This Week on Fareed Zakaria GPS

Date: May 3, 2020
Subject: Your Interview with Peter Navarro

Hello, Fareed.

I love your show. (In particular, I love “Fareed’s Take.”)

I have to make some comments about what Dr. Anthony Fauci said in January and about what Peter Navarro said in your interview.

Dr. Fauci said the risk was very low given the science that was available at the time. However, this isn’t really true and it’s rather misleading.

Factually, we already knew everything we needed to know by the end of January to begin mitigation measures.

On January 12, China shared the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus.

On January 21, WHO confirmed human-to-human transmission of the virus.

On January 22, China confirmed 580 infected and 17 dead.

On January 23, China locked down 2 major cities, Wuhan and Ezhou. On January 24, China locked down Huanggang, another major city.

On January 24, China confirmed 1,287 infected and 41 dead.

On January 25, China confirmed 1,975 infected and 56 dead.

On January 26, China confirmed 2,801 infected and 80 dead.

On January 27, China confirmed 4,515 infected and 106 dead.

On January 28, China confirmed 5,974 infected and 132 dead.

On January 29, China confirmed 7,711 infected.

On January 30, China confirmed 9,692 infected and 213 dead.

On January 31, China confirmed 11,791 infected and 259 dead.

By now, it was absolutely clear. The situation was very, very serious. We were starting to see exponential growth: nearly 20X in just 9 days!

Moreover, by the end of January, we knew that the virus had escaped to more than a dozen countries.

So, based on the fact that the virus was human-transmissible, and that it was highly infectious and exhibiting exponential growth, and that the virus had already escaped to many countries, what scientific knowledge was lacking that justified not taking mitigation measures immediately? This completely defies common sense.

I respect Dr. Fauci, but I have to wonder what was going through his mind to make such a ludicrous proclamation.

Even Bill Gates said that we knew everything we needed to know about the virus in January, that nations should’ve taken action then. What science was Dr. Fauci waiting for?

As for Peter Navarro, virtually everything he said was rubbish. Very little was factually true. He was simply parroting the same ignorant memes that have been floating around for months. I wish someone had provided a strong counterpoint to his twisted views.

His most contentious assertion was that China could’ve contained the virus. This, too, is absurd. By the end of December, there were only a few hundred infections. There was no adequate testing. The Chinese had no idea how infectious the disease was. They weren’t going to lock down Wuhan on the basis of such sparse information.

In other words, it was impossible to “contain” the virus in December.

Whatever cover-up we imagine happened in December, it ultimately didn’t matter. The West was entirely responsible for their late response and high death toll.

The Trump administration has a clear agenda to demonize the Chinese. And Peter Navarro is Trump’s mouthpiece.

Best Regards,
Richard Eng

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