,000 cases, conservatives have returned to their mantra that “this virus is, in essence, nothing more than a hyped-up flu.“ They are following their leader and have chosen a fatal course of action.
Here are a few things that ARE NOT China’s fault:
- America’s lack of national cohesion and social capital
- America’s conservative pundit class
- The decline of Christianity in America which has left the public ignorant of how God has repeatedly sent plagues throughout history
- Telling Americans that the virus is a hyped-up flu
- Downplaying the virus as less lethal than the flu
- Prioritizing the markets over public health
- Telling Americans that racism and xenophobia are the real virus
- Telling Americans that the virus is “completely contained” and nothing to worry about in February
- The proliferation of conspiracy theories that the virus is a Deep State plot to thwart Donald Trump’s reelection
- Unwillingness of Americans to listen to public health experts
- Everything Donald Trump has told his followers about the virus on social media and at press conferences
- The inability of the United States to test for the virus until March
- The unwillingness of the United States to contain the virus through contact tracing like Singapore
- Telling Americans not to wear masks because of our peculiar severe supply shortage due to outsourcing
- The severe shortages of PPE at our hospitals
- Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the military instead of on our health care system when pandemics are a greater threat to the public than wars
- The unwillingness of the United States to close its borders and in particular international flights from hot zones until it was possible to screen for the virus
- The choice to ignore the virus until March because doing so would “spook the markets”
- Sending people back to work during a pandemic in April
- Unwillingness to quarantine New York City and other hot zones and suspend interstate travel
- The current state of the American health care system particularly in rural areas
- Outsourcing the medical supply chain to China and India
- The fact that Donald Trump has done nothing as president to relocate the medical supply chain to the United States
- The unwillingness of Donald Trump to lead a unified national response to the virus as president and his preference to devolve that responsibility onto the governors which ensures the virus will be able to find refuge in areas which currently aren’t as impacted in the future
- The precarious state of the American economy which even before this happened was grossly unhealthy due to the size of the financial sector
Future historians will pour over all of this for years.
No, China isn’t completely blameless in the coronavirus pandemic, but our response to the virus as a nation and as a movement and our preparedness for a pandemic is TOTALLY ON US. The United States is so mired in liberalism that it has been left paralyzed and defenseless in the face of this threat.