China Is Not a Coronavirus Role Model

The coronavirus pandemic has elicited some strange jealousy for China’s authoritarianism. “In the face of a previously unknown virus, China has rolled out perhaps the most ambitious, agile and aggressive disease containment effort in history,” declared a Feb. 28 World Health Organization report. The argument is that the unchecked power of the Chinese government is a main reason the country has successfully slowed—and perhaps even stopped—domestic transmission of the virus. Some commentators even claim that China will emerge from the crisis a stronger global power, and that the U.S. will need its help to recover.

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