Let’s start with China, or specifically the Chinese authorities that accused Doctor Li Wenliang of spreading false information after he warned of a possible outbreak of coronavirus. The doctor later died after contracting the virus, and the authorities subsequently apologised to his family. This showed that, without a shadow of a doubt, China hid from the world the severity of the virus; such negligent action has led to:
First, the coronavirus turned into a global pandemic, which, up to this hour, has claimed more than 35 thousand victims.
Second, the whole world is now under some sort of quarantine that governments have enforced on their citizens. This has resulted in astronomical economic losses, a dramatic rise in mass unemployment, international corporations either going bankrupt or temporarily going out of business. Examples of industries that have suffered as a result of this quarantine include aviation, restaurants and cafes.
The pandemic has also showed the massive gaps that exist within Western healthcare systems, many of which lack the ventilators needed in this crisis. The lack of ventilators in Italian hospitals has forced doctors to make the difficult decisions of which patients get ventilators and which ones are left to die.
According to a study conducted by Southampton University, if China had acted more responsibly towards the pandemic, then 95 per cent of those infected would have avoided transmission of the virus.
China’s decision may have been an economics-based one, however what’s even scarier to think about is the fact that China was able to hide information of this magnitude and importance from the world. It is for this reason that China is directly responsible for the horror and tragedy that the global population is currently living through. Without a doubt, the coronavirus crisis has raised some important questions for the West and the free world to answer, particularly whether or not China should remain the international hub of industry, and whether or not the world should remain dependent on it. The West must also rethink the dangerous consumer trends that its societies, seeking low prices, are pushing since such cheap goods are only made possible when periphery states force their working classes into a form of modern day slavery. Such phenomena can only happen in dictatorships that devalue the human rights of its citizens.
Onto Iran, which has made many mistakes throughout this pandemic. First and foremost, Iran failed to contain the spread of the virus prior to the legislative elections. Second, it has rejected American medical aid, even though it was coming through Swiss mediation. The reasons cited for this rejection were weak and based on silly conspiracy theories. As of the writing of this piece more than 2,700 people in Iran died because of the coronavirus, and is the sixth most effected country after the US, Italy, Spain, China and Germany. Iran has failed to prevent the spread of the virus throughout its cities. It has, nonetheless, used its dead citizens as negotiation fodder to persuade the US of removing all sanctions placed on it. If that’s the case, then why did Iran reject the aid in the first place, then?
We are dealing with regimes that are not only posing a threat to their own citizens; rather they are posing a threat to the citizens of the entire globe. The Chinese government’s efforts to hide the severity of the virus have caused a global humanitarian and economic disaster. Meanwhile, Iran has for years been sponsoring and training terror groups and militias that have threatened the lives of civilians all around the world.
The coronavirus might be a global pandemic, but it has also shed a spotlight on dictatorships that are attempting to extend their control and influence beyond their own borders. These regimes stop at nothing to implement their strategic plans, even if said plans come at the cost of human life. The West must harden its stances on those two regimes, even amidst this coronavirus crisis.