(Minghui.org) In its response to the coronavirus epidemic, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has shown how a totalitarian regime considers it more important to maintain its power than to ensure people’s health and safety.
According to a study published in The Lancet on January 24, 2020, titled “Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China,” the first reported case of the novel coronavirus was on December 1, 2019.
Another report by the Chinese media Caixin also revealed that several hospitals in Wuhan sent nine cases of unidentified pneumonia for sequencing before the end of December 2019, and the results indicated that the patients were infected with a novel coronavirus similar to SARS.
Shortly after the hospitals reported the results to the Hubei Municipal Health Commission and the National Health Commission, they were told in January 2020 to stop all testing and destroy all samples. No data was allowed to be published.
While a few infection cases have been reported in December 2019, the local government affirmed in the media that the virus wouldn’t have human-to-human transmission and that the virus was “preventable and controllable.”
Eight doctors who shared information about the virus with their friends on social media were arrested on January 1, 2020 and charged with “spreading rumors.” Dr. Li Wenliang, one of the whistleblowers, later contracted the deadly virus and passed away on February 6, at the age of 34.
Despite all the early reported cases, several large gatherings still took place in Wuhan in January 2020, including the People’s Congress meeting, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, as well as a potluck party with over 40,000 families in attendance.
When Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory expert, finally confirmed human-to-human transmission of the virus on January 20, 2020, the virus had already spread all over the country by people traveling for the Chinese New Year holiday.
Within a day of Zhong's announcement, the confirmed infection cases in China suddenly jumped to over 300. By then, nearly 50 days had passed since the first case was reported, but no actions to contain the virus were ever taken.
Zhou Xianwang, the mayor of Wuhan, said on TV in an unprecedented move on January 27, 2020 that the city had to wait for authorization from Beijing before releasing sensitive information. Many saw his response as an attempt to shift the blame to the central government in order to protect himself.
After Wuhan was locked down, several citizen journalists were arrested for reporting on the epidemic, and more people’s social media accounts and online posts were closed and deleted for posting information about new infection cases or the miserable lives of Wuhan citizens.
To control the reported number of infection and death cases, the authorities in Wuhan have limited the distribution of testing kits to local communities and hospitals. Some residents with fever weren’t allowed to seek medical care in a different district than their home district. Some passed away even before being tested.
According to an exclusive interview by an undercover reporter for The Epoch Times, a senior official of a crematorium in Wuhan revealed that their daily intake had skyrocketed since January 22, peaking at 127 bodies on February 3. The official added that it was about four or five times the usual number of bodies. He complained that the staff had to work almost around the clock to cremate the bodies.
Four other funeral homes in Wuhan also reported increases in their intake, based on undercover calls and revelations from crematorium employees.
Many observers estimated that the actual death cases were several times higher than the official numbers.
In mid-February, with the epidemic still yet to subside, the central government ordered businesses to resume their normal operations in an effort to rescue the hard-hit economy.
Shortly after that, clusters of coronavirus infection cases were reported in Beijing, Chongqing, Guangdong, and Shandong Province.
Soon after some medical staff appealed online for the lack of basic personal protection gear in the beginning of the epidemic, donations from companies and private citizens poured in to the Red Cross in China, only for donors to see the lifesaving resources being withheld and not going into the hands of people who needed them the most.
On the other hand, the CCP also rejected help from other countries and never allowed U.S. CDC experts and other medical and public health officials to enter China to help evaluate the situation and contain the virus.
While the number of new infections are surging in countries outside of China, the newly reported cases within China are in decline.
According to an internal document by the Health Commission in Liaoning Province obtained by The Epoch Times, local hospitals were required to destroy data related to the outbreak. Another confidential document obtained by The Epoch Times also shows that authorities in Shandong Province purposefully underreported the number of confirmed cases.
A CT scan technician in the First Hospital of Qiqihar City, Heilongjiang Province, has been infected with the coronavirus. This hospital has received over 100 coronavirus patients, including medical staff. None of these cases have been reported or publicized, according to NTDTV, a New York-based Chinese media outlet.
According to a whistleblower who revealed the information to NTDTV, medical staff at the hospital had been working long shifts for more than 20 days without any time off. He also heard that some medical workers in other hospitals had also been infected, but none of those cases had been reported either. Otherwise the hospitals' leadership would be punished for violating the “epidemic propaganda guidelines” issued by the communist regime.
In contrast to the apparent slowdown of the viral spread in China, however, more officials have been dispatched to patrol residential neighborhoods and streets, day and night, in order to catch individuals who go outside without following the restriction policies.
Additionally, some ambulances and police vehicles transporting suspected coronavirus patients to the hospital no longer turned on their sirens. The police also kept a low key when they barricaded some suspected patients at home.
After the virus spread to over 100 countries and regions, the CCP is now trying to shift the blame to other countries, claiming that the virus might have come from overseas anti-China forces. Zhong Nanshan, the respiratory and virus expert, said on state media on February 27 that “the coronavirus first appeared in China but may not have originated in China.”
According to a report by en.people.cn, a mouthpiece for the CCP, a user posted on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, “Perhaps the US delegates brought the coronavirus to Wuhan [during the Military World Games held in Wuhan in October]. And some mutation occurred to the virus, making it more deadly and contagious, and causing a widespread outbreak this year.”
As other countries are fighting an uphill battle against the coronavirus, the CCP ramped up its propaganda machine to boast its efforts to contain the outbreak.
A newly published book, A Battle Against the Epidemic: China Combating Covid-19 in 2020, put together by the Propaganda Department and State Council Information Office, celebrates how the CCP, under Xi Jinping’s “heroic” leadership, effectively controlled and managed the spread of the epidemic, turning the tragic event into another grand celebration. On March 10, Xi made his first visit to Wuhan since the coronavirus outbreak to assert China's victory in its fight against the epidemic.
In the internal document from Shanghai authorities obtained by The Epoch Times, they were ordered to produce “positive stories” to “promote government policies,” “monitor public opinion online,” “discover exemplary models among the frontlines of epidemic control work,” and “create a strong atmosphere of people united in working together.”
In another effort to praise its “supreme leadership” and “victory” in fighting the virus, the CCP honored 113 medical teams and 506 medical staffers as “model citizens” for their participation in the outbreak response. Medical staff who died from the virus and from exhaustion were pronounced as martyrs, in attempts to encourage more people to make sacrifices for the country.