COVID-19 Timeline Exposes Falsehood of US and US Lackey Australian Anti-China Blame Game

Trump is blaming China for the Covid-19 pandemic to hide his criminal negligence during the crisis. A detailed Timeline of the disaster reveals that China informed the WHO and the World of the Wuhan outbreak  on 31 December  2019 but Trump spent the following 4.5 months minimizing the seriousness of the pandemic and slagging both China and the WHO. With the pandemic raging in America,  American-killing Trump  wants to stop lockdown and re-purpose the US Covid-19 Taskforce.

Notwithstanding the reality that  China is Australia’s biggest trading partner, US lackey Australia has joined Trump’s disingenuous demand for an “international inquiry” (i.e. very likely in practice a US-beholden political witch hunt) into the origin in China of the Covid-19 pandemic. However France, the UK and Germany, while being allies of the US, have politely declined to join this China-baiting  exercise, especially in the middle of a deadly pandemic [1]. Trump has further attacked the World Health Organization (WHO) for alleged failings in the unfolding crisis, and indeed has withdrawn financial support for this vital, life-saving organization. US lackey Australia has, of course, added its voice to US criticism of the WHO but without specifying what the criticisms are.

This disingenuous demand for an “independent inquiry” by scientifically illiterate, anti-science and anti-China spin-merchants Trump and US lackey Australian PM Scott “Scomo” Morrison  ignores the massive reality that China is among world leaders  in scientifically investigating the nature and origins of coronavirus as well as in successfully dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. Fortunately  the World Health Assembly has seen sense and has just now unanimously agreed to examine the origins of the coronavirus and how the WHO and the world responded.

The Timeline of the Covid-19 pandemic (presented and documented in great detail below)  includes the following key steps:

(1) 1 December 2019,  the first reported case in China of what was retrospectively confirmed as Covid-19;

(2) 31  December 2019, notification of WHO and the world by China of the outbreak of a novel pneumonia-like disease in Wuhan;

(3)  early January 2020 , the first RNA sequence was obtained for the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2)  (genome Wuhan-Hu-1);

(4) 11 – 12 January 2020, China shared with the world the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus (crucial for PCR-based coronavirus detection);

(5) 20 January 2020 (Day Zero),  China notified the Chinese public and the world via the WHO of human-to-human  transmission of the virus;

(6) 21 January,  Chinese provision of polynucleotide primers and probes crucial for global coronavirus detection; and

(7) 23 January, China commenced stringent lockdown of Wuhan, Hubei Province and thence of China.

In stark contrast, since Day Zero (20 January 2020), Trump has consistently downplayed and obfuscated the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic and continues to baldly and dangerously contradict expert,  crucial and life-saving medical advice from even within his own Administration.  Australia under anti-science, neoliberal and Christian Zionist PM Scott “Scomo” Morrison (aka Scum-o, Scheme-o, Skim-o, Scam-o)  only started lockdown 2 months later (on 20-23 March 2020).

The Chinese ambassador to Australia has no doubt accurately pointed out that ordinary Chinese  might feel aggrieved at Australia joining the mendacious US bullying  of China and decide not to buy Australian food and wine, send their children to Australian universities or visit Australia as tourists. However  this has been condemned by Australia as Chinese bullying of Australia. Influential Chinese newspapers have stated the obvious that Australia is slavishly beholden to the US, with the People’s Daily stating : “The deeply troubled Morrison government is anxious to find an outlet for the domestic public’s anger [re huge bushfires, huge unemployment, Covid-19 crisis]. They are using an old trick to try and blame China. Australia is trying to please the United States and be a bully in the region” [2].

Peaceful trade of Indonesian Makassans  with Indigenous Australians to supply  the  Chinese trepang market  pre-dates the genocidal British invasion of Australia (1788) by a century [3, 4]. However, White Australia has a long history of  Sinophobia from the gold-rush years of the mid-19th century (anti-Chinese riots, exclusion of Chinese, and deportation of Chinese),  through the 3 quarters of a century of the White Australia Policy from 1901-1974 (the first Australian  PM Edmund Barton stating in 1901: “The doctrine of the equality of man was never intended to apply to the equality of an Englishman and the Chinaman” [5, 6]), to present anti-China xenophobia linked to Australia’s subservience to the US (banning of Huawei, restrictions on Chinese investment, Australian support for the US  in the South China Sea, and hysterical attacks on Australian China links for asserted reasons of “national security” i.e. subservience to the nuclear terrorist, Australia-threatening, Australia-subverting and serial war criminal US) [8-23]. Indeed while China has invaded 3 adjacent countries or regions in the last 1,000 years, as a UK  or US lackey Australia has invaded 85 countries in 2 centuries (including  China in the Boxer Rebellion, 1900-1901 [13, 23),  and Australia has participated in all post-1950 US Asian wars (atrocities  associated with 40 million Asian deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation, and those in East Asia and South East Asia  linked to US-inspired Sinophobia)   [6].

Australia’s supporting US  attacks on the WHO, and its backing of the US demands for an “international inquiry” into the origins of Covid-19 pandemic can be simply seen as the posturing of a craven, cowardly and mendacious  US lackey. However the  basis of the American campaign  must be considered much more seriously. The US, and the racist, religious right Republicans (R4s)  in particular, have had a long-standing hatred of the UN, UN agencies, international humanitarian conventions, International law, and  international agencies like the WHO  and the International Criminal Court (the authority of which over US citizens they categorically reject). The US with 4.3% of the world’s population consumes about 25% of its utilized resources annually. War is the penultimate in racism and genocidal war the ultimate in racism. A deeply racist US has invaded 72 countries in its bloody 244 year history, 52 of them since the end of WW2 [13]. A self-absorbed, deluded, paradoxically moralistic and dangerously exceptionalist America does not want its national narcissism tied down by global institutions, as  crudely enunciated by idiot Trump in his s commandeering the “America first!” sloganeering of his early 20th century predecessors [24, 25],  and his “Make America great again!” (at the expense of Humanity as a whole).

Notwithstanding Trump’s  fierce “America  first” anti-globalism, deadly sanctions applied to Cuba, Venezuela, Yemen, North Korea and China,  and his limited military  attacks on Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Venezuela and Pakistan (e.g. see [26]),   Trump has not engaged US forces in large-scale bloody wars like his predecessors Obama (continued Iraq War and Afghan War, destruction of Libya and Syria, coups in Honduras and Ukraine), George W. Bush (destruction of Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan),  Bill Clinton (continued deadly sanctions on Iraq, and bombing of a Sudan pharmaceutical factory that Professor Noam Chomsky estimated would have killed 10,000 Sudanese long-term), and George Bush senior (Gulf War  on Iraq and initiation of massive bombing and deadly sanctions on Iraq that killed 1.7 million Iraqis) [6, 26]. However, as outlined below, idiot  Trump may be flirting with the possibility of a big hot or cold  Coronavirus War against China.

