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The Wuhan coronavirus has reached Thailand, and it is now confirmed to be spreading between people.…
"With Chinese New Year approaching on Jan. 25, when many Chinese tourists visit Thailand, the WHO called on Thai authorities, the public and holidaymakers to be on alert." Eerie timing.
It’s probably a good time to remember that the 2002 SARS outbreak killed 774 people across 37 countries and it had a 10% mortality rate. This one looks less deadly, but also looks ripe to — and actively is — going global.
Umm, any of y'all have room in your bunker? The Chinese government was withholding the severity of this outbreak & transmission capability, and the number of coronavirus cases has exploded😷
"Confirmations of a case in the Chinese city of Shenzhen and unconfirmed reports of cases in Beijing and Shanghai adds to evidence that the virus — a coronavirus, from the family that also includes SARS and MERS — can be transmitted from person to person."…
If the coronavirus has reached Shenzhen, the greatest benefactor to Hong Kong would be the rising Mainland-HK tensions that have slowed travel and tourism from Mainland China in recent months. The cultural barrier is acting as a viral barrier too.
A Beijing case has been confirmed. If you’re interested in infectious disease or want to follow this outbreak, @HelenBranswell is a great follow. She keeps it grounded and frames the news that really matters
South Korea has a confirmed case that was isolated upon entry at the airport using those same modern containment protocols visible on exit in Wuhan, or entry into Hong Kong.
Some question whether there is confirmation of h2h spread, as I said. That has been & is the tone I've inferred from authoritative voices & WHO. The language is only stronger now. But, of course, limited facts open to interpretation…
I think the history of SARS is a really important read at times likes this. The Chinese government was involved in a cover-up that led to the removal of multiple high ranking Communist Party members.…
The doctor that spread the truth of SARS spread & who was once hailed a hero inside of China was land-locked as a result of his actions. China today is even more vigilant of its perception across Asia and the world. That means we must all be vigilant too.…
Outbreaks like this do not mean the world should panic. They mean the world must be vigilant & precautionary, both for our personal health & our country's. We have more tools today than ever, including information, & that can end these events. Find the facts & interpret them.
Unfortunately in evolving events like this — by their nature — there is a limited amount of info available. No one knows the true characteristics of that virus, but organizations like the WHO have evidence and they're distributing it in real-time for you to infer from the signals
Thus far, I have only seen evidence reaffirming my interpretation that I shared with you. None of this is ideal, but it certainly appears to be happening, and it shares no direct parallel. Recognize what you see when you see it, and it means we should be precautious.
CNHC confirming human to human transmission. Unfortunately we’re 5 weeks into this — it’s untold what information authorities may have been withholding, and what damage that may have done.
PHEIC: “An extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease & to potentially require a coordinated international response [for situations deemed] serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected"
“14 medical staff contracted the virus from one carrier.”…
Even before WHO convened in Geneva, Xi has escalated the Wuhan outbreak from regional officials to the central government, and that means bringing in the array of agencies and PLA. Containment is moving from transit to the ground. Other nations may follow
The public shouldn't be panicking, but it does feel like the routine tone of Chinese media is lowering the perceived severity in Wuhan and around the country. The English publications on western channels appear more active. Great on the ground perspective:
Besides eerie silence, I am not aware of any ongoing censorship campaigns across the country. I'll share when they inevitably appear; hopefully they will at least amplify authoritative info. Some social media self-censorship is appearing however:
So odd how these cable news programs have wild real-time rendered digital sets but can't put Beijing on a map correctly. Am surprised all 3 labels didn't just read 'John Yang'
The word 'admitted' here is helpful. Haven't seen a great timeline of events thus far, but it would certainly seem like some info was withheld — especially during the static period. It wasn't SARS, but the early comments on severity were in spirit correct.
Not sure how to feel about Plague Inc. going viral in China right now, but that's a testament to the unique period in which the world can watch an infectious disease unfold in real time. China is more connected today than ever. The cultural moment will manifest in many new ways.
WHO's and local government's safety/containment guidelines for the Wuhan coronavirus are starting to surface now on Chinese social media platforms. h/t @ankurfr…
@ankurfr Good framing of just how quickly the authority's tone shifted on this outbreak. It remains unclear what was known when:
@ankurfr This graph, wow. With so much of the country's media centralized and controlled, those authoritative voices matter. By the time the tone changed, the Wuhan virus had reached Guangdong, Beijing, Shanghai, and 3 other countries — and that list will grow.
“People found to have symptoms like fever at travel checkpoints are being stopped from boarding planes and trains. Tour groups have reportedly been banned from leaving the city.” The containment has escalated.…
“A man from Washington state returned home after a trip to Wuhan, China, on Jan. 15, sought medical attention on Jan. 19 and now is in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash.” This will require global cooperation.…
Asia is prepared for these outbreaks. It has been battle tested nearly every half decade. I am less confident in the United States, our culture, and the incentives that push people away from seeking healthcare — and vaccines. The morbity of this virus may be 2 to 5%.
"CCTV Evening News report on Xi's Yunnan inspection tour takes up first 22 minutes of the evening news...a report on the Wuhan virus was the number ten item." Fantastic rundown on Sinocism of the Communist Party's handling…
Wuhan-origin license plates are reportedly now being used for containment during the Spring Festival
“Taobao, Sunning and made pledges late on Tuesday as rumours spread that supplies of in-demand items such as surgical masks were running low at most drug stores in some of the country’s biggest cities.”…
This video is making the rounds, claiming to be gov spraying in Shanghai after the case was diagnosed there. Don’t know the source & I’d just consider it misinformation for the time being. Not sure there is much efficacy in spraying like this anyway
There are very interesting social media dynamics playing out right now: state media is controlling the narrative well, but many within China are infighting as fear is setting in. Many Wuhan travelers are being doxxed.
This for example, focusing on a woman who traveled from Wuhan to Europe, claiming she was ill but was not caught by a temperature screening on exit or arrival.
As has been the case this year, much of the Hongkongers on social media remain critical and untrusting of the Communist Party — this story is no different. The visible culture war is heating up as fear sets in, and Hong Kong’s first patient approaches.
On the other side, from both state media and what really seem like proxies, this kind of messaging is appearing. There’s an infowar erupting alongside this viral outbreak.
Macau has a case too. The territory list will climb during this third wave, but that trend will hopefully slow soon too. Wuhan has a population of 11 million, and the 2019-nCoV began spreading over 5 weeks ago now.
I’m less confident here: “In 2020, it’s different than 2003 with SARS. There was no Weibo, no WeChat... Now, we can imagine that no matter if they’re true or false, these messages will spread very fast. This kind of information, it’s impossible to control”…
“There seemed to be no major censorship effort on the two platforms on Wednesday.” This is not something you hear often, and we should assume it is by design. The central government might believe keyword banning would cause more panic. Watch what they promote; not what they block
This type of content is rising out of Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, thanking China’s health workers now that many have contracted the virus. A lot of prideful content on science capabilities too. Many connected countries would probably parallel
As this swells, the way China's business world reacts will be a compelling study of how modern economies brace for outbreaks & their containment efforts. A luxury. China is a country that runs on WeChat after all; will it continue at full throttle?
Over the last few days, a lot of stories like these have appeared on Chinese social media. The country is on edge, & many fear their loved ones were taken by 2019-nCoV too. The truth of those deaths may never be known, & the stats will never capture all.
This is helpful framing of what that really means. It’s not really ‘all hands on deck’ as much it is a message to instill strength & trust, while the central government weighs every option to halt signs of panic. Does public health come 1st? One would hope
Keep in mind that those instructions come after these strong words from Beijing: “Anyone who deliberately delays and hides the reporting of [virus] cases out of his or her own self-interest will be nailed on the pillar of shame for eternity.”…
The number of confirmed cases are growing, but those are confirmations — the contagion is of course incubating outside the bounds of hospitals (and China). This is an estimate of the number of possible infections. During SARS’ 9 months: 8,098 confirmed
While the gulfstreams are parked at Davos, this panel is convening in Geneva and may declare the ongoing outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
With the timing eerie, & the world deeply concerned about the incoming tsunami of tourists, it’s worth noting the human & cultural toll for Chinese too. This New Year & the travel home is all that many migrant workers have to look forward for the whole yr
Many of China’s factory women migrated from rural villages to cities in search of high wages, leaving behind their children to be raised by grandmothers. This year, those train tickets were wasted, and mothers won’t see their children. The human toll is 💔…
"Two Chinese nationals in Vietnam have tested positive for the SARS-like coronavirus... A Chinese man living in Ho Chi Minh City was infected by his father who travelled to Vietnam on Jan 13 from the Chinese city of Wuhan"…
"Don’t name them after countries or regions. Don’t name them after people. Don’t name them after the animals they come from — the swine flu pandemic of 2009 was quickly relabeled when angry pork producers complained about sharp drops in pork sales."…
The Chinese government has escalated travel restrictions over the last day. All public transit from Wuhan is suspended now (even many taxis) — effecting 11 million people. The city is not fully 'locked down,' but this is surely a big escalation
The ministry's attempts to isolate the outbreak are sadly late in some respects. There is no ideal solution — but this virus has left Wuhan. The government already pushed further on the quarantine & epicenter, w/ bans now effecting upwards of 28M people.…
Even though private vehicles are still commuting in and out of Wuhan, there have been some reports of Wuhan license plates being refused entry to villages. Local government officials have some autonomy; though that is shrinking. Some of this is happening:
It's worth noting that while every transport lateral is being constricted, and Wuhan's case numbers have risen, health workers and reporters are still flocking to the epicenter. Bravo to them.
With the dust settled a bit, we now have a better picture of how the Chinese government is controlling the narrative. This is a reflective piece well worth the read. While China has improved in many facets, we're still witnessing eerie parallels to SARS.…
That piece really unravels what modern China is like, with the media so central and the government wielding so much power in the digital age. Despite connectivity, many were in silence, w/ fewer voices to raise alarms, and a central cleanup crew now erases local authority.
"Travel agencies that organize trips to North Korea say the country has banned foreign tourists because of the outbreak. Most tourists to North Korea are either Chinese or travel to the country through neighboring China."…
It's increasingly clear that the provincial governments had failed in this time of need, some evidently withholding information, but the spread to other countries underestimates/overwrites the severity in China itself. A great piece on Chinese poverty:…
Great timeline of that provincial spread, w/ Wuhan remaining the evident epicenter:
Should note: the containment bubble reaching 28M is unprecedented. Since the 2002 SARS outbreak, China's urban population has grown by 67% or 332M people. Guangdong (Guangzhou/Shenzhen) is the most populous, and it too is activating new measures. New era.
It's easy to just see the list and numbers grow, but you should see this too. I don't know the full context of this video, but it shows a health worker under immense stress & pressure pleading to find more beds; the other hospitals are full too.
There are more first person accounts of Wuhan's gridlock here. Airports. Streets. Hospitals. Again, tens of millions are trapped within this, many unknowingly incubating. Their ability to freely roam is shrinking w/ every comment from Chinese authorities.…
With the numbers expected to grow, thousands of hospital beds are being cleared and reserved for 2019-nCoV patients.
There are a lot of unconfirmed videos like this floating around, purporting to show people in Wuhan collapsing on the street. Air on caution; this is how misinformation spreads. The outbreak is real but it is no zombie movie. These may be old & repurposed.
Another unconfirmed video. Again, air on caution when you see these. Pneumonia-like illnesses can cause you to lose consciousness. Remember the Hillary Clinton video? But deaths pertaining to 2019-nCoV have been in elderly w/ preexisting conditions.
After convening for a second day, WHO again is not raising this to international concern. The evidence thus far suggests that is realistic — but now 28 million people are quarantined, and experts are asking what they don’t know about Wuhan.
I wish I could say these conspiracies are isolated, but I don’t think they are. Have seen these narratives floating around WeChat Groups too. Considering state media declared all Hongkongers to be CIA operatives, radicalizing Mainlanders, we’ll see more of this.
The U.S. along side the rest of the world is spooked and on high alert. The only confirmed case remains in Washington State. Hospitals are investigating 10 potential infections in California (Alameda/LA) & 1 at Texas A&M. NJ was a false alarm; many will be
The language here is disappointing and is confusing the public. This student is not yet confirmed to be infected. This is no confirmation to suggest this has left Washington state; the evidence thus far remains that living animal hosts aid the spread.
Likewise, Australia remains on high alert. If there was a country that would have a real outbreak, it would likely be in Australia’s diaspora and student populations. But again, nothing is confirmed yet — many false alarms.
This is the latest on what the human-to-human spread capability looks like; it may be worse that previous thought.
Information is now more evidently being constricted. Just days ago, prior to Beijing’s escalation, these were fears. Now it’s about the caliper. There are fears that Wuhan and other cities will now face Internet blackouts. That’s not SARS era: that’s worse
From a China watcher perspective, it’s time to buckle up. For infectious disease, the travel ban bubble & scale is truly unprecedented for a modern country. It’s becoming more clear that we will witness more unprecedented & unforeseen reactions. We’ll remember the days to follow.
For Hongkongers, China’s rapid adoption of surgical masks has been personal, as personal safety tightens across the region. Months ago, netizens feuded over protestors concealing their identity — now the region’s identity is disappearing w/ a common enemy
Outbreaks like this are an eye opening view into Asia. While masks have been vogue for young people & stars across the region, those masks now represent country, health, and adherence. I could never see Americans getting on board so quickly like this:
Here on Twitter, you can see how 2019-nCoV is gaining global attention. In English, these are the Trending searches for countries in the region:
With a lot of festival events now canceled, and Chinese warned to avoid public spaces, this is a fascinating move from China’s tech sector. The country can turn on a dime when it wants to.
Gripping stories here. One really stands out: the childcare angle. Chinese New Year has been viewed as a means to spread the virus, but it also speaks to how China has changed in urbanization. Many now don’t have a social structure to lean on sickness:
If you were in Wuhan, alone with your children, would you seek help when you begin experiencing illness, thus risking your children to be exposed to the hospitals where even healthworkers are being infected? This is now the heartbreaking human calculus for residents there.
The central government may want to conceal info that would make parents develop those fears — and WeChat is now the battleground for censorship. Its digitized social fabric is also where residents are now leaning on. An Internet ban would devastate that.
Videos have been rising over the last 24 hours displaying empty shelves, runs on food, & even the lost generation fighting over vegetables. It’s unclear how goods are being transported into the region. As this progresses, those videos may catalyze the ban
Thread here on how a panicking expat has become a netizen meme. This message, though, is unsettling — and it’s likely correct. Sometimes, or most, it’s not Wuhan residents that the censorship is protecting, but rather, China’s image abroad. A concern.
This could be a sign that the spread in Shanghai may be worse than previous thought. Suspected but not confirmed cases in Russia and Brazil are thought to have originated from h2h spread in Shanghai.
Signs of h2h spread in Shanghai worsening may force the CDC to upgrade the travel warning and encourage against all nonessential travel to China. The top 5 Chinese megacities have cases that traveled from Wuhan.…
Here is a fantastic tracker showing the latest outbreak numbers. Translates well in Chrome. This morning: “Confirmed 887, suspected 1076, cured 35, died 26.” h/t @_ppmv…
As w/ every major China story, there are a lot of angles & lenses to watch this unfold. Disinfo, censorship, connectivity, public health, central planning, megacities. As the media descends, & we’re pulling out maps, here’s a helpful guide to the provinces
Fantastic thread of what Wuhan is like now. Highlights medical supply shortages. The Walmart's food was still full; not all shelves are of course empty like an apocalypse. Packages are still arriving — but the streets are eerily void of people.
"Taobao sold 80M masks on Jan 21 and 22 alone. Alibaba rival also reportedly sold 126M masks, 310,000 bottles of disinfectant & 1M bottles of hand sanitizer between Jan 19 & 22... Both companies have promised to maintain prices"…
As I had said previously, pay attention to what is promoted: while some fear & panic has set it on WeChat, which is now being controlled, Douyin (TikTok) & Kuaishou appea to be pushing out user-generated content by amplifying state media clips.…
Boosting state voices can be good for circulating info, but the architecture can be damaging too. Apps like TikTok w/ invisible algorithms should be viewed like CCTV channels. The 'feed' of content can be cut and replaced instantly, like Twitter changing who you follow. Spooky 😷
Here is how local authorities are using Weibo (like Twitter) too. So much of China's transit records are digitized, so there is a cynical angle here too that authorities want to be viewed like they're on top of it — whereas they could just phone everyone
While Chinese social media algos are transforming the 'broadcast' platforms into a one way info flow show, this is what's happening on WeChat. Authorities are coming from both sides now; p2p communication is cut to push residents toward amplified content.
There is also a 'bat wave' playing out on Chinese social media and beyond. Coronaviruses can originate from bats, though this one's origin is not known, and that has caused videos of Chinese eating bats to surface. It's dehumanizing victims of 2019-nCoV.
With digital governance infrastructure being applied to control information flows and the public's reaction, I think it is worth recognizing and asking why content like that — netizens dehumanizing a 'lesser' culture — is allowed to live rent free. You won't like the answer.
As this continues, it will highlight the role of new media in panic and separatism. While the world braces for a sprawling death toll, we will witness the Internet making it worse. This originated from Douyin, then Weibo. We can and should do better.…
In under 48 hours, Chinese authorities have bloomed a containment effort from 0 citizens to 35 million. Wuhan's notice to 11 million residents came at 2am on 01/23.…
Videos like this are appearing, claiming to show the People's Liberation Army arriving in Wuhan. These are unconfirmed, and frankly almost certainly misinformation being amplified in an anti-China context. Uh, what are they doing? Why?
Staff from the PLA are being dispatched at Central Command's hand, but those are largely infectious disease doctors from PLA hospitals. Again — not a zombie movie out here.…
This is disinformation. Don't be this guy. We don't live in Resident Evil. This is not a biological attack or weaponed released into the wild. This is an evolving coronavirus. Combat this fictional bullshit when you see it.
Amidst all of this, there is actually a makeshift prefab hospital w/ 1000 beds being built in Wuhan. China speed is incredible, but recognize too why state media is leaning on this triumph.…
Posts are surfacing of villages w/ road bocks in Hubei and beyond. Some will be framed w/ the wrong context, but I believe these are real sights — this did happen during SARS.

If you came into this blind, I hope I helped point you in the right direction on a very complex evolving situation in China w/ many angles and stories. Hopefully you now know where to look & what to trust.

