THE LANCET Praises Chinese Model for Coronavirus Policies

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Eric Zuesse

The Lancet, which is perhaps the world’s most influential medical journal and is the one that concentrated immediately on, and has concentrated the longest on, the coronavirus-19 pandemic, headlined an editorial on July 25th, “COVID-19 and China: lessons and the way forward”, and they opened:

China has largely controlled COVID-19. A country of 1.4 billion people and a size similar to Europe or the USA now reports only clusters of cases rather than widespread community transmission. China has been widely criticised for its role and responsibilities during the pandemic because of censorship, transparency, and human rights concerns. But the rest of the world can still learn from China’s successes in bringing its outbreak under control.

They said that the first lesson to be learned from China’s remarkably successful response to the Covid-19 challenge is “China’s response shows the importance of domestic research and public health capacity.” The Chinese Government has devoted “huge investments” to public health, which left the nation “much better prepared.”

A second lesson is that a robust foundation of research cannot guarantee effective control without strong top-level political commitment to use science to tackle the outbreak decisively. Governments and their leaders must respect science, understand its value, and act on it in a way that is best for society. China’s National Health Commission sent three groups of national infectious disease experts to Wuhan at the beginning of the outbreak to investigate the risks and transmission of COVID-19, and their recommendations informed the decision to lockdown Wuhan on Jan 23. When Chen Wang, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and colleagues saw the need for Fangcang shelter hospitals, the government was quick to respond.

Third, achieving rapid and effective implementation of control measures for COVID-19 requires broad community engagement. Community solidarity has been unprecedented during the COVID-19 outbreak in China. Control measures that could sacrifice individual freedom, like mandatory mask-wearing in public areas, were accepted readily by the public.

They conclude: “China is facing legitimate questions in many areas of its domestic and foreign policy, but when it comes to COVID-19, scapegoating China for the pandemic is not a constructive response.”

Nothing is said there about the performance of other countries.

According to the available statistics, here are the world’s most-successful countries at dealing with the coronavirus-19 crisis. Some of these nations are in civil wars which cause few people to want to visit them; some aren’t much participating in international trade and therefore have little traffic with foreigners; some are terribly poor and therefore have almost no tourist industry, others might soon burst out with soaring increases in cases or deaths. But some of these countries are just doing a spectacularly outstanding job of protecting their populations, vastly better than are countries such as the United States, which has 12,763 coronavirus-19 cases per million inhabitants and 447 coronavirus-19 deaths per million inhabitants, thus far. ONLY COUNTRIES WITH 5 MILLION+ PEOPLE ARE BEING CONSIDERED HERE:

lowest cases per million inhabitants:

Laos=3, Papua=4, Vietnam=4, Myanmar=6, Tanzania=9, Cambodia=12, Taiwan=19, Uganda=14, Angola=27, Burundi=29, Syria=35, Niger=46, Thailand=47, Burkina Faso=51, Mozambique=51, Chad=56, Yemen=56, China=58, DRC=98, Togo=100, Ethiopia=110, Jordan=112, Tunisia=120, Mali=123, Sri Lanka=129, Rwanda=132, Benin=140, Zimbabwe=143, Malawi=177, Nigeria=189, S. Sudan=200, Zambia=209, Japan=214, Cuba=218, Sierra Leone=219, Liberia=224, Sudan=257, S. Korea=273, Malaysia=274, Kenya=302, N.Z.=311, Madagascar=315, Hong Kong=316, Libya=336, Indonesia=349, Slovakia=388, Greece=397, Hungary=455, Venezuela=479, Lebanon=499, Morocco=510, Guinea=518, Nicaragua=519, Australia=533, Congo=550, Senegal=562, Ivory Coast=568, Uzbekistan=573, Paraguay=576, Algeria=596, Cameroon=629, Nepal=630, Haiti=631, Philippines=697, Tajikistan=744, Egypt=883, Afghanistan=923, India=968, Ghana=976

lowest deaths per million inhabitants:

0=Cambodia, Laos, Papua, Vietnam





0.4=Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania

0.5=Sri Lanka


1=Angola, Jordan

2=DRC, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Nepal, Syria, Togo, Zimbabwe

3=Benin, Burkina Faso, China, Guinea, Madagascar, Niger, Uzbekistan

4=Malawi, Malaysia, Ivory Coast, N.Z., Nigeria,  S. Sudan, Tunisia

5=Australia, Chad, Ghana, Kenya, Paraguay, Singapore, Slovakia, Venezuela

6=Mali, Somalia, S. Korea, Tajikistan

7=Lebanon, Zambia

8=Cuba, Japan Libya, Morocco, Sierra Leone





14=Liberia, Palestine

16=Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Sudan, Yemen

17=Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines



26=Algeria, Pakistan

31=Afghanistan, Kazakhstan



Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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Olivia Kroth
July 25, 2020

“China is facing legitimate questions in many areas of its domestic and foreign policy,”
Yes, of course, but the USA and EU countries also face legitimate questions in many areas of their domestic and foreign policies, and so do the rest of the world’s countries. This is true for all countries of the world. What pleases the USA, does not please China, Russia, the Iran, and vice versa.

Josh C
Josh C
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
July 26, 2020

I agree. There’s no doubt that the Chinese made mistakes in the earlier stages of the pandemic, but they appear to have handled it far better than countries in the west.

Olivia Kroth
July 25, 2020

“But the rest of the world can still learn from China’s successes in bringing its outbreak under control.”

Yes! And not only that! The rest of the world can learn from China many positive things: how to assert oneself as a country without wars, by keeping peace – how to become rich by working hard, not by stealing other countries’ ressources – how to deal with aggressors by staying calm and reserved, not swallowing baits ….

Josh C
Josh C
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
July 26, 2020

It’s refreshing to read these comments. Here in Australia the China bashing is horrific. The population has been whipped up into an anti-China frenzy. It doesn’t seem much different in Europe and in the US which is a shame.

Olivia Kroth
July 25, 2020

Pandemic has not stopped summer harvest in China

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
July 25, 2020

Timeline: How Xi Jinping led China’s COVID-19 battle

July 25, 2020

Had the world followed the example of China and South Korea, we would have already overcome thia crisis. Instwad, here we are, months later, still struggling both with the CV and the economic consequences of our mismanagement.

July 25, 2020

One of the interesting things in the data that you showed on both ‘cases per million’ and ‘deaths per million’ is the position of southeast Asian nations such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. It highlights the importance of the national foods untainted with pesticides, herbicides and GMOs has played in keeping the overall population in good health with strong immune systems.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
July 25, 2020

There are no reasons given in the above statistics, why Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam have such a low case count. There could be plenty of reasons for this that we do not know of. The monniker bot JayTe jumps in here with such a strange, even absurd commentary, which does not astound me at all. I find JayTe’s presence on the Duran questionable, to put it mildly. Not only self-deception but also readers’ deception is at work here. When I see the multitude of articles, stolen from other news sites, “authored by JayTe” in the Duran, I simply shudder.… Read more »

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