“China’s role as a global supplier of medical personal protective equipment (PPE), medical devices, antibiotics, and active pharmaceutical ingredients means reduced production or exports from China could lead to shortages and increased costs of critical medical supplies in the United States.” – February 19, 2020 Report for Congress[i]
On February 19, 2020 CRS Report # IF11434 Coronavirus: U.S.-China Economic Considerations[ii] noted that:
The novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) is slowing economic activity in China and raising concerns about potential U.S. supply chain vulnerabilities in a range of sectors that rely directly and indirectly on China-based suppliers.
It then shows that incomplete data may be coming from China:
U.S. senior officials have expressed concerns about the completeness and timeliness of the information China is reporting, complicating assessments of the scope, trajectory, and economic impact of the outbreak.
It provides some insight noting that 90 cities across China are facing restrictions and a brief moment of mainstream economics is included, noting that China’s central bank pumped $57 billion into the banking system. As per usual, no one knows why creating money out of thin air is a good idea and no one understands inflation.
A subtle conspiracy is included and pertains to the signing of the trade deal and China’s knowledge of the virus:
Phase One Trade Deal: The crisis is calling into question China’s ability to implement the U.S.-China phase one trade deal signed in January 2020. Transportation constraints and a slowdown in demand could affect China’s import levels. The agreement has a force majeure provision that could give China flexibility in implementing its commitments. The deal was finalized in December 2019, when Chinese officials reportedly knew about the outbreak, which raises questions about the rationale and timing of the decision to include the force majeure provision.
The paper concludes with a message that congress may have to convey to the public one day:
Supply Chain Vulnerabilities: China’s role as a global supplier of medical personal protective equipment (PPE), medical devices, antibiotics, and active pharmaceutical ingredients means reduced production or exports from China could lead to shortages and increased costs of critical medical supplies in the United States.
My questions upon reading the report are:
- Will congress tell the people about this potential medical supply shortage in the United States?
- Are you prepared?
The following day on February 20, 2020, CRS Report # IF11421 Novel Coronavirus 2019: Global Implications and Responses[iii] begins with:
Within days of learning the genetic sequence of the virus, scientists around the globe developed lab tests to diagnose COVID-19. Current diagnostic supplies are insufficient to meet global demand.
However, insufficient diagnostic supplies are not as interesting as what we have yet to hear on mainstream television:
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicated in late January that a candidate vaccine for COVID-19 could be ready for early-stage human testing within three months, compared to the 20 months it took to begin early-state development of an investigational SARS vaccine.
And because we simply cannot trust the government, we can all laugh at this statement:
With positive trends in recent official case data in China, China’s leaders have suggested that China may soon be able to declare victory over the virus and get the country back to work.
It also notes that 800 U.S. Citizens have been evacuated from Wuhan.
My questions are:
- Why are tax dollars being used to evacuate people?
- Will you take the vaccine if/when it comes out?
[i] CRS Report # IF11434 Coronavirus: U.S.-China Economic Considerations, see html at https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:vlq0lSQ8SOUJ:https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF11434+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca , there is a PDF but you may be required to download it from https://crsreports.congress.gov/
[iii] CRS Report # IF11421 Novel Coronavirus 2019: Global Implications and Responses, see html at https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:_5j3Q8pXD40J:https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF11421+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca , you can download the PDF at CRS Reports as noted in note i.