From my perspective, the responses of both the American and Chinese governments have been pretty much the same: pretend that the problem isn’t so bad and that there are systems in place to deal with it, use the epidemic to stomp on basic human rights such as being detained without trial and freedom of movement and accuse anyone trying to highlight the seriousness of the epidemic of being part of a conspiracy or plotting to bring down the government. The difference between the Americans and the Chinese is that the Chinese don’t pretend to be a democracy that pays lip service to the notion of being a government “of the people, for the people and by the people”.
What people need is accurate, openly available and reliable information about what is going on so that we, as individuals and local communities, can take the necessary steps to protect each other. That means paying attention to the people who have expert knowledge about flu epidemics. It means not listening to some ignorant pissant sitting behind their computer peddling the latest piece of crap from the 8chan website, an anti-vaccination website or from a President who thinks the answer to dealing with an epidemic that has killed over 33,000 people worldwide is to hold a prayer meeting and to blame his opponents. It means using science and sense, not stupidity and authoritarianism.
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