EDITORIAL: Communist China is skilled at suppressing unwelcome facts about COVID-19 pandemic

China is unrepentant, and Democrats are uninterested.

“The truth will out,” wrote William Shakespeare in “The Merchant of Venice.” Embedded in the Bard’s comedy, the sobering proverb has stood the test of time – 500 years or so – until now. Shakespeare couldn’t have foreseen Communist China’s skill at suppressing unwelcome facts, but Americans have come to expect nothing less from the unrepentant giant. Harder to understand is the apparent disinterest on the part of officialdom in uncovering the authentic origin of the deadly COVID-19 virus. 

Lost lives matter.

The House select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis held a hearing last week to track the virus’ origin – without the involvement of members of the majority Democratic Party. Republicans released their tentative findings: “There is mounting scientific evidence that COVID-19 originated from the [Wuhan Institute of Virology] in Wuhan, China and gain-of-function research was used to make the virus more infectious.”

Democrats assigned to the committee appear surprisingly indifferent to ongoing efforts to identify the pandemic’s “root causes.” Rather than absorb the testimony of experts on clues to how the airborne pathogen arose out of the Far East to kill more than 600,000 Americans, they confined their attention to such tangential issues as “overcoming vaccine hesitancy.”

For its part, the World Health Organization (WHO) is trading incuriosity for ineptitude. The body plans to undertake a second probe of the coronavirus’ source months after an initial, futile investigation, which concluded the pestilence likely was the work of Mother Nature rather than human experimentation. A voluntary collection of member nations, the WHO operates “by persuasion,” according to emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan.

Meanwhile, the professional purveyors of influence at the U.S. State Department, who consider it rude to point fingers, have belatedly concluded that the pestilence probably escaped from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. Their former boss, Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is no longer encumbered by diplomatic niceties: “There are no scruples with the Chinese Communist Party,” he said during a recent Dinesh D’Souza podcast. “They don’t value human life.”  

Expecting Beijing to open its doors to renewed scrutiny is unrealistic, especially when facing culpability for the deaths of more than 4 million innocents worldwide. Issues of conscience were not troubling the millions joyfully celebrating the Communist Party’s centennial anniversary last week.

In a speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed an eagerness “to learn what lessons we can from the achievements of other cultures, and welcome helpful suggestions and constructive criticism. We will not, however, accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us.” 

Whether he views criticism for China’s role in the pandemic as “sanctimonious” remains a mystery – he didn’t bother to mention the global catastrophe.

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