The endlessly moralising fundamentalist  Christian core of America  has meant that the US  always needed an “excuse” for bloody wars [6, 27] e.g. the War of Independence (“no taxation without representation”, this hiding the real reason of enabling unlimited Indian Genocide), war against  Mexico resulting in annexation of  New Mexico and California (“remember the Alamo”),  the Spanish-American War in which the US seized Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and hegemony over Latin America (the mysterious blowing up of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor), entry into WW1 (the German torpedoing of  the arms-laden Lusitania),  entry into WW2 (the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor about which  the US and UK had prior intelligence [7]), Korean War (Korea invading itself), Vietnam War (fictional Gulf of Tonkin naval incident), invasion of Granada (alleged threat to US students), invasion of Panama (drug smuggling that was actually linked to the CIA), invasion of Dominican Republic, Haiti , Cuba etc  (the standard “defending freedom and  democracy”), Iraq War  (fictional Weapons of Mass Destruction), Afghan War (the Taliban actually wanted to hand alleged 9-11 perpetrator Osama bin Laden to a third party rather than to the US), destruction of Libya (“Responsibility to Protect” US-backed Libyan rebels from “genocide”), destruction of Syria  (“defending freedom and  democracy” that in actuality meant the US Alliance supporting jihadi non-state terrorists including ISIS and thus permitting continued US Alliance presence in Iraq against the wishes of the Iraqi Parliament [28]).

And, of course,  lest we forget the endless War on Terror from West Africa to the Philippines   in which 32 million Muslims have died from violence, 5 million, or from imposed deprivation, 27 million, in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government 9-11 false flag atrocity that killed about 3,000 people. Numerous science, engineering, architecture, aviation, military and intelligence experts conclude that the US Government was responsible for 9-11 with some asserting Israeli and Saudi involvement [29, 30].

In this context of US lies leading to mass murder of millions of people, the world is entitled be extremely worried over Trump’s recent assertion blaming China for the coronavirus crisis: “This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center. It should have never happened. It could have been stopped at the source. It could have been stopped in China. It should have been stopped right at the source, and it wasn’t” [31]. Trump’s thuggish attack dog Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, echoed Trump’s false blaming of China: “They knew. China could have prevented the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. China could have spared the world descent into global economic malaise,. China is still refusing to share the information we need to keep people safe.” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded thus: “I think this matter should be handed to scientists and medical professionals, and not politicians who lie for their own domestic political ends. Mr Pompeo repeatedly spoke up but he cannot present any evidence. How can he? Because he doesn’t have any”[31].

Lying, racism and neoliberal greed are at the heart of the Trump threats. Famed anti-racist Jewish American writer I.F. Stone (Isidor Feinstein Stone, an outstanding US journalist, publisher of the newsletter “I. F. Stone’s Weekly” and author of numerous books, including “The Hidden History of the Korean War, 1950-1951”) summarized this pathology thus: “Among all the things I’m going to tell you today about being a journalist, all you have to remember is two words: governments lie” [32,  33]. More specifically, Gore Vidal (a great progressive American writer) excoriated American mendacity thus (2008): “Unlike most Americans who lie all the time, I hate lying. And here I am surrounded with these hills [in Hollywood] full of liars — some very talented… Yeah, [lying] about themselves, about their beliefs, about their histories. Degrees, from universities — this is piled up lies. Americans are not interested in the truth about anything. They assume everybody is lying because they go out and lie everyday about the automobile they are trying to sell you…This is a country of hoax. P.T. Barnum is the god of this republic, which is no longer a republic alas. It is an oligarchy and a rather vicious one” [34]. Thus, for example, the US Center for Public Integrity determined  that George Bush and his  aides made 935 false statements about Iraq between 9-11 and the genocidal invasion of Iraq [35]. Of course all governments lie but  lying  is entrenched in the ostensibly “open” societies of the US and the US-beholden  West [35-38].  Lying occurs through lying by commission and lying by omission. However lying by omission is far, far worse than lying by commission because the latter at least permits public refutation and public debate [38].

I.F. Stone famously analysed the physical facts of the Korean War using major Mainstream media as his source but applied an alternative interpretation of the facts to that of the US Government [39]. In short, rather than being a war about “freedom and democracy” (the US installed a lengthy dictatorship in South Korea) the war could be seen as a ploy to drag China and the USSR (i.e. Russia) into the conflict and thus provide an “excuse” for the then nuclear-dominant US to cripple these countries in a nuclear attack. However in the event, the USSR kept out of the Korean Peninsula, China was very careful about the geographical extent of its involvement, and the US Government ultimately  decided not to follow  the nuclear war path of  warmongering General Douglas Macarthur,  who was eventually relieved of his command.

In the interests of clarity about dangerous and deadly Trump’s dishonest allegations, I have adopted I.F. Stone’s approach and have set out below a carefully Mainstream media-documented Timeline of Chinese, global and American responses to the coronavirus crisis, an “independent inquiry “ indeed that clearly demonstrates China’s timely warning to the world and remarkable success in suppressing the outbreak,  as opposed to the criminal, deadly, American-killing tardiness and obfuscation by the Trump Administration. A notable event early in this Timeline, and pertinent  to timely and ethical reporting,  was medical hero, ophthalmologist Dr Li Wenliang,  sending a private message to a group of fellow doctors on 30 December 2019 warning them about a possible SARS-like respiratory disease outbreak in Wuhan.  He was subsequently detained,  falsely  accused of  “spreading rumours” and made to sign a statement by the Public Security Bureau authorities in Wuhan.  He returned to work but  tragically died in Wuhan on 7 February 2020, aged 33 years,  after becoming infected from a patient with SARS-CoV-2 (for an account in the top medical journal The Lancet see [40]). A notable reference for key events in this Timeline  is WHO’s  “Rolling updates on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)” [41].

