Perhaps those who keep insisting on praising China’s handling of COVID-19 can explain why the residents of Wuhan haven’t joined the choir. The New York Times offers an explanation for their silence today, which is that the government in Beijing has intimidated them into silence. Attempts to initiate legal action have resulted in threats, and those who tried to keep records of the Communist Party’s actions have mysteriously disappeared — just as the doctors who tried the warn the world did back in December.

Wanna bet that they weren’t singing harmony with Bill Gates?

The Chinese authorities are clamping down as grieving relatives, along with activists, press the ruling Communist Party for an accounting of what went wrong in Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus killed thousands before spreading to the rest of China and the world.

Lawyers have been warned not to file suit against the government. The police have interrogated bereaved family members who connected with others like them online. Volunteers who tried to thwart the state’s censorship apparatus by preserving reports about the outbreak have disappeared. …

The crackdown underscores the party’s fear that any attempt to dwell on what happened in Wuhan, or to hold officials responsible, will undermine the state’s narrative that only China’s authoritarian system saved the country from a devastating health crisis.

To inspire patriotic fervor, state propaganda has portrayed the dead not as victims, but as martyrs. Censors have deleted Chinese news reports that exposed officials’ early efforts to hide the severity of the outbreak.

Just how many “martyrs” Wuhan produced in this outbreak remains a mystery. Officially, Beijing says 4,000 people died of COVID-19 in its Wuhan epicenter, but that number does not make a lot of sense in a metropolis of nearly 12 million people. It’s now clear the virus was running amok for two months before Beijing began locking down the city and then Hubei province (58 million) in late January. Whistleblowers began leaking out videos of overwhelmed hospitals in late December and Beijing had to build out temporary hospitals at a stunning rate to catch up.

A month ago, using indirect analysis — the only kind China’s silence will allow — researchers estimated the death toll as closer to 50,000. One funeral home got an emergency supply of 5,000 urns, more than the overall death toll acknowledged by China.

Beijing is clearly lying about the death toll in Wuhan, and they’re covering up the lie by threatening the people of Wuhan to keep its secrets. Those for whom intimidation doesn’t work get disappeared. This is not much different than any other issue that Beijing sees as a threat to its rule, but the difference is that this time the issue reaches beyond its borders and has a direct impact on every nation on Earth. China’s lies matter, and its continuing cover-up threatens everyone, not just the people unfortunate enough to live in its totalitarian grip.

In other words, despite the oddball fantasies of Gates, Hollywood filmmakers, and media elites who really should know better, China’s government does not cooperate nor collaborate. Xi Jinping and his regime exploit, they manipulate, and they put their own power ahead of all other considerations. This makes any partnership with them on COVID-19 dangerous and counterproductive. Pretending that their data and origin research is accurate and useful only distract from efforts based on data that didn’t get pulled out of some communist apparatchik’s nether regions.

If COVID-19 has any use at all, it’s to pull the blinders off of Western leaders and thought influencers about the true nature of communist regimes like Beijing. The New York Times appears to have progressed along those lines. How long do we need to hear from those who stubbornly cling to those blinders?