The Dangers of the World's Dependence on China for Drugs and Medical Supplies
(Minghui.org) The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s continued cover-up and disinformation about coronavirus turned an epidemic into a pandemic.
As numerous countries are fighting to contain the virus, they find themselves facing shortages of medical products, a problem further aggravated by their dependence on China to supply such products, which are often low quality or defective in the first place.
The CCP has also threatened to cut off the medical supplies of the U.S. and other nations as leverage for stronger political control. Facing the threats, many western governments are reshaping their supply chain strategy towards less reliance on China.
Face Mask Recall
“The Netherlands has recalled hundreds of thousands of face masks imported from China after they were found to be defective, the health ministry announced on Saturday,” reported Euronews on March 29, 2020.
Dutch authorities received 1.3 million face masks from China for distribution to healthcare providers. The masks came with labels of N95 certification, but they failed to meet quality standards.
After a second test failed, about 600,000 masks were recalled. The Dutch Health Ministry has given assurances that “new shipments will receive extra standard testing.”
Testing Kits with 20-30% Passing Rate
Spain announced on March 26 that the rapid testing kits purchased from a Chinese company only had a 30% coronavirus detection rate. As a result, 640,000 kits would be returned.
“The [Spanish] government stressed that the kits were CE certified — indicating conformity with European standards — and that they had been purchased through a Spanish intermediary,” reported Euronews.
The malfunctioning testing kits were also received by Turkey and the Czech Republic. “Up to 80 percent of the 300,000 rapid coronavirus test kits that the Czech Republic ordered from China are not working properly, according to regional hygienists who have tried the tests,” reported on March 26 by Prague Morning, the biggest Czech media outlet in English.
These kits cost 54 million korunas (€1.83 million) and they showed false positive as well as negative results. This is because rapid tests cannot reliably detect infection in its initial phase. Health officials thus labeled the rapid coronavirus tests as unreliable, as they allegedly failed in 80 percent of the cases. The error rate is quite high, explained Pavla Svrčinová, a hygienist from the Ostrava region.
About 80% of Pharmaceutical Ingredients from China and India
Senator Chuck Grassley wrote a letter last year to FDA and Alex Azar, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, saying that “80 percent of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients are produced abroad, the majority in China and India; however, the FDA only inspected one in five registered human drug manufacturing facilities abroad last year.”
Senator Todd Young cited Grassley's statistics in a letter to Washington Examiner on March 31, 2020 and said, “The spread of the novel coronavirus from China to the rest of the globe has heightened the public’s awareness of the deep connections and serious vulnerabilities that shape our lives in the 21st century,” he continued.
“Now, as people work to contain the spread of this pandemic, we remain hamstrung by a lack of transparency from the Chinese Communist Party about the origins of the virus,” Young wrote, “All the while, China confuses Americans through coronavirus misinformation campaigns designed to spread lies and conspiracy theories. Most offensively, China has been hoarding vital personal protection equipment.”
As the U.S. continues to suffer from the pandemic, Young warned that Beijing has been working aggressively to exploit America's economic downturn and expand China's global influence. Young called on the U.S. and its allies to invest in themselves and get rid of their dependence on China.
CCP Threatens to Throw America “Into the Mighty Sea of the Coronavirus”
“China is threatening to wreak havoc on America’s drug supply amid the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Thanks to our globalist elite and especially missteps during the Obama-Biden administration, Beijing has the power to do just that,” wrote an article in The National Interest on March 8.
The National Interest article cited an earlier article from Xinhua, China's state-owned media, that contemplated the possibility of imposing pharmaceutical export controls and sinking America “into the mighty sea of coronavirus.”
“The critical vulnerability isn’t just in finished drugs, but what are called active pharmaceutical ingredients, some 80 percent of which America now imports. Most of these come from Red China,” the National Interest article continued, “Indeed, biotechnology is one of ten categories of Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” industrial strategy which has driven so much of its theft of intellectual property and dumping of goods at below-market prices to kill U.S. businesses.”
Liz Peek, writer and commentator on the finance industry, recently wrote to the The Hill that “Trump must cut our dependence on Chinese drugs — whatever it takes.”
“This dependence on a rival authoritarian government is unacceptable. The risk of being at the mercy of Beijing became all too clear when the official party newspaper recently threatened,” she explained. When SARS broke out in 2003, U.S. did not heavy rely on China as we do now. “Today such diseases threaten us as never before,” she added.
Protecting Medicine as a “Strategic National Asset”
Rosemary Gibson, co-author of “China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine,” testified to a congressional commission in summer 2019, that China dominates the manufacturing of the generic drugs that comprise 90 percent of what Americans take.
She explained that the communist regime’s economic strategy is to destroy American medical manufacturing to establish a monopoly on a vital asset. The coronavirus outbreak has exposed the danger of China’s monopoly power.
“The coronavirus pandemic that's crashing the U.S. economy, putting lives at risk and derailing our entire way of life should serve as a wake-up call that the U.S. government must stop being reliant on China and other foreign nations for prescription drugs, medical supplies or any supply chain product or ingredient that's essential to our survival,” wrote Adriana Cohen in a recently Fox News article.
U.S. to Reduce US Foreign Dependency on Medicines
White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told CNBC on March 16 that he’s preparing an executive order that would help relocate medical supply chains from overseas to the U.S.
“The essence of the order … is to bring all of that home so that we don’t have to worry about foreign dependency,” he explained, adding that 70% of the ingredients used in advanced pharmaceuticals “comes from abroad.”
He talked about increased demand for medical face masks due to the coronavirus, which highlights the challenges of relying on foreign supply chains.
“Lawmakers such as Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., also have raised concerns about pharmaceuticals being manufactured outside the U.S.,” reported CNBC, saying they had introduced legislation recently that would dedicate $100 million to develop U.S. production of drugs.