Commentary / Coronavirus

Why Should We Believe China’s Coronavirus Statistics?

ChinaHeadlines appeared yesterday afternoon — “US passes China in COVID-19 cases!” Who says? Often it’s the Johns Hopkins map. That site gives its main China source as an aggregator known as DXY. It also notes Worldometers, produced by a Chinese company called Dadax. But is COVID-19 possibly a sensitive issue in China? (Hint: yes). If so, why would anyone believe these sites know the true situation, or could report it if they did?

If you consider the Communist Party to be honest about matters affecting its legitimacy, stop reading. Perhaps switch to these links on reincarnation regulationssubversive Winnie the Pooh, or dangerous jasmine. (Reading about the Great Leap Forward or Tiananmen may prove harder.) For everyone else:

1) We’ve done a terrible job with COVID-19 testing but finally passed 500,000 tests yesterday. With more than four times our population, roughly a 2-month head start, and the great job it supposedly did, China must have at least 2 million test results, probably more. The details of these — symptoms, timing, demographics, recurrence — would be incredibly valuable to the world. Where are they?

2) If I missed them, send an email calling me an idiot (or worse). If not, what we’ve had from DXY for weeks — to its credit — is updates on Chinese “diagnoses” (not “cases”), deaths, and cures. No test numbers. It would be strange for China to have conducted hundreds of thousands or millions of tests and DXY not to report it.

3) What DXY reports is a very serious problem, now fading, in Hubei province. Closing on 68,000 diagnoses and 3200 deaths. The population of Hubei is roughly 60 million. For the entire rest of China, it reports a bit over 14,000 cases and closing on 130 deaths (time of writing). The population of the rest of China is a bit over 1.3 billion. You might see where I’m going here.

4) The first case in Hubei may have been November 17. China can’t be blamed for failing to recognize the situation then — it’s only easy in retrospect. But COVID-19 may have circulated that early. If not, then by December 26. Four weeks later, a quarantine is imposed on cities in Hubei. (Again, if quarantines are easy, many countries have made serious errors.) Millions were said to have left prior to quarantine. Say that’s exaggerated and it’s only hundreds of thousands. The vast majority of those exiting Hubei entirely — say thousands — went elsewhere in China, not other countries.

5) A country handling COVID-19 well is South Korea. An aggressive testing program, effective containment of an outbreak site, and far fewer cases than Germany. South Korea is richer than China. It has less than four percent of the population of China excluding Hubei. Given proximity to Hubei and the enormous population difference, you’d think the rest of China would reasonably have 30 times as many COVID-19 deaths as South Korea and still get credit for it, since South Korea is held up as a model. That’s off by about a factor of 31. The rest of China reports slightly fewer deaths than South Korea.

6) Another quick responder to COVID-19 is Singapore. It is far away from China, though it receives a lot of traffic. Singapore has a population of less than 6 million, closing on 700 cases at time of writing, and 2 deaths. Jiangsu province is closer to Hubei, sees a lot of domestic and global traffic, and is not as rich as Singapore. Hopkins source DXY puts Jiangsu “cases” at 640 and rising slower than Singapore’s. No deaths. The population of Jiangsu is 80 million.

I could illustrate how . . . remarkable numbers are in other provinces, too. If you think that, despite at least a month of uncontrolled movement, the government performed miracles to stop COVID-19 in other provinces, you might believe those numbers. Strangely, though, the same government totally botched the situation in Hubei itself.

Or maybe China’s cases aren’t the same as ours or others. The reason the world doesn’t have the incredibly valuable test data is because tests weren’t conducted for public use. Instead, publicly disclosed diagnoses were made by presentation of symptoms and contact tracing back to Hubei (this is done in many countries). Public case identification through mass testing was not done. And if you don’t have a COVID-19 case, you can’t attribute a death to COVID-19.

How can China hide many COVID-19 cases? Most are mild, most of the rest can easily be deemed flu or pneumonia. How can China hide deaths? About 800,000 people die in China every month. 8,000 “extra” deaths per month due to COVID-19 is a rounding error. (That’s *not* an estimate of the number of deaths.)

China deliberately didn’t measure unemployment correctly for decades; it’s deliberately not measuring COVID-19 correctly now. With international cover provided by other countries struggling with the virus, China will over time revise its numbers. Until then, American journalists, you don’t have to believe a word I’ve written. But could you at least be a bit more thoughtful about this?

Reprinted with Permission from - AEIdeas.org by - Derek Scissors

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Rodney Craig Ernst
6 months ago

Its time to take back manufacturing to our country. They own the 5g network, the U.S.pork industry and who knows what else. We are asking for socialism if we are not vigilant.

Camille Curd
6 months ago

I don’t believe anything that mainstream media reports.