The documented Timeline

December 2019

  • 1 December 2019. First confirmed case in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, of what was later identified and called  Covid-19  disease caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2)   [41-44]
  • 26 December 2019. Sample collected from an infected  man at the Wuhan seafood and wet market that provided the material for the first RNA sequence for the SARS-Cov-2 virus obtained in early January 2020 [41 42].
  • Late December 2019. Genetic testing identified the agent for Covid-19  disease as a SARS-like coronavirus that would later spread in a global pandemic [42, 43  43, 44].
  • 30 December 2019.  Ophthalmologist Dr Li Wenliang sent a private message to a group of fellow doctors warning them about a possible outbreak of an illness that resembled severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Wuhan [40].
  • 31 December 2019. Chinese public and the WHO notified of  pneumonia of unknown cause  outbreak cluster in Wuhan. WHO: “According to the authorities, some patients were operating dealers or vendors in the Huanan Seafood market” [41].

January 2020

  • Early January. The first RNA sequence was obtained for the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2)  (genome Wuhan-Hu-1) [42].
  • 4 January. WHO: “WHO announced it would work across its 3 levels – country office, regional office and HQ – to track the situation and share details as they emerged” [41].
  • 5 January. WHO: “WHO published its risk assessment and advice and reported on the status of patients and the public health response by national authorities to the cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan” [41].
  • 10 January. WHO: “Developed with reference to other coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, WHO issued a tool for countries to check their ability to detect and respond to a novel coronavirus” [41].
  • 11 – 12 January. WHO: “China shares the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus, which will be very important for other countries as they develop specific diagnostic kits” [41].
  • 13 January. WHO: “Officials confirmed a case of the novel coronavirus in Thailand. It was not unexpected that cases of the novel coronavirus would emerge outside of China and reinforces why WHO calls for active monitoring and preparedness in other countries” [41].
  • 15 January. A traveller from Wuhan to Seattle became the first confirmed case in the US of what was later identified as of Covid-19  [42].
  • 19 January. First confirmed Covid-19 cases outside Wuhan were reported in China (Guangdong and Beijing) [45].
  • 20 January 2020 (Day Zero). China notified the Chinese public and the world via the WHO of human-to-human  transmission of the virus [45]. Chinese provision of primers and probes the next day was crucial for global virus detection.
  • 21 January (Day Zero +1 day). WHO makes a field visit to  visits Wuhan, and discusses control measures. WHO: “At the end of the visit, the Chinese Government released the primers and probes used in the test kit for the novel coronavirus to help other countries detect it. Chinese experts also shared a range of protocols that will be used in developing international guidelines, including case definitions, clinical management protocols and infection control” [41]. The primers and probes were crucial for  detection of the virus genetic material involving  the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
  • 22-23 January (+2-3). WHO: “On 22-23 January the WHO Director General convened the Emergency Committee to consider the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China, with cases also reported in the Republic of Korea, Japan, Thailand and Singapore” [41].
  • 23 January (+3).  China announced total, economy-impacting and travel lockdown of Wuhan (no travel out of Wuhan) and thence extended this to 15 cities involving 57 million people in total in Hubei province. Quarantine measures were thence rapidly applied to about 20 provinces in China [46]. According to  the WHO the China lockdown  had a big impact on limiting the spread to other countries [46].
  • 25 January (+5). WHO: “[WHO] launch of free online introductory course on the novel coronavirus.   Covering topics such as why the novel coronavirus is a global threat to human health and how to effectively engage communities in the response, this free online course gives an introduction to the novel coronavirus. It is available for free and online in English, French, Spanish and Chinese” [41].
  • 25 January (+5).  A traveller  from Wuhan to Melbourne became the  first Australian case of being positive for Covid-19 [47].
  • 26 January (+6). China announced a wildlife trade ban and further strong nation-wide transport, health and quarantine measures for China,  including closure of universities and schools and extension of the Spring Festival holiday (at this point there were zero positive cases in the UK)  [48, 49].
  • 28 January 2020 (+8). WHO: “WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus met with China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing about the coronavirus outbreak… The two sides agreed that WHO would send international experts to visit China as soon as possible to work with Chinese counterparts on increasing understanding of the outbreak to guide global response efforts” [41].
  • 30 January (+10). WHO declared the coronavirus  outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. WHO: “WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, following a second meeting of the Emergency Committee convened under the International Health Regulations” [41].
  • 31 January (+11). US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar Azar declared a public health emergency for the new coronavirus [50].
  • 31 January (+11).  Foreign nationals returning from China required to spend 14 days  in a third country before being allowed into Australia [51].

February 2020

  • 1 February (+12).  Australia banned entry of foreign nationals from China, with Australian travellers from China having to self-quarantine for 14 days [51]
  • 2 February (+13). US entry  ban on non-US citizens (other than immediate  of US citizens and permanent residents) who had travelled to China within the previous 2 weeks from entering the US [50].
  • 29 February (+40). Trump extended US entry ban to non-citizens from Iran [50].
  • 29 February (+40). Non-citizen travellers to Australia from Iran required to have 14 days quarantine in a third country [51].

