Coincidentally, this week will mark the 30th anniversary of China’s massacre of political dissidents in and around Tiananmen Square — a horrific event met largely with a collective shrug. In the case of the Uighurs, it’s been appalling that the world’s largest Muslim nations — led, of course, by their own murderous dictators — have made it clear they’d rather do business with Beijing than stand up for people of their own faith....
We shouldn’t let things like the vast distance between the United States and East Turkestan, the unyielding behavior of China’s dictators or worries about whether prices will keep falling at Walmart to so demoralize us to keep us from speaking out against human rights abuses. We can, and should, pressure Congress and the Trump administration to do a lot more. Never again? “Again” is happening right now, on our watch. What are we going to do?
Not in his defense, however:
Why are we so obsessed with finding out whether COVID-19 came from a China government lab -- when we've known for years that China runs concentration camps in a massive ethnic cleansing campaign against its Uighur people and we don't do a damned thing about it?— Will Bunch Sign Up For My Newsletter (@Will_Bunch) May 24, 2021
In an article written for an academic journal last November, thus in a slightly wonky fashion, David Relman explained
A more complete understanding of the origins of COVID-19 clearly serves the interests of every person in every country on this planet. It will limit further recriminations and diminish the likelihood of conflict; it will lead to more effective responses to this pandemic, as well as efforts to anticipate and prevent the next one. It will also advance our discussions about risky science. And it will do something else: Delineating COVID-19’s origin story will help elucidate the nature of our very precarious coexistence within the biosphere.
Very likely, and understandably, Bunch's cynicism is prompted by the suspicion of ulterior motives on the part of public officials pushing the (very real) possibility that SARS-CoV-2 originated in the Wuhan Lab. Steve M plausibly argues that for Republicans, determining the origin of the coronavirus
provides an opportunity, in the future, to bash the mainstream media and Dr. Fauci, who are proxies in the mind of every Republican voter for the Democratic Party. That's the important work that needs to be done in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic that's killed nearly one of every 500 Americans....even finding the arsonist isn't as important as tracking down the people who said the fire couldn't have been arson. But demonizing domestic enemies is always Job #1 on the right.
O.K., sure, their primary motive is electoral strategy. However, investigation of the Capitol insurrection, an event now more than four months in the past, may give Democrats a chance to bash Donald Trump and his toadies, virtually the entire GOP. (Or it would, assuming it comes about and in a fashion which allows the truth to emerge, which Republicans won't allow). Yet, that is no reason not to investigate, uncover facts, and come to conclusions: a search for the truth.
Beyond that, there are at least three reasons to find out whether SARS-CoV-2 came from a wet market or a laboratory:
- the nearly 34 million Americans reported to have contracted Covid-19 and the more than 605,000 confirmed to have died;
- the approximately 168 million human beings reported to have contracted Covid-19 and the nearly 3.5 million who have died;
- the likelihood that the real number in the USA is almost double the official count and that the real number globally is far more than double the official count.
Soon after the initial outbreak, one of the three most powerful nations on earth decided to prioritize "secrecy and order" and may have thereby ended the lives of 3,489,000 human beings- and counting. It matters, and it matters a lot.