China’s COVID lies could prove deadly for America

The only thing not going viral in China is the truth. Chinese officials are spewing lies to cover up the massive COVID carnage there.

Worse, US public-health officials dawdled for a week, allowing air travelers from China in without testing, while other countries immediately blocked infected travelers from entering.

Aerial photos and videos from China show body bags stacked outside hospitals and crematoria, funeral-home parking lots full and hospitals overwhelmed with COVID patients jammed into hallways. In Beijing and Sichuan, more than 50% of the population is infected, according to internal government documents.

Yet the Chinese government officially claims there was only one COVID death in all of China Dec. 31, one Dec. 30 and one Dec. 29. That’s in a nation of 1.4 billion people.

More dangerous, China is also withholding laboratory evidence about what strains are sickening its population. Is it the Omicron variants we are accustomed to treating or something new? We are all part of the human race and need to share this information.

People in China are rushing to the exits. Outbound airline bookings nearly tripled in the 24 hours after the government announced it was lifting travel restrictions that have been in place for almost three years.

It’s reasonable that the United States and other countries are requiring air passengers from China — of any ethnicity — to provide a negative COVID test to board.

Health workers guide travelers arriving from China to a Covid-19 testing center at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul on January 3, 2023.
Chinese officials are covering up the massive amount of COVID-19 deaths in the country.
JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images

MSNBC’s TheReidOut Blog slams the COVID-test requirement as “jingoistic, reactionary and inhumane.” MSNBC is in sync with the Chinese Communist Party. Chinese officials are attacking the test requirement as “discriminatory” and warning that it will discourage global cooperation. What cooperation? China still refuses to allow investigations of how the virus originated.

On Sunday, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exclaimed that in 2020, China’s President Xi Jinping “sent people around the world who he knew were infected.” Now “he’s doing it again.” But as Pompeo said, “There is no reason we should allow the Chinese to do this again.”

Amen.

The debate over whether to restrict travelers from China reveals the cowardice in our nation’s public-health apparatus.

On Dec. 28, Italy imposed a negative-COVID-test requirement after nearly half the passengers on two flights from China to Milan were found to be infected. Italy made its requirement effective immediately.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also announced its testing rule Dec. 28 but made the start date Jan. 5. That’s crazy.

A man pushes an elderly woman past patients receiving intravenous drips in the emergency ward of a hospital, Tuesday, Jan.  3, 2023.
China is withholding lab evidence about what COVID-19 strains are sickening the Chinese population.
AP Photo/Andy Wong

Officials said the test would “help limit the number of infected people” coming in from China. So why wait until Jan. 5? To make life easier for airlines.

United Airlines, Delta Airlines and American Airlines are operating dozens of flights from China to American cities each week. Lawrence Gostin, a public health lawyer at the World Health Organization, said the distant date “could let in a flood of visitors who are not vetted.”

If a lethal strain invades from China, thank the bunglers at the CDC.

It’s also worrisome that many US scientists reject the most basic tool of infection control — separating the sick from the healthy. These scientists, infused with a globalist mentality and misplaced loyalties, argue America should rely on vaccination only and allow everyone in.

That’s wrong. The United States needs to employ every tool — travel controls as well as vaccines — to protect our population. In America, the latest COVID strain, dubbed XBB, resists vaccines and boosters. Fortunately, it’s somewhat mild and isn’t causing a surge in deaths.

Deplacement de François BRAUN, ministre de la Sante et de la Prevention, et de Clement BEAUNE, ministre delegue charge des Transports, al aeroport Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle (95).  Alors que le Gouvernement français vient de reinforcer les mesures sanitaires aux frontières pour les passagers en provenance de Chine, les ministres sont venu assister a des test Covid sur ces voyageurs - Trip by François BRAUN, Minister for Health and Prevention , and Clement BEAUNE, Minister Delegate for Transport, to Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport (95).  While the French Government has just reinforced health measures at the borders for passengers from China, the ministers came to attend Covid tests on these travelers.
The US and other countries are requiring airline passengers from China to provide a negative COVID-19 test before boarding.
Luc Nobout/IP3 via ZUMA Press

But what if China is coping with a variant that resists vaccines and causes serious illness?

In China, infections are spreading so fast that scientists predict new variants will emerge soon. “The situation in China makes us very worried,” reflected Emory University scientist Wilbur Lam. The world needs to be notified as soon as new variants appear. But China won’t cooperate.

This is no time for political correctness or fuzzy globalist thinking. Travelers from China who are infected must be barred from the United States.

And the CDC must toughen up. Our lives could be at stake.

Betsy McCaughey is chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a former lieutenant governor of New York.

Twitter: @Betsy_McCaughey

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