Tapping out here for a day or so

Sending vibes to Wuhan. See you soon 👋
"The patient is a woman in her 60s from Chicago who visited Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak, in December and returned to the U.S. on Jan. 13"…
No word on the @CDCgov's Twitter or website of the second 2019-nCoV case in the U.S. this morning. Tracking China over the last few days has been stark reminder as to how how these western agencies must evolve. We're losing the vaccination war. Imagine when the pandemic hits.
@CDCgov While I wait for more info to develop in the coming days, make sure to follow @JaneLytv's fantastic coverage of the misinformation that is spreading:
@CDCgov @JaneLytv This is absolutely untrue and there is no reporting to validate it. What is happening in Wuhan is not related to a biological weapon, or a human-caused accidental release, and this emergent reporting of a Chinese national being removed from a Canadian lab is in no way related.
@CDCgov @JaneLytv This is trash reporting that is by definition fake news. The Wuhan coronavirus was not released by a lab, and there is no evidence to in any way suggest that.…
@CDCgov @JaneLytv This disinformation about the Wuhan coronavirus rides off of heightened tensions between the west & China following the arrest of Meng Wanzhou. A scientist was removed from a L4 lab in July. Little information has come out about that. But it's UNRELATED…
@CDCgov @JaneLytv Wuhan is home to the Wuhan L-4 Biosafety Lab. It began operating in 2015 under trial, and had begun work as of 2018. As with a lot of China's sprawling health and bio research sector, it was put into motion following SARS. It's China's sole public BSL-4.…
@CDCgov @JaneLytv The U.S. alone is home to 15 BSL-4 labs. China's sole public knowledge BSL-4 in Wuhan is not unique to China, and a lot of the media is running with clickbait indirectly or directly claiming it is. It is not; most governments have these biosafety labs. Don't bite the bait.
@CDCgov @JaneLytv Things that make you want to vomit: this idiot is peddling $XRP crypto and fake news about the coronavirus to arbitrage off the panic. There is currently not a vaccine on the shelves for SARS or 2019-nCov, but of course one will be possible. The question is time & resources.
@CDCgov @JaneLytv There is currently a 'race' to make a vaccine for 2019-nCov, but recognize that this is biotech marketing. Yes, we have better tech today. Multiple gens of the genome are available online. They'll find something, but the trials will be lengthy. Years.…
@CDCgov @JaneLytv "A candidate vaccine for 2019-nCoV could be ready for early-stage human testing in as little as three months as compared to 20 months for early-stage development of an investigational SARS vaccine." Recognize the difference between candidates and vaccines.…
@CDCgov @JaneLytv In 2002, there was of course a panic surrounding SARS, with a capitalist and public 'race' to develop vaccine candidates. This was reported in 2003, months after the last SARS patient left a hospital. There was a vaccine candidate. Trials would begin…
@CDCgov @JaneLytv Yin Hongzhang, who headlined those efforts & was quoted in that reporting, was jailed in 2017 under Xi's anti-corruption tirade. He had accepted bribes over the length of his career to fast track many of those trials & vaccines, putting the public at risk…
@CDCgov @JaneLytv SARS was eradicated by 2004, & that halted investment into coronavirus research, & the trials faded out. The discovery of MERS in 2012 reignited efforts. Promise phase 1 trials were completed. This is ongoing work — but some will be the basis for 2019-nCoV…
@CDCgov @JaneLytv The way to eradicate 2019-nCoV won't be a vaccine. The world will have failed if it comes to that point, months or years from now. Outbreaks are most quickly halted by containment — and all eyes should be focussed on China, asking what may have been withheld. Not the biotech bros
@CDCgov @JaneLytv This disinformation on the Wuhan coronavirus claims that the virus was released from the government's BSL-4 lab. It has 357000 views, 53000 likes, and 3700 shares on TikTok. It is easily disproven and absolutely untrue.…
Here is how TikTok users from around the world are responding to that baseless conspiracy theory. The echo chamber in the comments branches out to population control theories.
On Douyin, conspiracies like that are rapidly being censored. Even the private conversations on WeChat. This company has a massive moderation and trusted information apparatus, and they’re not using it in this time of need.
On Douyin, TikTok's sister app w/ shared infrastructure, the company has launched a news ticker that highlights authoritative info. Unfortunately, it merely funnels state media, as has the video algorithm. But it's an effort. Worldwide on TikTok? Crickets.
Douyin's filter system is also being utilized in a broader governemnt effort to retain trust and slow panic. Every lateral of ByteDance's platform is at work. But worldwide, which this outbreak has become, ByteDance remains underinvested. Not prioritized.
As noted before: the entire Chinese tech sector has pivoted towards this. All 70,000 movie theaters across China have closed their doors until further notice to harden the country. Overnight, ByteDance became the movie theater. Presumably from high powers.
On Toutiao and Douyin, ByteDance took control (not that they ever weren't) of the leaderboards. Authoritative info from the government is dominating all rankings and feeds. As big as this story has become, this is evidently something else. They broke glass
Likewise, on Weibo, the Wuhan outbreak is dominating all rankings and feeds. Chinese social apps are notorious for astroturfing; there are behind closed doors ad deals controlling algos. We have to assume tools were activated by gov powers for this:
As you explore Chinese social media during times like this, you can feel the difference. You'll recognize how cognizant & architected the platforms are for social control and information spread. Tools sit idle until they're activated: then the machine hums
Is it bad that authorities want all hands on deck to display pride amidst chaos, to limit conspiracy & misinfo? Maybe. It was harmful in the 4 wks that led us to this point. But today? Panic is pointless. We'll know eventually, but all we can do now is watch the machine hum.
If authorities can pull off not one, but now two, hospitals within the days to follow that will help the country care for its sick, that's incredible. But you have to recognize what the videos, and their tech takeover, represent too.
This was blasted across all channels this morning, reaching intl press as intended. Amidst death falling upon the country, the Chinese model can still raise buildings from nothing. More drone shots. This is symbolism and theater representing China's strength, reaffirming trust.
And it's deja vu. In 2003, the Chinese government, amidst a cover-up, built the Xiaotangshan Hospital in Beijing's suburbs w/ the same fervor. Ultimately it worked. After sealing a number of hospitals, the country did emerge from a plague.…
On the left, Xiaotangshan Hospital in 2003. On the right, before its demolition in 2010.
Did the Xiaotangshan Hospital stop SARS? Did it allow health-workers to do their best, and patients to die in dignity? I don't think anyone could answer that to its fullest, but that forgotten 'Beijing model' has become a part of the protocol — it's just how China responds now.
This, from 2011, prior to China's restructuring under Xi Jinping & the media's reinvention as digital-first propaganda, is worth the read. Announced as China's greatest achievement from mouthpieces, this is what Xiaotangshan's 51 days meant to its patients…
I don't know if Xiaotangshan was necessary, or the two being built in Wuhan, but the orchestration & theater is palpable. The victory is being declared, & netizens are applauding for the strength of their home — before the walls rise, & patients walk free.
On social media today, in China & across the world, you can see the same discrimination that SARS patients suffered. Some is drowned out by the orchestrated theatrics. But racism and xenophobia are flaring. And I'm left wondering, did Xiaotangshan always embody the wrong message?
The bubble has grown to more than 50M residents now. While those excavators put on a show, Hubei is without the medical supplies it needs now — let alone to fill those buildings. The world's manufacturer is tapped out, and walls are rising around Hubei
As this continues, recognize the efforts & sacrifices of everyday Chinese in protecting us all. We can risk mitigate, and respond or communicate differently, but we can’t prevent the viral evolution. We’re the same species, stuck on the same rock. Stay safe 🇨🇳
There is a lot that has developed, but I’ll begin with this. 5M had already left Wuhan by the time the lockdown had begun. Stronger evidence is also now suggesting that the wet market was not the primary vehicle of contagion after December.
More specifically, the evolution suggests that animals were not the reservoir that continued to infect people in that wet market. It remains the epicenter, but the coronavirus had leaped to and mutated within humans earlier that previously thought.
Since my last country update, the coronavirus has reached: Australia, Malaysia, France, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Nepal. We'll be crossing 3,000 cases today. Thankfully all sustained transmission has been observed in China thus far. This is why WHO hasn't yet declared a PHEIC.
Quartz has a fantastic piece on WHO protocols with some historical context on PHEICs. If the observations change as more genomic data comes online, this information may soon be more relevant.…
There are currently many different models being generated to forecast this outbreak. This one assumes no intervention. Reproductive rates are the average num of people one would infect over the course of their illness. This does not mean 2.13 in every room
This model infers that there are already 25,000 cases of 2019-nCoV, with the number of incubators nearly double that number. Time will tell if it is right, and how effective China's efforts have been to intervene and slow that forecast.
That model also estimates Chongqing will be the next city with Wuhan-like virality.
Thus far, Chongqing is about on par with the other provinces and municipalities. But notice that few deaths have been reported. These regions may only be beginning to emerge from the incubation period.
Here are some maps. Hubei's surrounding provinces are the most affected, as you would anticipate. With 5M people having left Wuhan in the period before this was elevated, it's more clear now that Hubei will not alone.
More drone shots. Extreme Home Makeover Plague Edition. The two hospitals being constructed in Wuhan have names now. This is Huoshenshan Hospital. The next is Leishenshan Hospital.
In Zhengzhou, Henan a hospital is being constructed now too. More may follow in the megacities. The country is pouring concrete.
Here are some more non-drone-propaganda scenes from Huoshenshan Hospital.
Like I've articulated, I don't know what the efficacy of the 'pour concrete' plan aka the 'Beijing Treatment Model' really is. There is truth to this, unfortunately. We've seen the public perception angle — but maybe this was all China was ready to do too.
This picture, too, from state media is simply not true. This is not Huoshenshan Hospital. It's from a company that makes prefab units, and was captured in March 2019 or earlier. A prefab building may not have been installed yet.…
Amidst these important unfolding events, we should analyze and find the truth. You have to do due diligence when it comes to China and a globally entangled event. But that's not an excuse for this. 2019-nCoV sees no race or borders. Don't be an asshole.
These are replies to "China’s Omnivorous Markets Are in the Eye of a Lethal Outbreak Once Again" that the New York Times published on Saturday. The wet markets are cause for concern & risk mitigation, but they don't speak for 1.4B or 56 ethnic groups.
So you saw a vid of someone eating an animal? Many of those have been recycled, weaponized, designed for views during your panic. They will never speak for an entire country. Cannibalism spreads more diseases, & this wall of text ends w/ a Michigan man as 2019's Christmas dinner.
These stories are real, and there is much room for improvement on sanitation. But again, the videos of people eating bizarre animals speak to none of this, or the wet markets.
A genuinely fascinating part of Chinese culture is the earnest for freshness. It's dominant, and is why those wet markets exists — as this McKinsified market analysis tries to capture.…
Some of that is traditionalism, taboo. A lot of it has funneled down from China's lost generation, and speaks to an agrarian society those rose skyscrapers and megacities within a generation. It speaks to food scandals, poison, and trust. It's China in its rawest evolution.
The future of food may very well look more like China's wet markets that it does the sterility of the western food supply. Where you know your butcher, & their sourcing, rather than a plastic hell, disconnected from the antibiotic pipeline birthing new superbugs. In fact, it must
Globally, there is so much work to do, and that means during times like this you must see the nuance. China can score a lot of easy wins, and soon they must. But we're all on an evolving path w/ no one perfect solution. Despite all, the USDA is slipping.…
The eerie reality of the proliferation of western medicine & antibiotics is the resistance & evolution it gave rise to. By 2050, resistant bacterial is projected to kill more than cancer. In the U.S. this year, it will undoubtably kill more than 2019-nCoV…
From netizens upset at the western coverage of China's outbreak, I've seen a lot of comparisons to influenza — dunking on the U.S. At this point, yes, influenza will kill more Americans. But all of these comparisons are unfair too, ignoring the severity.
Last year, influenza in the U.S. killed as many as 57,000 Americans. But, it had infected as many as 41.3M. Every year, a good estimation is that 20% of children will be infected, & 10% of adults. The mortality rate of the 2019 season was upwards of 0.138%…
The estimations are still coming in and evolving over time, but 2019-nCoV's mortality rate could be as high as 3%. Demographics play immensely into this, but that would mean the coronavirus is a vastly more deadly infection than common influenza.…
Despite the large infection numbers, common seasonal influenza strains have an R0 (reproductive number) somewhere between 0.9–2.1. 2019-nCoV is higher yet, and has a much higher mortality rate, in part because there are few antibodies in the population. Can't really be compared.
It's going to be an easy comparison for netizens to jump on, but comparing the two is disconnected from reality. One is much less deadly, w/ available treatments and a population full of antibodies, & the other just reached humans, unknown to us & science
Nonetheless, we're sadly seeing that kind of vitriol or blame game that isn't based in facts or the nuance of cultures. Realistically, the bar has to be raised across the entire world, and in many areas, the clock wound backward for sustainability.
On a related note, here is a Chinese public health video that came out of the 2009 flu pandemic.
Here is another Douyin video from Chinese government highlighting the Huoshenshan Hospital construction. I have to ask again: did Xiaotangshan Hospital always wield the wrong message? There are bars on the windows.
This from CGTN this morning has me really asking that question. This recovering healthworker appears to literally be sealed in a room without exit. From behind glass, he cheerfully praises his hospital — after suspicious camera cuts.
This is the realistic take. While there are netizens proclaiming power in response & ability, dunking on America & western media, there are anxious Hongkongers spreading false information, often weaponized. Then there are eerie truths trickling out too
In recent days, state media's messaging has shifted focus a bit. I'll get to that. But I have to show you this film released by CGTN this morning. They hired a dude to whip around on a boosted board and make a Neistanian travel vlog of Wuhan's vast emptiness — amidst a plague.
One can't just drive on the streets of Wuhan these days: that was granted by powers. It comes at the same time as these videos of residents, now probably low on food & trapped at home, cheering out their windows in unison for Wuhan to keep fighting.
We saw this before in Hong Kong at the peak of the protests. They're often arranged by WeChat Groups, which for some in Wuhan, have been disappearing. An amazing sight; a city trapped in tall buildings, resisting.
Some are more lighthearted, with a city simply bored and memeing on social media. A great thread here:
Over the last day or so, the government has focussed less on power (like the construction), and more on resilience. This is China's second in command on the streets of Wuhan, here in a grocery store, trying to reaffirm the public:
During that orchestrated speech, in no other than a grocery store like every symbolism manual dictates: this auntie gave no fucks and didn't skip a beat. She's the China that the world should be rooting for amidst this outbreak.
The China that auntie represents will need our thoughts and best efforts. This is based upon the same model estimating a 2.13 R0, and forecasting Chongqing — home to 30 million — will be the next city go ablaze.
With no end in sight, the world is starting to react to China rapidly coming to a halt. Like 50 million being put under quarantine & travel restriction, no one knows what these experiments may mean. It's not pretty, and this is not the end of it.
China is the world's manufacturer, & those lines will not be coming back online for much longer now. For pharma, this may mean the world runs out: "Roughly 80% of active ingredients used by commercial sources to produce finished medicines come from China"…
The country is already struggling to produce enough medical supplies for those affected, and for the public rushing to buy masks. The supply chain is tapped out, in China, and now abroad. That may worsen yet as 2019-nCoV blooms in the Tier 1 cities.
I would like to note the jab that Global Times snuck in here 😅
Here in the U.S., on Amazon, prices are going through the roof and many products are just no longer available. Days ago, diaspora from around the world were buying up supply to send home. Now, westerners too seem to be stockpiling. Many won't be restocked until China reemerges.
"Stores are selling out of face masks in cities like Chicago and New York, as well as in California and other places... The biggest thing I’m seeing is people buying them to send them back to China"…
It's important to note too that face masks aren't the best way to protect yourself. They largely protect others from you. The second order effect is that you touch your face less often; it is usually your hands, not the air, that infect you.…
You just hate to see Lijian's face next to the word disinformation. Just hate it.…
bye bye Lijian
Zhao Lijian was a diplomat at the Chinese embassy in Pakistan before being promoted to chief Internet troll and disinfo guy. He actually used to go by the name Muhammad until the Chinese government banned Islamic names and built concentration camps in 2017…
That takes me to my next point. These days, there is not a lot of travel out of Xinjiang — but there will be inbound travel after the holiday. The 'Pair Up and Become Family' program means Han Chinese will migrate back to the region, bringing w/ 2019-nCoV.…
You can read more about that program and its horrors here:…
Thus far, there are only 5 reported cases across Xinjiang. Four of those are in Ürümqi, home to the Urumqi Vocational Skills Education and Training Center — the largest known concentration camp in the Xinjiang detention system.…
Late last year, @paulmozur visited @ferkat_jawdat's mother in Xinjiang, after she had been 'released' by Chinese authorities. Those camps destroyed her health. I would encourage you to listen to the pain in her deteriorating voice for yourself.
@paulmozur @ferkat_jawdat This is Minawar Tursun. The camps in Xinjiang ravished her, & now an uncontrollable virus may be ablaze within them, taking an untold number of lives. They won't be Beijing's priority. They won't receive proper healthcare. They will die in those camps.
@paulmozur @ferkat_jawdat This is Tumxuk, some 500 miles away from 2019-nCoV's Xinjiang epicenter in Ürümqi. Communities, homes, lives were bulldozed. Entire villages were transported behind fences, concentrated in horrific living conditions. Those Uyghurs can't buy face masks.
@paulmozur @ferkat_jawdat This NYT report, inside of a Kuitun forced labour camp shows Uighurs in Kuitun Sanitation uniforms. Thus far, the Ili province has 1 documented case of 2019-nCoV — those workers will be working through the brewing pandemic. They will sleep 4 to a room.
@paulmozur @ferkat_jawdat Beijing promised those 'reeducation' programs were designed to lift Uyghurs out of poverty. That was not true — all have been left worse off, w/ weaker health, less money, & without a social safety net. Now Xinjiang faces a crisis like the rest of the country, & it may just burn.
On a less depressing note, @BeijingPalmer traced that now famous bat picture back to an online travel adventure show, filmed in Palau. It was never related to Wuhan; it was just racist.…
@BeijingPalmer "It could also mean a brief period of change before profits and power take precedence once again. Whatever happens, amid the current moment of fear and panic, support for the Chinese public will make a bigger difference than culinary judgments or racism."…
Germany joins France as EU countries impacted by 2019-nCoV. Cases now total 4 in Europe, 7 in North America, and 5 in Australia.
Oops! One of the national anthem and resilience chants from apartment buildings was not filmed in Wuhan, but rather Yichang — also in Hubei and under the same restrictions.
A lot of developments on the science side of things, but this growing consensus will certainly give you pause: “Now It seems clear that [the] seafood market is not the only origin of the virus.” Like SARS, 2019-nCoV was in the wild as early as October.…
A Chinese news aggregator has also since purged the contents of that interview from Beijing Youth Daily with a doctor who spread information about the initial wet market outbreak over WeChat Groups, was punished by police, & has since contracted the virus.…
A channel on YouTube called ‘Peak Prosperity’ has been going viral over the last few days. The host Chris Martenson claims to have worked in pathology, though has no credentials — he’s a financial adviser, and the type to tell you to buy gold & prep.…
In every crisis, the rot makes themselves known. Peak Prosperity’s website, which all of those videos point to, sells access to prepper guides with a lot is exaggeration and misinformation. Spans the gamut: gold & silver, food jarring, mistrust of mainstream media, & The Fed.
Here is said financial adviser on a podcast called GoldSilver talking about societal collapse & prepping for China’s coronavirus. He, of course, is incentivized to do this to pump precious metals & peddle forum subscriptions. Swamp creature reunion
All of America’s preppers are currently doing haul videos to show off their stockpile. A lot of references to the misinformation and videos making the rounds are littered throughout this. Really drives home the reach that they have.
My algorithm is destroyed now, but a funny misinterpretation I heard from that prepper was this: he said that there were no pictures of ATM lines and runs on cash because everyone in Wuhan was too sick. Errr, it’s actually because everyone is bartering on WeChat these days 😅
At the current pace, 2019-nCoV will surpass the number of SARS cases tomorrow. Confirmed cases have doubled in the last day. There is stronger observation now too and that may be playing into these numbers.
In the state media’s ‘resilience’ wave, this has been one of the strongest focuses — alongside medical supply transportation and donation. But that’s no longer rallying much of the country.
Lotta grievances being aired out here. Mexico's ambassador to China between 2007 and 2013 👇
“We have a very incomplete picture of what’s going on. Whether it’s incompetence, secrecy, or deliberate, I don’t know, but it would be very useful if we could have some basic epidemiological data.”…
“I posted my aunt’s photos on (Chinese social media site) Weibo and the police called the hospital authorities. They told me to take it down.”
From censorship, and sentencing for ‘spreading rumors,’ to skipping the line with a viral post. “He was finally admitted on Jan. 22 to queue for the test at Hankou hospital in Wuhan after his daughter publicized his case on Weibo.” Eerie.
“Three hospital and local government workers, who have been briefed on how doctors are handling tests and confirming cases, told Reuters that official numbers of infections and deaths do not reflect the actual toll.. The actual deaths were higher.”
Excellent thread from the reporter who covered the case of Dr. Xiangguo Qiu. The Canadian government still has yet to release a lot of information pertaining to it, but it is in no way related to the disinformation we’re seeing about bioweapons and spies.
Long before Germany’s first case, DW’s coverage of 2019-nCoV has been excellent. If you’re in a crunch, this is the best way to catch up, learn what matters, and see what life is really like in China right now. All measured & great reporting.
“Researchers [in Hong Kong] modified the flu vaccine with part of the surface antigen of the coronavirus, meaning it could prevent influenza viruses as well as the new coronavirus.” Good discussion here on the work around the world:…
Commercialization (and even efficacy in trials) is much further out for those researchers at the University of Hong Kong. But on the bullshit scale, put more weight behind their words than the pharma bros (sorry) on the American media circuit this week 👇
Beijing is focusing on analog air waves now too, replacing all media with coronavirus information. Sadly, that could be inferred as propaganda too. Internet action & blocks feel like they’re just around the corner now.
It would appear that the State Department’s chartered flight from Wuhan will now be quarantined when it reaches California. Now flying into ONT instead of SFO. The CDC has escalated.
The CDC’s efforts to contain that flight now follow reports of more human-to-human transmission within Germany. Days ago, it was thought close contact family were most at risk — this, during the incubation period, is displaying something else.
The trade war has entered the chat.…
The world is now quarantining mainland China as more cases and sustained transmission appear in other parts of this country:
Great coverage of the tens, hundreds of millions that are bored out of their minds & struck in their homes while authorities battle 2019-nCoV
Unfortunately, many ill Chinese are currently forced to quarantine like this too — the city’s hospitals constrained, and unconfirmed cases deprioritized. They’re camping out to protect their families and community.
Over the last week, there have been a ton of examples like this displaying small villages blockading the roads in Mad Max fashion. They were about outsiders.
Unfortunately, fear has now reached a point where self-quarantines are not enough. Like the bars on Huoshenshan Hospital’s windows, villages are now turning toward insiders and local who have suspected cases or simply visited Wuhan:
From the big cities, to small villages, scenes of what is practically Marshall Law show police patrolling with loud speakers to disseminate information, and in some instances, spread ‘positive messages’
The World Health Organization is reconvening, with what sounds like the goal of declaring a PHEIC after all, pointing to h2h transmission occurring in at least 3 other countries now.
That comes after the agency announced the situation reports between the 23rd and 25th incorrectly reported global risk to be moderate, rather than high — the tone is shifting, to say the least. That is of course expected during unfolding events like this.…
The Chinese government has now also accepted a request from WHO to allow a cohort of scientists to travel to Wuhan to analyze the situation. The first requests on January 6th went unanswered. CDC scientists will be among those flying into Wuhan.…
Again, wash your hands and stop touching your face.…
We're definitely seeing the global supply chain challenged with this outbreak. The limited supply of masks is everywhere now.
A huge point that state media has been trying to make is that factory lines are working 24/7 to pump out more face masks. While that may reaffirm the public, and make for great cable news b-roll, it remains only a small piece of ending this outbreak.
Meanwhile on TikTok, the guy spreading 2019-nCoV disinformation remains unchallenged, reaching nearly 900,000 views across two videos now. The same company is currently operating a panopticon and controlling information dissemination with unprecedented granularity in China rn
Selena Gomez stans on Twitter are currently spreading a claim that she donated $3M to hospitals in Wuhan. No authoritative news source is reporting this. I believe it to be stan disinformation designed to get her on Trending.
Also happening on TikTok, unchallenged by the platform:…
Diaspora in America: “We need more sunny weather. To get rid of the virus." Great thread on the fear rippling through China & around the world. This is a true crisis amidst the Internet era, and that is causing many second order effects in every country
After Sri Lanka detected its first case, the country began hardening the border and visa process for Chinese citizens. I can't verify this picture, but it has no historical hits, and is representative of the fear in the region. This is to reaffirm locals.…
Here are some of the rumors spreading across Sri Lanka. The social media is largely unchecked, w/ rumors & panic rapidly engulfing the country— little has changed since the Easter Sunday attack that led the gov to block the Internet…
Like many countries battling misinformation, there are worries that overreaction in Sri Lanka will disrupt the tourism industry. The concerns about Lunar New Year travel (merely viral spread) may be under-representing the long-term effects in the region:
On the cultural front, Asians in every country, from every culture, will live under the cloud of 2019-nCoV’s fear for a long time. We are already seeing and feeling that tone in the west. Saddening, and deeply unfortunate.
But not #coronaravirus which is currently dominating Trending, with the misspelling being autofilled by the platform 🙃
The small tweaks to the platform, slapping on labels and links, are just not enough. For every hashtag they catch, hundreds of others float out there unchallenged — and that’s assuming that the industry’s approach is even effective at all. It probably is not.👇
If you watch one piece on how 2019-nCoV was silenced and left to bloom for weeks without intervention, let it be this one. Recognize the bias, but also what became so visible in Wuhan’s mayor preparing to take the blame, and Li Keqiang’s visit to Wuhan.
Some of the videos in that piece from a mainland YouTuber haven’t been verified. Many have. An equally pessimistic tone is visible in this piece, & if you understand China, you will recognize it to be true. The system allowed 2019-nCoV to beat SARS…
2019-nCoV surpassed the number of cases of SARS in Mainland China yesterday. While the case number thankfully did not double, there remain many questions about the availability of tests — and whether the numbers can be trusted at all. Few optimistic angles…
A great piece from @broderick walking through the WeChat hellscape. "The rumor went viral enough on WeChat, Ivy said, that the Chinese government sent out a message saying it was false. Ivy doesn’t trust the Chinese government’s official infection numbers"…
This is disinformation. This is from last February, of a man dying on a Chongching metro from advanced liver disease, vomiting blood. Not symptoms of nCoV-2019, but sick patients like this are sadly the cohort most likely to die from the coronavirus.…
I saw this described as "Socialist cyberpunk"
The videos coming out of China went from gridlock, to mask runs, then barricades and boredom, to locals barricading neighbors doors as a collective — I don't want to use the word mob — and refusing entry to outsiders. I agree that something needs to change
"A man said on Weibo that his HIV medicine was running out but that he could not get it refilled due to the roadblocks. He sought help from the local police. Instead of helping him get the new medicine, the police informed his parents of his HIV status"
Doxxing amidst a deadly outbreak:…
It's not just China where the fear is becoming irrational. Australia's government is planning to evacuate its citizens from Hubei to a remote island where they will be quarantined, and many are asking whether that is worse than their situation in Wuhan:
The State Department's plane that was originally scheduled for SFO, then ONT, was rerouted again to a military airfield where passengers are now in temporary housing with no expiration date. One might call it a prison.…
Even after 911 & SARS, it frankly seems like few governments were prepared for an event like this. None have stepped up to the social unease. Bill Gates' 2018 words on the affordability of bioweapon creation are making the rounds, and they still ring true:…
On preparedness, Rob Reid's talk is quite good. He Jiankui's largely isolated (we hope) work to birth CRISPR babies woke a lot of people up to the reality of how affordable bioweapons may just be. That's not what 2019-nCoV is — but it highlights weaknesses
After Lulu and Nana, even the Pentagon now is pushing against broad collection of DNA. We still don't know just how far 2019-nCoV may go, and when it will reach its peak, but we do know it will be right up there with 911, SARS, and He Jiankui on indexes.
Click through for a genome mapping. Truly amazing how far some of this has come — and how despite it all, organizational failure and lack of information flow can still allow viruses to fester for far too long.
6,000 people are currently quarantined on a cruise ship after a woman from Macao became ill. Thus far, not a coronavirus case — but a worst case scenario for everyone on board. Tensions are high all over the world.
The fake scientist clout-seeking disinformation on TikTok has since disappeared, but this duo is interesting for two reasons: 1) TikTok evidently can’t take down content that has been duplicated in reactions like this 2) Users can combat fake news with duos, like quote tweets
This is simply gross. You’d expect nothing less from this administration.…
As this points out, if China falls, the world falls w/ it. Medical supplies & active ingredients are globalized, many being a product of China. No country can be ‘helped’ by what is happening right now. We have not yet witnessed the peak of this suffering.
I can't imagine what it must be like for these people, and the families filming the dire state of their loves ones — only for those videos, the dissemination of which could put them in prison, to be weaponized in some western culture war by far-right conspirators.
On border and transit hardening with thermal cameras:
After India’s first case of 2019-nCoV appeared in Kerala, the Indian Embassy in Beijing is now preparing to airlift their citizens out of Wuhan on short notice. Currently 2am there, and the flight is leaving later today. All will undergo a 14 day quarantine. Notice via WeChat:
WeChat screenshots from @ankurfr. He’s been a lifesaver with some of this on-the-ground information. Though is glad to have been on holiday out of Wuhan amidst this outbreak! Times of India is also reporting and now following the story live here:…
With preppers showing off their stockpile, conspirators making up nonsense, & clickbaity media trying to profit off fear surrounding 2019-nCoV, it’s worth giving a nod to channels like @RealDoctorMike that are reaching a lot of young people w/ good info
The WHO’s decision has been made, and now more resources and protocols will be activated:
For countries like Taiwan, the PHEIC does not change much:
This also has come to head surrounding the International Civil Aviation Organization, which would help put WHO recommendations into action, but many are now declaring it compromised by China — and they’re blocking on Twitter like a storm.…
ICAO declared the criticisms spam and blocked much of the media:
With a PHEIC now declared, the U.S. is now allowing all non-essential staff across the entire country of China to leave the country:
But if you're watching the China channels, everything is going according to plan:
Confirmation that TikTok removed the fake doctor purple blood video. But, the conspiracies about an accidental bioweapon release from the account 'theconspiracyguy' are still streaming at 5pm EST w/ almost a million views
Very sad and very true for the moment we are in.
Still can’t believe Australia is actually planning to send their citizens to an offshore (1000 miles) migrant detention facility that doesn’t have adequate facilities to treat or quarantine mass viral pneumonia patients. And the ticket cost $1000
ABC reported that a family on the U.S. Embassy’s chartered flight to March Air Reserve Base paid $4400 for their tickets as well. Feels like a poignant example of the economic forces making these outbreaks harder to contain.
The concerning part about the latest reported numbers is that many provinces now look like what Hubei did a week ago. A large percentage of the new cases are bubbling up from elsewhere in China.
They’re doing this, at these lengths, to protect us all. Misguided or not, this is the front line, and even these little acts and the heightened awareness they represent are dampening the fire.
What it’s like to leave the place that you call home, without guarantees of what will be there when you return:
What is happening in Italy, and all over the world now, is just devastating.
Some tweets you just wish you could like 1000 times over
This paper published today on the first case of 2019-nCoV in the U.S. is worth the read. The Washington case had mild symptoms, w/o any breathing issues for days, but still had high viral loads. Did everything right, but still may have been transmitting.…
The thing to note about that patient is that he would not have been caught by many of those temperature screenings. Also, Remdesivir from Gilead showed some potential as a treatment option. Was originally created for Ebola…
Remdesivir is also on the list of drugs being tested in China. State media claims they are already being pushed through the approval process.…
The thing to recognize in these cases where patients recover — which China denotes as 'cured' in the statistics — is that they did so in a clinical environment. If an outbreak reached pandemic levels, there simply is not enough infrastructure to treat patients, as we see in Hubei
Despite the WHO’s recommendations, it’s happening everywhere now. The U.S. is now refusing entry to non-citizens or residents who have visited China in recent weeks
Singapore is being equally aggressive in closing borders to Chinese…
The graph driving those border closures:
This is disinformation, and it is gaining a lot of steam. The paper from Indian scientists is wrong. 2019-nCoV is not a bioweapon, nor is it related to HIV. This is junk science latched onto by people like this:
The genetic similarity between a human and a banana is around 60%, therefore bananas are human-plant hybrids accidentally released from a government lab and the people on the TL are merely warriors trying to protect you from the global deep state with the tRuTH

