The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“China faces an inescapably fatal dilemma: to save its economy from collapse, China’s leadership must end the quarantines soon and declare China “safe for travel and open for business” to the rest of the world.

But since 5+ million people left Wuhan to go home for New Years, dispersing throughout China, the virus has likely spread to small cities, towns and remote villages with few if any coronavirus test kits and few medical facilities to administer the tests multiple times to confirm the diagnosis. (It can take multiple tests to confirm the diagnosis, as the first test can be positive and the second test negative.)
As a result, Chinese authorities cannot possibly know how many people already have the virus in small-town / rural China or how many asymptomatic carriers caught the virus from people who left Wuhan. They also cannot possibly know how many people with symptoms are avoiding the official dragnet by hiding at home.
No data doesn’t mean no virus.
If the virus has already been dispersed throughout China by asymptomatic carriers who left Wuhan without realizing they were infected with the pathogen, then regardless of whatever official assurances may be announced in the coming days/weeks, it won’t be safe for foreigners to travel in China nor will it be safe for Chinese workers to return to factories, markets, etc.
But if China doesn’t “open for business” with unrestricted travel soon, its economy will suffer calamitous declines as fragile mountains of debt and leverage collapse and supply chain disruptions push global corporations to find permanent alternatives elsewhere.
Here’s the fatal dilemma: maintaining the quarantine long enough to truly contain it (which requires extending it to the entire country) will be fatal to China’s economy.” – Charles Hugh Smith



11 Comments

  1. This is no surprise, China signaled last week that they will attempt to restart their factories as soon as possible. I believe they might do so, even if the virus is not thoroughly contained, because it would have moved through the massive industrial cities, and the largest part of the population that lacks the ability to survive the virus will have died. So if their factories are put back into business, even at gun point, most of these surviving workers will have developed an immunity, or proven they have adequate resistance to the virus. And should a few simply drop dead occasionally on the factory line, that would be routine. I believe they will attempt to restart their economy, even if only in a limited way, and let the virus burn through the rest of China. Their national security depends upon it.

    We should be very concerned about this virus, because if China implodes, war may be their only option. As Mike Adams has postulated, they might use the virus that they have acquired an immunity to, to attack the western world and take what they can. They could, or any other hostile country, could spread the virus, and defeat our best efforts to slow it down. A loss of 15% of China’s almost 1.5 billion people, or 225,000,000, would still leave China with 1,275,000,000 people who would be mostly immune to the deadly virus. The virus may continue to rampage though the U.S. and the rest of the world, as they recover from the viruses’ devastating effect.

    A U.S. Army manual I read parts of years ago, estimated that it would take at least 4 million boots on the ground to control a country the size of the United States with a population that we have today. At a time when the world could be in confusion, battling a deadly virus that could be worse than the Spanish Flu of 1918 and neutered by a failing financial system, the timing might be right for the Chinese. Such a virus that was a bio-weapon, that has never been seen before characteristics that allows it to persist, mutate, and kill over a longer time than did the Spanish Flu, this might provide an opportunity for China to unleash it’s world domination plan, before it completely and utterly collapses it’s self. It may need to expand and seize agriculture and other resources out of necessity, and not simply because of ambition. A totalitarian Chinese government already in place, can control it’s people and reorganize. And if the world economy collapses after the economic collapse of China, that strikes outwardly instead of inwardly, we could have a serious problem on our hands.

    Our economy crippled by a lack of inexpensive and vital goods from China, our financial system on it’s knees, and hyper inflation endemic, we would be in chaos. Even if we had some success at slowing the spread of the virus, or if it proved to be not as virulent as it is in China, the virus could be intentionally introduced, and reintroduced by our enemies, while China invades and takes at least the rest of Asia and perhaps more. Traitors in the U.S. already under the influence of Chinese money, would rather see our country’s destruction, rather than see it revitalized as a Constitutional Republic, or some semblance of that. Our enemies with in, and enemies without, attacking when we are crippled, could be successful. I am certainly no genius military strategist, but a regular guy who understands one of the many potential outcomes.

    1. The ‘Love of money causes a lot of problems.’ The USA and other places have grown accustom to Chinese ‘Slave Labor’ for cheap products. [The US trade deficit with China was around 500 >Billion dollars a year.]
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      “FDA: No drug shortages reported because of coronavirus but situation ‘fluid’
      Even before coronavirus, lawmakers were questioning U.S. reliance on China’s medical industry.” [Politico 2/7/2020]

      The World Health Organization warned Friday of shortages of protective medical gear because of the Wuhan coronavirus, adding to worries that the U.S. could face shortages of drugs or medical devices made in China if the epidemic persists.

      Even before the outbreak, Congress had begun to scrutinize the Chinese medicine industry following warnings last year about contaminated batches of foreign-made drugs. A U.S. government watchdog in the fall urged lawmakers to reduce dependence on Chinese pharmaceutical imports. And now, the Food and Drug Administration has pulled its inspectors out of China because of the spreading epidemic.”

