Princeton economist, New York Times columnist, and Biden administration flunkey Paul Krugman has posted a column titled, “How China Lost the Covid War.” It is a devastating self-exposure of the intellectual, political and moral disintegration of American liberalism.
Krugman defines winning the COVID War as accepting mass death and illness. The United States and Europe, he writes, “are more or less getting back to normal life.” That is, they have abandoned any systematic effort to stop a pandemic that is infecting millions daily.
China, Krugman claims, has lost the COVID War because it resisted the spread of infection and kept the number of deaths over the last three years to an infinitesimal fraction of US and European fatalities.
Krugman describes China's avoidance of mass death—at least up until now—as a “debacle” from which lessons must be drawn. What are the lessons?
“Crucially, the lesson is not that we shouldn’t pursue public health measures in the face of a pandemic. Sometimes such measures are necessary.”
SOMETIMES?! In other words, public health measures should be viewed as exceptional, and abandoned as quickly as possible.
Justifying the US decision to subordinate public health policy to capitalist economic interests, Krugman states, “It was never realistic to imagine that mask mandates and even lockdowns could prevent the coronavirus from spreading.” This is absolutely false.
In fact, China's response to the pandemic proved that basic and well-known public health measures—contact tracing, mass testing, masking and lockdowns—could effectively prevent viral transmission and save lives.
Krugman cites New Zealand's decision to abandon its policy of Zero COVID in late 2021 as an example of what China should have done; that is, give up efforts to stop COVID-19 transmission and rely exclusively on vaccinations.
But Krugman acknowledges that New Zealand's shift to the US strategy had serious consequences.
“Even with vaccines, opening up led to a large rise in cases and deaths—but not nearly as severe as would have happened if these places had opened up earlier, so that overall deaths per capita have been far lower than in the United States.”
Krugman asserts: “China’s leaders, however, seem to have believed that lockdowns could permanently stomp out the coronavirus, and they have been acting as if they still believe this even in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence.”
Krugman fails to cite this “overwhelming evidence.” In fact, real life evidence proves overwhelmingly that the rapid implementation of public health measures can stop the spread of COVID-19.
The tragic situation confronting China is that its efforts to contain the pandemic have been relentlessly undermined by the decision of the US and Western Europe, in the words of former British PM Boris Johnson, to “let the bodies pile high.”
China's basic miscalculation has been its dependence on national measures—however correct in themselves—to stop the spread of a virus whose elimination and eradication requires globally coordinated public health measures.
Xi Jinping's regime is not, as Krugman asserts, “in a trap of its own making.” Its dilemma is derived from the global spread of COVID-19 and relentless international geopolitical and economic pressures, above all those emanating from the United States.
Krugman's column exhibits a staggering level of ignorance about the nature of COVID-19 and the escalating public health crisis. He writes that “few Chinese have natural immunity.”
Well here's some news for Professor Krugman: Even people with vaccinations—whose efficacy wanes over months—are vulnerable to repeated infections and severe illness. Long COVID is an ongoing, and worsening, mass disabling event.
There is growing evidence that the recurrence of infection carries the danger of significant damage to critical organ systems, resulting in the reduction of life expectancy.
Finally, Krugman claims that the US response to COVID, when contrasted to China's policy of Zero-COVID, proves the superiority of “democracy” over “autocracy.”
Krugman may believe that the decision of the Trump and Biden administrations to prioritize economic interests and accept more than one million US deaths was the right one.
But what he is defending is not “democracy,” but the rule of a ruthless financial oligarchy that is contemptuous of human life and the welfare of the people.