*internal scream*
(That was a joke for those in the back)
Through tears: “I have the virus in front of me. Behind me is China’s law enforcement.”
“Yesterday, I saw another dead body.” Heartbreaking images here of a woman holding her husbands body upright after he got to the hospital too late. Some deaths like that may never appear in the numbers.
For influenza, for example, the reported numbers from the Chinese government have always been eerily low. It’s a flaw in how the government actually tallies the seasonal death toll, overemphasizing reporting and results. That is showing in nCoV-2019 too.…
I question whether this is true at all, but the fact that it is being advertised is Orwellian. Stopping transit at hubs and prioritizing public safety traffic is one thing, but this is something else entirely. State media is using this event as an ad for the Chinese model.
Yes, but also, no. This is slapping the reported deaths on top the reported cases, ignoring the timeline. Of the now more than 11,000 cases, the majority are likely still in the early part of their illness. The healthcare infrastructure is only more constrained now.
Another great rundown and debunking of that junk paper claiming 2019-nCoV was related to HIV
A running list of the countries closing borders and suspending flights:
Pakistan has banned all flights to China, despite the Communist Party seemingly pressuring it for statements of praise in handling the crisis. This is increasingly the China playbook — and the Trade War will be at play.
Should note that there remains a lot of criticism of the WHO for the extent to which the organization has praised the Chinese government. Time will tell how these experiments play out, but the organization is not wrong that this could have reached escape velocity w/o intervention
The U.S. information architecture needs a lot of work. The conspiracies are working because these agencies are failing to combat them on the same digital-first laterals. There’s a lot to learn from China Tech right now.
Likewise, across the board, with maps literally being redrawn on a whim (aka market access demand) these days, global coordination is becoming that much harder.
The self-isolation is no longer voluntary
There has been a lot of this, with local police or cadres driving around with loud speakers and communist messaging. This in Zhejiang:
Haven’t touched on Hong Kong, or the arson of a quarantine center, but this is the basis of the contention: post-antiELAB, Hongkongers believe the Lam administration is beholdant to China, and has not closed borders to reaffirm Beijing. HKers believe they will burn for politics:
Loudspeakers in Wuhan with public health messaging:
Across many cities now, those propaganda banners have taken over the skyline
Apple completely shuttered Chinese operations. That’s a step up from the western chains (McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks) that have closed shop in Hubei.…
Should note that Apple’s online store remains open, though many people are reporting massive weeks long delays in online orders and delivery across e-commerce. A lot of boxes make it to the delivery desk and don’t get delivered. Couriers (food delivery, etc) are spooked.
These memes undersell the severity of this illness, and discount the thousands of people close to death right now. Their lives matter too.
No, it is not too late, nor is it the time to go unbanked and buy gold. The only thing that it is too late to redeem is the integrity of these people fear-mongering and profiting off of a tragedy.
Few of these sovereign decisions are being made lightly, and the immense pressure is showing. A heartbreaking tragedy in Japan today:
You may have seen some graphs highlighting the slowing of this outbreak’s case numbers. That unfortunately does not tell the whole story. There are supply constraints and backlogs:
This State Department letter on @icao is *scathing*
There is now a case of a health worker in France becoming infected, the first outside of Mainland China.
Why has a Space Force impersonator pivoted to a coronavirus ticker?
Across China, food delivery now comes with a receipt of the names of the couriers and restaurant staff who handled it and their temperatures.
There is always a Falun Gong angle, & I have to point this out. It is evident that info is being withheld. It is true that Chinese have been arrested for ‘rumors.’ But Simone Gao is also an Epoch Media Group employee, with an anti-CCP bias. This bias makes discerning truth harder
Jennifer Zeng is also an EMG employee, and a Falun Gong practitioner. It is true that she and those that share her beliefs have suffered human rights violations at the will of the CCP. But recognize the bias here, and how this 2019-nCoV is playing into an Infowar. Be careful
This, from yesterday, was one of the first confirmed photos of Wuhan’s fallen in the streets. It hasn’t been confirmed to be a 2019-nCoV patient, but the fear meant his body laid there for 2 hours while the community passed by, afraid to help. 18 ambulances drove past. Tragic.
Images you hoped you would never have to see in a developed economy. Truly sad. Had information been made available more quickly, many deaths could have been prevented.…
Another debunking of the HIV-link conspiracy theories:
In Wuhan, there remain only 360 available beds, with the Hubei province expecting an influx (hundreds of thousands to millions) following Lunar New Year:
Like that man laying lifeless in the street, it’s the overwhelming of infrastructure that is leading to so many preventable deaths. The government declaring a priority No. 1, with many officials likely to take the fall for the disaster, means many patients fall through the cracks
19,000 traveled to the U.S. from a Mainland China everyday in 2019. Broader decision making from the Trump admin here:
Concerning headwinds are already appearing in the Chinese economy as a result of this outbreak. Government enforced wage & price stability will have a lot of consequences. Good discussion here 👇
The number of cases will approach 2x that of SARS soon. It’s not unexpected that the death toll will surpass SARS too. The recovery numbers are eerily mute, and it’s not just Wuhan now: neighboring Huanggang has surpassed 1000 cases, and Hubei only represents 65% of China’s cases
One would hope this will prove true, but there remain many caveats in the shifting epicenters and growth areas:
You can't exactly compare this virus to SARS, just like you can't compare it to the common cold, despite all being in the same family. But this graph again highlights the gravity of this situation. This, despite all modern advancements and technology 😬
Gilead's statement on Remdesivir; the CDC's Washington patient had promising results from this drug. Worth noting: no approvals of this failed Ebola drug, and there are only thousands (or less) of doses in existence.
Great perspectives here on coronavirus therapeutics from someone involved in those early explorations of Remdesivir:
On the epidemiology side of things, Australia has been making a lot of progress. The first country outside of China to culture 2019-nCoV in vitro. Animal tests by mid-March. Again: don't wait around for a vaccine. Most likely > a year out. Wash your hands!…
A fantastic time to watch and learn from the science unfolding in real-time. No better time than right now. A ton of great scientists here on Twitter!
Great rundown from 丁香园 (like WebMD) of some of the rumors and misinformation coming out of the Chinese web. Everything from hot baths, static electricity, and children’s urine is being falsely spread as prevention techniques:…
The sad thing is that a lot of 'trusted' sources of information in China are feeding bad information right now too.
Despite information from the WHO, those rumors and misinformation about pet transmission have led local governments in China to ban dog walking, some even threatening to cull pets…
There are even runs on masks for dogs right now as a result of some of those government recommendations. The bad information is constraining infrastructure that could be better utilized elsewhere.…
There seem to just be wild street dogs in Wuhan these days too, potentially as a result of those misinformed threats from local governments.
Packs of street dogs and constant howling within a ghost town presents an eerie picture, but how it became that way is a strong commentary on information transfer in the Chinese system too. The failures are just as visible as the unproven successes.
The foot traffic limitations are now reminiscent of the 1970s energy crisis. It's important to ask if these new limitations are really about transmission, or if it is food and supply rationing — at the time when many are running low.
"A reconstruction of the crucial seven weeks between the appearance of the first symptoms in early December and the government’s decision to lock down the city... points to decisions that delayed a concerted public health offensive." Incredible reporting…
"Their reluctance to go public, in part, played to political motivations as local officials prepared for their annual congresses in January. Even as cases climbed, officials declared repeatedly that there had likely been no more infections."
"Xinhua news agency reported that the market was undergoing renovation, but that morning, workers in hazmat suits moved in, washing out stalls and spraying disinfectants." Now we know: when the mouthpieces come and report on renovations, that's the time to run.
"Lu Xiaohong, the head of gastroenterology at City Hospital No. 5, told China Youth Daily that she had heard by Dec. 25 that the disease was spreading among medical workers — a full three weeks before the authorities would acknowledge the fact." They knew.
In every direction now, the dreaded feeling of a cover up is feeling more realistic and palatable. So many approached this story with optimism and praise, but China acted as China's system was designed. It was about self preservation at the top from the beginning.
As I write that, a Caijing report on the bodies in Wuhan that had never made it into the statistics is now gone from the Internet. From the top, history being buried in real-time from within a panopticon that wields more reach & control than the SARS era.
One beacon of good news: "Until [containment] is impossible, we should keep trying... There’s enough evidence to suggest that this virus can still be contained.”…
The first 2019-nCoV death outside of China has been reported. The Philippines, w/ 1 additional case, is responding by blocking all travel from China, Macau, and Hong Kong. This is reaching every corner of the world. Won't be the last.…
There is currently a massive campaign from India that is promoting vegetarianism amidst this outbreak. Some of the accounts are new and dedicated to inflating this hashtag.
While 2019-nCoV appears to have in-part originated from bats, like SARS, that does not mean it jumped to humans from consumption. Bats are unique carriers, and bites & secretion could just as easily infect a human. Not the time to promote vegetarianism…
The devastating truth is that if 2019-nCoV reaches India and local transmission begins, many parts of the country would face an immense challenge. It would be worse than China. Religious leaders are doing a disservice in pushing blame. India must prepare
Just a U.S. Senator eluding to a factually untrue bioweapon conspiracy.
Talk about awful timing. Chengdu, Sichuan suffered a 5.1 earthquake today. It has been forgotten by a lot of western media, but the scale of the Sichuan tragedy in 2008 makes the current outbreak look mute: more than 87,000 died and 5,000,000 were left homeless after an 8.0.
Sobering account here of a YouTuber evacuating China via Shanghai and Hong Kong to Chicago O'Hare. They were spooked that U.S. customs never checked temperatures, asked about illness, or gave quarantine instructions. That, within 24 hours of the China ban
The models are still suggesting that self-sustaining transmission is occurring in all of China's megacities that imported Wuhan cases 👇
The extent of the forbiddance of public gatherings:
Everyone is weaponizing this for an agenda, and they're egregiously misinterpreting the risk profile. You can't compare baseline deaths to an outbreak, or worse, pandemic.
Disinformation is humming along. Many accounts now declaring that DARPA and America weaponized this coronavirus. All obviously baseless and untrue.
Here is the fun backstory of one of those disinformation proxies:
Another one of those accounts, Jeff J. Brown, is a common face surrounding Chinese disinformation. His blog China Rising and Beijing Dispatch from The Greanville Post always appears during stories like this. It's not just amplification bots; the same disinfo actors always lean in
One such disinformation blog on Medium from an employee of The Greanville Post reached Lijian Zhao's Twitter feed back in December. These disinformation actors appear with every story.…
Yet, these voices — with awful disinformation track records — are what the world must look to during an event like this.
Yes, that's actually the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Penang. The embassy blew up the donations.…
The tabloids have been a mess during this. They’re running stories full of rumors too.
Have to give these couriers a lot of credit. Funny protocols aside, they are putting themselves at risk in feeding the country:
Please stop making this comparison. China’s motor vehicle fatality rate is roughly 10x that of the United States, and yet, hundreds of millions of Chinese are currently self isolating in their homes to prevent a global pandemic.…
You’re welcome to promote your ideology about urbanization and transport AFTER A PANDEMIC IS RULED OUT. One of the reasons these outbreaks don’t originate in the U.S. is actually because of sprawl and car culture. The west doesn’t have the urban density & public transit. Nuance!
Meituan followed that ‘contactless’ KFC courier and rebranded the central queued delivery machines around the coronavirus. This was already a thing. The tech pivots went from donations, static pricing, and digitizing public gatherings to cliché marketing.
“The Wuhan coronavirus spreading from China is now likely to become a pandemic... [It is] more like influenza, which is highly transmissible, than like its slow-moving viral cousins, SARS and MERS”…
It’s the potential scale, not the rough estimates of mortality, that matter. “The 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ killed only about 2.5 percent of its victims — but because it infected so many people and medical care was much cruder then, 20 to 50 million died.” Constrained resources 👇
“This looks far more like H1N1’s spread than SARS, and I am increasingly alarmed. Even 1 percent mortality would mean 10,000 deaths in each million people.” That’s from Dr. Peter Piot, who helped to discover Ebola and HIV. The scientific community’s tone is more pessimistic now.
“Epidemiological modeling released Friday by the EU Center for Disease Prevention and Control estimated that 75% of infected people reaching Europe from China would still be in the incubation periods upon arrival, & therefore not detected by screening”…
Belt & Road angle: “The virus’s most vulnerable target is Africa, many experts said. More than 1 million expatriate Chinese work there, mostly on mining, drilling or engineering projects... At least four African countries have suspect cases quarantined” 😬
Equally a concern for Belt & Road countries in Africa: “Some governments [in SE Asia] have either played down the threat of the epidemic or openly worried about offending a superpower whose economic heft can propel their economies.”…
“At one hospital in Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, a slide show during a presentation on preventing the spread of coronavirus said: Don’t be so afraid of the coronavirus. It won’t last long because ‘made in China.’”
“Like other countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia depends heavily on Chinese tourism. On Thursday alone, 10,000 Chinese tourists canceled their trips to Bali, according to one industry association.”
It should be noted that China itself — the Communist Party, not the people — is framing this outbreak as a geopolitical battle. Much of this theater is at Beijing’s discretion:
There are real concerns from the scientific community on the efficacy of border closures, and then there is this theater:
In recent years, there has been another PHEIC that answered many of those questions. Scientists studied the international spread of Ebola and determined that many of the same reactions we are seeing today were simply ineffective theater.…
You could also think of the Foreign Ministry’s latest theatrical tirades as a dumpster fire:…
Belt & Road meets public health: “Air traffic between China and Africa has jumped 630% in the last decade with Ethiopian Airlines now operating almost half of the 2,616 annual flights. Chinese customers comprise the airlines’ largest group of customers.”…
Huoshenshan’s transplanted trees are for the backdrop of the inevitable Xi speech, not for the people of Wuhan. “Patients who had come seeking treatment for the coronavirus were turned away.”
The Steve Bannon x Guo Wengui coronavirus collab:…
Here is Steve Bannon himself spreading coronavirus disinformation from his basement (not joking) war room:
As I’ve pointed out surrounding the Falun Gong outlets & figures, so much of the disinfo surrounding this story is coming from known actors & their platforms. The only thing new here is the story, & sadly that means tens of thousands of ill Chinese are caught in the middle.
Yet, at the same time, the Chinese government evidently buried the early weeks of this outbreak, has engaged in immense censorship and disinformation, and is again ratcheting up information flow control.
Like the Meituan example, a lot of what we're seeing from Chinese companies is merely marketing with a focus on this event. But the description of 'wartime' energy, at least on the cultural front, is quite accurate:
The best case study of that is in the government's promotion of 5G in these makeshift hospitals:
Despite the immense pressure on the Chinese economy, it's worth noting that some of the chip fabs and manufacturing lines — those that align with Chinese ambitions — came back online after the Spring Festival. Huawei reassurances. How high does it go?
"Yangtze Memory Technologies Co Ltd (YMTC), a state-backed maker of flash memory chips based in Wuhan confirmed that it had not ceased production... State media reported that the chip maker did not cease operations over the Lunar New Year holiday."
Worth noting given the auto part supplier that started Germany's outbreak: "China-wide supply chain disruptions could result, says IHS Markit, with first-quarter vehicle production tumbling as much as 32.3%."…
"Webasto began disclosing the illnesses of the other workers this week in what was one of the first cases of person-to-person transmission outside China... All seven, five Germans and two Chinese, had taken part in various long meetings at Webasto HQ"…
A lot of people are concerned about the surface survivability on packages from China, but that's just not very plausible. The greater concern is what happened in Germany, from employee travel, or if the packages stop coming altogether. Much more dire.…
In China, however, the short term surface survivability is proving true. As you would expect, door knobs are testing positive now. Despite the visual comfort of the masks, most Chinese are not wearing gloves.
The masks are still temporarily preventing membrane contact, but the scariest thing in all of these pictures is the smartphones. So many of the health worker photos look just like this.
Reminder: "A virus-laden aerosol plume emanating from a SARS patient with diarrhea was implicated in possibly hundreds of cases at Hong Kong’s Amoy Gardens housing complex in 2003."…
Guangzhou, with a metro population of more than 56M, also has surfaces testing positive. Not unexpected, but there is not a lot known about how effectively this virus can survive outside of humans and on surfaces. Coronaviruses in general are resilient.
Among public gatherings banned in Hubei are funerals. While there have been a lot of voices suggesting forced cremations are a component of a death toll coverup, it's more so about containment— still so many questions about transmission. Overwhelmed volume…
Chinese authorities do have reason to railroad cremations. Can't capture all deaths, but can still slow transmission "We think only 1 in 20 people who are getting infected are actually being diagnosed. It’s quite a bit more transmissible than seasonal flu"…
Have to recognize that nuance, before declaring all of this a cover-up — or accusing authorities of lying. All of these measures are new, especially for China: "This is unprecedented both in terms of the virus and the control measures that have been put in place” @AdamJKucharski
@AdamJKucharski The CDC's quarantine efforts for repatriated Americans, for example, were the first time those protocols were activated in 50 years. Those Americans stepped foot into facilities w/o knowing when they could leave. All of this is new, to every government.…
And... we’re back to insane town. China is criminalizing the spread of an illness:
That 2019-nCoV criminalization comes from High People's Court of Heilongjiang Province
Like everything else causing a stir, you should probably expect that statement from a People's Court to just disappear. Xi announced he wanted stronger and more centralized information control today anyways:…
"Death penal—"

What was that?
What the Heilongjiang courts meant to say was: meditate more often.
The World Health Organization released their own Esri dashboard today for tracking 2019-nCoV:…
The other one was from John Hopkins CSSE…
For tracking the provincial spread in China, this one from 丁香园 is still the best:
Hong Kong now faces its first 2019-nCoV death:
I can’t believe USA Today hasn’t retracted this yet. It’s both wrong, and misrepresenting quotes, but is also being weaponized to declare conspiracies about western media downplaying this outbreak. Hurting the very good reporting from NYT, STAT, and others…
If you still don’t get it, this tweet should bring it home. How many ventilators does your local hospital have? The answer is not enough. That doesn’t mean Americans are at the same risk as China’s megacities, but it does mean the risk profile is very real.
The disturbing footage inside of a Wuhan hospital is days old now, with the guy who filmed it presumably quarantined(EMG claimed), but I’d like to add context about the IV bags. IVs in lobbies are a normal sight; Chinese medicine prescribes drips for everything. Expected, really.
On the Germany epicenter: “The sources that claimed that the coronavirus would infect during the incubation period lack scientific support for this analysis in their articles.” The woman from Shanghai *was* symptomatic. May still pass through screenings.…
As information still rolls out, it’s worth putting less weight behind the U.S. patient that merely transited through Wuhan’s airport. It could have been surface or air transmission... or they just sat next to someone infected with mild symptoms. Science still evolving!
It should be noted that, although that paper was clumsy, the directionality it was trying to prove came from China's health minister Ma Xiaowei. China has more patients, but the infectious disease traceability is also overwhelmed and unreliable now.…
Just so sad. This is what those crucial weeks buried by censorship did to Wuhan. It's neighbor against neighbor now.
Please read these stories from the SARS era. Those patients were pariahs too, and it was their quarantine that the 'Beijing Treatment Model' of makeshift hospitals actually internalized. From hospitals, to cages.
The People's Liberation Army transformed the Wuhan Keting convention center into a 2019-nCoV sick ward today. It is 1 of 3.
"Apartment-building residents barricaded the doors of their towers w/ China’s ubiquitous ride-share bikes... Local authorities often resemble the mass mobilizations of the Mao era rather than the technocratic, data-driven wizardry depicted in propaganda"…
This anecdote is so important. The travel logs & WeChat messages are delivered to municipalities and police barracks in real-time. I don't blame western media for falling for the theater, but I truly hope the NYT's hawkish tone in the settled dust this week has woken everyone up.
A first. Macau will soon be suspending operations of all of its casinos:
"It's hard to be optimistic. The reason why we don't understand this epidemic well is because the information is not transparent"
"In Hubei, 80 patients were pronounced recovered on Sunday, while 56 died that day. On Saturday, 49 patients were released from hospitals, and 45 died."…
"Beijing’s deputy secretary general [announced that he] would not tolerate viral vigilantism. At the same time, the city’s official announcements have encouraged anyone who visited Hubei or been in contact w/ anyone [to] 'inform your community authority'"…
The dystopian containment has gone from hasty temperature checks to cell tower pings that act as one-way tickets out of major cities. It's untold just how wild this will get. We have not reached the peak yet.
Lost generation uprising: "Wang Haixia a 62-year-old retiree stood watch on Monday on a nearby street. She was one of hundreds of volunteers, sporting red arm bands to convey authority, who have answered a call from the Communist Party to do their part in this time of challenge"
As this crisis became more central to Beijing, state media changed focus a bit, mostly to blame the U.S. for causing global panic, so this never got much attention. Some of the Xiaotangshan SARS Hospital still stands, and Beijing is currently activating it
Yesterday, outside the remaining Xiaotangshan Hospital buildings. The SARS era is truly back:
These aren't Xiaotangshan's temporary structures, but those are the grounds:
Certainly some mobilization there. Beijing is still only reporting 212 cases, but the models have been suggesting that self-sustaining transmission has been taking place in every city for more than a week now.
"Pregnancy made her more vulnerable. Her doctor said her hands turned purple, then her feet. It was necrosis. It all happened so fast. After she was put into an observation ward on Jan 11, I wouldn’t see her again until I picked up her ashes 11 days later"…
"My daughter’s too young to understand what happened. Sometimes she asks me where her mother went and I don’t know what to tell her."

The first WeChat messages from concerned doctors came on Dec. 30th, 10 days before that mother's symptoms. The mean incubation time was 5 days.
"We are still suffering the severe consequences of earlier mismanagement. These painful lessons need to be systematically summarized after the crisis has past"
"Tursunay Bawudun, a nurse who was detained for 18 months, [said the] prospect of the virus spreading to the Uyghur camps is 'all I think about. I can’t even sleep. If the virus spreads into the camps, they will not survive. There will be mass death'"…
U.S. Senators are calling on China to close the Xinjiang concentration camps to slow the spread of 2019-nCoV.

Their homes were bulldozed. There is no where for the more than 1.8M Uyghurs to go. If the coronavirus accelerates, they will be bulldozed too.

Yet, it is the economic and supply chain consequences that is rattling Beijing, and the world, this month. Xiinjiang is still reporting just 29 cases — not that you can trust those numbers — but if the camps fall, that story will still be below the fold.
Let's catch up on some economic news: yep, shit is real fucked
When the GDP takes a hit, the state media starts fighting:
Halted tourism during the Spring Festival has already caused a lot of damage across regional economic. That could continue for months:
Across the global supply chain, everyone is panicking:
Scale this up to every CPG category; that's how central China is. Non-essential factories are still offline, and no one will be responding to those orders for a while.
China's economy slowed + Trade War: "In the virus case, though, policymakers are facing a major unknown that comes at a time when China’s economy already was slowing. This may be one instance where opening the spigots on monetary policy isn’t enough"…
An economy has never been halted like this before. It could be described like a depression, and optimistically, it is merely an ephemeral blip — or not.
We may never see Beijing like this again. When China bounces back, it will be a different China — one that invests in infectious disease as much as it does gene editing. We've watched the megacity experiment go rogue, and we'll watch the rebound next 🤞
First car company to wind down production. Won’t be the last.
The U.K. is now asking its citizens to leave China:
When a plague becomes sponcon: “The country’s state-run media has celebrated the application of the authorities’ big-data tracking abilities in the campaign to control the disease outbreak, touting it as an example of the social benefits of technology.”
“China’s three big state-run telecom operators contribute to the tracking by using network signals to monitor the location of mobile phones... China Unicom, created a big-data team of more than 100 people to help the government’s outbreak response team track population movements”
While state media claims that the state-owned and private companies are creating task forces, that isn’t necessarily true. The carriers were always sharing pings. WeChat was always censoring. The transit logs were always centrally stored. The companies merely swapped objectives.
Next month, those companies and their surveillance infrastructure will refocus on the standard Communist Party objectives of social control and throwing Muslims in concentration camps. None of this is new; we’re just witnessing how deep Beijing’s panopticon goes during the panic.
This unprecedented event has also displayed where the Communist Party falls apart. The data flow reaches local cadres as much as it does Beijing, and we’ve seen the system leak. These real-time feeds are inciting viral vigilantism and social unrest. Beijing never said to weld 🚪
These are local cadres & the appointed lost generation task force (red armbands for authority) welding a door shut. That disturbing vigilantism wasn’t a direct order from Beijing, nor does it help public health, but it’s supported by the same surveillance.
Here is another villager being barricaded in his apartment with welded metal. Is that centralized surveillance and data sharing stopping the spread of a coronavirus, or did it just catalyze a meltdown of vigilantism and witch hunts across China?
If Beijing’s centralized observation was working, this outbreak would never have reached these heights. The narratives painting this as a success story of the Chinese model are disinformation.
Most Chinese are not seeing those videos. What they’re seeing right now is propaganda and disinformation across public channels. When Beijing is floundering, that’s when state media finds an enemy. It’s working. But don’t let it work beyond the wall too.
This, again, is the largest single day jump in confirmed cases:
There are a few people live-tweeting their stay on that cruise ship:…
Passengers are reportedly quarantined in their rooms and without food:
There is always an IP theft angle 😅
Tesla’s Gigafactory 3, the only wholly owned automaker subsidiary in China, is hit by 2019-nCoV.
It frankly seems like many Chinese don’t want to take delivery of any vehicle right now. Not that it would be helpful anyway, but Tesla’s Bioweapon Defense Mode is irrelevant when the roads are closed.
That’s not stopping some from pumping a stock with misinformation.
This is not a hill I would die on: “We do not believe the coronavirus will have a longer term overhang for Musk (and Tesla) in this key region with China, the fuel on the growth engine”
If you just look across the supply chain, there is so much risk right now. So much of China is overly extended in debt, from local governments to state owned enterprises — and the central bank is now printing money while the economy has halted.…
A real thing that is currently happening across China at a ridiculous scale:…
The timing of this outbreak is just awful; as the rug is pulled out. “Chinese companies owe hundreds of billions of dollars in debt that is coming due over the next two years, including more than $200 billion owed to lenders and investors around the globe”…
Have touched on Huawei’s factories being prioritized, but it’s worth asking what else will take priority, and how that will happen. Non mission critical enterprises could be halted in more ways than a Spring Festival extension. Would Tesla be critical?…
That complexity far beyond what I could understand or describe in a thread. But it’s safe to say that the global economy should be hoping that China’s outbreak comes to an end within weeks, not months — and that we don’t see multi-continent self-sustaining transmission.
Airlines, or their symbolism, is viewed as mission critical it would seem ☝️
Not displayed here: the transmission capability. Quite a few experts are describing this outbreak more like a flu than SARS.
Why Case Fatality Rate or CFR is a better metric to describe the severity of an outbreak:
The 3 additional isolation wards has risen to 11 now. 10,000 beds. Still, these efforts may be weeks too late.
After so many reports have surfaced in western media of ill residents seeking treatment but being turned away from hospitals, Xinhua changed how it represented these new facilities. Its English channels, of course, speak to the west — not to those Chinese in need.
For many experts, this event is what they have feared and advocated for preparedness against during the lengths of their careers. This is the one, and we can only hope their voices are being heard by Asia’s vulnerable countries and throughout the world.
Yes, Tencent’s tracker has been displaying very large numbers, but this is a very large leap. If there was an ongoing coverup of that magnitude, it’s a safe bet to say Tencent wouldn’t be given the true metrics at all. Going to call this speculation disinformation.
So glad this idiot was arrested and charged.…
Today’s case growth was smaller than yesterday, but that doesn’t mean China is out of the worst of this. Great framing:
Bill Gates’ name has come up a lot during this outbreak, from his warnings on infectious disease, to his name appearing in countless bioweapon and population control conspiracy theories. Today he actually made a mark, committing $100M to sturdying the most vulnerable.
The Gates Foundation's letter describes where those resources will go, w/ the majority focussed on treatment & vaccination efforts. These line items may be most important. 2019-nCoV has almost certainly reached corners of the world that cannot yet diagnose…
The testing capacity in Mainland China remains low:
There is a lot of damning stories in this interview with one of the front-line doctors in Wuhan. Weeks after those doctors were arrested for 'rumors,' the National Health Commission was still artificially deflating the case numbers with stringent criteria…
With 11 cases, Taiwan has again escalated quarantine efforts:
Taiwan has largely followed Singapore, which is among the most drastic quarantine efforts. Singapore began refusing entry to foreigners who had visited China 5 days ago now. The country of just 5 million is up to 28 cases now.…
As you would expect, these stable economic corridors and their diverse business hubs have become an ideal launchpad for an infectious disease. A conference at the Grand Hyatt is the island’s potential epicenter:…
Yum China has closed 30% of its stores (KFC and Pizza Hut) across China. When the KFCs close, it starts to feel like the ship is sinking 😬
Increasingly, hubs in the U.S. have become far more hawkish in their testing efforts. NYC is much more on edge this week than it was last week.
The CDC has worked quickly to get rapid tests to labs throughout the country. That will cut testing delays.
More context on how that testing network works:
‘Upon request’ highlights that the work of these agencies in the post-911 world is no where near done.
We’ve seen a number of these now, and each one is just as upsetting. In NYC, a hate attack was linked to 2019-nCoV.…
I’ve personally heard too many stories from Asian American friends in recent days. In public spaces, the crowds are parting now. The seats are opening. The glares are becoming very real and more aggressive. For them, a cloud that will take much longer to pass than the catalyst.
14 days. Life is only becoming harder in Wuhan now. The numbers are becoming harder to comprehend too. Unprecedented events feel expected. But don’t lose grasp of this:
One might guess what the external pressure has been that led to this concession. It has prompted a market rally amidst unprecedented economic disruptions…
In recent days, the Chinese user-generated content that was flooding over the wall has become more like a trickle. Increasingly, all you can look at is the numbers. I don’t have a great feeling about that.
On the loopholes and bravery of China’s remaining journalists in covering the 2019-nCoV story. A beacon of hope on a lengthy road of party convictions and vanishing job titles:
This is such an important framing to recognize in understanding this event. So many of the mistakes that have brought Hubei to this point were in the architecture and incentives of the governance system, not the fictionalized centralized cabal depicted in many theories.
While Beijing evidently knew early on, and deprioritized, crucial failures in the provincial and city governments exacerbated it all. No one wanted to deliver bad news at the National People’s Congress, and even that event now hangs in limbo.…
“With social stability as their ultimate aim, the authorities try to strike a fragile balance between political control & curated transparency, alternating between censorship or propaganda & allowing the media or its surrogates to press for accountability”…
“There is no telling how much longer Chinese journalists and concerned citizens will be able to report on and raise hard questions about the crisis. But it’s worth remembering that authoritarianism also is the mother of creativity.”
I’ve held off on mentioning it because it was hard to verify, but now there is this passerby’s translated account.