March 2020

  • 1 March (+41). Australian entry ban on non-Australian citizens travelling from Iran [51].
  • 5 March (+45). Australian entry  ban on non-Australian citizens travelling  from South Korea)[51].
  • 10 March (+50). Stay-at-home lockdown in Italy [52].
  • 11 March (+51). The WHO declared a Covid-19 pandemic in recognition of the coronavirus spread to a wider range of countries [1].
  • 11 March (+51).  Australian entry ban on non-Australian citizens travelling  from Italy [51].
  • 11 March (+51). First evidence that the UK Government was considering, among other options,  a “herd-immunity” scenario i.e. to let the epidemic run its course (at a huge cost in lives) so that most people were infected and might mostly be protected s a consequence [53].
  • 11 March (+51). Stay-at-home lockdown in Denmark [52].
  • 11 March (+51). El Salvador banned public meetings of 500 or more, and  banned foreigners from entering. National quarantine on the country’s 6.4 million citizens. Residents returning must isolate for 30 days [52].
  • 12 March (+51). Norway imposed stay-at-home lockdown.
  • 12 March 12 (+52). Quebec Province, Canada,  banned indoor gatherings of more than 250 people. Government  workers, health care professionals and teachers returning from international travel would be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Residents  experiencing flu-like symptoms, or who had recently returned from international travel, required to self-isolate [54].
  • 13 March (+53). Kuwait imposed lockdown [52].
  • 13 March (53). Poland imposed stay-at-home lockdown , banned foreigners from entering and shut restaurants, bars and casinos.  Returning residents required to quarantine for 14 days [52].
  • 14 March (+54). US entry ban applied to non-Americans  from 26 European countries (Ireland and UK exempted) [55].
  • 15 March (+55). Kenya imposed dusk-to-dawn curfew and  social distancing, closed schools, bars and restaurants, and excluded non-residents from entering the country [52].
  • 15 March (+55). US entry ban extended to non-American travellers from the UK and Ireland [56].  
  • 15 March (+55). Quebec, Canada, banned  various recreational and entertainment venues, including bars, cinemas, gyms, pools, and ski hills. Restaurants were also ordered to reduce their capacity by half and enforce physical distancing [54].
  • 15 March (+55). US President Trump recommended a voluntary curb on out-of-home activity: “We’d much rather be ahead of the curve than behind it. Therefore, my administration is recommending that all Americans, including the young and healthy, work to engage in schooling from home when possible, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people, avoid discretionary travel and avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants and public food courts” [57].
  • 16 March (+56). Gatherings of 500 or more banned in Australia, quarantine rules broadened, but the Federal  Government recommended that schools remain open [51, 58].
  • 16 March (+56). Morocco banned all international flights and closed schools, mosques and restaurants [52].
  • 16 March (+56). France closed non-essential businesses, and imposed stay-at-home lockdown, banning any public gatherings or walks outside (except for food) [52].
  • 16 March (+56). Czech Republic banned foreign travel and closed restaurants and most shops. Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, post offices, petrol stations  and takeaway restaurants remained open, but people were to stay at home after work [52].
  • 16 March (+56). Malaysia banned all travel in and out of the country. All non-essential businesses were closed down. Markets, banking, utilities, broadcasting and health services remained open,
  • 16 March (+56). Germany shut shops, churches, sporting facilities, clubs and bars in 16 states [52].
  • 16 March (+56). EU banned non-essential travel into the region [52].
  • 16 March (+56). Eminent epidemiologist  Professor Neil Ferguson and his colleagues at Imperial College, London,  released an important  research paper entitled “Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and health care demand” [3] recommending  vigorous suppression of  the COVID-19 epidemic via a “Suppression” scenario involving hygiene and social distancing, case detection and isolation, household quarantine, and the closing of schools and universities.  This “Suppression” strategy was modelled to result in much fewer  Covid-19-related UK deaths over 2 years  (circa 40,000) as compared to a less stringent “Mitigation” strategy not involving  school and university closure  (210,000 deaths) or Inaction (510,000 deaths): “We predict that school and university closure will have an impact on the epidemic, under the assumption that children do transmit as much as adults, even if they rarely experience severe disease. We find that school and university closure is a more effective strategy to support epidemic suppression than mitigation; when combined with population-wide social distancing, the effect of school closure is to further amplify the breaking of social contacts between households, and thus supress transmission. However, school closure is predicted to be insufficient to mitigate (never mind supress) an epidemic in isolation; this contrasts with the situation in seasonal influenza epidemics, where children are the key drivers of transmission due to adults having higher immunity levels… Perhaps our most significant conclusion is that mitigation is unlikely to be feasible without emergency surge capacity limits of the UK and US health care systems being exceeded many times over… even if all patients were able to be treated, we predict there would still be in the order of 250,000 deaths in GB, and 1.1-1.2 million in the US” ([59] ; see also [60-62]).
  • 17 March (+57).  All international arrivals to Australia (via planes and ships) required to self-isolate for 14 days (exemptions for crew or those transitioning through Australia to the Pacific Islands) [58].
  • 17 March (+57). Ontario declared a state of emergency with closure of indoor recreational programs, public libraries, theatres, cinemas, private schools (Ontario public schools closed since 14 March), and day care centres,  with the prohibition of all public gatherings of more than 50 people (later reduced to 5 people on March 28). Bars and restaurants however were allowed to remain open, but only for takeout [63].
  • 17 March (+57). UK universities suspended face-to-face teaching but the UK Government ordered schools to remain open while recommending curbing of social contact [65].
  • 17 March (+57). Most Australian universities had shifted to on-line delivery [66].
  • 17 March (+57).  Canadian universities close and shift  on-line   [67].
  • 17 March (+57). Belgium imposed stay-at-home lockdown [52].
  • 18 March (+58). UK schools to be closed indefinitely and exams cancelled [68-70].
  • 18 March (+58). Australian overseas travel advice – do not travel. Domestic travel was still allowed. Indoor gatherings of more than 100 people were now banned. Schools could remain open, but assemblies were cancelled. Limits on visitors to aged care homes [51].
  • 18 March (+58). Australia declared a human biosecurity emergency and banned  international cruise ships from entering Australian ports before 15 April 2020 [51].
  • 19 March (+59). Stay-at-home directive in California, the first US state  to do so [64].
  • 19 March (+59). In  Australia, New South Wales  health officials gave the all-clear for Australian Border Force to allow the 2,700 passengers aboard the cruise ship “Ruby Princess” to disembark in Sydney (within five weeks at least 662 passengers will have tested positive to Covid-19 and 21 will have died out of Australia’s total of about 80) [51].
  • 19 March (+59). Apartheid Israel imposed partial lock-down measures with citizens required to stay at home except for essentials (noting that a massive, military-enforced lock-down had applied to the Gaza Concentration Camp since 2007 via  the Egyptian and Apartheid Israeli blockade. Unemployment before the Covid-19 pandemic  was 45% in the Gaza Concentration Camp and 15% in the West Bank [71-76]).
  • 20 March (+60). Bavaria was the first German state to impose full lockdown [52].
  • 20 March (+60). New Zealand banned entry of most non-residents and non-citizens [51].
  • 20 March (+60).  Australia closed its borders to all non-residents and non-Australian citizens. A social distancing rule of 4 square metres (43 square feet) per person in any enclosed space was agreed to be implemented through State and Territory laws [51].
  • 20 March (+60). Australian ban on entry of all non-residents,  with Australian citizens and residents having to undergo a 14 day quarantine [51].
  • 21 March (+61).  Australia-wide introduction of strong and compulsory social distancing rules (no less than 1.5 metres outside and no less than 4 square metres per person inside, closure of most non-essential businesses) that severely impacted the economy. The Australian Government refused to support closure of schools (indeed it later  threatened  dire financial penalties for Federally-subsidized private schools if they did not  re- open) [51].
  • 21 March (+61). Argentina went into compulsory, police-monitored and preventative lockdown with people only able to leave their homes for essential services [52].
  • 21 March (+61). Jordan imposed lockdown and nightly curfew [52].
  • 22 March (+62). Stay-at-home lockdown order for New York [64].
  • 22 March (+62). Australia closed non-essential businesses in the first of increasingly severe measures.  The State governments of New South Wales and Victoria imposed a mandatory closure of non-essential services, and the Governments of Western Australia and South Australia imposed border closures [51, 52].
  • 23 March (+63). In Australia closure of  registered and licensed clubs, licensed premises in hotels and bars, entertainment venues, including cinemas, casinos and nightclubs and places of worship. Cafes and restaurants were to remain open, but only for takeaway. Funerals held inside  had  to follow the 4 square metre rule. The Australian Government declared  schools could  remain open but parents could keep children at home if they wished [51].  
  • 23 March (+63). UK announced strict stay-at-home lockdown measures at a time when there were  6,650 cases and 335 deaths. UK lockdown was to be enforced by police and involve stay-at-home restrictions prohibiting leaving home except for buying necessities, exercise, medical reasons or work (if it cannot be performed at home) [52, 70].
  • 23 March (+63). In Australia all pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants, excluding takeaway, to be closed. Gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, casinos, nightclubs and entertainment venues also closed. Schools remained open, but were encouraged to provide access to online education [51].
  • 23 March (+63). New York state-wide stay-at-home order [64] .
  • 24 March (+64). In Australia, Victoria and the ACT closed schools. A ban on house inspections, real estate auctions, eating in shopping centre food courts, amusement parks, play centres, beauty parlours, and tattoo parlours. Gatherings  restricted to groups of 10 when outdoors, including funerals. Weddings were limited to five people . Australians had to stay home unless going out for an essential purpose (food, exercise, medical. Restrictions on entering Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory with residents  permitted to enter having to self-isolate for 14-days. Ban on international travel ban. All non-urgent elective surgery was suspended to free up public and private hospitals  for the emergency.
  • 24 March (+64). India emplaced stay-at-home lockdown [52].
  • 24 March (+64). Colombia emplaced stay-at-home lockdown. People over 70 told t stay at home until May [52].
  • 24 March (+64). In New Zealand, a four week lockdown was announced [51].
  • 24 March (+64), All non-essential businesses were closed in Ontario, Canada [63].
  • 25 March (+65). Entry to Queensland restricted with a 14 day self-isolation.
  • 25 March (+65). Australia banned  Australian citizens and permanent residents from leaving Australian territory by air or sea as a passenger [51].
  • 25 March (+65). Saudi Arabia locked down Riyadh, Mecca and Medina. International flights banned and restaurants, mosques and schools closed [52].
  • 26 March (+66). Stay-at-home lockdown in New Zealand [51].
  • 26 March (+66). Policed stay-at-home lockdown in South Africa [52].
  • 26 March (+66). UAE imposed an overnight curfew with food and medical exceptions [52].
  • 27 March (+67). Ireland imposed stay-at-home lockdown [52].
  • 28 March (+68). Hungary imposed lockdown [52] and on  30 March Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was give the power to rule by decree and elections were suspended [52].
  • 29 March (+69). All returning Australian international travellers had to complete their mandatory 14-day quarantine in a hotel. A ban on non-essential travel into remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory came into effect. Gatherings were now limited to two people, excluding people who live together. Some states banned people from interacting unless they are exercising together or acting as a carer. People over the age of 70 were advised to effectively self-isolate, as were people with chronic disease or comorbidities over the age of 60, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples over the age of 50. The National Cabinet (PM plus 6 Premiers and2  Chief Ministers) announced a moratorium on evictions from commercial or residential tenancies for six months [51].
  • 30 March (+70). The Australian Government announced a A$130 billion wage subsidy package called JobKeeper. Eligible businesses would receive A$1,500 per employee per fortnight, to be paid in full directly to the employee, if they can show a significant loss in revenue. The economic  stimulus packages totalled  A$320 billion, or 16.4% of GDP [51].
  • 30 March (+70).  Ontario-wide closure of all outdoor recreational amenities [63].
  • 30 March (+70), Moscow residents were ordered to stay at home except for essentials such as food and pharmacy products. 27other regions in Russia followed Moscow’s lead [52].

