The United States’ response on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been and currently is dismal. Our government has treated the deaths of over a million people domestically and the disablement of millions of people with Long COVID as mainly a political football used to score points. The virus continues to kill and disable people in large numbers, though a carefully coordinated governmental and media back-to-normal campaign has effectively terminated our mitigation response and led to a mass psychological response straddles the borders between amnesia, delusion, hopelessness, and ignorance. Yet we must not forget that there was another path forward, containment, that was successfully demonstrated for years by China. As this policy trajectory was dangerous to short term capitalist economic interests it was constantly belittled and attacked with racist tropes.
We must address the xenophobic and yellow peril framing of “authoritarian” China. Here’s how the New York Times framed the world historic response China employed to protect their population from COVID-19 in January and February 2020, pre-empting even the thought of taking effective action in the United States:
China, where the Maoist communist dictatorship imposed mass social control to barricade people into their own houses who where then forced to scramble for food and fail to get medical care to avoid a simple cold that might not even spread between humans. This evidenced a kind of deficit of intellect and lack of respect for freedom The West would never abide by. In any case, people that should still be buying western opium are making things worse for themselves, not better. They’re only going all out like this because the leadership knows the people don’t trust them. Also, China didn’t do enough, they covered up the nascent epidemic, and let the virus get out of control making it our problem.
Written by comrade William Silversmith for ZNetwork.