Cardinal Charles Bo, the Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, believes that the Chinese regime is responsible for the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, he wants the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to apologize to the world for their mismanagement of the situation.
Standing against the CCP
Bo points to an epidemiological model generated by the University of Southampton that stated had China acted responsibly at least two or three weeks earlier, the number of infected people would have been reduced anywhere from 86 to 95 percent. The Chinese government’s delayed response thus led to the unnecessary death of thousands of people globally.
The Cardinal is afraid that Myanmar’s border with China puts his country at serious risk. The healthcare and social systems in Myanmar are very poor, which makes any possibility of a viral outbreak a risk to millions of lives. There are hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced due to wars and are living in close quarters at various camps. Practicing social distancing under such circumstances is almost impossible, thereby making these people vulnerable to the CCP virus.
Bo accuses the Chinese government of suppressing information about COVID-19 when it first emerged, silencing doctors and threatening whistleblowers who spoke about the infection. Journalists who reported about the virus mysteriously “disappeared.” And when the truth eventually came out, the CCP rejected any outside help. Bo believes that the communist regime’s handling of the CCP coronavirus outbreak has exposed the Party’s true nature — that it is a threat to the world.
“It is the CCP that has been responsible, not the people of China, and no one should respond to this crisis with racial hatred towards the Chinese. Indeed, the Chinese people were the first victims of this virus and have long been the primary victims of their repressive regime. They deserve our sympathy, our solidarity and our support. But it is the repression, the lies and the corruption of the CCP that are responsible,” he said in a statement. The Cardinal wants the Chinese government to apologize and compensate for the loss it has caused, wiping off the debt of other countries at a bare minimum.
The CCP virus in Myanmar
After Myanmar reported its first death recently, tensions have been running high in the country. The administration has been slow in conducting tests, with only 517 tested by the end of March. The UN has sent 50,000 testing kits to Myanmar. However, more will be necessary to tackle the situation if the CCP virus spreads uncontrolled. Independent analyst David Mathieson believes that the government’s response has been dismal due to a mixture of incompetence and ultra-nationalism.
But not everyone shares such a negative view of the administration. “We’re having some challenges in terms of getting more tests out there. In my perspective, it seems like the government is doing everything they can. Obviously, there are some challenges, and there certainly seems to be some delays, but I’m actually quite impressed with what the ministry is able to do,” Joshua Poole, country director for Catholic Relief Services Myanmar, said to Al Jazeera.
Of particular concern has been the return of tens of thousands of workers from Thailand, which many see as a potential source of an outbreak across the country. Leader Aung San Suu Kyi created a Facebook page to communicate about the coronavirus situation. In her first post, Suu Kyi admitted that she had no interest in joining Facebook, but that she was forced to do so because of the COVID-19 challenge.