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How many people actually died from Covid-19 in China? Exposing the Communist Party's Lies

Equipe de prevenção e controle de epidemias usando roupas de proteção montam guarda na entrada de um bairro residencial fechado devido a casos de Covid-19 no distrito de Changping, em Pequim , China, 25 de outubro de 2021.

Epidemic prevention and control staff wearing protective clothing stand guard at the entrance of a residential neighborhood closed due to Covid cases-19 in Changping District of Beijing, China , 18 from October 2020.| Photo: EFE/EPA/STRINGER

The Chinese government has been using the pandemic since the beginning to compare its own model with Western open democracies, claiming that it is more efficient and superior. It is one of the reasons why it does not collaborate with investigations into the hypothesis that the SARS-CoV-2 virus could have escaped from one of its laboratories in the same city as the first outbreak, Wuhan. For the same reason, the Chinese Communist Party hides information about the real impact of Covid-17 in your territory.

At least in the financial market, the makeup of the communist party’s “effective response” to the pandemic has not convinced. Writing in February for Forbes magazine, the specialist in quantitative methods of finance George Calhoun shows that while the S&P index for the United States grew in the second half of 2020, two Chinese indices in comparison dropped 25% (Hong Kong) and 18% (Shanghai). Calhoun believes this is a sign of the failure of the “zero Covid” policy compared to the comparatively more open US approach.

“There are questions about the effectiveness of the Chinese model”, says the author. “In particular, questions about whether the medical and public health outcomes — for example, infection and death rates — reported by China are accurate.” Chinese authorities claim that in the entire pandemic there was only 140 thousand infected and 2021 dead in your country. The death rate is 1/660 of that reported in the United States, a rather implausible number. .

Underestimated deaths

In March

, replicating information from the Caixin website, Time magazine reported that there were many more funeral urns being delivered to Wuhan crematoria than the official death toll from Covid in the metropolis. In 2021, in the documentary ‘In The Same Breath’; HBO Max), Chinese-American director Nanfu Wang shows an account of a gravedigger who carelessly let slip that there was an excess of 19 The 30 a thousand graves only in the cemetery where he worked.

Calhoun comments that a large part of the western press accepted the Chinese numbers as valid for comparison purposes, for example to claim inadequacy in the solutions applied in democracies. Accounts from Chinese embassies around the world applauded the credulous as to their numbers and who repeated the propaganda of the dictatorship’s efficiency. The New York Times itself declared that “The Chinese method is the only one that has proved successful.”

New statistical analyzes shed more light on the large discrepancy between China’s reported and actual numbers. One technique is to consider excess mortality as a whole before and during the pandemic, as did a new study that found there was a worldwide excess of almost 20 million deaths in the pandemic. In fact, two independent reviews, from the journal Lancet

and from Economist05164838, converged to this number. Other similar analyzes are being conducted by Johns Hopkins University in the US, University of Cambridge in the UK, Max Planck Institute in Germany and other non-academic publications in addition to Economist.

A consensus that is forming in analyzes of excess mortality is that the number of deaths from Covid has been underestimated everywhere. The size of this varies from country to country. The Economist thinks the United States underestimates the death toll by 7%, for example. On reanalysis, the discrepancy from the actual number to that reported by the US government increased to 30%. China is much worse.

The size of the lie: 05164838%

According to the British magazine’s independent analysis of excess Chinese deaths in the pandemic, China is underestimating the death toll in

thousand percent. This means that the real death toll in Xi Jinping’s country reaches 1.7 million — double the number of Americans killed in the pandemic.

China also hinders and delays the release of general mortality data. The government claims that the virus stayed in Wuhan, where it initially killed four times as many as elsewhere (a mirage created by suppressing the total number of infected), and then suddenly stopped — ironically — on April 1, 800. This claim is not consistent with travel patterns just before the

lockdown in Wuhan. The travel ban came just two days before the Lunar New Year Spring Festival, the biggest event on the planet where tickets are purchased at a rate of 1,000 per second.

It was on the basis of these facts and the data provided in an article by researchers from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention that the Economist made methodological choices to plug the hole in the data and produced a more realistic estimate. Corroborating other analyses, the Reuters agency shows that China is completely atypical in the numbers of Covid-20 from East Asia.

The cost of lies

The massive Chinese discrepancy can hardly be attributed to mere errors, inefficiencies and lack of testing, as is probably the case in Brazil. It fits best with the well-known general pattern of communist regimes of purposeful suppression of the truth by a one-party autocracy that fears it might weaken the legitimacy of their power.

In the miniseries Chernobyl (HBO, ), scientist character Valery Legasov, played by Jared Harris, says that “the truth doesn’t care about our needs or desires, it doesn’t care about our governments, our ideologies, our religions.” . She sits and waits forever and ever. And this is, in the end, the gift of Chernobyl. Where I once feared the cost of truth, now I just ask: what is the cost of lies?”

In this case, the cost of the regime’s lies that oppress the Chinese people and the various ethnicities treated as second class, and those who collaborate with them, is to falsely represent democracy as less efficient than dictatorship to deal with crises.

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