      New FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said no shortages of drugs or devices in the U.S. have been reported, but acknowledged, “the situation is fluid.” And concern is being voiced on both sides of the aisle and in the White House.

      “There is emerging, and I think correct, issues about … how much we rely on production in China for basic drugs and all kinds of medical supplies,” said Rep. Greg Walden, the House Energy and Commerce ranking Republican, earlier this week

      Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, said Thursday evening that China’s control of the global supply of many pharmaceutical ingredients is keeping her up at night. She complained she’s not getting answers from U.S. officials on what overseas factories may be shut down amid quarantines.”

      “White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said earlier this week coronavirus could lead to a drop in exports and production in China, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector.

      The WHO alert focused on personal protective equipment like masks and respirators that medical and public health personnel need to protect themselves as they treat patients and try to contain the virus’ spread.”
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      This article is about >medical safety equipment. … Most people would plan on using the N95 masks, and Neoprene Gloves sold in the hardware departments of places like WallyMart or ChinaFreightTools.

      Even though many preps might NOT be readily available right now, >under the Resource button at Survivalblog is a Checklist for ~Protecting Your Family From an Influenza Pandemic~ A Water Filtration Device should be at the top of the list. Get what you can; be financially reasonable. Buy food that you will eat.

      People should be innovative about protective gear, when the real items are not available.
      [As an example: When spraying poisons around the house, I’ll wear plastic food bags as gloves instead of disposable gloves] + [If I run-out-of masks, I plan to wear 2 or 3 handkerchiefs like a Stage Coach Robber. Supposedly, this virus seems to travel on spittle and mucus in the air.]
      (Hopefully, it will be more effective than carrying a dead Rabbit’s Foot in my pocket, or some other Hoodoo!)

      1. 10% bleach is an inexpensive way to disinfect equipment and surfaces. I’ll be reusing all the gear that I will rarely use. I will not rely on an N95 mask. The virus will pass through. 70 to 91% rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle will work if nothing else is available. Spray the face with the gear on and before removing. Odds are we will come into contact with this unless we greatly reduce our exposure by self isolation.

        It’s going to be tough, but it can be done. I would also prepare to treat secondary and opportunistic bacterial infections. I would list the types and amounts of antibiotics to have on hand, but then I am not a doctor. Simply do a search with terms such as ‘antibiotic, pneumonia, MRSA, Strep, Staph…’ Combinations of these might be involved. Read up and learn how to proceed.

        1. Tunnel Rabbit has >good advice. There is more advice here on SurvivalBlog;read through it now.

          Hopefully, the possible pandemic fizzles out here in America. Get the preps available now.
          From Breitbart 2/13/2020: =
          “Coronavirus Outbreak Exposes China’s Monopoly on U.S. Drug, Medical Supplies”

          The coronavirus outbreak has exposed the United States’ dangerous dependence on China for pharmaceutical and medical supplies, including an estimated 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed to produce drugs in the United States.

          Perhaps the biggest concern is over medical supplies. China produces and exports a large amount of pharmaceuticals to the U.S., including 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active ingredients used to make drugs here. Penicillin, ibuprofen, and aspirin largely come from China. Last month, the medical supply firm Cardinal Health recalled 2.9 million surgical gowns “cross contaminated” at a plant in China; the blood pressure drug valsartan also saw shortages recently, thanks to tainted active ingredients at one Chinese plant. The combination of supply chain disruptions and increased demand at hospitals if coronavirus spreads to the U.S. could prove devastating.

          In a dark irony, most of the world’s face masks—now ubiquitous in China as a precaution—are made in China and Taiwan, and even for those made elsewhere, some component parts are Chinese-sourced. Shortages have led China to declare the masks a “strategic resource,” reserving them for medical workers. U.S. hospitals are “critically low” on respiratory masks, according to medical-supply middlemen.

          Last year, manufacturing of intermediate or finished goods in China, as well as pharmaceutical source material, accounted for 95 percent of U.S. imports of ibuprofen, 91 percent of U.S. imports of hydrocortisone, 70 percent of U.S. imports of acetaminophen, 40 to 45 percent of U.S. imports of penicillin, and 40 percent of U.S. imports of heparin, according to the Commerce Department. In total, 80 percent of the U.S. supply of antibiotics are made in China.

          While much of the fill finishing work (the actual formulation of finished drug capsules and tablets) is done outside China (and often in India) the starting and intermediate chemicals are often sourced in China. Moreover, the U.S. generic drug industry can no longer produce certain critical medicines such as penicillin and doxycycline without these chemical components.

