China lied. People died.

China lied. People died.

At the time of this report, there are at least 140,100 worldwide deaths attributed to COVID-19, with around 30,000 within the U.S. The low estimates for the total American deaths by the coronavirus is around 200,000, though time will tell if we reach that number.

For the hundreds of millions across the globe who haven’t been physically affected by the virus, the consequences remain. Life as we know it has been put on hold, with millions of students forced to finish the semester online and many expecting another online semester ahead. The U.S. economy, which was humming along just four months ago, now is in a deeper recession than the country has seen in decades. Massive unemployment rates across the nation and no assurance that those jobs will be there when this disaster ends is a very real reality for workers of all trades.

The list goes on for all of the things that have been “paused.” I certainly miss the gym. I miss eating with friends on the weekend. I miss having the freedom to simply do things. More than anything else, I miss the normality that we have all gotten used to. That being said, this is the time we find ourselves in, and we have no choice but to persevere.

As with any global tragedy, fingers are naturally going to be pointed. Some blame the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), others blame the political parties of the United States with the President drawing quite a bit of the public’s ire. While all of these groups and figures might be liable for some level of the blame, there is one group that we all should give scrutiny to, the Communist Party of China.

According to the W.H.O., the first cases of COVID-19  were reported in Wuhan on the 31st of December. At that time, it was just a cluster of pneumonia, nothing out of the ordinary. On January 23rd, the city of Wuhan, with a population of 11 million, was completely shut down. In the weeks that followed, hundreds of millions of people in China were put under lockdown as the country grinded to a halt. Think back on the first time you seriously started hearing about the Coronavirus. Was it when President Trump banned flights from China on January 31st, or when the W.H.O declared a global public health emergency after 18 countries already had reported cases? The casual news surveyor may not have even understood the seriousness of this until they could no longer go back to work and their schoolwork was moved completely online. However, the Chinese government understood right from the start.

If this was “just the flu”, as many of us were told for months, do you lock down entire cities? Do you weld the doors shut of those suspected of carrying the virus? Do you put hundreds of millions of people under lock down and significantly damage the economy over “a common flu?”

What about arresting those who try to speak out against the government’s response? Li Wenliang was a director of a hospital in Wuhan who died from the virus. He was hailed as a hero because he told the world what was truly going on in Wuhan, breaking through China’s information firewall. He tried to tell the world about the dangers of this virus, yet China, who had to have fully known the dangers of this, remained silent until it was impossible to stop the spread. When there’s a fire in your house, do you let it burn down the neighborhood for fear of embarrassment, or do you call the authorities and warn your neighbors?

Rest in Peace Posters of Dr. Li Wenliang, who warned authorities about the coronovirus outbreak seen at Hosier Lane in Melbourne, Australia. Hosier Lane is known for its street art.

Not only did China reject offers of help from both the W.H.O. and C.D.C. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), but it is now being reported that China under-reported and blatantly lied about the severity of this virus. This is not only incredibly dangerous coming from one of the most powerful nations on earth, but it has directly led to tens of thousands of American deaths, as well as untold economic damage around the globe.

The only question remaining is if the Chinese government will ever answer for the damages.

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