Spotlight on Geopolitics

“The geography of infectious disease is important because, as living organisms, pathogens—that is, the bacteria, viruses, and other microparasitic entities that cause disease—all have histories linked to time and place. Every widely distributed disease originated as a local outbreak.” (Monica H. Green, “Climate and Diseases in Medieval Eurasia”, 2018)


One of the most sickening aspects of the current pandemic is the way Chinese diplomats are trying to bully everyone into not calling the Covid-19 the “Wuhan virus”. From a scientific point of view, asigning to Covid-19 a geographical location for its place of origin makes a lot of sense. The Ebola virus, for instance, was thus named from the river in Congo where the epidemic started. For scientists and for the public, knowing where a viral outbreak or pandemic originated is essential for identifying and combating its root causes. This is the reason why I side on this issue with Mike Pompeo and not with the die-hard Marxists in China or in the West.

My professional intuition also leads me to suspect that the few weeks’ delay in anouncing the new epidemic and in taking adequate measures to contain it did not occur as a result of incompetence on the part of Chinese communist authorities, as initially believed. After all, if they had really wanted to nip the outbreak in the bud, they would have immediately followed international protocol and called the WHO or the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. The latter was instrumental in insulating the world against the most recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa a few years ago (2014) and in containing it within the first week when it was spreading to Nigeria. But at that time, the Nigerians called the CDC within the crucial first days of their Ebola outbreak.

In hindsight, it looks to me as if high-ranking communist party officials saw in this outbreak the perfect opportunity to spread it around the globe via the Chinese tourists travelling abroad in their millions in early January. For a Stalinist like President Xi, the possibility of provoking the general crisis of capitalism – a veritable obssession for devout Marxists – was probably too hard to resist. He and others in his party also knew perfectly well that the West would be caught quite unprepared for a pandemic, as most of its medical supplies are still manufactured in China.

Unfortunately for the Chinese communist leadership, the resolve of mainly conservative Western governments to spend big money in order to help their people and businesses survive the pandemic was something it did not count on. The Great Depression from the inter-war period had been made worse by Western nations’ unwillingness to pump money into their broken economies. That error gave Stalin an enormous propaganda advantage, and Marxists in the West opportunities to massively infiltrate governments and media organizations.

This time around, despite their recently acquired economic clout, the Chinese communists blew it miserably. Instead of falsely blaming the Americans for the outbreak, they should admit that their population’s diet has something in common with that of the Congolese. Indeed, the Ebola and the Covid-19 zoonotic viruses are a direct result of their people’s fondness for eating roasted monkeys, fried bats, pangolin meat and the like.

The EU is today the most heavily-affected continent outside China, with Italy and Spain registering an unbelievably high 10 percent mortality rate. Chinese tourists’ fascination with Spain and Italy prompted many of them to visit in their thousands, spreading the virus as they did so. As the EU had never been dependent for its prosperity on Chinese tourists, however, this pandemic will make European officials think twice about granting visas to such potential disease-carrying guests in future.

The way the outbreak was handled in the first instance by the Chinese communist authorities has all but ruined China’s standing and international reputation. As neither Italian, Spanish or British families can bring the victims back to life, there is nothing Chinese diplomats can do to ever make the world trust them again.

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