April 2020

  • 3 April (+74). Thailand introduced a 10pm to 4am curfew with heavy penalties and the only exceptions being for transport of goods or for medical care [52].
  • 4 April (+75). Dubai lockdown [52].
  • 5 April 2020 (+75). Police in New South Wales announced a criminal investigation into the “Ruby Princess” cruise ship debacle, which is now the single largest source of coronavirus infections in Australia. Some 662 of the 5,687 coronavirus cases reported in Australia as of 5 April 2020 were from that particular cruise ship, as were 11 of the total of 34 deaths [51].
  • 7 April (+78). Singapore closed all schools and non-essential services as it suffered a big rise in cases, notably in crowded migrant worker hostels [52, 77].
  • 14 April (+85). Trump: “Today I am instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess [its] role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” [78].
  • 25 April (+96). Australia legislated a CovidSafe contact tracing app [51].
  • 27 April (+98). In Australia the ban on many types of non-urgent elective surgery was lifted [51].
  • 28 April (+99). In Australia,  New South Wales  Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced  a first relaxation of social distancing laws but the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews kept strict lockdown [51].

May 2020

  • 1 May (+102). The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) started the day with no active cases of Covid-19, with 103 people recovered and three dead. Lockdown restrictions were loosened in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory. PM Morrison: “We need to restart our economy, we need to restart our society. We can’t keep Australia under the doona, we need to move ahead”  [58].
  • First week of May (+102-108). UK Guardian reports (7 May 2020): “Three of Brazil’s 27 states this week announced the country’s first official lockdown measures to try to slow the spread of the disease” – deadly tardiness under Trumpist President Bolsonaro who has dismissed the seriousness of Covid-19 and opposes lockdown with catastrophic consequences in Brazil [79].
  • In late April and in May many countries started easing lockdown measures, carefully and responsibly so in brilliantly performing Australia, New Zealand, and East Asian countries, but irresponsibly so in the US, UK and Western Europe (including countries with huge and massively increasing death tolls from Covid-19).  Despite continuing mass mortality in the US and UK, the UK Government announced a weakening of lockdown (shifting from “stay at home “ to “stay alert”), and in the US Trump  gave support to  crazies discarding social distancing to demonstrate for an end to state-imposed lockdown in the US. Other countries started loosening lockdown but with a cautious eye on a possible deadly “second wave”.
  • 14 May (+115).  As Trump continued to demand an end to lockdown in the middle of a worsening Covid-19 carnage in America, Dr Rick Bright (the former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the agency in charge of pandemic response, who was sacked in April by idiot Trump), testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s health subcommittee, exposing gross deficiencies in the Trump Administration’s non-handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in 4 areas: (1) gross lack of plans, (2), ignoring of massive PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and other shortages, (3), attempts to bypass regulatory procedures over a Trump-popularized but not proven hydrochloroquine cure, and  (4) irresponsibly hasty pronouncements about  potential vaccines [80].
  • Anti-science Trump’s variously false, bombastic, nasty  and dangerous assertions about the Covid-19 pandemic are too numerous to reproduce here – for some compilations see [78, 81-83]. Some of the more shocking are: “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away” (10 February) [78]; “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA (24 February) [78]; Anybody that wants a test can get a test” (6 March) [78]; “Easter is a very special day for me. And I see it sort of in that timeline that I’m thinking about. And I say, wouldn’t it be great to have all of the churches full?” (24 March) [78];  “Nobody would ever believe a thing like that’s possible” (25 March) [78]; “Liberate Michigan [from lockdown] ” (17 April) [78]; “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? So it’d be interesting to check that [Pointing to his head] I’m not a doctor. But I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what” (24 April) [83].

