National Security

Beijing Delayed Virus Alert Partly to Corner PPE Market

The ChiComs show they're no friends of the world, proving Trump correct again.

Thomas Gallatin · Apr. 7, 2020

It should be universally accepted that authoritarian states never play fair. If anyone doubted this truism, the actions of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing throughout this China Virus pandemic should put that to rest. Not only are the ChiComs guilty of covering up their failed early attempts to contain the virus, thus allowing it to spread across the globe, they also engaged in a massive effort to control and limit soon-to-be-needed medical supplies.

“We know that China knew about the virus as early as mid-December,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro asserts. “We know that for a period of about five to six weeks they hid the dangers from the rest of the world even as Chinese citizens were flying around the world seeding the world with the virus.”

What was the motive behind Beijing’s delay? Navarro argues one aspect of it: “It looks like during that interval, China was basically attempting to corner the market in personal protective equipment including masks. So they were buying large quantities of masks, gloves, goggles, respirators from the rest of the world at a time when the world was still sleeping with respect to the dangers of the virus.”

Navarro points out that between January 24 and the end of February, China bought 2.2 billion face masks. “Americans are getting infected because they don’t have the masks. Italians are dying because they don’t have masks. Healthcare professionals are going down,” Navarro observes. “If those statistics are telling a story about China basically going out and trying to corner the world market in PPE when they knew the dangers and didn’t tell the rest of the world, I think that’s a significant discussion we need to have, at least after this is all over, because that’s a serious matter.”

The New York Post reports, “Leading US manufacturers of medical safety gear told the White House that China prohibited them from exporting their products from the country as the coronavirus pandemic mounted — even as Beijing was trying to ‘corner the world market’ in personal protective equipment.” Specifically, U.S. companies 3M and Honeywell were prohibited by Beijing from moving their own inventory, produced in China, to the States. The fact that China was buying up and hoarding PPE may have been the primary reason behind President Donald Trump’s invoking the Defense Protection Act and forbidding the export of anymore PPE.

Meanwhile, U.S. entrepreneurs eager to manufacture desperately needed PPE here in the States are running into regulatory hurdles, slowing their ability to respond during this crisis. Evidently, whether the tape is American or Chinese, it’s still red.

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