China’s incredible coronavirus counts

We all recognize that when it comes to the coronavirus, China has behaved badly.

When the virus first appeared last year, they tried to cover it up. While the world remained ignorant of the disease, China accumulated vast quantities of personal protective equipment. Chinese doctors who tried to alert the world to the danger disappeared. When word of the virus began to get out, China assured the world that there was no evidence of human-to-human infection. Then China imposed a quarantine on Wuhan, that included locking people inside their own apartments to die. Finally, China blamed the pandemic on the U. S.

But China did one thing very well.

Some five thousand people fled Wuhan just before China instigated its quarantine. Some of those refugees must have already been infected. A few undoubtedly went to Shanghai and Beijing. Yet those cities seem to have remained curiously free of infection, according to China’s National Health Commission.

To give you some idea of just how low China’s official counts are, let’s compare the incidence of coronavirus in Shanghai, China, to that in Minnehaha County in South Dakota.

Chinese officials report 618 infections in Shanghai to date. Minnehaha reports 654. When you take into account that Shanghai’s population is over 24 million, while Minnehaha County boasts only 193 thousand, you begin to get some sense of just how incredible -- I mean that in the literal sense -- China’s statistics are.

The story in Beijing is similar. The capital city reports 589 cases, slightly higher than Idaho’s Ada County with 529 cases. Beijing has over 21 million inhabitants. Ada County has less than 482 thousand.

Even as China claims to have beaten back the virus at home, it reports that most new cases of COVID-19 have come in from the outside. They’ve been “imported,” in the language of the website China Briefing. Here are their counts for the past few days:

April 14 – 89 new cases, of which 86 were imported

April 13 – 108 new cases, all imported

April 10 – 42 new cases, 38 imported

April 9   -- 63 new cases, 61 imported

April 8   -- 62 new cases, 59 imported

China Briefing insists that this has been the pattern since about mid-March. China is no longer the villain. It’s become the victim.

So it’s no fluke that so far only 83,000 coronavirus infections have been recorded in the whole of China, putting it in sixth place behind the U. S., Spain, Italy, France and Germany whose combined populations are well below China’s.

Either hundreds of thousands of Chinese families are being sealed inside their apartments, or China is lying.