Some conclusions from the Timeline and the Covid-19 pandemic responses

(1) Stay-at-home lockdown was imposed in China 3 days after human-to-human transmission was globally notified, but about 60 days later in most other countries.

From the first confirmed case  (1 December 2019) to notification of the WHO of a pneumonia-like disease deriving the Wuhan fish and live market on 31 December 2019, was a mere 4 weeks. This was followed rapidly in early January 2020 by final determination of the first RNA sequence for the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2)  (genome Wuhan-Hu-1). On 20 January 2020 (Day Zero) China notified the Chinese public and the World via the WHO of human-to-human  transmission of the virus. Chinese provision of primers and probes the next day was crucial for global virus detection. On 23 January China commenced stringent lockdown in Wuhan, Hubei Province and thence all of China.

Inspection of the Timeline reveals that in contrast it took most countries about 2 months after Day Zero (i.e. by about mid-March 2020) before they introduced stay-at-home lockdown measures, an extraordinary  tardiness that reflected money (and especially One Percenter Big Money) winning in the “livelihood” versus “lives” competition during the Covid-19 pandemic.  That deadly tardiness and exponential increase in infections outside China, and most disastrously in the US, has meant that global and US deaths now (20 May 2020) total 324,966 and 93,533, respectively, as compared to 4,634 in China,  and the global number of revealed cases  and the number of deaths are still remorselessly increasing in a quasi-linear fashion as a function of  time [84].

(2) Deadly anti-Covid-19 ineffectiveness  of North America and Western Europe versus  extremely effective action  by East Asia, Australia and New Zealand

Image on the right: File photo from the Times of India

The disingenuous and dishonest calls by the anti-science Trump Administration and the anti-science Australian Coalition Government for an “international inquiry “ into the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic implies that there is a present absence of crucial information. However this is belied by the reality that the US heads the Anglosphere  5-eyes Intelligence-sharing Club (the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) that shares vital intelligence for the safety and security of these nations and the “Free World”. Nevertheless  there is surely nothing less “vital” than intelligence on how to have prevented  nearly 135,000 Anglosphere lives to date from Covid-19,  and perhaps as many as 270,000 Anglosphere lives by the time the Covid-19 pandemic is over. The Covid-19 mortality statistics for the 5-Eyes Club are utterly damning of the fervently neoliberal, One Percenter-dominated US, UK and Canadian administrations that presided over Covid-19 disasters, whereas Australia and New Zealand are among the best countries in the Anglosphere world for containing  the pandemic [84].

Thus Australia (population 25.5 million or 25.5M) , like New Zealand (Aotearoa; population 4.8 M), has been remarkably successful in suppressing the Covid-19 outbreak. As of 20 May 2020,  there were 7,079 detected cases and 100 deaths (Australia), 1,503 detected cases and 21 deaths (New Zealand), 79,112 detected cases and 5,912 deaths (Canada, population 37.7 million i.e. 37.7 M), 248,818 detected cases and 35,341 deaths (the UK, population 67.8M),    and 1,570,583 detected cases and 93,533 deaths (the US, population 330.8 M), and 4,989,095 detected cases and 324,966 deaths (the World, population 7,600 M) [84].

For comparative purposes these disparities are usefully expressed on a “per capita Covid-19 deaths”  basis. Thus  Covid-19 deaths  per million (M) of population are as follows for the 5 Eyes nations: 4/M (New Zealand), 4/M (Australia), 157/M (Canada), 283/M (US), 521/M (UK) and 42.8/M (the World).

The shockingly high “Covid-19 deaths/M” values for the rich and technological sophisticated countries of Canada, UK and the  US (157-521) can be compared to high values in the range 29-786 (as of 20 May) in similarly  rich and technological sophisticated European  countries, to whit 29 (Iceland), 43 (Norway),  70 (Austria), 95 (Denmark), 98 (Germany), 122 (Portugal), 174 (Luxembourg), 219 (Switzerland), 317 (Ireland), 334 (Netherlands), 371 (Sweden), 429 (France), 532 (Italy), 594 (Spain), and 786 (Belgium).

These high levels of “Covid-19 deaths/M” in rich and technologically sophisticated Western European countries are in stark contrast to very low levels (0.3 – 6 ) in similarly prosperous and technologically  advanced countries in Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) and in East Asia, to whit 0.3 (Taiwan),  0.5 (Hong Kong),  3 (China),   4 (New Zealand), 4 (Australia), 4 (Singapore),  5 (South Korea) and 6 (Japan).

A very surprising thing is that all the 5 Eyes nations and Western European countries took action with strong travel bans (to stop incoming virus) and strong lockdown (to stop community infection) at roughly the same time over a few weeks in March, about 60 days after such action by China. However it is clear that something was seriously wrong in Canada, the UK, the US and Western Europe that was not present in East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Evidently through testing,  contact tracing and lockdown measures East Asian and Australasian   Governments were able to contain most incoming infection cases (and thence their contacts) whereas  neoliberal greed-driven business-as-usual  by governments  in North America and Western Europe allowed dangerously large  populations of  infection cases to build up through uncontrolled car, bus, train, ship and air travel, with this compounded by exponential growth of detected and hidden infection cases.

