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By Madeleine Kearns, National Review, February 17, 2020
Public-health crises are a test of government.
Crises, particularly unexpected ones, can make or break a government as much as an individual.
In 2019, China “celebrated” 70 years of Communist Party rule. China’s economic growth was at the lowest it’s been in three decades. And it faced the added political challenge of the Hong Kong protests, as well as the economic strain of an escalating trade war with the United States. Nevertheless, 2020 brought a more urgent challenge.
The Chinese government’s recent quarantine of 60 million people — roughly the size of Italy — is unprecedented. At the last count, China’s death toll from COVID-19 — also known as the coronavirus — had reached 1,367, and the number of confirmed cases was 59,804. Since no cure has yet been found, the most effective means of preventing further spread is isolation.
But reports from Wuhan and Hubei (the province of which Wuhan is the capital city) are bleak.
One district in Shiyan (another city in Hubei province) has implemented “wartime measures,” meaning that residents are prohibited from leaving their apartments. The infected are rounded up to face further isolation; the deceased are taken away and burned like dead animals. According to one official, any person who fails to come forward with his symptoms “will be forever nailed to history’s pillar of shame.” The Associated Press reports: …