By Jon Dougherty @TheNatSent
(TNS) There were a couple of developments Wednesday involving China and the coronavirus outbreak which began there that are more than just a little noteworthy to Americans.
First, U.S. intelligence agencies are now claiming that China lied about the extent of the outbreak in its own country in terms of covering up the number of victims, the number of dead, and the virility and hardiness of COVID-19.
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Fox News reported:
In a classified report sent to the White House, the officials said that China’s public recordÂ of COVID-19 infections was deliberately deceptive and incomplete.
Bloomberg, which first reported the news, cited three U.S. intelligenceÂ officers who they said they alerted the White House last week to Beijing’s misleading numbers. Two of the three sources called the numbers flat-out fake.
While there have been skeptics all along, China’s decision to downplay its numbers could have deadly consequence[s] for the rest of the world.
Granted, these are the same intelligence agencies who churned out scores of fake “Russian collusion” accusations against President Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign, but The Epoch Times has been doing yeoman’s work in exposing China’s deception for weeks now.
Secondly, reports Wednesday indicated that the Chinese government has imposed a new lockdown on one of its counties in the central part of the country due to — anyone? — aÂ reemergence of coronavirus.
Zero Hedge notes:
According to a post on its social media account,Â Jia countyÂ - which has a population of about 600,000 - said thatÂ no one can travel out of Jia county without proper authorization.Â Additionally, residents are not allowed to leave their homes for work unless they have clearance to do so.
According to local media reports, on March 29, Henan Province broke its 30-day streak of reporting no new coronavirus cases, saying one person tested positive after a trip to Pingdingshan, where Jia County is located.Â Specifically, on Saturday, Henan province reported one confirmed case in Luohe city;Â local authorities said the infected person had been in contact with two doctors based in Jia county who later tested positive for the virus even though they had showed no symptoms.
Beginning April 1, all residential complexes in the region will be under “closed-off management” and all residents are being told to wear masks. Also, residents will be subject to having their temperatures taken when they leave and to reenter the complex.
This, after Beijing claimed it had ‘everything under control’ and had begun sending people back to work and ramping up production again in the nation’s factories.
What are we to make of these two developments?
That the Communist Chinese government lies is not earth-shattering. Anyone who isn’t a member of the American ‘mainstream media’ and thus isn’t echoing Chinese propaganda regarding the outbreak knows this.
But for our purposes here, the second development is far more important.
As readers know, our economy has been put ‘on hold’ and the vast majority of Americans ordered into isolation and self-quarantine ostensibly to ‘slow the spread’ of the virus. If polling on this issue can be trusted, most Americans thus far are supportive of these measures.
But what happens in a couple of weeks? A month? President Trump extended his initial “15 Days to Slow the Spread” guidelines, issued March 9, until April 30. That’s roughly 45 days.
The U.S. economy is already showing signs of strain. Last week alone, 3.3 million Americans — a new record by a long shot — filed for unemployment benefits. Economists and labor analysts worth their salt are predicting a tsunami of new claims in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the president and his health experts are throwing around numbers like 140,000-200,000 deaths “possible” from coronavirus, based on modeling and without much context. Currently, some 5,100 Americans have died from the disease (as of this writing).
All of this, once again, begs the question we’ve been asking now for a couple of weeks: What has to happen in our country and around the world for national, state, and local leaders to ‘feel comfortable enough’ to end their stranglehold on the lifeblood of our country, the economy?
Not everyone can â€œwork from home,â€ obviously, as we’ve seen from the massive unemployment claims.
You canâ€™t run a restaurant or a bar â€˜from home,â€™ for example (though many eateries are doing delivery and take-out now). Ditto for a dress shop, or a shoe store, or one of a thousand other small businesses that are now being increasingly ordered closed â€˜until further notice.â€™
So these orders beg the question: How do they getÂ lifted? At what point will they be rescinded?
What has to happen before the lockdown orders will be rescinded? A downward trend in infection rates? Or will the orders remain in effect until there areÂ noÂ new infections â€” because as long as even one American is infected, there is a danger thatÂ othersÂ will become infected tooâ€¦right?
The new China example becomes ever-so-relevant now.
Americans will go along with these orders for a while, but not â€œindefinitely.â€ While most people understand the intent behind the lockdowns, they still have to make a living and they wonâ€™t tolerate being slowly starved to death by governors and elected legislatures that are still getting paid and still eating. Understanding will turn to frustration, anger, hostility, then chaos.
Government checks only go so far. They will provide some temporary relief, but they won’t ‘revitalize’ an economy that remains shut down by mayors and governors.
Now the president and Congress are floating the idea of a $2 trillion infrastructure bill. Why? Who’s going to build the new airports, roads, and bridges if no one can leave their homes to work? And why do we need new roads and bridges now if no one will be using them (because they’re locked down)?
These are all questions that need answers and so far, no one is really providing any. If our mayors and governors are waiting for an end to all coronavirus cases before they release their vice grip on our commerce and means of earning a living, it’s obviously going to take aÂ lot longer than a couple more weeks.
At some point very soon this will all become quite ridiculous.
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