PaulE
7 months ago

China has never been known as the source of reliable, verifiable information on almost anything occurring within its borders. Given the CCP’s control and influence over all aspects of any information that is allowed to be disseminated to the outside world from any source within China, most world governments, companies and individuals that are still capable of critical thought, which is unfortunately a diminishing number, have long viewed most data released by China as highly suspect, if not outright fabricated in order to bolster the CCP’s agenda and goals. Of course those favorable to either the Chinese political system or… Read more »

Stephen Russell
6 months ago

No
1. China lied during virus outbreak
2. deny CDC entry into nation.
3. blame US for virus
4. Virus is Bioweapon
5. use wet market as cover.
6. secrecy day 1.
7. fake numbers for “recovery” virus strong in China
8. Secrecy leads 1 to believe Bioweapon or one would open up on issue right
9. Rig numbers
10. China Lies, People die.

Number crunch numbers add new data to mix IE 100-200K deaths in US?
& China steals OUR Tech.

Phil Hammersley
6 months ago

Who in their right mind would believe ANYTHING that the Chi-coms say? As President Reagan said, “Trust but verify.” I’m still not convinced that the virus was deliberately spread to deflate the economies of China’s rivals. Life means nothing to their leaders–they could sacrifice many thousands to advance their agenda!

R J B
6 months ago

Article is about China so ask where is the article about the DEMOCRATS pushing their socialist agenda in this crisis. Bring AMERICA to her knees so the masses see SOCIALISM as its salvation. Every COMMUNIST movement started with a crises of some form and the DEMOCRATS are as SOCIALIST and COMMUNIST as any of the leaders of COMMUNIST RUSSIA or COMMUNIST CHINA. This is a WAR so best search and seek like believers to what is at stake and get prepared to stand or surrender to their SLAVERY. UNITED WE STAND OR DEVIDED WE FALLS. BEST UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU AND… Read more »

Steven
6 months ago

One good thing that’s going to come out of this is maybe we’ll figure out that China is not our friend and never has been…Perhaps now our politicians will wake up and quit giving China a pass. We need to bring back a lot of the manufacturing that’s been shipped to China because of the ultra cheep labor. Yes it will cost more to make and we’ll have to pay more, but in the long run it will be worth it. They steel our tech, lie about everything and are now showing their true colors. Blame America for the virus… Read more »

don
6 months ago

We should not believe China’s numbers. They (those in control) do not care about the people or how many die. They only care about keeping the people suppressed and controlled so they will lie for the good of their corrupt system.

DuBois Linda M
6 months ago

The communists are always telling misinformation. They can’t be trusted.

Rick Anderau
6 months ago

Outstanding observations and sadly all too true!

James
6 months ago

We shouldn’t believe the communist Chinese government. They’ve lied from the very beginning about this virus! The fact that the democrat party takes sides with the Chinese government against our leaders speaks volumes. Like the Chinese government, the communist democrat party is trying to blame as much of this pandemic on the Trump Administration as possible and thereby absolving China of guilt.

Mike B.
6 months ago

If you believe the Chinese on anything, I have some ocean front property in Arizona for sale at a great price. I’ll even throw in the Brooklyn Bridge.

Dr Timothy-Allen Albertson
6 months ago

Figures don’t lie, but figurers sure do lie. And the ChiComs are the mothers of all prevaricxators.

Lynn Miller
6 months ago

Nothing by way of COVID statistics from Communist Chinese propagandists, in China and those in American MSM, is believable.

Ed J
6 months ago

Who lies the most? The Chi-coms or the Pelosi Cartel and its Press Relations arm, the Lamestream Media? If “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!” were operative, which would cause the greater conflagration in their skivvies? Probably ALL the above!

bill
6 months ago

searching social media yesterday, one website stated 21 million China phone Numbers were recently abandoned, with recent increase in cell phone
usage in China, where did 21 million Chinese people go? Just curious.

Brenda Blunt
6 months ago

Any information coming out of China should be taken with a grain of salt. Another reason ALL manufacturing should be returned to the USA.

josephine pooley
6 months ago

Thank you for bringing some accurate perspective to the whole China thing!

Chuck
6 months ago

One thing about numbers, you can twist them to suit any purpose or agenda. One has to research the source producing the numbers, and what are their stated goals. In the end, you still have to rely on your reasoning and thinking.

Jack
6 months ago

Sounds like the Democrats to me. And our media. We don’t know what the numbers are here. The majority of the people claiming very high numbers are the Democrat epicenters. You can’t believe what the news media has to say about it so we’re all in the dark. Supposedly a patient at a nursing home here tested positive for the virus and they’ve been on lockdown. Must have been one of the caregiver employees that transferred it to them. One in a closed environment of hundreds?

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