          According to a report from the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, China’s chemical industry, which accounts for 40 percent of global chemical industry revenue, provides a large number of ingredients for drug products. It’s these source materials — where in many cases China is the exclusive source of the chemical ingredients used for the manufacture of a drug product — that create choke points in the global supply chain for critical medicines.”
          [More information available on the Internet and at Breitbart]
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          Tunnel Rabbit is correct, when he lists the secondary ailments. A Flu virus typically reduces our defenses to other types of ailments. = That’s why people with a virus flu die of pneumonia and other bacteria diseases. [The Wuhan-Flu might be very dangerous and unlike an ordinary flu virus]
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          As a note for the ‘conspiracy theorists’ and the amazing coincidences that seem to be occurring. This message appeared in SurvivalBlog on 10/24/2016. =

          “Dear Jim:
          Many preppers store antibiotics for fish or livestock water/feed medications over the counter (OTC). As of January 1st, 2017 this will come to an end as livestock producers will be required to get a VFD (veterinary feed directive) from a veterinarian to obtain these antibiotics. I don’t want to go into the specific differences but think of it as a prescription.

          For anyone wanting antibiotics I would recommend getting some before the first of the year.

          I am a mixed animal vet in the Ozarks. – E.E.

          JWR Adds: A full list of drugs transitioning on January 1st from OTC to VFD status can bee seen in this FDA PDF. As news about this upcoming law change spreads, we can surely expect to see shortages at farm and ranch stores, and from mailorder vendors. Stock up. Several of our advertisers sell veterinary antibiotics at competitive prices. Please give them your patronage, and mention SurvivalBlog, when you do.”
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          Conspiracies are difficult to keep secret for a long time. Maybe, someday here on earth, we’ll find out the True Story behind the Wuhan Virus. [Stay Healthy if possible]

      1. Hi Wally,

        Although China has lots of gold and industry, they are financially and politically very unstable. This crisis is likely already being used to shut down political opposition. New numbers put the R0 as high as 6.7, and some estimate their draconian attempts to stop the spread only reduced the R0 to no less than 2 to 2.5. It needs to be 1 or less. As the virus will likely devastate the rest of the country, and may reinfect the currently ravaged areas with a mutation, China could certainly become destabilized, and may not be able restart it’s industry/economy in full. Their crushing debt is several times GDP, so default is likely if the reset attempt fails.

        As a failed state with a tyrannical government firmly in place, their options are few, and mostly forced. War is the usual remedy for such countries. They can use the industry and gold to wage war, and take desperately needed resources such as food in the region to keep the regime in power. And why not attempt to evoke a war as apart of their ambitious long term plan of global domination? War as a last resort is might now be convenient and necessary for China. If not, their people could turn on the tyrants. So the timing might not be better, as the rest of the world would be also be suffering from China’s lack of production, and be preoccupied with a deadly pandemic, and financial and political crises of their own.

        I am only war gaming this in an attempt to identify possible worst cases scenarios in advance. If I am dabbling in this exercise, you can bet the pros are already deep in to it.

  2. Charles Hugh Smith’s Quote of the Day makes a lot of sense.

    Even back in September before the virus hit China the Baltic Dry Index began collapsing. The BDI is a good indicator of the state of the global economy. The dry bulk shipping business is in the tank and heading to an all-time low.

  3. My big economic question is, and has been for a very long time, why is our economic well being so dependent upon Chinas economy? Aside from the fact they unload tons of their cheap crap upon us, because we are too ignorant of Adam Smiths “Wealth of Nations” and the workings of the capitalist system we succumb to it. In my entire life, which spans many decades, I have never ever gotten anything from china that I didn’t regret further on down the road. Usually sooner rather than later….. Our economic well being should never depend upon another countries economy succeeding or failing….. Trade between countries should happen because other countries can provide value for their products that cannot be found within or products/resources not available otherwise. Globalization can go pound sand….

    1. Because without trade the capitalist System breaks down to the abyss, trade between People, cities, cultures and Nation is is known since the Neolithikum.

      You buy stuff to sell stuff, raw material, Tools, Tools to make Tools(Germanys classic niche)

  4. Alert courtesy of Mike Adams:

    “The pandemic infection numbers just exploded 33 percent literally overnight as global infection numbers now exceed 60,000 (and those are the rigged numbers).

    The number of cases outside China has also exploded to 523, launching the second wave of non-China infections that are spreading through Asian nations with great speed.

    The CDC now openly admits they know this is coming to America. It’s inevitable. They’re planning for outbreaks and will escalate their tactics once more outbreaks occur in the USA.”

    Read the direct quotes from the CDC in today’s article.

    https://ce-publiclw.naturalnews.com/ct.asp?id=9F23F63E662074C06D9E59600FD2F7F9ED0FB0AF130875B159FFF70D2DBC496357C9ADD9A8A1360E6412519E22088999DB0AA3FA2031C87E0AAB73E500C1F2F3&ct=4aeUs3IAAABCWmgzMUFZJlNZx3xfugAAHBmAAAP4EC9v3qAgAGhj9U9T1NNPSGJ%2bpPSaEU8p6NT1No0mjIYisRISOLDlS%2beKPTqYE8krvx7eDd1RTpYwjFw12x9%2fPDGVEd7mTykMIyXLpzMCVyi2RpYzXawghJRzhwIVK510LuSKcKEhjvi%2fdA%3d%3d

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