The struggle against the coronavirus is decided not by the political systems, but by the people
The Chinese Communist Party celebrates a dubious propaganda victory over the coronavirus. The government has done some things right. But the discipline of the population is more important than their leadership.
With the looming end of the pandemic in China, state propaganda is awakening from shock. At the beginning of the crisis, she had tried to make the compatriots patriotic. The message was that the whole of China had a common enemy with the new Sars-CoV-2 virus that had to be defeated.
Coronavirus crisis: China eases lockdown in Wuhan
Today China reports almost no new infections. The tonality has changed. The state-run Xinhua news agency now reads that the battle continues but that victory is near. And the nationalist “Global Times” even goes on the attack and accuses some western states of still living in an “illusory world” because of the virus that is spreading there. The focus of the attack is on the United States, who are accused of taking advantage of China’s plight, while many other countries have lent a helping hand. A spokesman for the Chinese State Department even ventured to the crude conspiracy theory that the American military might have brought the virus to Wuhan.
Thanks To The Discipline Of The People – Xi
The Communist Party is also trying to take advantage of successes in the fight against the coronavirus in its own country. Recently, Guo Yezhou, a senior party cadre, had praised the “brilliant leadership of party and state leader Xi Jinping” during a media conference. And he did not forget to mention that the quick and efficient response of the party and the government was a major strength of the Chinese socialist system.
The thin ice on which the rulers use such phrases was shown by the reactions in China’s social networks after statements by the new party leader from Wuhan, where the virus-induced disease Covid-19 had first appeared. Wang Zhonglin was quoted as saying that one should be grateful to Xi and the Communist Party. “We have to listen to and follow the party,” was his advice. The outrage on the Internet was so great that large parts of Wang’s statements were deleted.
Xi, on the other hand, showed sensitivity when he visited Wuhan this week. He said the party thanks to the people of Wuhan. The otherwise distant and cool-looking Xi showed a form of empathy that is unknown to him. Wuhan has been cordoned off since January 23. The psychological consequences of this measure, which has proven to be correct for China at least, cannot yet be predicted. Living together for weeks in a confined space, worries about health and nutrition, and fears about the future of work will leave their mark on many Chinese. But it shouldn’t have gotten that far.
The population would have been spared much suffering if those in power had listened to warning signals from Wuhan in good time. In this context, China is concerned with Ai Fen’s experience. The doctor heads the emergency room in the Wuhan central hospital. On December 30, after studying X-rays, she had already reported to colleagues about “Sars-like” diseases. However, she was reprimanded by her manager not to spread any more “rumors”.
With China not too behind from medical technology, making use of advanced computers, monitors (CS GO monitor), and medical equipment, the government should have listened to the doctors who were explaining gathered data.
The question in China remains why such warnings were taken seriously far too late. In response to the Sars pandemic 17 years ago, a system had been in place nationwide since 2007 that required medical personnel to immediately report strange cases of pneumonia. If an expert commission does not come to a result, the illnesses must be reported online to a nationwide system. Where and when the flow of information in Wuhan stalled is unclear.
There are signs that those responsible in Wuhan and Hubei were responsible for the sloppiness, also because there were important political meetings there in the first half of January. However, these events do not explain alone why one did not react in late December or early January at the latest. The party has a duty to find solutions to all of the obvious weaknesses.
However, Beijing’s approach must be recognized at least on one point. When action was finally taken, those responsible immediately took radical measures. Virologist Florian Krammer, who teaches at the New York Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, aptly put it on Twitter. It annoys him a little if he always hears the question of why he believes the Chinese statistics in response to his contributions. According to Krammer, it should be remembered that China has given the rest of the world time. “However, we did not use them,” is his conclusion.