(3) Covid-19 deaths/population ratio correlates with neoliberal greed in the Anglosphere 5- Eyes nations

The differential Covid-19 deaths/population outcomes have no doubt been affected by geographic and cultural factors. Thus Australia and New Zealand (good outcomes) are islands but so is the UK (bad outcome). The East Asians countries (good outcomes) have a Confucian culture whereas Australia and New Zealand  (good outcomes) do not. The Anglosphere  5-Eyes countries have a common language, a common British heritage, similar economic, political and judicial institutions and very similar cultures. Accordingly  it is useful to compare the 5 Eyes countries in order to assess the impact of neoliberal greed on outcomes. The “Covid-19 deaths per million of population” ratio (deaths/M) provides a good relative measure of lack of  intra-national altruism that correlates well with the degree of neoliberal greed in the 5 Eyes nations (for detailed discussion see [85]).

Thus New Zealand (4/M)  has a marvellously pro-Humanity Labor PM, Jacinda Ardern, who heads a Center-Left coalition government; Australia (4/M)  is governed by a Right-wing Coalition but is only a few parliamentary seats away from having a decent Labor Government (with many of the pandemic decisions being made collectively by an unprecedented  ad hoc National Cabinet  composed of the PM plus 8 State and Territory Premiers or Chief Ministers, 4/8 being Labor); Canada (157/M) is ruled by an ostensibly progressive  but actually pro-fossil fuels, pro-US, pro-Apartheid Israel, pro-Apartheid and Centre-Right Trudeau Liberal minority government (the Extreme Right Conservatives are out of power and the genuinely decent and humane National Democratic Party and Greens have only 24 and 3 seats, respectively in the 333-seat parliament); the US (283/M) is alternately ruled by a tag team of the Right-wing Democrats and the Extreme Right-wing Republicans who are presently in power under populist neo-fascist Trump (however the Bernie Sanders phenomenon suggested burgeoning national social decency); and the UK (521/M) is ruled by the pro-war, pro-US, pro-Apartheid Israel, pro-Apartheid  and Right to  Extreme Right Conservatives (298 out of 650 seats) with Right- Center-Left Labor having only 243 seats after a virulent campaign of vilification by the traitorous and genocidally racist  Zionists  and  a similarly foul Right-wing gutter press.

So much for  the Anglosphere  5-Eyes Intelligence-sharing Club (the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) that shares vital intelligence on major threats e.g. from climate change and terrorism (with the pro-Apartheid US thence sharing this intelligence with Apartheid Israel). There is surely nothing less “vital” than intelligence on how to have saved about 135,000 Anglosphere lives to date,  and perhaps as many as 270,000 Anglosphere lives by the time the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

Indeed if one conservatively assumes that 4 Covid-19 deaths per million of population (the figure for New Zealand and Australia)  is the best that Canada, the US and the UK as sophisticated Anglosphere countries could have achieved, and that brilliant 5-Eyes intelligence would have informed them about exactly what to do, then one can estimate how many lives Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson could have saved if they had adopted that course of action.   On this basis,  Justin Trudeau would have saved 37.7 million  x [(157 – 4) per million] = 5,768 lives;  Donald Trump would have saved  330.8 million x [(283-4) per million] = 92,293 lives;  and Boris Johnson would have saved 67.8 million x [521-4) per million] = 35, 053 lives.

Canadian, British and American lives matter, and Justin Trudeau, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump should be arraigned before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for depraved indifference and the passive mass murder of their citizens.

(4) Responsibility for Covid-19 deaths that could and should have been avoided if “lives” were more important than  “livelihoods”

The Coivd-19 deaths/M value for the rich and neoliberal North American and Western European countries  ranges from 29 (Iceland) to 786 (Belgium). However if we assume that the best that could have achieved was the extraordinarily 0.3 low Covid-19 deaths/M  (the brilliant figure for democracy Taiwan) then the Covid-19 deaths that could and should have been avoided would have been 99.0% of the observed deaths (for Iceland) and 99.96% (for Belgium).

Accordingly, for this cohort of rich, neoliberal countries the actual Covid-19-deaths that could and should have been avoided approximate to the actual Covid-19-deaths, to whit (as of 20 May 2020):  10 (Iceland), 109 (Luxembourg), 233 (Norway), 551 (Denmark), 632 (Austria), 1,247 (Portugal)1,561 (Ireland), 1,891 (Switzerland), 3,743 (Sweden), 5,715 (Netherlands), 5,909 (Canada), 8,193 (Germany), 9,108 (Belgium), 27,778  (Spain), 28,022 (France), 32,169 (Italy), and 35,341 (UK), and 93,338 (US)[84].

Iceland can perhaps be forgiven for its 10 avoidable Covid-19 deaths, but the same latitude cannot be extended to the rest, and their leaders should be held responsible not just at the ballot box but also before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for putting financial interests (and especially overwhelmingly politically dominant One Percenter interests) before the lives of their citizens. The extreme cases are the depraved indifference to its own people of the Trump Administration and the  UK Tory Government that lost valuable time toying with the idea of letting things slide in the hope of developing “herd immunity” [86].

(5) Covid-19 deaths, intra-national altruism,  inter-national altruism,  the Developing World and remarkable Kerala

The global Covid-19 death toll as at 20 May 2020 totals 324,966 for a Covid-19/M of population value of 324,966/7,600 = 42.8/M that is  143 times greater than that for Taiwan (0.3), 86 times greater than for Hong Kong, 14 times higher than that for China (3) and 10 times higher than that  for New Zealand, Australia and Singapore (4) [84]. However the global  Covid-19/M value of 42.8 is 3.7 times lower than that for Canada (157), 6.6 times lower than that for the US (283) and 12.2 times lower than that for the UK (521).

This data points to a huge range of intra-national altruism and in particular practical intra-national altruism, but the Gold Star should go to the progressive Indian province  of Kerala. Thus the so far reported 4 Covid-19 deaths in Kerala, India [87], yields a Covid-19/M value of 4/36 million = 0.1/M, an astonishing outcome for a populous state with modest means but with a practically altruistic, science-informed, socialist government and high literacy (the latter enabling mass communication of vital preventative information). In stark contrast,  the maltreatment by the Modi Indian Federal Government of  migrant workers and other impoverished workers rendered unemployed in the Covid-19 crisis is utterly appalling.

Best-case Covid-19 Suppression scenarios for the rich UK and rich Australia  predict “annual Covid-19-related deaths as a percentage of population” of  about 0.03% pa. In contrast, “annual avoidable deaths from deprivation as a percentage of population” is already a shocking 0.30% pa for the Developing World (minus China), 0.60% pa for Indigenous Australians, and variously about 0.1% pa – 0.4% pa for various Developing Countries  that have been popular holiday destinations for relatively rich British and Australian tourists who could have a wonderful time while ignoring these huge disparities  [88].  In similar vein, the International Monetary Fund says the coronavirus pandemic will cost the world’s economies $9 trillion over the next two years. This translates  to  a $4,500 billion per year cost (mainly in rich countries)  to deal with a Covid-19 crisis involving, perhaps,  about 500,000 deaths in the first year. In contrast, the World spends a mere $3 billion each year to deal with malaria that kills 400,000 people annually [89, 90]. This differential expenditure  is indicative of an extraordinary lack of altruism of the global North towards the Western-perceived “unpeople” of the global South.