On Feb 2, a man who believed he was infected jumped from an overpass. He couldn’t access care, and didn’t want to infect his wife & child.…
“As I was leaving, the police repeatedly urged me ‘not to share this information online.’ I laughed with tears in my eyes”…
At this scale of economic disruption and derailment of Xi’s Chinese Dream, the term sacked can be interpreted as the death penalty.
Great interview:
- China: 10% of cases detected
- Overseas: 25% of cases detected
- 50,000 new infections /day in China
- Doubling every 5 days
- Limited evidence of slowing
- Wuhan peak: 1 month
- China peak: 2 to 3 months
- Mild carriers self-sustaining
- Onset to death >20 day
The most extreme patrol I have seen yet. Previously, the videos were mostly just cadres driving around with loudspeakers. “Put your masks on”
So hard to validate some of these videos, but the masks, messaging, weather, and even patrol car appear to check out. Rough translation:
The Socialist Cyberpunk category is full of wonders
The 2019-nCoV cases on that cruise ship doubled in the last day. With an R0 hovering around 2.6 or so, that number may substanionally grow. Many would still be in the incubation period.
As much as it is a nightmare scenario, the 3700 passengers aboard the Diamond Princess will provide Japanese scientists with a much better understanding of transmission. Tracing in China has become near-impossible. Still unclear just how contagious asymptomatic incubators are.
Chinese hospitals are under attack by state actors. “The attackers used novel coronavirus-themed emails as bait to launch attacks on organizations ‘on the frontline’ of fighting the epidemic”…
The only thing scarier than a pandemic is one happening while core digital infrastructure is under attack. Many countries may perceive that as a declaration of war. The UN would hopefully classify it as Crimes Against Humanity. There’s a cyberwarfare angle
China is currently among the worst offenders in data security. So much of the country’s public health infrastructure is wide open to attackers. May we all hope those APT actors creating havoc in Hubei are alone — and not just the first-movers.
A lot of Chinese netizens are currently under attack by their own government too. WeChat is practically public infrastructure; it’s linked to a nationalized phone number verification system. They can’t just create another account. Now they have no information and no access.
“I published my findings on Douyin, and had 1.57M fans. But my account got deleted by the app because of the sensitive content. Then I came to Hong Kong last August to report on the protests; after my Hong Kong trip, all my accounts in China were deleted.”…
A citizen journalist in Wuhan putting his accounts on a dead man switch to preserve his recordings. “The police security bureau in my hometown also visited my parents’ house because they could not find me. They didn’t dare to come to Wuhan.”
‘Scientific planning for seat assignment’
There are actually 2 separate cruise ships being quarantined right now. The World Dream is docked in Hong Kong with 2000 passengers onboard
Li Wenliang has died. The world will never forget his WeChat messages, the punishment they brought upon him, and his ultimate sacrifice in treating 2019-nCoV patients.…
Even the story of his death has faced censorship. First, it was reported that he had died. Then, that he was alive — followed by critical condition, & ultimately death again. All in the span of hours, with tweets deleted & posts censored. His death was like what he exposed.
It is frankly unprecedented and eerie to see the word ‘whistleblower’ in a state media piece. This story was too far gone, and even the English language mouthpieces had to lean in.
Across China, many are mourning Li Wenliang’s death. Even more are upset, angry, at the failings of the system and the Communist Party. At least today, the glass house has been shattered. The CCP will face an uphill battle in the wake of 2019-nCoV.
A lot of art is coming out of Chinese social media today:
The same outlets that honor Li Wenliang today, for us and not him, made an example out of him just weeks ago. Never forget that.
There are some conspiracies floating around now that this doctor had been killed. The Chinese system and the information it locked away did kill him, but he was not murdered. The Communist Party needed him, a photo op, to live. The censoring and cloud of his death showed us that.
Fellow health workers on the front lines bowing to Li Wenliang. “I’m sorry”
Of all of the stories that I have watched unfold on Chinese social media, I have to say that this one is unique, different.
Social control in grief: “Only ‘blue V’ Weibo accounts (verified official government, media, website, business accounts) were able to publish posts about Li’s passing, and that news relating to Li was seemingly kept out of the top search lists on Weibo.”…
“Can you manage? Do you understand?” A rallying call for freedoms of speech in China today:
The censorship machine is at full throttle today.
Still not slowing the reactions across China:
"You think we've all gone to sleep? No. We haven't."
Across China, citizens stayed up late into the night to follow the news of Li Wenliang's passing. Some, still awake, others coming online as they wake up. It's currently 9AM CST, and we may see this continue for days.
"In this epidemic no one is just a spectator, everyone is directly impacted"
A Tiananmen Square moment. Right now is when an Internet and social media blackout is most likely. With a plague hanging over the country, would they take to the streets? Beijing knows that calculus
On the media watch front, this is a pretty good projection of how state media and the wumao armies will counter what has happened:
41 new cases today on the Diamond Princess. That’s 4x yesterday’s growth. Only 7% of passengers have been tested.
If that is the aggressive clip of transmission on a luxury cruise ship, I am losing hope for the concentration camps in Xinjiang. Government data is still only reporting 39 cases. So many people will die in those camps.…
How rumors (these ones are probably realistic) can quickly manifest into panic buying. Hong Kong is on edge:…
“314,028 cases traced.” A wild scale of footwork. I presume a lot of this is based on the cell carrier ping data, which still isn’t that accurate. CCTV also isn’t as centralized as the gov makes it out to be. We’ve seen the vigilantism, but time will tell if the feeds helped too
A lot of rumors swirling, but Shenzhen appears to be winding down. It has a population of 12.53M, and if Shenzhen falls into turmoil like Wuhan, Hong Kong will too. That’s why residents were so furious about the open borders to the mainland.
Like every Chinese city right now, Shenzhen residents have chosen to self isolate, and the streets are barren. The city is reporting 334 cases, with 1018 across the Guangdong province. Self-sustaining transmission has been modeled to be occurring in every city, not just Shenzhen.
For context: the Spring Festival was extended to Feb. 10th across the majority of the country. Only mission critical suppliers are operating right now. That date may be extended once more. Shenzhen’s reported road blocks are not a great sign.…
If Shenzhen continues winding down, I wouldn’t bet on this occurring.…
When the Communist Party is under strain and criticism, it almost always points at ‘black hand’ America or foreigners at large and their nations. The cycle ♻️
This shift has been palpable. Many of the people that you would hope would not be concerned are now quite concerned.
There is much to be learned from the history of SARS. A new feeling of déjà vu everyday. Great excerpts on media and governance:
The queues for face masks and supplies in Hong Kong are growing longer everyday.
An excerpt of Li Wenliang’s forced confession and reprimand letter that I haven’t been able to shake all day
History says no, it won't be different. This outbreak is certainly uncharted territory, however. All up in the air.
Life in Hong Kong, like China, is now on hold. "Secondary and primary schools, as well as preschools, would not return from the prolonged break until March 2 at the earliest, as three Hong Kong universities confirmed similar measures."…
"Hong Kong Airlines will cut 400 jobs and ask remaining staff to take two weeks of unpaid leave."…
"Then their party secretary arrives on a moped to ban further interviews, declaring: 'There is no infectious disease here.'"…
"Until January the pole-mounted loudspeakers that loom over Chen Hongxia’s home in Guanyin village were mostly quiet, broadcasting only a news bulletin each evening. Now they blare out hours of virus-control information from eight each morning."…
" It is tempting to shrug when Chinese officials play such politics. What really counts, surely, is building hospitals and saving lives? But to China’s rulers, politics is never play. Every crisis is a chance to strengthen the party’s grip. A virus is no exception."
This is a real screenshot.
On those 11 encampments for mild illnesses: "'Conditions were very poor' at an exhibition center that had been converted into a quarantine facility. There were power failures & electric blankets could not be turned on... Doctors and nurses were not seen"…
How those encampments came to be:

Sun Chunlan, a vice premier tasked w/ leading the central gov's response to the outbreak: “Set up a 24hr duty system. During these wartime conditions, there must be no deserters, or they will be nailed to the pillar of historical shame forever”
"The fatality rate in Wuhan is 4.1 percent and 2.8 percent in Hubei, compared to 0.17 percent elsewhere in mainland China."

“This is almost a humanitarian disaster... The Wuhan people seem to be left high and dry by themselves.” —Willy Lam
HRW: “People need to be fed, to be housed, they need to get treatment & there are huge gaps in the Chinese gov's response to these individual needs. This is not a rights-oriented approach to public health. This is treating public health w/ a sledgehammer"…
"With the sick being herded into makeshift quarantine camps, w/ minimal medical care, a growing sense of abandonment & fear has taken hold in Wuhan, fueling the sense that the city & surrounding province of Hubei are being sacrificed for the greater good"…
"The transportation lockdown [in Wuhan] has made it difficult to restock dwindling medical supplies for the province’s more than 50 million people, and has raised the possibility that food shortages may soon occur."
"A lot of these people already have underlying health problems that need to be cared for. You put them all in close proximity, & they could be exposed to other infections that are even more easily spread than coronavirus, like Tuberculosis, which is airborne”
That point on other infectious diseases is important. The Philippines patient comes to mind: they were infected with 2019-nCoV, influenza, and S. pneumoniae. Imagine the influenza CFR spike if both are widespread. Not influenza vs. 2019-nCoV: both at play…
"Mr. Xi did not make a public appearance on Thursday, apparently delegating the responsibility for the crisis to deputies, who all adopted the militaristic tone set by the People’s Daily this week when it described the campaign to contain the epidemic as a
'people’s war.'"
ICYMI: with Xi's eerie disappearance, videos and memes were making the rounds last week of him coughing. The theories were wide ranging. Obviously he did not contract the coronavirus, but social media has surely become frustrated with his absence.
A swath of memes have appeared demonstrating frustration at not just Xi, but the WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom too. The meme war that was born out of Hong Kong's protests has a new direction. The same figures and concepts, but a new story. One with an alarming death toll.
While Wuhan's leadership has taken the brunt of criticism in Hubei, and China more broadly with the central government saving face in the countless propaganda and unification efforts, these are faces that are taking heat across Asia. A meme war is afoot.
China is a member state of the WHO, as are many, many countries, but that does not mean the international organization is 'compromised.' Yes, the WHO and Adhanom has continuously praised China during this epidemic — but Adhanom is not your enemy. The WHO needs China at the table.
While Xi has been awol, Dr. Tedros Adhanom has put his face behind his words. Those are not equal figures. This piece, from a Chinese CCTV host and UN Goodwill Ambassador, challenges very little amidst this infowar. It's right. But it wasn't Xi promoting it: it was CCP proxies.
Take, for example, WHO's approach under Adhanom's on the 'infodemic.' "The W.H.O. seeks no money, nor pays any, in these relationships, Mr. Pattison said. Rather, he explained, it is trying to trade its credibility for 'their reach.'" Walking the tightrope…
When Xi reappeared yesterday, it was business as usual. China and Cambodia have reportedly grown closer to a defense pact. That had viral fingers: "The panic is more horrible than the virus itself. Cambodia will continue normal exchanges & cooperation"…
Last week, after Cambodia announced a case: "Prime Minister Hun Sen told a packed news conference on Thursday that he would kick out anyone who was wearing a surgical mask because such measures were creating an unwarranted climate of fear."…
Cambodia is one that followed the WHO's recommendations on travel bans. It enacted none, refused to repatriate students from Wuhan, and the Prime Minister even offered to visit the epicenter. “Remain there & join the Chinese people to fight this disease”…
If you're looking for someone compromised on China, you have this theater and its 'unbreakable friendship.'…
Xi's latest appearance on a call with Trump this morning is a different story, merely parroting the "People's War" language that state media has orchestrated in recent days
This question has only deepened for Chinese and the world in recent days, with the tragedy only growing day after day, and Wuhan's whistleblower now fallen: where is Xi Jinping?…
With authorities in Wuhan having now collected a large number of bodies to fill the isolation wards, quite a few videos have poured out depicting the conditions. Thread inside Fangcang Hospital:
A subtitled video walking through one of the 11 wards:
The propaganda and drone fetishization has become so much weirder in recent days. The vigilante Mao era is reborn, and then there is also whatever the hell this is:
Early on, we saw a lot of these videos. One claimed to be recorded in a Shanghai suburb after a case was confirmed. More have poured out since, largely central to Hubei.
I found a reputable report that dictates (in German) more about what is happening. It appears to be what was speculated from the start: disinfectant spraying. I am puzzled on its efficacy. Maybe one of you can comment on these trucks & their payloads!…
A large component that led to the overwhelmed healthcare infrastructure in Wuhan:
From Xiaotangshan Hospital's last standing buildings in Beijing, to the Extreme Home Makeover broadcast in Wuhan, it would seem every province in China is putting quarantine protocols into action now:
Across China, local governments are applying wide ranging penalties for infectious disease dissidence. Heilongjiang announced the death penalty for intentional spread. Shanghai is now docking social credit scores for not wearing masks.
Wouldn't put a lot of weight behind this occurrence in Shenzhen, reportedly of a woman who refused to wear a mask, but it certainly highlights the tensions — and the brutality appearing in local governance. Declaring the wrong enemy.…
Global Times editor Hu Xijin, another familiar disinformation bro, has appeared in the wake of uproar across China with an op-ed. Don't forget who declared a rumormonger in the first place. The deflection playbook:
This latest op-ed is just one of many efforts playing out right now to reaffirm the public. Under Xi, more than 100,000 people were indicted through this anti-corruption (or anti-dissident and fall guy) apparatus. Now they're seeking faces in Wuhan.
Daily NK (an independent outlet w/ informants in NK) is reporting that 5 citizens died in Sinuiju, which borders China, from 2019-nCoV
If The Daily NK's report is true, that is bad news for the DPRK. Sinuiju is the 6th populated city in North Korea, with just 359,000 residents. But, it is also the economic corridor that leads to Pyongyang.…
DPRK's isolation efforts may have been too late. "They’re keeping the cargo out and they’re keeping the Chinese out; nobody can go in or out... The Ministry of People’s Armed Forces ordered all guard posts to bar smuggling as well. People, freight, nothing can come in or go out."
From Tuesday: “The military unit overseeing the boats have given orders that ‘nobody is to come into contact with Chinese people'... The current atmosphere is such that if anyone were to say they were going out to smuggle, they would be branded a traitor”…
The 2019 report The Right to Health in North Korea paints a grim picture of North P'yŏngan's healthcare infrastructure. Maternal mortality is 15x higher than reported numbers; 1.2 mothers die for every 100 births. These communities will be ravished.…
With conspirators in China declaring 2019-nCoV a CIA bioweapon, and the exact opposite with western conspirators theorizing it was Chinese made, never forget this whacky gem:…
In honor of Dr. Li Wenliang, has gone grey to mourn the passing of a fellow healthworker. This is the community and tracker that many healthworkers across China are relying on these days. "Death is not the end, forgetting is"…
We are now just days away from 2019-nCoV surpassing the death toll of SARS. The blackout of these once-colored illustrations has really driven home the utter sadness of this epidemic. These are images that the world should never have to see again.
This photo of a young Dr. Li Wenliang in his dormitory is making the rounds on Chinese social media. He died at just 33.
'Whistleblower' has been used to describe Dr. Li Wenliang, even amplified by state-media. I've used it myself. But that's also a description of retrospect. The doctor did not go to the media or public: he went to fellow doctors, asking that they prepare.…
That makes him no less a hero — he could have never known how bad this would become, or the reach of his messages — but what it does highlight is China's dangerous atmosphere. Dr. Li Wenliang died as a doctor. He was censored for his duty to public health.
Pro tip: with a lot of memes, scientific charts, and screenshots circulating in Chinese, Mr. Translator from Tencent is among the best machine translators for Chinese. Easy to drop in an image & gauge the gist.腾讯翻译君-语音翻译和英语词典/id1101000245
With a story this big, with such large geopolitical implications, I do need to warn you about Chinese tech products. They're under immense pressure right now, and censoring at full throttle. Don't put too much trust. This is how netizens are spreading info
Many accounts sharing info on Moments (public feed) have been suspended, presumably by human censors, but most Chinese are fighting with and circumventing the dull algorithms. The slashes aren't exactly new, but they're widespread these days. Risk aversion
WeChat has a long history of censorship images in direct conversations, not just public feeds. As we saw early on, known screenshots are being gated; they never reach their destination. Two ways: image recognition (like PhotoDNA) & OCR comparison.…
Image recognition is still quite primitive, especially at this scale. The scratches throw off the pixel data first. Secondly, they obscure characters to create discrepancies in OCR metadata. Known images get OCRd and databased. Humans can fill in the context clues, machines can't
A large number of Chinese know these tricks. Each year, more & more of the censorship circumventions are obsoleted. This is the curtain they live under, and these days, die under. If there is a next time, another decade or so from now, maybe there will be 0. Maybe they won't know
There are 223 evacuees at Travis Air Force Base, one of 5 quarantine sites for evacuated citizens. These 5 patients landed on Friday. Only 1 evacuee (a child) from the first flight into March Air Reserve Base has become symptomatic. Bad picture of Wuhan.
This has been making the rounds after Dr. Li Wenliang's death. It's actually an older video, from over a week ago now. They're cheering, not wailing. Many are chanting the phrase 'add oil'
Here is another angle in my rewind. Dated the 27th ♻️
Devastating numbers. "41% were presumed to have caught the virus in the hospital, including 17 who had been admitted for other illnesses, and 40 healthcare workers... 4 other patients in that ward also contracted the disease, presumably from the first"…
"Some patients who at first appeared mildly or moderately ill then took a turn for the worse several days or even a week into their illness. The median time from their first symptoms to when they became short of breath was 5 days; hospitalization, 7; severe breathing trouble, 9"
"26% of the 138 patients needed intensive care; their median age was 66, compared with a median of 51 years for those who did not require intensive care. For this series of patients, the death rate was 4.3%, which is higher than the estimates coming from other parts of China."
"13 patients treated in three hospitals in Beijing from Jan. 16 to Jan. 29 [were] younger than the Wuhan group, with a median age of 34, and no underlying diseases... The cases, mostly in healthy, young adults, should dispel the notion that only older people contract the illness"
Important caveat on the second JAMA report: "Only one was over 50. The youngest was a 2-year-old. They did not become as ill as the Wuhan patients, and none died." A lot of evidence suggests young people have far better outcomes. But they do need care. The challenge is volume.
More likely than not, there is transmission — potentially sustained — taking place in countries other than China. But, those countries rely on the Chinese supply chain: "Stockpiles depleted and producers reporting four- to six-month waits for new supplies"…
I've actually personally heard anecdotes about supply shortages in places you wouldn't have expected at all. Because of the run on masks in the west, Asian American businesses like nail salons can't obtain face masks these days. Amazon & Taobao aren't responding. Price hikes.
Pandemic supply chain network: "Demand for personal protective equipment, or PPE as it is called, is 100 times higher than normal and prices have skyrocketed to 20 times usual rates... 'Widespread, inappropriate use of PPE outside of patient care'"…
Chinese citizen journalist Chen Qiushi has been missing since 7:00 PM on Feb 5th…
Here is an interview with Chen Qiushi from last week as he recognized that authorities were closing in on him. It would appear that he was right. He is now missing, without a trace.
Chen Qiushi reportedly had his accounts on a dead man switch before he disappeared
This is Chen Qiushi's account, controlled by friends overseas. He has been missing for 36 hours now.
The dragnet being deployed in the wake of this coronavirus is doing exactly what we expected it would. The party is successfully inching closer to complete control under the veil of an infectious disease.…
"Although there has been some anonymous grumbling on social media, for now Chinese citizens seem to be accepting the extra intrusion, or even embracing it, as a means to combat the health emergency. 'In the circumstances, individuals are likely to consider this to be reasonable'"
Megvii, SenseTime, Zhejiang Dahua, all deploying pseudoscientific temperature algorithms under the party's directive. The algorithms will obviously be wrong, and the science continues to suggest that fever screening is largely ineffective.
This isn't the first time that the facial recognition companies have pivoted to a party directory. Under the 'three evils' extremism campaigns in China, universities and tech companies pioneered pseudoscientific algorithms to find Uyghurs through their DNA
We know the ghosts in Xinjiang's machine. Like the cleansed ethnicity baked into a panopticon's hardware, have we met Wuhan's lepers too? A plighted people, no different than the Han behind the algo, plucked from society. Is it really about public health?
I think we will be asking ourselves those questions more and more in the days to follow, as these encampments fill up against the advice of healthworkers.
Remember these stories, not the choreographed mobilization that state media is depicting to the world. Keep these people in your thoughts:
"This virus brings death & fear. It also reveals an amazing truth — that we’re all interconnected, so much more closely than we might have thought."

