China Lied, People Died

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China Lied, People Died
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As a boy, I remember listening with fascination and concern as my father told about the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis. That incident made a deep impression on me and made me understand the threats China’s growth posed to the region. Since that time, the world has unfortunately not learned its lessons. Since the 1990s we have only seen Chinese power grows, while think tanks told us this was somehow good for the average American. Make China wealthy, and the world will be a better place the thinking went. This thinking went on despite China lying and cheating deal after deal. As the media obsessed over North Korea, Russia ISIS and on my eye was on China. However, Coronavirus pandemic has shattered this illusion (hopefully forever), and the American people are finally waking up.

Point #1: China let diseases fester

First, let’s say what is not the issue. Sometimes, diseases spread despite our intentions to stop them, that is a sad reality. Unlike someone shooting a gun, an epidemic could be spread unknowable. That is not the case here. The Chinese wet markets have been a source of disease for some time. They were responsible for SARS and Avian Flu as one example. China could have shut them down, but they do not care enough to do so. Even if this virus was not started at some secret lab, China is negligent for this reason alone. The better parable here would be to someone playing with a loaded gun which accidentally shoots his friend.

Point #2: China lying with deadly consequences

Even if we put aside China’s guilty for the start of this virus, there are still a few more problems. Once it started, China did everything to cover up the extent of the issue. Heck, they are still using totally made up numbers! I understand Governments tend to downplay the potential problems to save face, but this was not just a domestic issue. If the CCP wanted to turn a blind eye domestically fine, but this was more sinister. According to Axios if China had just been a bit more upfront many lives would have been saved, up to 95%!  China told the world there was nothing to worry about and fought hard against any attempts to shut down travel to the US of Coronavirus carriers as “racist”.

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If you live in America, you know being accused of being a racist is worse than being a mass murderer. China used propaganda in an attempt to weaken our ability to respond to the outbreak and protect our people. This would be more akin to someone accidentally shooting a gun in his friend’s direction and then telling his buddy to stand put.

Point #3: China lying while hoarding

At the same time, China was lying telling us not to worry they were hoarding crucial supplies and buying them up overseas. If China messed up with the viruses creation, fine, if they hid it okay, but then they took away all needed supplies to combat the pandemic. Using our gun analogy, this would be like someone firing a gun, telling his friend not to move and ripping off his friend’s bulletproof vest.

Point #4: Adding Insult to injury

China is lying about the origins of the disease. They are now saying the US army spread it and berating us for not being prepared. I have been very critical of Trump and others who did not make us, but that does not absolve China of its guilt. This is like the shooter standing over the dead body and saying why did you not move.

Conclusion

Whether this was intentional or not is irrelevant. All this begs the question if China wanted people to die (outside its country) how would it have acted differently?

If you see your friend with the gun act so recklessly, why ever trust him again? Fool me once shame on you, fool me four times shame on me.

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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