While the global North has a moral obligation to the people of the global South (international altruism), global North countries violently occupying countries of the global South have a legal obligation to preserve the well-being and lives of their conquered Subjects under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Thus Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War state unequivocally that an Occupier must provide its conquered Subjects with life-sustaining food and medical requisites “to the fullest extent of the means available to it”. However in relation to huge Subject avoidable deaths from deprivation, and ventilator non-provision in  the context of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic,  the US and Australia grossly violate the  Geneva Convention in Occupied Afghanistan, and Apartheid Israel grossly violates this in Occupied Palestine. Thus “annual avoidable deaths from deprivation” total zero (0) for the rich US and rich Australia, but total  84,256 pa (in Occupied Afghanistan), 4,200 pa (in Occupied Palestine) and 4,200 pa (for sorely neglected Indigenous Australians). In the most serious progression of the Covid-19 disease,  the damage to lung tissue is so great that patients need to be intubated and mechanically  ventilated by expensive ventilator machines. Ventilators  per million (/M) people  are 504/M (Occupier US), 173/M (Occupier Australia) and 407/M (Occupier Apartheid Israel) versus 8/M (Occupied Afghanistan), 38/M (Occupied Palestine) and 13/M (the Gaza Concentration Camp) [91].

(6) Listening to the suffering masses and science-based humanitarian advice for a post-Covid-19 Green New Deal and a decent, sustainable World

Climate change denier and populist Donald Trump’s deadly libertarian  refusal to take expert scientific advice on the worsening Climate Emergency and  to act responsibly  in the Covid-19 crisis has already cost the lives of over 92,000 Americans, carnage equivalent to that of thirty (30) 9-11s. In contrast, while Australia’s pro-coal and pro-gas PM Scott “Scomo” Morrison likewise ignores expert scientists over the worsening Climate Crisis, he has adopted the no-brainer of accepting expert medical advice over the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result the Covid-19 deaths /M value is an excellent 4 for Australia but an awful 283 for Trump America [84].

Indeed  rich Australia could have done even better and achieved the  Covid-19 deaths /M values of 0.1 (Kerala) [87], 0.3 (Taiwan), 0.5 (Hong Kong) or even 3 (China) [86]. Thus Australia could have taken strong action 60 days earlier (when China did) and stopped any infection getting into Australia. Expert opinions differ over school closure as an anti-Covid-19  measure, and PM Morrison and his medical advisers strongly supported schools remaining  open [93].   However  expert German virologists concluded a big study thus: “Based on these results, we have to caution against an unlimited re-opening of schools and kindergartens in the present situation. Children may be as infectious as adults” [94, 95]. Likewise,  leading epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson and 30 colleagues concluded in a very  important paper that  “Combining all four interventions (social distancing of the entire population, case isolation, household quarantine and school and university closure)is predicted to have the largest impact, short of a complete lockdown which additionally prevents people going to work… We predict that school and university closure will have an impact on the epidemic, under the assumption that children do transmit as much as adults, even if they rarely experience severe disease. We find that school and university closure is a more effective strategy to support epidemic suppression than mitigation; when combined with population-wide social distancing, the effect of school closure is to further amplify the breaking of social contacts between households, and thus supress transmission” [59]. As Australia relaxes lockdown and children return to school, time will tell.

Comprehensive social distancing and economic lockdown measures required to suppress Covid-19 have been associated with rapid socialism-style adoption of a needs-based economy (essential services), a decrease in carbon fuel burning and  deadly air pollution, a widened social safety net, and on-line learning from closed schools and universities. Post-Covid-19 one envisages a socialist needs-based economy, zero emissions, a  universal basic income (UBI), a Green New Deal (GND) and  free university education [92].

Notwithstanding offensively smearing  and non-specific criticism of China by the US and US lackey Australia, to its credit China has exhibited international altruism by providing the WHO and the World with timely information and critical coronavirus genome sequence information (see the Timeline above), sending  1,000 ventilators to help Covid-19-ravaged New York, and announcing $2 billion to help the World fight the pandemic, this including sending  doctors and medical supplies to countries in the Developing World [97] (in contrast neoliberal Trump has stopped funding the WHO and has threatened withdraw the US from the WHO). President Xi Jinping of China: “In China, after making painstaking efforts and sacrifice, we have turned the tide on the virus and protected lives. We have done everything in our power to support and assist countries in need” [97].

The World Health Assembly has just unanimously approved an expertly WHO-advised investigation into the origins of the coronavirus and how the WHO and the World responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. The WHO members  unanimously promised a “comprehensive evaluation [of WHO]” and to”[review] experience gained and lessons learned from the WHO-coordinated international health response to Covid-19” [98].  The pathetic and dishonest claim by the US lackey  Australian  Government that this was a victory for its offensive, Trump-inspired campaign to investigate  China and the WHO (world leaders in the fight against the coronavirus) was dismissed by the Chinese Ambassador to Australia as “a joke” [99].

Because the coronavirus can  infect anyone , from princes to paupers, the  Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a global blooming of intra-national altruism,  the notion “we are all in this together” ,  and concerted action to save lives – a course of emergency action that in a word is “socialism” but which has not been opposed by the One Percenters,  who in normal circumstances ruthlessly dominate the Mainstream media and the global economy with their remorselessly greedy,  inequitable  and deadly agenda. The big question is whether  this altruism will continue unabated in the post-Covid-19 era or whether the neoliberal One Percenters will restore control with business-as-usual, unsustainable  economic growth,  merciless  austerity and burgeoning inequality. One hopes that the political Establishments of Australia, the US and like rich countries that are committed to greedy and unsustainable  neoliberalism will be too scared by the huge  masses of unemployed to oppose this golden opportunity for a post-Covid-19 Green New Deal (GND) involving a sustainable, more altruistic and more equitable World.

Acclaimed Indian writer and humanitarian activist, Arundhati Roy (from Kerala),  has eloquently  urged a post-Covid-19 transformation (4 April 2020): “Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could… Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it” [100].


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This article was originally published on Countercurrents.

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003).


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