"That’s why I would like to tell you a little bit about my hometown"…
Apple is extending store closures by another 5 days. I doubt that will be the last time. Frankly feels blind and inadequate, and the pressure Apple China is under is palpable. Is it worth it?…
Foxconn: "To safeguard everyone’s health & safety and comply w/ government virus prevention measures, we urge you not to return to Shenzhen. We’ll update you on the situation in the city. The company will protect everyone’s work-related rights & interests"…
There will be shortages. The world should just accept that. More than half of iPhones are produced here: "[Foxconn] workers returning to Zhengzhou from outside the province will be sequestered for 14 days."
As if this didn't already feel like a wartime, Foxconn has actually retrofitted production lines to make medical-grade masks at Longhua Park in Shenzhen. Anticipating 2 million masks per day by the end of the month.…
Some reassuring scenes still alive and well:
One good data point! Neil Ferguson’s models and the JAMA report would caution that the illnesses can take a turn for the worse. We only surpassed 17,000 cases 4 days ago. These patients are presumably still under observation and in care:
On the quarantined cruise ship docked in Japan:
Cruise companies are blanket banning Hong Kong, Macau, and Mainland China passport holders:…
I’ve really enjoyed Dr. John Campbell’s daily lectures during this outbreak. Across YouTube, the story is being used as clickbait, a weapon for more agendas than I can list, but Campbell’s lectures have become a daily escapist meditation of reason.
Dr. John Campbell’s lectures have reached more than a hundred thousand people everyday. A quiet YouTube and familiar face, the majority eager to learn and reason, yet buried beneath the loud voices and coronavirus thumbnails. I appreciate what he’s doing.…
A very interesting leak from a secretive analytics firm that mined Weibo (like Chinese Twitter) during the news of Li Wenliang’s passing.
Tracking censorship and the Communist Party’s weary reaction to the news of his passing in real time:
The first American casualty of 2019-nCoV
The efforts to control have gone so much further and deeper than anyone expected in early January. Personal healthcare? No more.
The foundations of the mobilization are becoming increasingly clear. All roads lead to Xinjiang.
All of China is on the verge of shape shifting into Xinjiang. The national security push may mean every public venue becomes a detention center, or what we’re calling an isolation ward these days. China is locking down.
The hardware industry is practically going on hold. China’s doors are closed and international travel is becoming implausible. Growing thread of the vendors that have dropped out of Mobile World Congress:
Had missed this from Friday: just in time manufacturing has bitten Facebook, and the company has stopped processing orders for Oculus Quest devices because the supply chain is jammed and the factories shuttered.…
In terms of logistics, the timing of this outbreak could not have been worse. The Spring Festival brought 2019-nCoV across China and the world, but it also meant that production lines were shuttered. Great framing of CNY disruptions for normal years:…
Factories & supply chains were closed before the outbreak became priority number one. That meant the world was running on stockpiles, which are now not being replenished. That also meant China could not preemptively grow medical supply stockpiles, and why it is still ramping now.
Across a number of Chinese provinces now, public gatherings — under no exception — are banned. On the other side of the world, diaspora are planning to gather to mourn the figurehead of this epidemic.
The Singapore epicenter. We're closer to meeting the classifications of a pandemic now.
“A British national who had returned from Singapore where he had stayed between January 20 & 23, and he arrived in France on January 24 for four days.” Wuhan's quarantine began on the 23rd; 2019-nCoV had already reached sustained transmission in Singapore.…
"The British man now known to be at the origin of the latest group of French cases - the 3rd person in Britain who has tested positive for the illness - had traveled to that meeting, according to health officials in Singapore. As of Saturday, Singapore had 40 cases of the virus."
"I wouldn’t want to have been the person telling people to worry about heart disease instead of the flu in 1918. Before that outbreak was over, it had killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide"…
I appreciate this challenging perspective from @rkhamsi in Wired. Many of the headlines we have seen are dead wrong, some awfully downplaying risk, but they also overwrite the countless Chinese suffering — as I write — amidst a tragedy. We can do better…
@rkhamsi Also appreciate this perspective, and it's absolutely true. The only thing worse than a pandemic is when it coincides a bad influenza season. For the Philippines patient who was infected with both, the multitude proved far deadlier. It's not either or
Tencent has pushed their closure until the 24th now. A lot of companies hit hard.
2019-nCoV has now surpassed the death toll of SARS. More everyday, it is becoming clearer that this is the one we will remember.
So many of these patients remain in critical condition:
Better framing on the case spectrum than my word stumbling 👇
The WHO also released a briefing yesterday that discussed those mild cases👇
"Experts say the discrepancy is mainly due to under-reporting of milder virus cases in Wuhan and other parts of Hubei province that are grappling with shortages in testing equipment and beds."…
“It’s good to remember that when H1N1 influenza came out in 2009, estimates of case fatality were 10 percent. That turned out to be incredibly wrong.”
We've seen more of this disinfectant spraying now, with trucks that are traditionally used for pesticides being repurposed.
Many experts are still puzzled at what they may be spraying, and why. One theory is ethanol. Though that also seems very dangerous!
More likely than ethanol is just bleach and water, which Business Insider describes here. The efficacy of that misting? Does anyone actually know?…
One potential reason we may be seeing that kind of spraying now — whether or not there is evidence that it is even effective — is that experts in China are now describing aerosol transmission.
State media is describing that now too. “Aerosol transmission refers to the mixing of the virus with droplets in the air to form aerosols, which causes infection after inhalation, according to medical experts."…
Medical experts across the world, however, are more skeptical about aerosol transmission being a primary transmission vector and are asking for the evidence.
Those trucks may just be a mechanism to reaffirm the public, honestly. The amount of particulates they're dumping into the air frankly seems dangerous to public health. Imagine the combination of viral pneumonia and chemical inflammation.
That cannot be healthy. It's like medical vigilantism now, with local officials just making up chemical cure alls.
Of all of the conspiracies surrounding this outbreak, this one takes the cake as the dumbest. There are 7 known types of human coronaviruses. 4 of them gives you the common cold. The others are SARS, MERS, & 2019-nCoV. Not a simulation; you're just dull.
This video is a few days old now. Given the sporadic confirmations of similar 'sanitation' fuming from media outlets, it certainly seems to have been real. Remains unclear what these local govs are spraying, but it might be worse for the lungs of these residents than 2019-nCoV.
If you see user-generated videos like this, one way to confirm them is through these red armbands. As China has descended into the whacky medical police state we see today, local cadres and volunteers were appointed to oversee efforts, and the title comes with a party armband.
"People's War"

This is effectively to ration N95 stockpiles for health workers. But also recognize why the Communist Party wants to depict this image, of party officials under the same restrictions as the people.
The unfortunate failures early on where staff did not have adequate supplies or information are still appearing in the numbers. One hospital today reported 30 new cases where health workers were infected.
'Aerosol transmission' is being conflated w/ 'airborne' & it has created an image of a virus floating unabated at large scale in the air. That's not realistic. Where aerosols matter most is in confined spaces, like healthcare settings. Even CCDC challenges
Flashback to this JAMA report: if 2019-nCoV does prove to be transmitted effectively via aerosols, the danger is most apparent to other healthcare patients and health workers. That makes the Communist Party's confinement 'war' that much more dangerous.
There are some conspiracies making the rounds about sulfur dioxide mass air quality readings coming out of Wuhan. I can't even replicate this data. But, theorists are also claiming SO2 spikes must be related to the Chinese government cremating human bodies in mass. MISREPRESENTED
This thread debunks those claims. Humans do not contain enough sulfur. Most likely, any spikes are related to coal power plants. Keep in mind that it is winter, and Wuhan is trapped at home with heaters. The grid is likely strained.
Here is SO2 mass levels across China at 11AM CST, Sunday. Just a few hours ago. This is coal-powered China. The readings will never be perfect, and they're smoothed. As pointed out by Jing Liang, someone could literally burn medical waste next to a sensor and throw off the data.
Statement from the Prime Minister of Singapore
I'd lean to this description of that statement from Singapore's PM. Bad conclusions.
"The semi-autonomous territory of more than 7 million people is in lockdown, with schools, universities and museums closed. A $360 billion economy, torn apart by months of anti-government protests, is in tatters."…
"It’s the mishandling of the situation by the administration of Chief Executive Carrie Lam, left with so little legitimacy and social capital that citizens simply no longer believe it will act in their interests. That’s particularly true when the crisis comes from the mainland."
"It’s indefensible for a city that lived through SARS to have failed to stock sufficient masks for its population, or to put in place clear, practiced quarantine measures... Singaporean shoppers [did] clear supermarket shelves, but not with Hong Kong’s sustained levels of frenzy"
Here's what Singapore's outbreak looks like. More than 1 cluster. In China, the focus was on Wuhan's wet market, and it was a clear epicenter, but some of the first cases were never affiliated. Wuhan may have quietly looked more like this:
The Hong Kong government's reaction has been all over the place, and I'll walk you through that. Only today have mandatory quarantines for Mainland travelers been put into practice
If we rewind 2 weeks, the arson at Fai Ming Estate was a protest of the Hong Kong government's proposed use of public housing as quarantine centers. Many HKers viewed it as a danger to the nearby community, while the borders were still wide open.…
Those protests have not swayed the government's decision. Another new public housing estate is being used as a quarantine center. Remember that this is a city amidst massive housing shortages. To Hongkongers, it's an insult.
But, know that Hong Kong's 'mandatory quarantines' are in practice dumping water into a bathtub with a hole in it. At least that is how Hongkongers have perceived the border threats.
As far as quarantines, those in Hong Kong are bizarre. Like a loose house arrest, quarantined individuals can send their location over messengers. Those, of course, could be easily spoofed.
A lot of Hongkongers have their hands up in the air and are angry. Few know what is happening. The HK government's messaging is worlds apart from the focus and footwork that we have seen in China. The opposite side of the spectrum.
In a bizarre turn of events, Hong Kong turned to the Scouts to run quarantine centers.
Those scouts, many literally children, are of course not trained or equipped to run a quarantine center during a pandemic.
Not that those quarantine sites would be filled anyway?
It's this confusion and inaction that is emptying shelves in Hong Kong, with the description of a failed state being thrown around for the first time.
The memory of SARS will never be forgotten in Hong Kong, but the government's inaction during 2019-nCoV is driving more to edge. In November, PLA soldiers took to the streets to clear debris; really, to create fear. During this outbreak? Silence.
From 2018: "Fifteen years on, some survivors tell the Post of the pain they still live with. Others outgrew their fears, finding the motivation to serve society. But the big question is: when the next public health crisis emerges, will Hong Kong be ready?"…
To Hongkongers, it now feels like their home was not ready for the aggressive relative of a distant memory. Like some in Hubei, HKers have felt like they too are being sacrificed. For moments following Lam's error, the city fell under an impending doom.
In Hong Kong, the stable governance that the city took to the streets to fight for is in more need than ever. Hong Kong is entering a new wave of this epidemic.
On CCTV in China, with public gatherings banned and fear & draconian measures withdrawing so many to their homes, an audience was replaced with LED panels, and performers broadcasted with a skeleton crew. This is life for 1.4B.
"This was the most meaningful Lantern Festival of my life"
On one social network site in China, a girl's world collapses piece by piece, day by day. Yesterday, after weeks of trauma and heartbreak, she wrote: "I’m so scared. I’m infected." They're not numbers.
The world wants to know: where is Chen Qiushi?…
"In the last few hours the Qingdao public security officers and state security officers notified Qiushi's parents that Qiushi has already been detained in the name of quarantine. Qiushi's mother immediately asked them where and when he was taken away, they declined to say"
In the country where circuit boards are vended from the streets, QR codes move all of the money, and mobile is indistinguishable from society, messages and pleas are disappearing, & residents are now resorting to banging gongs from skyscrapers to be heard
China is now incentivizing the public to access care
In the last day or so, state media actually named 2019-nCoV as Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia or NCP. It goes against traditional naming processes, but the government needed a brand for the “People’s War” to defeat. How the memers have rebranded that Communist Party brand:
Dr. John Campbell resurrected a 2004 study on 12 pregnant Hongkongers with SARS in his recent lecture. It is a different illness, but the conclusion of that study was harrowing. There will be more tragedies than the numbers can depict during 2019-nCoV too.
On SARS: “3 deaths occurred among the 12 patients, giving a case fatality rate of 25%. 4 of the 7 patients (57%) who presented in the first trimester had spontaneous miscarriage. 4 of the 5 patients who presented after 24 weeks were delivered preterm.”…
It’s not the flu. But you need to know this too: it’s not a zombie film either. The truth about risk and this infectious disease has become a platform. I urge you to see past that. What you see is China’s governance system leaking, and central authority in turmoil, not zombies.
“Across the coastal province of Zhejiang, the worst-hit area after Hubei, 4 big cities have essentially put their populations under a form of house arrest: Only 1 person from each household is allowed to leave, & only every 2nd day, to buy supplies”…
“To leave their residential compounds and to enter supermarkets, residents must have their government-issued ticket — a kind of passport to the outside world — stamped or their special identification codes scanned. Their temperatures are recorded at every gate.”
Wenzhou: “I’m telling you, this place is just like Wuhan now. It’s the second Wuhan”

“She asked that her name not be used.”
“At a Walmart in Wenzhou, there were long lines of people — sometimes stretching for more than two hours — waiting to buy rice, instant noodles and canned foods. The store was completely out of fresh food, one shopper said.”
“Local authorities put a ‘No visitors allowed’ sign on Allen Li’s family home in Hangzhou and locked the door with a metal chain from the outside.”

“We argued with them, but they said it’s a decision from above”

The red armbands are depleting the humanity of these communities.
“A 28-year-old hospital pharmacist who worked for 10 straight days helping to fight the coronavirus outbreak in central China has died of a heart attack, according to state media.”…
A moped dystopia: “‘It’s for my work, for my life, and I want to contribute to the society to realize a little self-value...’ Guo says that he feels the echoes of the city’s empty streets on his long drives.”…
“Where’s Xi?”…
“It’s a big shock to the legitimacy of the ruling party. I think it could be only second to the June 4 incident of 1989. It’s that big”
I’m still anticipating that the Internet will be cut. It would be unprecedented, and that would be the point. I hope I am wrong. “Mr. Xi now faces unusually sharp public discontent that even China’s rigorous censorship apparatus has been unable to stifle entirely.”
“On Jan. 28, Mr. Xi met with the executive director of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and told Dr. Tedros that he ‘personally directed’ the government’s response. Later reports in state media omitted the phrase”
The most cyberpunk anti-censorship mechanism ☢️
I’m truly hoping this epidemic alters the course of history on how we invest in the future and its risks. Maybe it will be a wake up call for the atmospheric crisis endangering us more everyday too.
I can already see the touchless gesture-first tech that will spawn out of China’s tech ecosystem as the country rebounds.
State media channels are still pushing these efforts. Showing something being done, without saying what, or why. There is probably little efficacy, considering humans are the primary vector. I just hope these provinces are not dumping formaldehyde into the air.
I’m not saying those fumigators are misting formalin. I have no idea. Is bleaching a city any safer? But it is a compound that can be used to effectively inactivate viruses. China already has a bubbling Leukemia epidemic. I hope authorities recognize that.…
The U.S. also has a formaldehyde and indoor air pollution problem thanks to the Chinese supply chain and corporate greed. I hope Chinese authorities have foresight with whatever they may be spraying. It probably is doing more harm than good either way.…
During H5N1 in 2005 and H1N1 in 2009, I actually remember this experience as a kid. I was far away from the regions most impacted, but the apparatus became quite real. Now temperature wands are vogue too.
When you look for warm people, you will find warm people. The question is: what do authorities do with those people? For those who may have influenza, you may sentence them to death by introducing them into a 2019-nCoV isolation ward. The dangers of this will become more apparent
This story is unverified, but the atmosphere we are witnessing makes it very possibly true. It is dangerous. It is untold what undiagnosed patients may be introducing into quarantine sites. China’s seasonal influenza vaccination rate hovers at just 2%.
These whacky videos will form the basis of an entire genre of dystopic lo-fi mixes
I’ll never tire of Hong Kong’s memers 😅
The region that has many infectious disease experts on the edge of their seats for is Africa. The politics of the Belt & Road are very much playing out there, and responses are similar to what we saw from Cambodia and other SE Asia countries.
The many infrastructure projects across Africa are built by China’s state-owned enterprises and workers — the same companies that mobilized in Wuhan to build prefab hospitals — and this is one of the airlines that funnels those workers to the continent.
In Zambia, the novel coronavirus may already be on the ground, transmitting to health workers unabated.
For Zambia, this virus presents dire challenges. Across the continent, countries are increasingly beholden to China, and this outbreak presents a difficult circumstance. Many have lost the sovereignty to close their borders. More are ill-equipped for the pandemic already brewing.
Thankfully, the number of countries with 2019-nCoV testing capabilities has exploded in recent days. In the coming days, these countries too may observe that the latest coronavirus has reached their communities. If that happens, that’s when this pushes into the next stage.
Below the surface of the Belt & Road politics, there remain many people trapped amidst a plague beyond their borders, and the country’s they call home have failed, or have decided in poor conscious that it would not be worth it, to repatriate them. They’re simply left stateless.
An eye opening walk through history. I’d recommend you watch this silent video and the alternative future it projects in this time of uncertainty. Cleanse your eyes of the smartphone camera horrors
On that note, I’m going to take a breather from this beat. This could continue for months. We’ve seen the playbooks, reactions, and now the thought pieces. Will let some more unfold over a few days & then ramp up again.

Hang in there Wuhan ✊
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A worthy intermission. Hours ago, the Communist Party ordered a partial lockdown of Beijing. Xi has reappeared with a mask.…
This shot. It speaks volumes about how the party is navigating this.
Note how Xi did not have a temperature gun pointed at his head. Careful orchestration; would have become photoshopped and memed.
We’re witnessing a country falling apart, suffocating the very medical professionals building firewalls during this brewing pandemic. The door to door searches, the Mao era conventions, are warnings of failure, of a society collapsing under the weight of unprecedented challenges.
China is falling backwards through time as this outbreak progresses. Day by day, we are seeing history reborn, and 1.4 billion people tragically remain trapped within this uncertain state, dragged from their homes, their neighbors’ doors chained and welded shut. All for, what?
I cannot confirm these details, or fully validate that this is a video from China during this epidemic, but it is yet another tragedy that you need to witness. This is what an epidemic, its countless tragedies, & the vitriolic vigilantism & crack-downs have done to Chinese people
I can’t say that it rolls off of the tongue! While China will likely continue using NCP, the scientific community will now be using Covid19 to refer to this Coronavirus strain.
COVID-19 is the correct spelling
“Co and Vi come from coronavirus, Tedros explained, with D meaning disease and 19 standing for 2019, the year the first cases were seen.”…
I should clarify! 2019-nCoV remains the name of the coronavirus strain, with SARS-CoV-2 a proposed future name for journals. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the virus, which China has itself dubbed NCP. They’ll be used interchangeably, but that’s the difference!
You’d now refer to this outbreak by saying the ‘COVID-19 epidemic in Wuhan’ or ‘the outbreak of 2019-nCoV.’ Don’t call it the Wuhan virus, or ‘coronavirus’ like many western outlets. Reference that it is a strain of coronavirus, or simply use the disease name.
I would restrain from using the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia or NCP name created by the Chinese Health Ministry. Instead use COVID-19, or just COVID. While NCP simplifies speech, it was also designed as a tool in an information war by a government that covered up this epidemic.
In COVID-19, the WHO is acknowledging that this will not be the last outbreak of a novel human coronavirus. SARS was put to rest, but its family evidently lives on. This is an important recognition of an uncertain future of COVID outbreaks, and that will have great implications.
Like we’ve discussed before in this thread, until 2019-nCoV there was little funding or future for coronavirus researchers. Having COVID as a category of diseases caused by human coronaviruses now means these scientists will have meaningful line items.…
There is no one that understands COVID-19 to its fullest. 2019-nCoV’s ancestral relation to SARS-CoV means scientists have some understanding of its mechanisms, but the strain also has new properties. Patients are dying in multi-organ failure, and scientists don’t know why.
The wake up call is evident in the name COVID-19 and the category it represents, and that is so important. The world will face more novel coronaviruses and the epidemics they can cause, but we’re a bit closer to seeing them like influenza today. Now there’s a field of research.
“Scientists don’t know how long people remain immune to a coronavirus after being infected. There are still looming questions about transmission. There aren’t any drugs approved specifically to treat coronaviruses.”…
“I think there will be more depth in the field because I can reasonably say with three [new viruses] in 17 years, I don’t know if we’ve seen our last one. We’ve gone through these cycles over and over again. [But] it may be that this establishes coronaviruses a little bit more.”
“In public health, we’re very good at reacting to emergency situations. But preventive monitoring and research can be harder to justify and to sustain.” The world is losing so many lives today because of misallocated resources. We have the money, talent, and opportunity.
I have heard literally 0 rational explanations for this. What the hell are they spraying? This is theater, not public health.
No one actually knows why or what they are spraying. Local officials are copying this with presumably random chemicals and this will not end well for public health. This theater is dangerous.
China has a smoking & lung cancer epidemic. Infectious disease experts are speculating this is why the COVIN-19 outcomes are substantially worse in China. Combine that with pollution particulates and chemical irritation from fumigators and people will die.…
This is an important thing to note. State media can’t be recognized as a valid information source in its own right. We saw the disinformation surrounding Huoshenshan Hospital’s completion, and many videos are now being misattributed to sell an image and narrative to the world.
Fang Bin, another citizen journalist in Wuhan, has gone missing just 2 days after the disappearance of Chen Qiushi.

"Plain-clothes police officers accompanied by fire fighters broke down Fang’s door to enter his flat."…
Early on in this thread, I tried to push you away from the first-person videos believed to have come out of Wuhan. I wanted to caution you to wait for more details. Many were recycled, mislabeled, or taken out of context. I don't know if that was the right answer.
Chen Qiushi & Fang Bin's videos were the few you could attach to a face. Those verifiable videos provided a lot of context and details that helped to validate so many more videos. We now know the immense risk that those citizen journalists took to give us that framework.
For every Chen Qiushi & Fang Bin, there were 100s of anonymous uploaders that shared videos privately on WeChat & Chinese social media. Those journalists were at risk too. Tencent can block images, meaning their platform may backtrace their origins too. Are they disappearing too?
This era of unverifiable information and virality is deeply challenging. But so many of the videos we have seen, whether or not they were misattributed, were real. Without jumping to conclusions & replicating data, would the world have seen these videos? Or would the machine win?
The familiar faces that have now disappeared were never entirely right. Their perspectives were inherently limited, as were their camera lenses and footwork. But were they rumormongering alarmists? I don't think so. The fervor they cultivated was preservation through reach.
"This time, no one can be sure whether Fang or Chen will resurface soon." They took this risk knowing the outcome so that you could see meaning in COVID-19's numbers.…
"Chinese authorities must immediately account for the whereabouts of journalist Chen Qiushi, and ensure that the media can cover the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan without fear of retribution"…
Rubio spelled his name wrong, but at least the GOP's China hawks are acknowledging this epidemic and the human rights abuses happening in the name of public health.
On Japan: "Critics of the government’s handling of the outbreak say that officials simply are not explaining enough of their thinking as they face an epidemiological challenge w/ no easy playbook. The gov's communications strategy has undermined trust"…
"Not simple throat swabs, but instead require mucus from hard-to-reach parts of the respiratory tract. The simplest test, a nasopharyngeal swab, 'is not surgery, but it comes close. It’s an aggressive procedure.' The alternative requires pumping saline mist deep into the lungs"
Here is what a Nasopharyngeal Swab looks like. It's pretty much a nasal endoscopy with a q-tip. The world could use better membrane tests.
There have been 4 incidences with cruise ships now. The World Dream in Hong Kong set sail. The Diamond Princess is up to 175 passengers with 2019-nCoV, and everyone is told to wear N95s now. Westerdam is the latest to face a concerning situation.…
No one aboard is confirmed to have COVID-19, but fear is overriding those facts. "The ship has been refused entry by 5 countries or territories, according to the WHO. Ports in Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines & Guam have also sent it away on concerns"…
Here is how Thai are reacting to the Westerdam. The world is tearing itself apart, and for this cruise ship that could literally run out of food and supplies, that is a humanitarian crisis. Stateless people amidst an epidemic.
Imagine being stuck on this ship and half a dozen countries and tens of millions of people have turned you away. These ships do not have adequate medical facilities. If there was a crisis on board, it would be a mass grave at sea. The world can do better.
A helpful framing of what average Thai are feeling right now. It was Thailand that received the first international case of COVID-19 because of the China-centric tourism industry. A feeling becoming quite common in Asia.
Hospitals in Xinjiang reportedly released the first batch of patients yesterday.…
Xinjiang's reported case numbers remain eerily low, however. Neighboring Qinghai has just a quarter of the population, with about half the density, but is reporting 18 cases.
Note where those Xinjiang cases are coming from. The 16 cases from the 6 corps divisions reporting are referring to the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps aka Bingtuan. It's a Mao-era paramilitary & co-op organization. Some history of that here:…
On the left, a map of the Bingtuan divisions across Xinjiang. On the right, the Xinjiang persecution apparatus. The green pins are Bingtuan run prisons, which are primarily agriculture labour camps with majority Han prisoners imported from other provinces across China.
Aksu has reported 1 case, but the Bingtuan's 1st & 3rd divisions (where the agriculture camps are clustered) have not separately reported coronavirus cases. The Uyghur Human Rights Project describes some of the prisons as worse than the concentration camps…
Xinjiang hosts more than 1 time bomb. It is ill-equipped to treat the scale of illness that will face both Han & Uyghurs prisoners. The Chinese gov remains tightly lipped on the infectious disease observation in this region. The fire may already be raging…
"The Chinese government has confirmed at least 20 cases of coronavirus in the Uyghur region, but the actual number is likely to be much higher, considering the media blackout in the region due to China’s mass detention and surveillance campaign there."…
"Reports of overcrowding, malnutrition, physical and sexual abuse, organ harvesting and other grave human rights abuses in the camps suggest the region could become a breeding ground for the coronavirus. But China doesn’t seem to be allocating adequate resources"
On Douyin and local state media channels, health workers from Xinjiang that were dispatched to Wuhan were captured in a cheerful dance with patients at one of the mild illness quarantine camps.
Another angle, this one reaching Hubei CCTV
I don't know the full origin of that video, but if it reached official channels (and Douyin), it was meant to be seen. Many doctors from provinces across China were dispatched to Wuhan's epicenter, but back at home in Xinjiang, the infectious disease fire is brewing too.
Fear for them. "For Uyghurs & other Turkic peoples in China’s mass detention camps, access to hospitals, quarantined areas, clean & nutritious food & water, hygiene products, & necessities for healthy living are severely restricted, according to human rights monitors & survivors"
On Douyin, the video of Xinjiang dances appear to have originated directly from official verified channels.
Reminder: in Xinjiang, Douyin is used in an official capacity like what you just saw to disperse propaganda. State media and proxies have long washed Uighur culture in cheerful propaganda. During a life-or-death epidemic, we are seeing no different.…
In the last hour, that video bubbled all the way up to the Global Times.
Like other provinces, Xinjiang dispatched doctors to Wuhan. The send-offs were widely distributed and orchestrated state media campaigns. But were they voluntary?
Today is another one of those campaigns, with doctors dancing across washed channels. Was it their choice and their dance, or was it someone else's? I'll let you answer that.
That video and the campaign behind it comes after yesterday's devastating news. We still don't know the whole truth, but we now know: "At least 500 hospital staff in Wuhan had been infected with the deadly new strain of coronavirus by mid January"…
"While the government has reported individual cases of health care workers becoming infected, it has not provided the full picture, and the sources said doctors and nurses had been told not to make the total public."
"During the Sars outbreak in 2003, 18 per cent of mainland medical staff and 22 per cent of Hong Kong medical staff were infected. I estimate we will see 10-20 per cent of medical staff infected”
China's engineers are already whipping up gesture-control for everyday things. I feel like this will stick in the region after the COVID-19 epidemic passes.
There are funnier low-tech contactless mechanisms too. Gravity bb
Reportedly, Megvii is investing ~$14M into the temperature screening algorithms. Again, this isn't really a scientifically valid contagion mechanism. More like an illusion of security. It also puts patients at more risk when they're bucketed as 'sick.'
Here is supposedly what one of Megvii's prototypes looks like:
Another doctor has died (presumably from natural causes) after working long hours during this epidemic. State media is celebrating the wrong message. Her death is China's failure.
With a small number of private hospitals, China faced an immense healthcare shortage long before this epidemic began. The lack of stockpiled PPI equipment (and censorship) is why hundreds if not thousands of doctors are now sick with SARS-CoV-2 too.…
Even in the last few weeks, many Chinese didn't seek out care because of the cost burdens. This potentially resulted in widespread contagious carriers. In the U.S., that would be a very real concern too. Would the NIH even step up and cover the bill?
It's worth noting that SARS-CoV-2 may already have a larger foothold in the west than has been confirmed. The reported transmission capabilities would certainly make that more realistic than not.
On the Diamond Princess, there are now more than 200 COVID-19 patients. The growth is its own Wuhan at sea. The ship alone represents ~40% of all cases outside of China.
“As long as China is continuing to absorb all the masks, basically, that are being produced, we know that eventually our need is going to outstrip what the world supply chain is managing at the moment”…
State media is leaning further and further into the 'wartime' language.
Much of the 'social credit system' dystopia that western media has reported on was largely a western fictionalization and exaggeration. I cannot say that I've ever seen China so enthusiastically selling a police state than what we are seeing in this crisis
I can't say that I expected it would go this far in so little time.
There's a lot of whacky local adoption across China, but after the knife attacks in recent years, Yunnan was eager to adopt QR codes for 'weapon' tracing. Then it was knives and terrorists, now it is infectious disease patients. Both a 'war'
QR codes and weird tech like this real-life hyperlink drone is so pervasive across China that you would expect it. But the surge during a public health crisis is unbelievable.
A little more grounded is this truly sad, and yet reassuring, sight enabled by disjoint payment infrastructure. In the west, the ATMs would quickly be down under the same pressure we see in Hubei. There's no digitial money ubiquity like this.
It feels like Apple intentionally misled the world with their Apple China re-opening announcement.
Foxconn remains largely shuttered too, except for the mask production. "At two Foxconn plants in China where Apple iPhone parts are manufactured, only about 10% of the workforce reported to work at the start of the week, according to reports."…
Now imagine if this turns into a pandemic and progresses through to the summer. "Ives expects the plant shutdown to wipe out sales of up to 5 million iPhones from the second quarter if the plants' re-openings are delayed for another two to three weeks over coronavirus fears"
Outside of China, Singapore is one of the most important countries to be watching right now. The local transmission is frightening a lot of scientists.
The weather doesn't quite tell the whole story about transmission. Correct me if I'm wrong, but flu season is largely contained to winter for two reasons: 1) more direct transmission as people spend more time inside 2) low humidity means aerosols and droplets remain in-air longer
Viral particulates and droplets coagulate with moisture in the air and fall to the ground more quickly. The most obvious example of air suspension is cold air breaths; the moisture stays suspended longer in the winter, but you've just never seen the difference in the summer.
The whole ‘disinfect’ campaign is becoming so absurd. Those surgical masks become ineffective when they’re wet. Even breathing does that, let alone blasting bleach into your face.
While yes, fumigating interior spaces in hospitals with disinfectant could elimate airborne particulates and surface transmission, you’re also putting a chemical irritant in the air in a pneumonia ward. Why is no one saying no to these ideas?
“The samples had not even made it into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s laboratory when the agency mistakenly indicated to officials at the hospital that the results were negative.”…
The U.S. has its own Diamond Princess clock conundrum: “Officials said that despite the early release of the patient, people under quarantine at the base would not need to restart the 14-day quarantine period, but those at the base remained skeptical”
A new journal describes a possible incubation period of up to 24 days. These are pre-print publications with evolving ideas that haven’t been peer reviewed. It also says that the timeline in the data may be inaccurate. Don’t conclude much from these just yet.
Likewise for the concept of ‘airborne.’ The Director-General of WHO said this yesterday and it is driving some confusion. While China’s Health Ministry has described aerosol transmission (still unconfirmed), these words are a leap, and probably a mistake.
Ehhhhhhh China 😂

