Tuesday, February 18, 2020

U.S. Elites Sold Out America to Han Elites and Continue To Do So

NYTimes |  Maybe the medical authorities in China didn’t report more infections previously because they couldn’t — because, say, they were short of reliable test kits (which they were). It’s possible that the numbers were fudged. But maybe they weren’t, or not as much as some people seem to fear. The change in criteria for what counts as an infection may indicate, not so much nefarious evidence of a cover-up now exposed, but the struggles of a local health care system overwhelmed by a sudden and colossal medical crisis.

Last Thursday, the Hubei authorities also reported a leap in the new daily tally of deaths: 242, compared with 94 for Wednesday. That’s a big jump, but not nearly as big as the increase in the number of newly infected people over the same period. Which could be a cause for some measure of relief: The disease’s lethality would seem to have decreased or be lower than was previously thought. Yet that’s not the takeaway likely to have prevailed.

Some of the reporting has amounted to a set of contradictory pronouncements, confusing at best. Journalists could display more critical distance and a modicum of skepticism toward the data they relay, instead of turning the media coverage into a hall of mirrors.

One major problem is the doing of no one in particular. The story about the coronavirus’s spread is evolving quickly, with medical authorities in China and elsewhere disclosing figures daily (or more often), and the media reporting the information immediately to satisfy the fast-paced, staccato rhythms of publishing cycles. But up-to-the-minute, blow-by-blow accounts of hard data can create mistaken impressions about the underlying facts, even if both the data and the accounts are accurate.

Last Thursday, a surge in the number of infections was reported, because of that change in official criteria. On Monday, China announced a drop in the number of new cases for the third consecutive day. Now what should we make of that?

Constant on-the-nose reporting, however much it seems to serve transparency, has limitations, too.
It’s a short-term, and shortsighted, approach that’s difficult to resist, especially when people are afraid and the authorities are taking draconian actions. It’s only natural to compare and contrast whatever hard facts are available. And yet it’s especially dangerous to do that precisely because people are so anxious, and fear can trick the mind.

A view from a loftier perch — a month’s, or even just a week’s, perspective — would, and will, produce far more reliable information.