Did China unleash COVID-19 malevolently or accidentally?

Tucker Carlson did a segment discussing COVID-19's origins.  While saying the virus probably started in a laboratory, he was careful not to accuse China of deliberately creating or releasing the virus.  China's long history of shoddy products and disregard for human life makes it a good bet that China didn't weaponize the virus.  Instead, COVID-19 is probably just another shoddy Chinese product.

Back in the 1960s, Japan was synonymous with cheap, but not shoddy products.  By the 1980s, though, Japanese people's meticulous habits meant that, if it came from Japan, it was well made and worth the price.

When China started selling cheap products in the West, most people assumed that it would follow the same trajectory that Japan did.  That never happened because China is not Japan (nor is it Korea, which also makes meticulous products).  Unlike Japan and Korea, it's neither clean nor orderly.  From chaos comes garbage.

Nor is China's chaotic manufacturing limited to the cheap products that make stores such as Walmart and Target so blessedly affordable.  When California finally got around to retrofitting the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, around 25 years after the Loma Prieta earthquake revealed fatal flaws, Caltrans made the terrible decision to buy Chinese parts:

The Chinese company hired to build key parts of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge had never built a bridge.

Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Co. Ltd., after all, was a manufacturer of giant cranes for container ports.

The California Department of Transportation agreed to contract the company known as ZPMC in 2006 because it had established a reputation as fast and cost-effective, offering savings of about $250 million compared to the competing bidder.

Key findings

• Caltrans approved a Chinese firm to build the roadway and iconic tower. When the company ignored quality requirements and fell behind schedule, Caltrans paid hundreds of millions of dollars to induce faster work.

• Caltrans permitted an unknown number of cracked or suspect welds in the suspension span. After two senior engineers challenged quality assurance practices, Caltrans reassigned one and let the other's contract lapse.

The Bay Bridge is just a large version of what we all know: China manufactures lousy products.  The clothes disintegrate, the tools don't work, the pet food kills.

The Chinese visit this same carelessness on themselves.  Do you remember the 2008 milk scandal in China?  Dairy companies were putting melamine (the same poison that kills pets) in milk to give it the appearance of more protein, and, as always, they tried to cover it up:

Of an estimated 300,000 victims in China,[1] six babies died from kidney stones and other kidney damage and an estimated 54,000 babies were hospitalized.


The World Health Organization in 2009 called the incident one of the largest food safety events the UN health agency had needed to deal with in past years. ...


In 2012, Jiang Weisuo, a 44-year-old general manager of a dairy products plant in Shanxi province, was rumoured to have been murdered in Xi'an city. It was Jiang who had first alerted authorities to the scandal. According to the Xi'an Evening News, Jiang died in hospital on 12 November from knife wounds inflicted by his wife, Yang Ping, but the purported murder by his wife was subsequently reported to be incorrect.

China is a magnificent country, but it's also a dirty country that's often criminally careless, with limited respect for individual well-being and a totalitarian government that obsessively hides mistakes (as it has with COVID-19).  China, therefore, was always going to be the perfect vector for the next pandemic.

Tucker Carlson's Sunday-night segment makes a good case that COVID-19 originated not in a Wuhan wet market, but in a Wuhan laboratory:

The big takeaway is that there's no evidence that the Chinese intended to weaponize COVID-19.  Therefore, at a guess, the disease's genesis was a research laboratory that didn't have good safety protocols.

In Japan, America, Switzerland, and any number of other countries, there would be double and triple protocols in place, and employees would follow them.  In China, you can bet that the protocols were poorly conceived and infrequently followed.  China didn't release the plague intentionally; it released it because its culture breeds negligence.

We see that same thing with all the recent reports about the defective masks and tests that China is sending around the world.  It's unlikely that China intends to harm other nations.  Instead, it's doing what it has successfully done for 35 years: sending us the same stuff that always sold well in more carefree times.

There's going to be a reckoning with China, not because it's malevolent (although it frequently is), but because the world can no longer afford to tolerate the cheap gewgaws and knickknacks that it once could.  In today's interconnected world, there's too much at stake to allow a country to be so cavalier with anything it produces.

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