"While BrightGene said that it intends to license the drug from Gilead, its move to start manufacturing at this early stage is highly unusual and a potential infringement of the American company’s intellectual property"…
"It comes a week after Chinese researchers filed an application to patent the drug to treat the new coronavirus, a bid that would give China sway over the global use of the therapy to fight the outbreak."
I think Daniel O'Day may have a different stance now. I don't blame China for preparing for a pandemic, even if it may break IP law, however.
| HOLY |
| SHIT |
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/   づ
243 deaths were reported today. There are explanations for these jumps, but this can only be described as a tragedy.
A few things happened here. First, China revised how it reported COVID-19 case numbers 2 days ago. Asymptomatic patients that tested positive were no longer counted. You may have seen the graphs dip as data was withdrawn.
Due to lab constraints, the Chinese National Health Commission has reduced the criteria from tests to clinical assessments with CT imaging. This will speed up the diagnosis process; a much more widespread equipment network.
Many scientists have urged for this development because COVID-19 numbers were artificially deflated by lab queues. Some have argued that the observation was intentionally abused; only the most severe cases were sometimes prioritized in lab queues, despite clinical determinations.
A lot of countries are learning from China’s missteps. But this is where a lot of the focus is now too: “Scientists are still scrambling to detect antibodies against the virus in the blood, which could help find people who had an infection and recovered.”…
Countries are scrambling for antibody tests for the postmortem, not necessarily containment. China’s changes in the reporting mechanism could be viewed like the country has accepted that it may be too late to contain this outbreak. Now it’s a race to save lives & build immunity.
This new harrowing mood is visible in today’s interview with the CDC director. “At some point in time it is highly probable that we’ll have to transition to mitigation... We’re not going to be able to seal this virus from coming into this country.”…
It’s going to get spooky.
You can read about how China breaks out the numbers here. The single streams and graphs you will see will include both positive tests and clinical diagnoses as ‘confirmed cases.’
This is the dumbest thing you’ll read today. And no, SARS-CoV-2 did not come from space.…
China’s case reporting becomes even more confusing!
“Australia’s chief medical officer told state broadcaster ABC that China’s prediction that the outbreak would peak in April was ‘far too premature,’ adding he expected the number of cases to keep rising.”…
“With private cars banned from the roads, she struggled to walk the 5km to a hospital that would treat her. Once she was there, she underwent a CT scan that confirmed her symptoms. Ms Luo was told that she would have to come back [for a swab] test”
The most glaring problem with the temperatures screenings and bans is that they could kill people like this: “Instead of trying to make it back to the hospital, she was waiting at home, assured by the local authorities that she was on a waiting list to receive the test.”
“The coronavirus tests correctly detected positive results just 20-30% of the time, Tong Chaohui, a medical expert advising the government, told local media. Better hospitals could reach a 50% rate of detection but poor ones might have rates as low as 10%, he added.”
NBC’s coverage of the pandemic:…
Unsurprisingly, more information was withheld by the Chinese government. COVID-19 had reached Guangdong by January 4th. Wuhan's lockdown only began on the 23rd. This is a probelm far bigger than Hubei and China.
Alternate reality: Theranos Ends Pandemic
It's so sad to read these stories of China's state of unrest. Trust is degraded. This is not a society that will return to normal with a snap of fingers and bans lifted. China is damaged, could be for years, & we're not even near the end of this epidemic.
"When we heard that Wuhan was locked down, I was still deep in the mountain steppe areas of the Sichuan-Gansu border region. Domestic yaks and Tibetan herders seemed oblivious to this disease, but we knew it was getting serious."…
"Nobody would take us in, and while the police and the medical staff were helpful, the only advice they had was: 'Leave the city and head back home, wherever that is.' As we left the city we saw police officers barricading the only road in and out of Langmusi."
A nightmare scenario for a foreigner in China: "'Foreigners!' a doctor with goggles shouted when they got to us. A police officer came running and directed us to park the car. 'Get out of the car. Come with me to the tent for temperature screening.'"
For all of the bizarre 'public health' tech rollouts we're seeing promoted across state media channels, there must be so many more of these pitfalls too. It's clear why the temperature screenings and surveillance-fueled vigilantism is a bad idea, but what else is malfunctioning?
“Two weeks ago Musk declared that Tesla did not plan to raise any more capital because it was "spending money, I think, efficiently, and we're not artificially limiting our progress." The angle not mentioned: preparing for a downturn.…
Tesla’s factory in Shanghai reportedly resumed production on the 10th, but some have observed that — like Foxconn — it appears to be running a skeleton crew, not at full capacity.
I wouldn’t hold my breath for this, especially given the timing of Tesla’s offering: “Tesla stores in mainland China will resume operations on February 17.”…
The Caixin report showed that the ‘mess’ was in more than Hubei: “On Thursday it was announced that Ying Yong, a key Xi ally, had been appointed to run Hubei, while other Xi proteges have been dispatched to Wuhan to help clean up the political mess there.”…
"For 30 years the Chinese people have been made to surrender their freedom in exchange for safety, and now they fall prey to a public health crisis and are less safe than ever... [This is the] price for giving up freedom and suppressing expression." @ChinaChange_org
"The nation is in a state of collapse & the ethical core of the system has been rendered hollow. The ultimate concern of China's polity today & that of its highest leader is to preserve at all costs the privileged position of the CCP and to maintain ruthlessly its hold on power."
That was a quote from Xu Zhangrun.…
“Confronted by this Great Virus, as all of us are right now, I feel as though a vast chasm has opened up before us all and I feel compelled to speak out yet again. There is no refuge from this viral reality and I cannot remain silent.”
“They have witnessed how the facts were hidden and how the health and safety of the common people was ignored by an unfeeling bureaucracy... They witness the ever-increasing death toll, yet they are being shut down on WeChat and forced into silence“
“The harm caused by his mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak has become so visible that the Chinese public, and even the Politburo, must recognize it. The EU should not knowingly facilitate his political survival.”…
“The Navy and Marine Corps messages, issued Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, reference an executive order directing U.S. Northern Command to implement the Department of Defense Global Campaign plan for Pandemic”…
“The Marine Corps’ mission, according to the message, is to ‘prepare for potential outbreaks of [COVID19].’ The service must ‘mitigate, respond, and recover from the effects in order to maintain force readiness.’”…
“[U.S.] military commanders have been asked to confine any service member who has been to China since Feb. 2 to their residences or, if they live in an open barracks or share a bathroom with others, restrict them to a temporary lodging facility for 14 days.”
“Earlier this month, U.S. Forces Korea began confining troops who had traveled to China for 14 days. Also earlier this month, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command restricted all Defense Department travel to mainland China and recalled all travelers to the country home.”
DJI is also using the agricultural drones to spray ‘disinfectant.’…
In case you didn’t know, there are already crop duster drones in China. The current adoption to ‘disinfect’ is so misguided, though. Dumping random sterilization chemicals into the air is dangerous. This is a slow burn chemical warfare on everyone living in these cities.
DJI’s main competitor XAG has also leaned into the coronavirus stimulus with a ‘disinfection’ drone. Health Europa is a pay to play PR website, so XAG paid for the world to see this bizarre, dangerous, and unscientific pivot.…
I understand that China is under assault by a virus that few can understand, with thousands sick and so many tragedies happening everyday to friends and family, but the propaganda fueled disinfection fever-dream of China Tech right now only reminds me of this:
The residential quarantines have reached beyond China’s borders. Vietnam has now quaritined 10,000 people. “As of February 13, 2020, we will urgently implement the task of isolation and quarantine of the epidemic area in Son Loi commune.”…
“Son Loi, in the northern Vietnameseprovince of Vinh Phuc, 44 km (27 miles) from Hanoi, is home to11 of the 16 coronavirus cases in the Southeast Asian country, including a three-month-old baby.” Starting to sound like h2h transmission in Vietnam. SARS-CoV-2 is out of the cage.
“‘Everything is still under control,’ said the [Vietnamese] official. ‘We are trying very hard to stop the virus spreading to other areas and provinces.’” The poor parts of these countries are in grave danger. They can’t mobilize like China.
How China’s mobilization set the tone for other countries, whether or not they were scientific and effective. “Health officials [in Vietnam] wearing protective suits sprayed disinfectant on vehicles at the [quarantine] checkpoints.’ Illusions of security.
"Fear of Chernobyl had overcome fear of the state, and nothing was the same ever again."
This graphic is something. Let’s hope Japan will publish on the observed R0 and transmission within this ship. Will be crucial information for the preparedness of the rest of the world.
Great piece on the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations in Oslo, which spawned out of the Ebola crisis and the collapse of free-market vaccine development. Potentially a model that will some day prevent epidemics like we are experiencing today.
“The nightmare scenario, says Hatchett, is a disease that combines a fraction of the lethality of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome with the contagiousness of the common cold. ‘Possibly,’ he says, ‘that’s what we’re dealing with now.’”
“Pathogen outbreaks are ‘an emergent property of global 21st century society. We created a world that gives microbes lots and lots of opportunities.’ The necessary response, he says, is groups like his. As viruses evolve, society needs to change to counter them.”
Finally, a report from the Chief Medical Officer of the Diamond Princess. Up to 218 cases now.
“There is no current evidence that the illness spreads through the air ventilation systems. However, in an abundance of caution, we have maximized fresh air into all cabins.” Any guesses as to what that ‘maximization’ means?
A cruise ship nightmare has ended peacefully, w/ Cambodia’s Prime Minister — who has long stood by China and refused masks, quarantines, & travel bans — greeting the Westerdam as passengers disembarked. After exhausting most options, they found their port.…
If containment fails, and this projection comes true, the hardships that the world would experience during the onset of the first coronavirus pandemic would be hard to comprehended through our current eyes. A first for the modern world.
That’s further out, but if COVID-19 does break through to influenza scale, the benefit would be in a substantial population of immunity & antibodies. Those prospects are now where China is focusing. Antibody donation could improve outcomes; that’s moving from secondary priority.
The best outcome of a worst case scenario would be herd immunity. But, millions would die, medical infrastructure would be overwhelmed at even a fraction of the early generational spread, & the world would be on pause. Transfusion is not the golden ticket; you need a lot of infra
While antibody transfusion has been effective for other viruses, this family of coronaviruses provides more questions than answers. Little is understand about SARS, and even less is understand about the SARS-CoV-2 relative. That supportive care could also provide worse outcomes.
Another debunking of the SO2 ‘cremation’ conspiracies for those that need to see it:…
The first COVID-19 case has been reported on the African continent.…
Mobile World Congress was canceled, and now another conference hangs in limbo. This feels like it will be the new normal…
The tinfoil hats always have a 5G angle 😅
More than 1700 health workers have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 in China, with 1502 in Wuhan alone. 6 have died. Devastating numbers.
“Chinese medical workers at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus epidemic are often becoming its victims, in part because of government missteps and logistical hurdles.” The country’s most brave, failed by its bureaucracy.…
“Younger staff are assigned to the more critical cases, with the expectation that if they get sick they would be more likely to recover.”
“His plea was deleted by censors.” These doctors were put in grave danger, themselves exposing patients, family, and coworkers too, because of Beijing’s censorship. Their pleas for help? Also censorsed. A sickening betrayal of China’s finest.
State media draws one picture, yet local cadre vigilantism prevents factories from producing medical supplies: “Officials in the city of Xiantao in Hubei at first told some companies making protective medical clothing and masks that their factories could not reopen until Feb 14”
Temperature checks are of course largely scientifically invalid. Yet, their pervasiveness is killing people. “One truck driver recounted being stopped 14 times for body temperature checks when he set out from Wuhan to pick up medical supplies.” Just theater between CCP leaders.
“Because when the country doesn’t have any more medical workers, then what hope is there left?”
Disinformation about a substantial global threat being spread on American television to merely peddle supplements. Such a sad state of affairs.
Something to note about one of the loudest voices surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic. He has spread some good information, but has equally been incorrect and alarmist, occasionally latching onto outright disinformation. People are nuanced, but please recognize this:
The blocking feud is not normal behavior during an information and publication frenzy; scientists need opposing and critical voices during the early stages of an epidemic and emergent strain like SARS-CoV-2.
The first death in Europe has been reported. A traveler from Hubei in Paris, reaching France by the 16th, and entering a hospital by the 25th. A lengthy illness, with complications even longer.…
Americans on the Diamond Princess are being repatriated from Japan tomorrow. They’ll be quarantined like those evacuated from Hubei. I have a feeling that Embassy Airlines will be a familiar sight for some time.
CDC: “We are also concerned that the data coming out of Japan suggests there’s a higher risk among the people on the ship, and therefore their safety is of utmost importance.”…
Scarier than a rogue novel coronavirus:
Days old now, but 5 of the crew of the Diamond Princess tested positive. They're in far worse conditions than the passengers, and could remain a substantial viral vector:
"[Below deck], hundreds of crew members are eating, living & working elbow to elbow as they try to keep life as comfortable as possible for those above. They line up for simple buffet meals & then sit down together to eat. Bathrooms are shared by up to 4, & cabins often by 2"
I was wrong; double the number infected. "At least 10 crew members have been infected, with five cases announced on Sunday and five more on Monday. According to employees, the infected crew members identified on Sunday had been eating in the mess hall alongside their co-workers."
“We have to remember that quarantines protect those outside the quarantine, not those within.”
"Among those crew who are infected, at least 11 of them are Filipinos, according to the Philippine government, raising alarm among family members back home, as well as fellow crew members who continue to work under quarantine conditions."…
"In a separate message to Al Jazeera, the woman, who asked not to be identified, said she wanted the cruise ship company to allow her husband to leave the ship. 'I don't care if he loses his job, the most important thing is that he will stay alive.'"
One alarming anecdote described in this WhatsApp interview with a crew member: the crew eat collectively in the same dining hall, obviously without masks. That ship is a petri dish. I wouldn't bet on this ending on the 19th. It will continue w/o Americans.…
One positive thing for those crew: "Princess Cruises has offered the Diamond Princess crew two months of paid time off. We will also handle their flights to return home and their job will be protected to return for another contract."…
But lmao at this: "The cruise operator is also offering Diamond Princess passengers a free cruise"
As it turns out, the Westerdam had an infected passenger too: "A United States citizen who arrived in Malaysia after disembarking in Cambodia from the MS Westerdam cruise ship has tested positive for the new coronavirus"…
Uh oh: "As of Saturday, more than half of the 2,257 on board had disembarked... There were more than 600 people on board the Westerdam who were American citizens... 150 people from UK, Australia, Canada, France, Netherlands, Germany... 260 EU citizens from 20 EU members states"
Worth noting that there is potentially undetected local transmission occurring in both Malaysia & Cambodia. Estimates of the median incubation time are significantly higher than 1 day, but while very unlikely, it is possible that the American contracted SARS-CoV-2 off of the ship
Cruise ships have had a lengthy history of outbreaks like this, especially w/ norovirus. That is spread primarily by the very fun 'fecal-oral route.' Some evidence suggests SARS-CoV-2 is in part transmitting via the same vector, but w/ far worse outcomes.
Only 1 passenger aboard the Westerdam was tested positive thus far, with the ship under scrutiny for much of its journey, so the likelihood of it being a substantial introductory threat remains quite low. The larger threat is what SE Asia is not seeing.
The Westerdam passenger was caught by a Malaysian airport screening, sent to a hospital in Kuala Lumpur, and tested within hours. That's vigilance at its finest. But in China, recognize how these measures can go so wrong too. The temperature gun arms race created lepers in Wuhan.
There may come a point where those measures have failed, where this epidemic spirals out of control into a raging pandemic. Over emphasizing the other & borders, temperatures, or signs of illness will — at that point — kill more than it will save. Hubei was the world's case study
With this new information, Cambodia's greetings look far more eerie and misguided. But were they? The humanitarian crisis would have begun if that ship was permanently w/o a dock. At the same time, those images weren't appeasing us, but rather, Beijing
China's diplomats are currently jet-setting around the world to reassure friends and allies of China's power, despite a unprecedented crisis. Like Thai, Cambodians may now view that Westerdam like a public health crisis, caught in a geopolitical theater.
Border bans during this crisis are very nuanced. Some may be the correct risk mitigation, others may opportunist or based in something other than science and WHO recommendations. Notably absent from that mitigation calc are many China-dependent countries:
Like those diplomats jet-setting across the world, China's Foreign Ministry is burning the midnight oil to take control of this crisis. We all want this crisis to end, but quite hilariously, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson just announced a revolution? 😅
China's disinformation across official channels leans so hard into western regime change wars and the American 'black hand.' That peaked during the Hong Kong protests. The Foreign Ministry didn't get the Spring memo, and now Hongkongers are memeing:
The Chinese government has since shifted to a more cautious rainbow symbolism:
Mind boggling numbers here. In the mere weeks that China has transformed into this increasingly locked-down police state, this is how many state-appointed people are managing the checkpoints, patrolling neighborhoods, and rounding up the sick:
'Radicalism' is the best word to describe China's COVID-19 transformation
Incredible piece on the Mao Era rebirth. While this outbreak is a severe public health crisis, what many are interpreting as the virus being far more deadly or the government lying about numbers, is really just the party system in whacky vigilante turmoil…
What you read in that piece is how scenes like this are unfolding across China. Bullets and batons won't kill a virus, but the busy work propaganda they produce will appease Communist Party bosses.
At this point, with everything we now know, you hardly have to question that this is most likely a scene that occurred somewhere in Wuhan or the broader region. What's the context? Have no idea! But it probably wasn't decision making based in public health
"You have food? Perfect." *chains door shut*
After all, this same bureaucracy is why there are concentration camps in Xinjiang. The same policies & incentives, just a different day, w/ a new target. Sadly, though, the 'round them up' agenda makes me believe that the target is the sick, not the virus.
This is true. The same language. The same words. Just deployed in a different region, with a different target. For Beijing, it's just cleansing a viral shed, instead of a culture.
So many Chinese are trapped under that bureaucracy blanket, merely hoping that they won't suffocate without the supplies and resources they need. They're doing their part, while the system continues to fail them weeks into this epidemic.
COVID-19 is not yet classified as a pandemic, but the percentage of people on this planet currently under some kind of mandatory quarantine measure is in the 2-digits.
This, while obviously not a confirmation of any wild conspiracy theory, appears like an ongoing, sophisticated disinformation campaign leveraging the epidemic. Botao Xiao’s entire profile, if ever real, has disappeared from ResearchGate. COVID-19 phishing campaign?
If that was a targeted disinformation campaign, and not just a scientist gone rogue and since silenced by police, it accomplished its goal and reached numerous prominent platforms. It was also well timed, following Xi’s biosecurity speech.
I left the possibility of a rogue scientists open, not because there is any validity in that virus originating from a BSL4 or its staff, but because many in China are under a lot of pressure, are angry, and making rash decisions. For that publication, they would face consequence.
You don’t need to be bitten by a bat for a virus to leap species. In fact, the evidence suggests — like most — there was an intermediate species, possibly the pangolin. Secretions are viral vectors. A far more probable one than eating the species or being attacked by one.
“While Chinese social media has overflowed with fear and grief, state propaganda outlets have emphasized Mr. Xi’s steady hand, framed the fight against the outbreak as a form of patriotism and shared upbeat videos of medical workers dancing.”…
“More than 350 people across China have been punished for ‘spreading rumors’ about the outbreak, according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders”…
“Inside his home — [Fang Bin] said he was surrounded by plainclothes policemen — he railed against ‘greed for power’ and ‘tyranny.’ His last video, on Feb. 9, was just 12 secs long. It featured a scroll of paper w/ the words, ‘All citizens resist, hand power back to the people.’”
“Unlike the torrent of grief and anger online in response to the death of Dr. Li, news of Mr. Chen’s and Mr. Fang’s disappearances has been swiftly stamped out on Chinese social media. Their names returned almost no results on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, on Friday.” 💨
“Domestic pharma companies could also face disruption if the crisis extends beyond three to four months, as key raw materials (active pharmaceutical ingredients — APIs) and intermediates are imported from China.”…
1 step forward, 2 steps backward. The conspiracies grasping at straws are overshadowing the COVID-19 victims, the countless Chinese thrown into camps for their temperatures, and the health workers dying on the front lines. SARS-CoV-2 is an evolving human coronavirus now.
This must be the story for so many Chinese right now. If patients are walking kilometers with pneumonia to hospitals, only to be turned away, how many are currently rationing insulin and medications?
This is not a McDonalds employee. This is a local Beijing official determining whether or not you can get access to food with an arbitrary temperature. You wouldn't dare risk that journey if you felt sick, for fear of quarantine. How many are going hungry?
Of 2746 COVID-19 patients analyzed in Wuhan, 5.8% were also infected with another virus, like influenza. Some percentage was expected, but that's alarming. 18.4% without SARS-CoV-2 (but tested) had another pathogen. Awful news for the quarantine camp model
At points throughout illness, patients need to be tested for an array of pathogens, not just SARS-CoV-2. When infrastructure is overwhelmed, and patients are grouped, co-infections can be introduced, dragging down outcomes. A piece of Wuhan's higher CFR
A great point here as well. With it already being a rough flu seasons around the world, the instict for overwhelmed health workers is to assume total pathology with a positive test. That pathogen may only be one part of the story, however:
The fear of mistakenly sending patients home, which has happened in Wuhan because of false negatives or no test at all, is two fold: 1) they may face worse outcomes, becoming more critical more quickly 2) the residential super spreader phenomena
In Block E of the Amoy Garden public housing estate, a single SARS patient in March of 2003 catalyzed an outbreak that would infect 321 across the estate by April 15th. The origin was the pipes.…
The Amoy Garden super spreader phenomena has lived with Kowloon City and Hongkongers since 2003. The SARS cloud has only caused more concerns during this COVID-19 epidemic.…
In recent days, there were evacuations at the Cheung Hong Estate for fear of the same flawed pipe designs that catalyzed Hong Kong's worst SARS outbreak. An inspection revealed an unsealed ventilation pipe that may have contributed to a case there.…
While there is no evidence that these sporadic flawed pipes are catalyzing another Amoy Gardens, many Hongkongers are on edge, blaming bureaucracy for letting these public housing units go without inspection.…
Across Hong Kong, residents are still protesting the government's decision to use public housing as quarantine centers, similar to what has become of convention centers across Wuhan.
During the public health crisis, the public wants a voice. These sights are a stark disconnect from the lawless land of China and the three quarters of a billion people currently under martial law.
In Hong Kong, sights of China's People's Wars are bubbling to the surface and further dividing the people from their government. Police are reportedly hoarding respirators and other forms of PPI.
Police in Hong Kong received 55x the number of respirators as health workers. One can only assume Hubei looked similar.
Likewise, other public services across Hong Kong, which are doing the heavy lifting of this epidemic, are being provided far fewer resources than police.
It's the authoritarian grip that can be seen in Hong Kong's eerie prioritization that is so concerning, and also, so disconnected from the reality of this epidemic. Empowering the people, like visible here, is how it will come to an end, not a police state
Earlier this morning, Taiwan announced its first COVID-19 fatality. The patient was not a traveling tourist who had visited Wuhan; they were just Taiwanese. The fourth fatality outside of Mainland China.
Taiwan is still not recognized as a member state of the WHO, and the appearing evidence of local, sustained transmission makes that more concerning each day.
Just hours ago, a WHO-led coalition landed on the ground in China with a team of member state appointed experts, including from the CDC.
What is happening in Wuhan cannot be viewed as an ephemeral blip, like we now view SARS. COVID-19 must be viewed like the first wave of a lengthy epidemic, one that may last years, even evolving and becoming a seasonal illness like influenza. SARS was luck…
The WHO's coalition is trying to collect information from the ground that would enable more proactivity globally. Hubei has been the case study. We're seeing the failures, both of medical care, and of government interventionism. Like the Diamond Princess, the world is learning.
While the government's system enforces a brutal crackdown that is suffocating many patients, health workers, and scientists, those people on the front line are publishing and experimenting with fury. The greatest beacon of hope coming out of China:
"China has launched a few trials that test chloroquine, a malaria drug that killed off the new coronavirus (recently named SARS-CoV-2) in cell culture."…
"Another study — a 300-person controlled trial — will test serum from COVID-19 survivors. The bare-bones strategy, based on the idea that the antibodies one person steadily builds up to fight a virus can rapidly help someone freshly infected to fight it off"
While a lot of medications are being tested, and vaccines developed, there is also a surge of supportive care tech that could be used to improve outcomes. There are already too few ventilators for everyone, but they could also be made more effective.…
More supportive care: "China National Biotec Group has been using this plasma, which contains highly potent antibodies, to treat more than 10 seriously ill patients since Feb 8 the company said in an statement on its official WeChat account Thursday night"…
"China National Biotech also called on people who have recovered from the disease to donate their plasma in a separate statement. China's National Health Commission has listed plasma among treatment measures for critically ill patients in its latest treatment guideline."
If there becomes more scientific consensus that plasma transfusions become a viable treatment option, given what we know, I deeply worry about how local governments will implement that donation apparatus. Patients have little privacy.
So many Chinese COVID-19 survivors would be willing to donate their plasma to save lives. I don't doubt that for a second. But, the quarantines aren't voluntary now. I fear that the lepers will become blood machines, w/ cadres seeing outcomes, not people.
There have been a number of documented incidents like this now. Chinese just trying to sell food, make money, and survive. It's hard times for so many. And yet, we see these overreactions from local officials crushed by authority, beyond stressed, failing.
Huanggang has quickly transformed into a Wuhan-level containment in recent days.
For Huanggang, containment meant barricading shops and residences. "In principle, a residential compound/district should only be left with one entrance. Older, or open, residential districts, should be barricaded off in order to achieve hard quarantine."
Great context here on the language officials are using to declare quarantine measures. Some have been direct, with others loose and widely interpreted.
Huanggang too has enacted a reward system for appealing to authorities for treatment. Like Wuhan, that most likely applies to others too. Neighbors turning in neighbors. With the infrastructure failing them, now patients are banned from dying at home.
Huanggang is also now building a makeshift hospital.
Despite all of these draconian and largely unscientific measures, authorities remain fear stricken and are being encouraged to do more. All until the virus can no longer survive, and sadly, maybe the people too.
Yet, this is the image that state media sells to the world, and to the hundreds of millions of Chinese trapped within their homes.
I've defended the WHO's relationship with China a lot here, but this is deeply troubling.
From a public health perspective, the surface-level of cities being quarantined, and widespread public health measures put in place appear to be fantastic efforts. But when you understand China, & see how that came to be below the surface, it's different:
After evacuating Hubei, @StephanieAYang & @ByShanLi from the WSJ are currently at Miramar and Travis AFB respectively, providing some of the best interviews of what life is like in the U.S. under a federally mandated quarantine. Listen to their interviews:
It won’t scale, and people might fall through the cracks, but I think everyone would prefer the equitable American model to what is playing out in China and Japan.
The Silicon Valley peeps are apparently fighting about the coronavirus or something. I don't know. Ongoing local transmission is possible in the U.S., and you should get your flu shot and wash your hands, but the only danger rn are these third degree burns
The COVID-19 epidemic is a real, substantive threat to the world. But the story to learn from China is in these videos, this unrest, that is occurring in the name of public health. The west may face our own battles, but we need to learn from these mistakes
A walk through Beijing. "Friends living in large building and communities are unable to do anything without going through layers of security and bureaucracy, but once you get outside, the city is still sort of working." h/t @_ppmv
@_ppmv Elsewhere in China, a man beaten with batons and tied to a tree. I have few words for these sights. The only feeling I have is this: we're witnessing a Cultural Revolution in fast forward.
@_ppmv One beautiful sight during Beijing's snowfall
Alongside the region's snow and rainfall, the PLA's field hospital apparatuses have faced some damages. This video displays the exact same pre-fab architecture from the state owned enterprise that built Huoshenshan and Leishenshan Hospital.
Another video of a leaky roof, which was rumored to have been taken in Huoshenshan Hospital. I can tell you that it is the same pre-fab, but not which hospital it was filmed in. You would expect these leaks, really, but they have soured some of the image that state media created.
This screenshot floated around, claiming the Huoshenshan Hospital's roof had blown off and it was severely damaged. Based on the weather, I think this is obviously untrue and an exaggeration. But the hospital did appear to have been leaking and damaged by the snow and rainfall.
State media was quick to extinguish these rumors and videos — to protect the triumphant symbol they created — claiming that the videos in question were from the second ongoing hospital Leishenshan, not Huoshenshan. That remains to be seen, but it is certainly possible.
Today state media channels featured this video, reportedly of People's Liberation Army guards standing at attention, protecting Huoshenshan Hospital. It's honestly eerie. The hospital meant to save lives, transformed into a PLA backlot for propaganda. What are they protecting?
Besides the weather mishaps, if Huoshenshan Hospital remains like the days when it first opened, the only duty of those soliders is to turn Hubei away. That is, if those people could get through the layers of bureaucracy at all. That's what they serve.
In what appears to be the Wuhan Keting convention center, one of the quarantine camps (that's what the authorities call them), there was rainfall damage as well.
Yesterday, the U.S. government's state-funded outlet Voice of America published this piece dubbed 'Bats For Sale at Indonesia Market Despite Coronavirus Warning.' It's upsetting to see America's largest outlet disregard science & shame a culture like this.
Senator Tom Cotton is a soulless vessel crafting disinformation to confuse and create fear in the American public. This tirade is beyond dangerous.
It’s at the point where Tom Cotton is not only spreading disinformation, but is a arbitrator of that disinformation. Is he any better than the authoritarian censorship that created this epidemic in early January?
There are more than enough valid reasons to be stark and hard against China and its growing influence around the globe. I’ve showed much of the playbook in this thread. But not now, not during this crisis. What Senator Tom Cotton is doing is unacceptable and a betrayal of us all.
On CNBC on Friday, the Squawk Box hosts spread this disinformation too. Alex Azar the HHS Secretary never refuted it. He left the air open, while the scientists and experts have time and time again disputed these conspiracy theories. We have the sequences!
What those people selling you conspiracies don’t want you to know is that the BSL-4 at the Wuhan Institute of Virology is the organization that identified, sequenced, and named 2019-nCoV. That’s what Biosafety Labs do. They save lives.…
“There is no evidence whatsoever of genetic engineering that we can find... The evidence we have is that the mutations [in the virus] are completely consistent with natural evolution.”…
The most damning theory about this epidemic already came true: a cover-up. Those fears became facts before our eyes. There remains a lot we don’t know, but a man-made bioweapon will never be true. It was the disaster & its aftershocks that were man-made.…
“Since the first Dec. 30 announcement of a new disease in Wuhan, the CCP has woven a tapestry of narratives, primarily for domestic political purposes, aligning official case and death numbers with the storylines.”
“Throughout those 2 vital weeks, the virus was spreading completely independently from the animal market, as it had been since at least mid-December. Throughout December & early January, about half of the coronavirus cases in Wuhan were entirely independent of the animal market”
“As the containment narrative proved fallible, and cities beyond Wuhan began to experience the frightening spread of the disease, the CCP turned to another familiar playbook: elevating the police state.”
“Wuhan’s lockdown was endangering not only the lives of coronavirus-infected individuals but also those of thousands of people who required medications and occasional treatment...Hospitals no longer welcomed them, medicines were running out, yet there is no count of their deaths”
“China is showing how all this can go wrong, making a crisis into a catastrophe. Xi’s government has provided the world with reams of data, but their credibility, or lack thereof, is inextricably bound to the CCP’s methods of governance, censorship, intimidation, and toadyism.“
On January 17th, 3 days after I started this thread alongside the tonal shift of the international community and the WHO, and 3 days before China would officially announce human-to-human transmission, the party knew:
On January 7th, the party knew and the narratives began:
I cannot validate this, and have previously described the bias of the group this reporter works for, but it certainly fits. A question that will live with the scientific community for a long is: when did Beijing know, and how could have we? It will be earlier than we think.
On February 4th, Xu Zhangrun published the beautiful essay ‘Viral Alarm: When Fury Overcomes Fear.’ In it, he foresaw the risks, and his future. He knew, but he also knew that not writing about Beijing’s rot would be more dangerous. He is now missing.…
“Xu is now incommunicado, but it is remarkable to see the groundswell of anger online toward the dictatorship. Citizens can’t denounce Xi by name, but they are skilled in evading censors — such as by substituting President Trump’s name for Xi’s.”…
“Doctors on the front line are working around the clock w/ limited supplies, taping up masks, using goggles made of plastic folders & eating only one meal a day or wearing diapers to go to the bathroom less often (that means removing protective clothing that can’t be replaced)”
“So far, more than 1,700 medical workers have been infected and at least six have died. The contrast between heroic doctors and bumbling political leaders could not be more stark.”
On China’s AIDS cover-up: “I will never forget a woman then who tried to give me her 4-year-old son because she was dying of AIDS and her husband had already died.”
In China years, the late 90s AIDS epidemic is a long ago history buried by the pre and post Xi timeline. But the slow burn event & its cover-up is such an important history to understand in these times. To this day, China faces an underreported HIV crisis.…
“From the late 1980s to early 1990s, the plasma market took off in several parts of Henan. Then Liu Quanxi became director of the Henan Health Department and strongly pushed the policy, which encouraged farmers to sell their blood.”
“In a few years, blood stations had spread everywhere in Henan... The places w/ the most blood stations then are the places w/ the most severe AIDS problem now. From 1998 to 2004, under [now Premier] Li Keqiang the AIDS incubation period passed, & a great number [developed AIDS]”
“In 1995, Henan Province began closing some blood-collecting stations. However, illegal blood stations are still active... I think the spread of H.I.V. is not totally under control.”
“They hid the truth from the public. They wouldn’t let the victims say it was blood transmission, only homosexual activity or drug use or prostitution. Since the officials suppressed information about the epidemic [the] epidemic wasn’t contained in time but kept getting worse.”
That was Dr. Gao Yaojie’s retelling of rural China’s AIDS crisis that she helped to uncover. Both her & Dr. Wang Shuping have lived in exile in the U.S. for years, betrayed by their country. Dr. Wang passed away in September, forever a whistleblower & hero…
“Wang Shuping discovered the HIV/AIDS epidemic. If Chinese officials had paid attention & taken timely measures, the Henan AIDS epidemic could never have been so serious...The blood plasma economy flourished in Henan. Wang Shuping was the first medical worker to stand up & fight”
So many pieces of the Henan AIDS Epidemic could read as words from today, from COVID-19. The stark parallels of poor farmers abused by local officials, left sick and lied to, make the prospects of Wuhan’s transfusions that much scarier. With all in exile, who will be their voice?
With the country locked away in their homes, and an unprecedented mobilization and dragnet afoot, what some feared — of Beijing opportunism — appears to be happening. The long-threatened human rights activists are being arrested under the safety blanket of the headlines.
On February 4th, while on the run, Xu Zhiyong wrote this to Xi Jinping. “Where are you taking China? Towards democracy or dictatorship? Modernization or the Cultural Revolution?"…
Like those that came before him and have disappeared under the veil of a coronavirus, Xu Zhiyong knew the risks.

