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June 10, 2021 · OPINION

A letter from Beijing … that could have been

Stock Photo
By Don Bachmann
Orlean

My Dear American Comrades,

We would like to express our great pleasure regarding the United States’ progress in mitigating the COVID-19 threat. 2021 marks the year when you truly “turned the corner” on the pandemic and are now on the road to normalcy. Please, accept our sincere congratulations for this accomplishment and, in addition, the well-wishes of The People’s Republic of China.

Despite all the progress that you have made however, we are informed that you are still upset by the hundreds of thousands of American lives that were needlessly lost due to COVID-19. We understand your outrage but would ask that you understand the position of The People’s Republic of China.

We would first like to state that launching a global pandemic was never our intent. Its release was an accident and not the result of military calculation. Yes, it is true that our state labs are studying plague viruses; but we only seek to be prudent in an adversarial world. We must be prepared in case the next world conflict is fought on biological battlefields.

And yet you may ask, “Why didn’t you inform the international community of a potentially lethal biological threat?” Well, quite simply, it was not in our interest to do so. And besides, we merely did what your former president would have done at the time; we adopted a “China First” policy, regardless of the consequence to others. Admittedly, not informing an unsuspecting world population was morally reprehensible, but moral consequence does not guide our actions.

We, like the U.S., were not fully prepared to deal with COVID-19 and needed to cover up its spread to avoid panic and gain time to devise a consensus response. But, unlike the U.S., once the potential of the treat was realized, we quickly embraced the science and acted decisively on a national scale.

We reversed our initial course of denial and local blame and addressed the crisis head-on. We mobilized a medical, civil and military response geared towards one end — the defeat of the viral threat. Our population complied with our government’s coercions and mandates; they had little choice. Our imposition of strict civil discipline proved effective and enabled us to control the spread of the virus through control of our population.

We also implemented a local/global misinformation campaign in order to gain time to amass the necessary resources from domestic and international markets. Additionally, we needed time to complete many international objectives while positioning ourselves to best absorb the likely fallout. We were successful in this course; you took a different path and were not.

It is a pity that your former president delayed acting with a sense of urgency even though all the early warning signs were evident. He, by in large, ignored the science, only issued partial travel bans and failed to mobilize a unified national response. And, all the while, he continually downplayed the peril knowing the severity of the threat.

Most consequently, your government did not focus on the science and developing a national strategy to defeat the virus. Instead, you focused on ameliorating its political consequences and devised a strategy to shift potential blame and responsibility elsewhere … to the World Health Organization, to us, to the previous administration and even to your states’ governors – especially those of the opposition party.

We do not fully understand this strategy but suspect that it had something to do with last year’s upcoming national elections. We do, however, understand that “power” is everything.

And now, as you are still emerging from COVID-19, The People’s Republic of China can say it has weathered the pandemic with minimal loss. We view this as a remarkable feat; as of the date of this letter, China has recorded 91,000 cases with only 4,600 deaths as compared with 33.3 million cases in the U.S. and 595,000 deaths. Also of note, China represents 18 percent of the world population, while the U.S. has only 4 percent of the world population. Those numbers speak for themselves.

And finally, we note your former president is still referring to COVID-19 as the “China Virus.” Let us assure you this added recognition is not necessary. If, however, you still desire to rename Covid-19, then we humbly suggest it far more appropriate to relabel it the “Trump Virus” … after all, the United States still leads the world in the number of cases and deaths.

Again, we regret our part as the origin of the contagion. We hope this letter helps assuage the anger you must feel towards us. We also hope that you will come to realize that you must assume some responsibility for not insisting upon the truth and demanding more substantial action from your government. If you had done so, it could have resulted in less severe outcomes … certainly for the victims and their families.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,
Xi Jinping
State Chairperson
The People’s Republic of China

PS: As dictated to Don Bachmann, Orlean, Va.
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