Europe has become the largest problem of the world due to the inability of the Europeans for a timely assessment of the Coronavirus danger, which has changed the continent into a global centre of this infection. The history of the Coronavirus puts an end to the 500 years of global domination of Europe – the “Sick Man of the World” cannot be an example for others by default. The situation with the Coronavirus also put an end to the “soft power” of Europe – in the eyes of the entire world, Europe has turned into the symbol of defeat, catastrophe, stupidity, irresponsibility and sloppiness.
Despite the coronavirus outbreak beginning in China, Beijing has brought it rapidly under control – the number of domestically transmitted cases was reduced to virtually zero by the end of March. In the US and Western Europe, on the contrary, the number of cases is rising vertiginously with no peak in sight. This disastrous US and Western European failure will be more severe than the international financial crisis and will have profound geopolitical consequences.
The most fundamental issue was that China started from a real understanding of human rights as they affect the real lives of people – not the artificial constructs of Western, purely formal ‘human rights.’ In a lethal epidemic, the key human right is to stay alive.
But what was the response of the so called ‘human rights’ organizations in the West to this? Total and criminal condemnation of China’s successful strategy!
A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that has emerged during the coronavirus crisis: that democracies and open societies are collapsing and unable to effectively manage the pandemic, while closed, "traditionalist" societies have coped much better. This message builds on the longstanding pro-Kremlin theme of the West's alleged moral decay. See similar cases that liberalism has facilitated the spread of the coronavirus, and that the coronavirus "war" is finally forcing Western ultraliberals to finally care for vulnerable people.
Authoritarian regimes, which tend to control and manipulate information and to limit the freedom of doctors and scientists to engage in international cooperation, are often an obstacle to the timely detection and containment of epidemic outbreaks. This is exemplified by China’s deliberate cover-up of the early days of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. The regime suppressed information about the virus and allowed it to spread unchecked in the crucial early days and weeks. The Chinese government censored and detained those doctors and whistleblowers who attempted to sound the alarm and warn their fellow citizens about the coronavirus threat.
Due to this track record, concerns persist that the Chinese government is continuing to downplay statistics in order to claim victory against the disease and present itself as a public health superpower. Chinese news media and local residents have also raised questions about the COVID-19 death toll in Wuhan, while both the British government and US intelligence have cautioned that China has vastly underreported its coronavirus infections.
In a notable rebuke of China's human rights record, the keynote essay for HRW's 2020 World Report - written by executive director Kenneth Roth - states that "China’s government sees human rights as an existential threat" and poses a serious danger to international human rights. Amnesty International also takes a grim view of China's human rights situation, noting "huge setbacks".