He spoke anyway.

"China cannot go on like this. Think about it, people! What kind of China do we want to leave for future generations?"
“Officials still do not have the information they have repeatedly asked for from China, which some officials have argued warrants a tougher line from the United States.”…
Art of the Deal, aka how to die during a pandemic: “Trump has repeatedly told advisers pushing for a harder line against China could backfire because Xi controls the government ‘totally’ and will not work with the United States if they say anything negative about the country”
“On Sunday, Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post that forty four Americans who were traveling on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have been infected.”
“Several U.S. experts are now in Beijing, three senior administration officials said, but officials are still working to ensure those experts get access to the data and sites they need. And the CDC still does not have the information it wants”
“Trump grew concerned that any stronger action by his administration would hurt the economy, ‘ has told advisers he does not want the admin to do or say anything that would further spook the markets. He remains worried that any large-scale outbreak could hurt his reelection bid”
“Quarantine is the most extreme use of gov power over people who have committed no crime. As a legal matter the USSC recognized a seemingly unlimited local power to quarantine as early as 1824, in the case Gibbons v Ogden. It reaffirmed this power in 1900”…
US: “Officials can prevent travel, require vaccinations, make people submit to medical exams, & commandeer private property. Even those who are not sick can be ordered into quarantine—confined to their home or another location w/ others who may also have been exposed to a virus.”
“America’s defense against epidemics is divided among 2,684 state, local, and tribal public-health departments. Each one is responsible for monitoring people within its jurisdiction, imposing isolation or quarantine as needed.” Let’s hope they’re learning from China’s turmoil!
“Federal quarantine orders, however, are implemented & enforced by state health authorities, not federal officials. That means state & local health departments provide the labor, set the rules, monitor people who might have been exposed to the virus, & trace the contacts“
“States may choose to ignore fed quarantine guidelines, or they may decide that more drastic measures are required, such as a lockdown against a neighboring city or region... Variation from 1 location to another could also make an epidemic worse as each state makes its own rules”
“Japan's health minister on Sunday urged the public to avoid crowds & ‘non-essential gatherings,’ including notoriously packed commuter trains, to prevent [spread] in the country. [He] warned the nation was ‘entering a new phase’ in the outbreak”…
Japan’s higher alerts came after this growing body of evidence of local human-to-human transmission. Possibly sustained. Japan and Singapore are both in a race against time now.…
“A woman in her 80s in Kanagawa Prefecture who tested positive for the coronavirus died Thursday, marking the first deadly case in Japan. She had not traveled to China before she was diagnosed with pneumonia and hospitalized on Feb. 1, according to the health ministry.”
“A taxi driver in his 70s residing in Tokyo & reported to be the dead woman’s son-in-law... [He] primarily operated w/in the capital’s 23 special wards... About 80 people from the taxi association, including the driver, attended a boat party on Jan 18 & 10 are symptomatic”
Meanwhile in Japan, two U.S. Embassy flights have departed with passengers from the Diamond Princess. 70 more cases were diagnosed on that ship today. It hosts more than 50% of cases outside of China.…
Based on Japan and Singapore, and the transmission capability evident on that cruise ship, this epidemic appears like it will no longer be a China-centric problem very soon. Within weeks, or even, this week in a worst case scenario.
“Tedros took office on 1 July 2017 w/ an ambitious to-do list: Reform WHO, strengthen evidence-based decision-making, highlight the health impact of climate change, & provide 1B more w/ health coverage. But the 2019-nCoV epidemic will overshadow [that]”…
“If Tedros wants WHO to stay informed about what’s happening in China & influence how the country handles the epidemic, he cannot afford to antagonize the touchy gov—even though the country has been less than fully transparent about the outbreak’s early stages & perhaps still is”
“During his tenure, from 2005 to 2012, he is credited w/ building up a network of more than 40,000 female health workers in rural areas who dispense malaria drugs, immunize children, and care for pregnant women. Deaths from AIDS, malaria, & tuberculosis dropped by more than half”
“‘If there is a major outbreak, it’s not just a health problem. It can have economic, political, and social impact,’ he warned. [Tedros] did not know at the time that the biggest emergency of his career was already brewing in Wuhan, China.”
A very interesting glimpse into the WHO’s funding model. It relies on pillar projects, and goodwill (plus appeasement) of donor states. That means it can sometimes have little autonomy. “It’s like a country which is dependent on oil.”
“He frequently mentions his brother, who died young, Tedros believes of measles. That loss taught him to see individuals when he reads another staggering death statistic”
Designed in Japan, components from China, assembled in Vietnam, and its largest market in the U.S., Nintendo is dwindling stockpiles and orders are pilling up. Advanced manufacturing is the loudest example, but this will be everything within weeks.…
It’s more than the shuttered Chinese factories. The second order effects are whacky. Hundreds of thousands of shipping containers are trapped in China, and its becoming harder for the rest of the world to export goods. There are fewer boxes and ships.…
“In gas markets, one Chinese company declared force majeure... There are now 12 empty liquefied gas carriers sitting off the coast of Qatar, one of the world’s biggest producers... Chinese buyers of liquefied petroleum gas are re-offering & diverting cargoes elsewhere”
A lot of economists have been watching China’s coal usage, and they’re spooked. Keep in mind that everyone is at home, and China runs on coal plants. Just enough to keep the lights on. There won’t be any economic activity for some time.
Somehow that is still enough coal to do this:
China put a monetary travel ban into practice, is reportedly cleaning and stockpiling bills, and printing more. Wuhan is a Tier 2 city and would fall in line with the <10% cash usage. An interesting, but puzzling focus.…
Cleaning notes seems obvious, but I’m a bit skeptical. Is it yet another tangible front of this ‘do something’ viral apparatus? Or is this a push of some kind of demonetisation? Remember that China’s cashless society is largely propped up for the purpose of economic surveillance.
With foot travel bans in place now across more than 1 province, and each residence only allowed to have 1 person leave every 2 days, is cash now being used to circumvent some of the dragnet surveillance? Is that distrust what authorities are truly responding to w/ a forced hand?
Haven’t seen a confirmation, but WeChat Pay and AliPay are almost certainly being used for tracing and surveillance too. Cell phone pings are among the most widespread datapoint; here is how that works (or doesn’t)
The state-owned cell carriers have of course long used this surveillance technology in partnership with government initiatives, but it’s far more widespread now. So much granularity & footwork. A chatbot that stalks you and delivers your breadcrumbs to the cadre at the checkpoint
“The platform aims to help users ‘reduce psychological panic’ around the epidemic by allowing them to make preliminary judgments about their medical conditions, according to Baidu.”…
If Xinjiang was burning during this COVID-19 epidemic, would the world know?
This was not found footage. This was created by state media, and it falls strictly in line with the many examples of Xinjiang’s cultures being washed during China’s brutal crackdown. It sells a false narrative domestically and abroad. Why, Reuters?
I documented that blast across official Chinese social media channels when the videos appeared last week. We have seen enough evidence that the central government has used this epidemic as a platform. Don’t let ethnic cultures be cleansed in the name of public health.
The fact that China is now engaging concerns surrounding Xinjiang’s at-risk concentration camps with prominent Communist Party members makes me even more frightened for those people during this epidemic.
In the replies to the Global Times' disinformation campaign surrounding the at risk populations in Xinjiang's concentration camps are a laundry list of familiar fake profiles. A coordinated network amplifying state disinformation & astroturfing the discord of human rights abuses.
Here are 4 archived profiles from that disinformation network. All created in 2019. All amplifying the same content, with identical tweets. A poorly architected network trying to amplify Xinjiang's official response to the blooming humanitarian crisis in Xinjiang during COVID-19.
All of those accounts center around two topics: Xinjiang and COVID-19. They almost always amplify state media content, sometimes organically, or simply by reply and retweet. The actors behind these accounts wanted to reach platforms like Reuters w/ that content, and they did.
When I talk about Xinjiang's ethnic cultures being washed, this is what I mean. In the Wuhan Keting convention center, with COVID-19 patients quaritined, were those dances organic? If state media orchestrated it, just like this, then you can assume not.
Like we saw during the Hong Kong protests, this bot network is not at all sophisticated. I unwound it with a profile clicks and searches, and they're evidently riding the follow-for-follow networks like clear bots. Many are even amplifying each other. Disinfo brigade unite
I assume the reason these networks can just ride free, even though they're amateur, is that traditional automated unwinding techniques like reverse image searches don't work; the content originates from behind the Chinese Firewall. Tools like TinEye don't crawl the Chinese web.
There are many, many accounts & networks out there like this that have appeared in 2019. As I have showed in this thread, there is a reason China's ministries are coming online & utilizing western platforms. We're amidst a potential pandemic & a sino infowar.
If the Diamond Princess was the leading indicator, I deeply fear for the millions in Xinjiang's concentration camps. The bots want you to think everything is okay — and that means the world needs to be more vigilant than ever.
SARS-CoV-2 spreads through the fecal-oral route, possibly even infectious as an aerosol. There is so much we don't know, but we do know, from these stories, that Xinjiang's concentrated are forced to use buckets in packed dormitories. They will burn.…
Expect massive economic dislocations. Hundreds of millions of people are scared to leave their homes. With the trickle of outside information they receive, they’re even more disconcerted with their government. The Chinese people are resilient, but this will be a long ‘temporary.’
Called around to a few chains in the U.S. today and was fairly alarmed by the lack of preparedness for COVID-19. There is no teatment, but there are influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. Walgreens no longer carries the flu shot and had a stringent 65+ policy for PCV13 and PPSV23.
There has obviously been a run on face masks in the West over the last month, and a disrupted supply, but it seems like even standard bleach is disappearing from shelves. Are people prepping, or is this another supply disruption? Assembled in the U.S. with global chemistry.
If people are hoarding bleach now, I just hope it’s for cleaning, and not for feeding to children as a coronavirus cure 😬
This has made a lot of clever headlines and easy jokes, but it’s a really sad story on the state of Hong Kong. The government’s disorder led to these runs on stores & created a toilet paper black market. It really does increasingly feel like a failed state…
Hong Kong is sinking. After this outbreak has settled, and trust restoration begins across Mainland China, will that occur in Hong Kong too? Or will the territory continue down this trend, falling into China's long game?…
"Average daily traffic to [Hong Kong] plummeted to fewer than 3,000 people, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board. That’s an almost 99% decline from just shy of 200,000 a day during the same period last year... Arrivals averaged about 100,000 a day in January"
Sadly, I was correct about Apple's restoration prospects. Though, I think the company must have intentionally misled investors. They knew what the unprecendented steps in Hubei meant for China. Tim Cook is the world leader of just in time manufacturing.…
"We are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated. As a result, we do not expect to meet the revenue guidance we provided for the March quarter due to two main factors... Worldwide iPhone supply will be temporarily constrained."
Apple: "Demand for our products within China has been affected. All of our stores in China and many of our partner stores have been closed. Additionally, stores that are open have been operating at reduced hours and with very low customer traffic."
More likely than not, the next iPhone will be delayed.…
Just how far will the disinfection craze go? Does no one in China recognize how dangerous it is to just spray bleach on everyone?
The viral host is us. Particulates can land on inanimate objects and fabrics, but it's contact with people that most prominently spreads viruses. A virus will die if all of the hosts do, but I'm not sure that's what we want here. Chemically burning everyone's membranes is a start
"In a cohort study of 73 262 US female nurses [who were] followed up from 2009 to 2015, occupational exposure to cleaning products and disinfectants was significantly associated with a 25% to 38% increased risk of developing COPD"…
An abuse of public health: "The activist, who had briefly sheltered Xu and declined to be named on safety concerns, said police had visited his home on a 'coronavirus prevention' check as well as the homes of others who had helped Xu in recent days."…
"Xu’s girlfriend, Li Qiaochu, a Beijing-based feminist and labour rights activist, has also been missing since she sent a message that 'someone is knocking at my door' early on Sunday, according to Hu Jia, a veteran activist based in Beijing"
Lancet biopsy: "The man received [the] anti-infection treatment interferon alfa-2b, the AIDS medicines lopinavir and ritonavir, and the antibiotic moxifloxacin to prevent a secondary bacterial infection. He also received the steroid methylprednisolone"…
Here is a great interpretation of the PLA's first published biopsy of a COVID-19 patient:
Like SARS, corticosteroid treatment is proving harmful
The WHO has recommended against clinical use of Corticosteroids since Jan. 28th. "No unique reason exists to expect that patients with 2019-nCoV infection will benefit from corticosteroids, & they might be more likely to be harmed w/ such treatment"…
"[MERS] patients who were given corticosteroids were more likely to require mechanical ventilation, vasopressors, and renal replacement therapy."
An excellent thread on bat coronaviruses, antibodies, viral evolution, the practicalities of biosafety labs, and bioweapons. Fairly basic understanding of any of this debunks the conspiracy theories.
The world has sarin gas, anthrax, and gene therapies. SARS-CoV-2 would be an awful bioweapon. Hell, no one under 50 in the U.S. has had the smallpox vaccine, there is no vaccine stockpile, & every government has some laying around. Oh, and you can make it.…
A batch of new genome sequences are putting holes in the pangolin host theory:
Pangolins are of course not ruled out as the animal that originated this outbreak. But, really, it doesn't actually mater. The virus made the leap, and we are the host animal now.
One of the discussions playing out these days is whether a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine would be harmful. During the early SARS vaccine work, there was evidence of hypersensitivities, meaning the vaccine might prime your immune system to attack the virus, and you.…
Not all vaccines are equal, however. One of CEPI's COVID-19 grant recipients Inovio has an experimental vaccine and are prepping a China trial. If it is like their MERS-CoV results, it may break through those fears.…
Another health worker has died in Wuhan. Hours ago, his death was stated by a local official, then denied, and finally again confirmed by state media. It’s reminiscent of the Li Wenliang reporting.
“Global oil demand is expected to fall in the first three months of the year—the first quarterly drop in more than a decade”…
“Singapore Airlines on Tuesday says it will temporarily cut flights across its global network in March, April and May... The move cuts 670 flights across 96 routes [with] Japan and South Korea flights the most affected.”…
Taiwain’s public health spokesdog Zongchai…
What a lovely disconnect from China’s bleach spraying mobilization hellscape
I’d accept martial law under this president
Besides Taiwan’s objections over the lack of information access from ICAO and the WHO during this outbreak, there has actually been some China aggression in recent days too.
Those initial reports didn’t really do justice for how aggressive the game had become. With China’s evident opportunism in rounding up long-time activists, knowing they would be buried by COVID-19 headlines, this has given some experts pause. Is this the end?
“President Xi Jinping was directing efforts to contain the country’s spreading novel coronavirus on Jan 7, nearly two weeks before his first public remarks on the topic. The comprehensive account of Xi’s involvement upended the previous official narrative”…
“The timeline shows Xi first addressed the issue w/ China’s supreme decision-making body before Chinese scientists told their peers around the world... He also didn’t order a quarantine of Hubei until 15 days later... Scientists already had confirmed evidence of h2h transmission”
“Chang Kai, a notable director, died on Feb 14 from pneumonia caused by the virus also known as Covid-19, according to an obituary... He was 55. His father, mother, & older sister also died from the same illness between Jan 28 & Feb 14”…
“Chang’s father first reported symptoms of coronavirus infection on Jan. 25, the first day of the Lunar New Year. Chang took the older man to several hospitals in Wuhan but was turned away each time due to a shortage of beds. Three days later, Chang’s father died.”
“One of Chang’s former college classmates showed Caixin a message written by the filmmaker on his deathbed describing his family’s fruitless search for hospital beds, his grief at his parents’ demise, and his own ailing health.”
It really seems like China will postpone the National People’s Congress.…
“With [more than a thousand] passengers already headed for destinations on at least three continents, health officials are scrambling... It may be harder than ever to keep the coronavirus outbreak contained to China.”…
The timeline of the Westerdam’s COVID-19 case is puzzling. Unless it was quickly contracted in Cambodia, the most compelling theory to me is that those passengers were not alone and there was sustained h2h transmission occuring while at sea.
Yet, oddly: “All 362 Indonesian citizens working aboard the MS Westerdam cruise liner currently docked in Cambodia are healthy, said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Monday.”…
“Singapore’s Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said on Monday that two Singaporean passengers who were on board the MS Westerdam are being quarantined in a Government Quarantine Facility.”
“Dr. William Walters at the U.S. State Department told reporters that 260 American citizens remain in hotels in Cambodia pending onward travel, and 92 more are on board the MS Westerdam. Around 300 Americans left Cambodia after testing.” Uh oh!…
"Guests at a hotel in Phnom Penh have all completed the COVID-19 screening. Results are being returned when completed, with the first batch of 406 all being negative. Cleared guests may travel home, and arrangements are being made for those guests.“
"Holland America has been pretty darn good; it’s the State Department that has been the problem. Their information is not consistent, it’s inaccurate."
Hadn’t seen this reported before, but I have to laugh at it: “American ambassador to Cambodia, W. Patrick Murphy, brought his own family to greet the passengers streaming off the ship”…
Cambodia did the right thing, as did the U.S. ambassador. They couldn’t have known. But it was known that the ship without a port would be without supplies and devulge into a humanitarian crisis. This was more likely than not inevitably a global problem from the onset.
Actually insane: “On Monday, Mr. Hun Sen directed officials in Phnom Penh to treat passengers from the Westerdam to a sightseeing jaunt. ‘To tour the city is better than staying in rooms or at the hotel feeling bored or scared,’ said a post on Mr. Hun Sen’s Facebook page.”
“On Monday afternoon, more than 100 Westerdam passengers took up Mr. Hun Sen’s offer of a capital tour, piling in buses to see the royal palace and other sites. In pictures of the excursion, posted on a government-linked website, only one person can be seen wearing a mask.”
Have talked about Cambodia’s ‘friendship’ extensively in this thread. How far will it go? “Chinese cash has remade Cambodia... [Sihanoukville] is now a sprawling construction site of gilded casinos & towering residential blocks. More than 90% of businesses are now Chinese owned”
“Various environmental factors can distort thermometer gun reading, said Gary Strahan, who runs a small infrared device company in Texas. ‘In Cambodia, you have warmer background temperatures. It could impact the measurement. That’s the issue w/ any noncontact thermometer.’”
“Health monitoring for the rest of the [Westerdam] passengers was limited to a handful of temperature checks conducted with infrared thermometers, passengers said.“
“Passengers hailed from 41 countries and territories, with the largest number from the U.S... There were about 650 Americans aboard... 2,257 passengers and crew.”…
“Thailand, the last country to turn the Westerdam away, said it will subject returnees to a 14-day quarantine and also give them the option of a self-quarantine.”
“In the Netherlands, RIVM National Institute for Public Health said it plans to test all 91 Dutch citizens returning from the trip, according to a spokesman. If they have no symptoms, they can go home and will be monitored through local health authorities.”
“Canada, which had the second-biggest group of passengers with 271 citizens ‘[They] will undergo further examination and screening,’ said Tammy Jarbeau, spokeswoman for Public Health Agency of Canada. They will also be asked to self-isolate for two weeks“
“The CDC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection didn’t immediately respond to how the U.S. plans to deal with returning Westerdam passengers”
The boomer bus tour through Cambodia has me on the edge of my seat with this MS Westerdam plot line. Won’t be the last time we hear about it.
A reminder that a number of African countries beholden to the Belt & Road Initative — and the same friendship and its risk acceptance that we saw in Cambodia — have yet to repatriate their citizens. “Bring us home”…
In Hong Kong, shop owners are protesting for landlords to waive rent during the city’s economic slow down and crisis. Many across Mainland China, while less visible, are facing the same challenge.…
Rent and salaries are one challenge, but there are few customers now too. The impact of this epidemic is indescribable.
An entire economy on pause. While the Lunar New Year foreshadowed viral spread and supply chain disruptions, it also meant that there was preemptive fiscal planning in place to weather the lull. That timeline is exhausted now.
The cargo planes remain in the air, but the only real comparison for this commercial airline disruption is when all flights were grounded by the FAA on 9/11. Empty skies.
There is really no comparison for many of these disruptions. Just unprecedented. The power of evolution and inaction is humbling.
The skies are at 17% of standard capacity
It’s not just the air. Sea ports are also in holding patterns.
The one sector staying afloat is grocery. But it’s unequal. In places like Hubei, the stringent travel restrictions have made scenes like this impossible. There, supply chains are lagging. Local officials have slowly smoothed food transport, but it’s scaled back and slow.
A number of videos appearing have displayed giant builds up of farm outputs, claiming they are going to waste because of road closures. This video may be unrelated, but the stories seem very plausible.
From the little I have seen reported, my understanding is that places like Wuhan have become increasingly reliant on other provinces as authority shifted to Beijing & measures kneecapped self-reliance. That model seems ripe to fail if Hubei’s restrictions engulf the country.
