In reading Mr. Swayze’s letter (Press & Dakotan, May 22), I’m unable to discern what his point might be.
Although it appears he has a clear knowledge of Vietnam and how they’ve responded to the COVID-19 virus — assuming we can believe a statistic from that particular Asian country — it would also appear his facts on China, Dr Li Wenliang and how it was handled are a bit askew.
In terms of one statement that the “Chinese government responsibly feared …,” there is absolutely nothing that China has done responsibly in this disaster. Where does Mr. Swayze get the information that the Chinese government allowed Dr Li to “report his warnings” in early January? This is false. Dr Li of Wuhan shared a report of a contagious virus by a colleague Wuhan doctor on Dec. 31. He then was reprimanded by the Wuhan police on Jan. 3 for “rumor mongering.” On Jan. 7, Dr Li contracted the virus himself while treating an infected patient and, unfortunately, later died on Feb. 7.
Mr. Swayze added that “Vietnam’s communist president respected the World Health Organization’s earned credibility and immediately responded to WHO’s early January coronavirus warning.” As late as Jan. 14, WHO relied on Chinese authorities that there was no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission. On Jan. 20 — SIX DAYS LATER — another Chinese doctor confirmed that the disease could be spread from human to human, as he noted that one patient had infected 14 health workers. Does Jan. 20 sound like an “early January Coronavirus warning”?
I have no idea what Mr. Swayze’s political leanings are, but based on his letter, it would appear he is condoning the actions of two communist countries amidst this terrible event. He states that “too many U.S. politicians blame China.” Please tell me who else are we to blame besides China, other than WHO for following the “advice” of China and their early cover-up of this disease.
In summary, good for Vietnam if they, in fact, record zero deaths, in light of the fact that they undoubtedly have a few million less visitors per day as compared to our country, but please don’t condone the actions of the Chinese government and the irresponsible WHO.