A number of these long incubation stories have been reported, with quarantines across China now being lengthened. You should take them with a grain of salt. The scarier story would not be latent infections, but little observation of active h2h. An overemphasis on Hubei and Wuhan.
This one is a particularly awful example. It describes a 94 day incubation period. There is a lot we don’t know, but that’s deeply implausible. Far more likely is sustained h2h occurring in this provinces, while authorities are only tracing Wuhan travelers…
The response to cases like that, even if they are simply wrong, will be local authorities escalating quarantine measures in this competitive metric-driven arms race. Will we see a 3 month quarantine enacted? I have little doubt. When the doors are unsealed, will we see skeletons?
Likely somewhere in SE China. Police climbing over a village barricade and firing their gun. Bullets won't end this epidemic, but they will further tear China apart.
In this village, the greater threat to life than COVID-19 is this officer's temper and trigger discipline.
Not a great mixture.
During this epidemic, we've seen an alarming number of armed patrols — and the accompanying propaganda. It's worth notting that this is a really recent history for China, only beginning in 2014. This is how local authorities advertised weaponization at the time:
Local police in China are still afraid of those firearms, and they aren't exactly widespread. It's such a new gun culture that the training is abhorrent, and leads to some of those sights.…
Weaponization largely stemmed from 1 incident: the 2014 Kunming railway station terror attack, which killed 31 civilians in a mass stabbing. Chinese railway guards were largely without defense; 2 were killed.
After a series of uncoordinated knife attacks throughout the country post-2010, authorities had adopted 'riot forks' at the time. They very publicly failed at Kunming, and the focus was then on firearms.
That attack — described as separatism — is believed to have been perpetrated in part because of a growing number Muslim crackdowns across Xinjiang. But, it single handily exploded the directionality, headlining the Communist Party's brutal Strike Hard Campaign and its camps.
Over the last month, we've witnessed so many eerie parallels to Kunming and Xinjiang in China's viral hardening. 1 event changed China, with bizarre overreactions far surpassing public health measures. Viral hosts crushed under a brutal regulative grid.
While extremism became a narrative for the Chinese government to fuel a cultural cleansing campaign, the much larger number of underreported attacks are in part why China is suffering so greatly during this epidemic. In December, another doctor murdered:…
The shocking scale of violence against doctors in China is a crisis that has directly contributed to a decline of health workers across the country — and that has of course exacerbated the current COVID-19 epidemic.…
Then, it was separatists. The answer was concentration camps and armed police. Now it's viral hosts. The answer is to ban everything, patrol the streets with firearms, attack villagers, and weld doors shut. The answer was never to support doctors. It was to display authority.
"With airlines scaling back flights in and out of China, some travelers are stuck... The wealthy ones are turning to private jet operators... But the companies are having to turn them away due to travel bans and a lack of available planes and crews."…
"Many simply do not want to send their aircraft & crews into mainland China. Aside from the risk of exposure for the crews, the operational & business concern is that when they [return] they will essentially be unable to work for 2 weeks as they will have to go into quarantine''
"Singapore-based MyJet Asia said it has seen an increase of 80%-90% in the last month... VistaJet said it has seen double digit growth in enquiries... A lot of people went away for Chinese New Year and are now struggling to get back to China"
Of all of the impacts on transit, the thing that is most concerning to me is that Uber is banning drivers — and anyone who then got in that car — because they have interacted with a coronavirus patient. Did we learn nothing from China?…
First it was Mexico City, then London. "Uber suspended the accounts of everyone involved for two weeks, the virus’ incubation period, and said it would continue to monitor the situation."…
Valid: “People will take rides anywhere if they feel sick. I’ve taken people who are coughing, sneezing, basically dying in my car... Uber should send out a mass email or text to tell people if they feel sick to stay isolated. That’s what I’d say in order not to spread anything.”
In China, taxi drivers have air gapped their cabins. But notably: many haven't stopped operating. Without a car and public transit, how else do you get to a hospital? Uber's logic is deeply flawed.
Despite the insanity happening across China, Didi rolled out a fleet of drivers in Wuhan for medical staff transportation. The need didn't just disappear with a sickness. A far disconnect from Uber's blanket bans. Actual value add.…
One of the loud spoken couples on the Diamond Princess have tested positive. “Frankly I think this is a setup! We are NOT being taken to a hospital but a hostel."…
"No phone, no wi-fi and no medical facilities. I really am smelling a very big rat here! Waiting for the transfer now.”
British Foreign Office: "We have the utmost concern for the British people currently on the cruise ship. We are ensuring those who have been diagnosed with coronavirus receive the best possible care in Japan and are organizing a flight back to the UK for other British nationals"
The guy that said he would have to be dragged off of the Diamond Princess because he liked the food apparently actually denied the U.S. Embassy's repatriation and stayed behind.
"Over the weekend, Canada announced similar plans to evacuate its own, and on Tuesday morning, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said their governments would follow suit."…
"The number of confirmed infections on the Diamond Princess alone had reached 542, but for some, the situation had long been seen as dire. According to data from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, those aged 60 & above made up more than 80% of the ship’s guests"
A study on these passengers may provide real evidence of h2h aerosol transmission: "those in inner cabins [of the Diamond Princess] without windows were forced to turn to air conditioning for ventilation, widely perceived as a cross-contamination risk."
"Those who test negative will be allowed to leave between Wednesday & Friday, while those who test positive will be hospitalized. The same measures will apply to crew. Most of the passengers to be released on Wednesday will be Japanese, w/ priority being given to the elderly"
"3 new infections in central Tokyo, including 2 men in serious condition, one in his 50s & the other in his 80s... Cases were reported in Aichi & Kanagawa prefectures. The Aichi case is an acquaintance of 2 others & the Kanagawa case is a taxi driver. Both men are in their 60s."
Japan increasingly looks like it is spiraling, and the number of those in serious condition, and their ages, are concerning. Japan's median age is 47.3. China's is 37.4, which is more comparable to the US at 38.1. COVID-19 is not friendly to the elderly; bad news for aging Japan.
Japan: "Wakayama Prefecture reported 3 new infections, including an inpatient in his 60s at Saiseikai Arida Hospital in Yuasa, a teenage son of an infected doctor at the hospital, and a man in his 30s who worked as a member of a medical team sent to the Diamond Princess"
With the remaining Diamond Princess passengers departing later today, the CDC is now enacting a travel ban. "[The quarantine] may not have been sufficient... The rate of infections represents an ongoing risk." Will Japan be next?
"The Japanese government has repeatedly defended the effectiveness of the quarantine. But some experts suggest it may have been less than rigorous. In a possible sign of lax quarantine protocols, 3 Japanese health officials [tested positive]"…
"We need to understand how the quarantine measures on board were implemented, what the air filtration on board is like, how the cabins are connected and how waste products are disposed of... There’s no reason this (quarantine) should not have worked if it had been done properly"
"Shigeru Omi, a former regional director for the [WHO], said quarantine is one of the measures considered effective early on. But the virus has already made its way into local communities across Japan, where untraceable cases have been popping up, he said."
"At this stage, 'the spreading of the virus will be inevitable, and that’s why quarantine is out of the question' Omi said. He said the focus now should shift from border control to preventing the spread in local communities."
"[Japan's] government is making 'preparations so that clinical trials using HIV medication on the novel coronavirus can start as soon as possible,' Yoshihide Suga told a briefing, but added he could not say how long it might take to approve a drug’s use.'…
"People in China have begun exploring unorthodox ways to get treated, with some appealing to HIV patients and unauthorized importers for medicine." I assume what people are trying to get is lopinavir/ritonavir sold as Kaletra.
But what those preppers will probably obtain is PrEP drugs like Descovy and Truvada. I don't think they are effaceable; at least haven't seen reports or trials. But what will happen is that those who need the drugs for HIV prevention won't be able to get them. A setback for China
Here is some deep-clinical reading on the antiviral agents that clinicians are experimenting w/ right now. Few outside of remdesivir may even be effective. But because they're already available, they're disproportionally promoted, causing that panic buying…
There has been some evidence of disulfiram (Antabuse) effectiveness ex vivo on SARS and MERS, but never in humans. Reports of that may mean the alcohol dependency drug supply dries up, not just because the factories are down, but because people are buying it in panic for COVID-19
Fear and opportunism is getting to Japan too, sadly.
"14 of the more than 300 American evacuees flown out from a quarantined U.S. operated cruise ship in Japan back to the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19"…
"U.S. authorities discovered 14 passengers from the Diamond Princess were infected with the virus after they had left the cruise ship but before planes took off; they were subsequently moved to a 'specialized containment area' on the planes"
A thread here about the perspective of a Kobe University Hospital infectious disease specialist that reportedly boarded the Diamond Princess and was not impressed.
You can listen to Dr. Iwata's words about the bureaucracy that created the Diamond Princess quarantine disaster here, in English:
A better picture of the age group disease burden, which is pressing for older — yet more urbanized — countries like Japan.
In Europe, Germany’s outbreak would be worsened by the demographic too.
If you haven’t watched this yet, please do. It’s damning. Some theorize that this ship, not other travelers, has been Japan’s true epicenter. Infectious disease workers were eating w/ contaminated PPI, using cell phones, & not enforcing green & red zones.
The headlines have slowed, but this is far from over 😔
51 South Korea cases in the last 24 hours.
COVID-19 is accelerating outside of China now. Many of the countries reporting growth are those with better surveillance too. It's larger than we can currently see.
That graphic, and others I will use, are from this excellent spreadsheet tool:
Hong Kong's lack of cases has been a surprise to many. Haven't heard many theories as to why. But the countries to focus on are Singapore, Japan, now South Korea. Ordered by age: Singapore, South Korea, Japan. Many factors, but age & lifestyle appear big.
A really heartbreaking sight. The sacrifices from health workers in China have been immense.
This is the context of that video, reportedly related to the death of hospital director Liu Zhiming.
This is making the rounds, claiming to be Chinese escaping the country into Vietnam. I'm almost certain that it is misrepresented, and that this is not true.
The building displayed in that video is fairly unique, named the Huu Nghi Door Building at Friendship Pass. That's an official Vietnam-China border between Guangxi and Lạng Sơn. It only opened in 2017. The video must be new (as in years), but unrelated.…
It is not just similar architecture. The building is a pride of this region, so there are many photographs. On the right, a 360 image from Dec. On the left is a video still showing the same brightly colored building. The biggest problem: those people are traveling from Vietnam.
There are also some glaring issues, like: why would you illegally cross at a legal border? Another issue: the one man that you can make out is not wearing a mask. This region of Vietnam is as frightened as China right now. They're wearing masks.
My guess is that the video was filmed last year during the Lunar New Year, potentially of a surge of Chinese (though could be the other way around) exiting Vietnam. It just resurfaced as Vietnam itself has been panicking. Local media amplifies that theory:…
"Japan is starting to see a surge in cases in multiple areas across the country - sometimes w/ little to link the outbreaks... Passengers began leaving the quarantined vessel on Wednesday (Feb 19) amid concerns some might later test positive"…
"Japan's stance of rejecting travel bans for Chinese tourists [in January] stood in stark contrast to nations such as Australia, which barred entry. Chinese tourism to Japan hit a January record high, with Tokyo's travel curbs only taking effect on Feb 1."
"Businesses in HK & Singapore implemented work-from-home experiments on a scale never before seen... Abe merely acknowledged telework as 'one effective strategy...' Companies are banning events & allowing employees to work at home... little push to implement a widescale lockdown"
"Tokyo rush-hour trains remained as packed as ever, leading Mr Abe to call on Japan's famously hard-working residents to stay home from work or students from school if they suspect they have a cold."
"This virus spread very, very fast. Not only China, not only Japan, but also many other countries cannot catch up with the speed of this virus. Even if they implemented a travel ban to all of China, it is too late." Hitoshi Oshitani, Professor of Virology at Tohoku University
After the reports of the egregious discrepancies of PPI being delivered to Hong Kong police over first responders and health workers:
Students from China-affiliated African countries are not the only ones trapped in Hubei. Pakistan, which accepts a ton of Chinese investment, has its hands tied too in this geopolitical theater.…
That's not the only China-Pakistan problem! Can you think of anything more apocalyptic than an unprecedented viral outbreak AND locust swarms attacking this region at the same time?…
"Speculation and hoarding is happening for key commodities like wheat and sugar"…
A Diamond Princess favorite was finally approved to disembark that sinking ship
It won't be the last time we hear of the thousands who disembarked that failed quarantine. But at least one nightmare came to an end.
"Medical supplies donated to the Red Cross Society of Wuhan branch sit unused in warehouses. Officials in Xiantao, a city 70mi from Wuhan & one of the world’s biggest manufacturing centers for protective supplies, ordered factories to cease operations"…
"[Chinese] authorities said on Monday that over 3,000 medical workers have been infected"
"The Red Cross Society is one of two government-controlled organizations through which Beijing monopolizes philanthropy. The Wuhan government has insisted that all donations go through the local chapter. The Red Cross Society is notorious for corruption and inefficiency"
"The Red Cross Society has been slow in giving away masks and other supplies... When the society did give out masks, it gave the best and the most directly to local government agencies instead of to front line hospitals, according to its own data."
"On Feb. 11, the Wuhan government’s epidemic-fighting central command received nearly 19,000 N95 medical masks... Union Hospital received only 450. It was 1 of only 4 hospitals that received masks. On Feb 13, all N95 masks went to local health commissions. None went to hospitals"
"[The volunteer donation organizer] almost cried, he told a chat group, when he saw doctors and nurses at a local fever clinic had nothing for protection except ordinary surgical masks. The head of the clinic was so grateful, he said, that she gave him four watermelons."
Stories like this, of government officials putting themselves first — while people die — to save face, are just so upsetting. The party failed the people of Wuhan.
Going into this story, it was pretty clear that we would encounter some kind of Beijing cover-up, as you always do. We did. But what I never expected was that we would see thousands more, at every provincial, municipal, and village level. The rot runs deep.
There are disinfectant tanks! What's next?
The reality of infectious disease containment is much more harrowing than the fictionalization of 'disinfection' that state media & CCP officials have crafted as a tentpole fixture of this epidemic. Faces bruised & bloodied. The sores of PPI and real work:
"As of yesterday, a total of 32,395 medical workers have been sent to Hubei Province... The medics have been dispatched in 278 teams from across the country, Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission, said on Thursday"…
Kinda crazy that a real estate giant could pull strings with local officials to transport robot vending machines into Wuhan with cranes but medical supplies and liquid oxygen are largely still cut off…
Yesterday, three excellent WSJ reporters who had been covering the COVID-19 epidemic were expelled from China. I've featured work from all of them in this thread.
The Chinese government was quick to point out why, claiming that it was a response to a 'racist' WSJ op-ed.
That had long been brewing. Here is the chief disinformation bro laying the groundwork earlier this month:
The op-ed in question used a headline that could easily be interpreted as derogatory. That's not for me to decide.
The expression has long been used to refer to other nations too. But, in that context, it should never have hit the wire. It's abhorrent for a number of reasons.
The Chinese internet, fueled by state media's framing & amplification, were up in arms. Many diaspora were offended too. But, considering the little reach I observed on Twitter, I'd bet many of the signatories of this White House petition weren't American…
The Wall Street Journal is of course blocked by Great Firewall and most Chinese would never have seen this article.
See, in recent years, this has been a tried-and-true tactic of the Communist Party. State media outlets selectively choose missteps and put the weight of their channels behind them, declaring racism, foreign interference, & the rest. That's the truth.
That tactic doesn't make opinions less true, but it does weaponize & leverage them for agendas. These narratives are a perpetual false flag used to stir up discord. It's part of why Chinese nationalism — the root of the mobilizations we witnessed — have become so intense under Xi
The upsetting reality of this aggressive ordeal is that those WSJ journalists were not op-ed writers. They weren't on the byline, or even connected. That China bureau was actually against the op-ed:
The Chinese government even recognized the newsroom's independence:
Beijing's timing, however, made the motives quite clear. The day before, the U.S. government — in a long in-the-works effort — reclassified Chinese state media properties as foreign assets. This was simple retaliation. That headline was just a tool.
Their expulsion comes during a great challenge to the Communist Party, one that has undermined Xi's agendas. It was never about the headline. It was always about the party's agenda. Their lives were uprooted for the party to have a triumph amidst failure.
Those 3 great reporters join a list who have suffered greatly for writing the truth about China. This time, the crisis was a coronavirus, and 3 fell. The vacuum of information that the Chinese government desires is accelerating. They won't be the last.
Earlier this week, one of the expelled journalists reporting from the ground in Wuhan: life blood returning to a city as it approached a full month of lockdown. Soon, all we will see of this epidemic, and the next, will be through a little red-tinged lens.
“[Adidas] said Wednesday that a ‘pronounced traffic reduction within the remaining store fleet’ had seen business activity tumble roughly 85% when compared to the same period a year earlier.”…
“Adidas said it had also seen some traffic declines in other markets, predominantly Japan and South Korea”
I really don’t understand what is going on with this picture, when a lot of your market is prioritizing food over athleisure, your sales collapsed, and your supply chain is on the verge of halting entirely: “Shares of Adidas were up around 1.5% Wednesday morning.”
More than two thirds of Samsung devices are assembled in Vietnam and Samsung is currently forced to fly parts in to keep the lines moving due to land transport disruption.…
“Companies found the border with China closed or restricted for trade in both directions... Hanoi has imposed a quarantine on truck drivers returning from China, making some reluctant to drive there for fear of losing wages.”
“LG Electronics, another South Korean technology manufacturer which produces mostly low to mid-end smartphones in Vietnam, is facing similar supply disruptions.”
How Samsung is responding to fleeting foot traffic in South Korea: “Samsung customers who want to try out the Galaxy S20 can have one delivered to their door and can use it for up to 24 hours.” Not just China now!…
“Beijing’s top representative in Hong Kong, Luo Huining, has condemned medical workers who went on strike earlier this month to demand a full border closure, saying such action is a ‘political form of coronavirus’”…
Growing dissent in Hong Kong about how this outbreak, still only in its early stages, has been handled:
We’ve witnessed what happens when people behind authoritarian firewalls are misinformed, lied to, and told everything is okay while it is very much not. They become spreaders, they die, and the fabric of their communities’ collapse under the weight. We need a new business model.
Citizen journalist Chen Qiushi has now been missing for 15 days. His forced ‘quarantine’ has long expired. Will the Chinese government release him, or will they continue to railroad human rights under the veil of public health?
Where is Chen Qiushi?
Where is Fang Bin?
Where is Xu Zhangrun?
Where is Xu Zhiyong?
Can we instead use titles like ‘most affected?’
“Chinatowns across the country have experienced major downturns in business — by as much as 50 percent in San Francisco and up to 70 percent in New York’s three main Chinatowns. The situation is no different here in Boston.”…
South Korea has reported more than 100 cases today. The fire has spread.
I'm not usually one to get spooked, but this one... is interesting. The more headlines you see, the more it sinks in that we won't forget 2020.
There is no point to worrying. The only thing you should do is learn from China. We're closer to a pandemic today than we were yesterday, & at some point, rounding up the sick & quarantining will only further disrupt societal flow. The world will just have to work through it.
Was right about that Vietnam border video:
There’s not much you can do. But there is a lot you shouldn’t do: 1) don’t aerosolize your home and workplaces with bleach 2) don’t spend unnecessary time in healthcare institutions 3) don’t buy masks or hoard & stockpile health worker PPI 4) don’t panic
Wash your hands and just hope that this won’t be the 21st century’s black swan. Listen to and support healthcare workers wherever they may need it.
South Korea is now reporting 346 cases, up from 204 just 20 hours ago. The more they test, the more they see. South Korea is now in an epidemic.…
The countries that are crossing that epidemic border are those with a strong testing capacity. There is more under the surface.
You can hear the psychological toll in Eunice Yoon's voice during this interview from Beijing. The measures to stop the outbreak are as harsh as SARS-CoV-2 on those living in China.
Reportedly, the best information coming out of China for U.S. decision makers is coming from U.S. spies on the ground. They're seeing evidence that Beijing is actively drawing up contingency plans.…
"The World Health Organization, including American experts, was finally allowed to visit China on Monday to do field research on the disease but has been delayed and will not, as of now, be visiting the alleged location of the origin of the outbreak"
"The IC invested heavily in anticipatory tracking to follow Ebola’s path in Africa before cases surfaced in the U.S. & [it] became domestic. 'These are existential issues... Health is an enormous natsec issue, particularly when the intel target is not as helpful as it should be'"
The IC has (I hope) learned a lot since 2011, whe