Coronavirus Lies and Afghanistan

Grind for February 12th
“The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

This Is Bad

The Headline

Everything we told you about the coronavirus was wrong

The Grind

For weeks, officials throughout the world assured us that the novel coronavirus was nothing to worry about; that China had things under control. For weeks, the World Health Organization told us not to use the word “pandemic.”

At the end of January, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a “global health emergency” and the Trump Administration implemented the first federally mandated quarantine measures in more than 50 years.

Last week, we found out that China tried to silence the doctors who initially reported the coronavirus and may have downplayed the severity of the disease. At least two of those doctors are now dead.

The Details

The first doctors to report the coronavirus compared it to SARS, a highly-infectious respiratory disease that killed 774 people and infected 8,000 after originating in China in the early 2000’s.

Last month, China said the new illness was nothing like SARS and questioned the virus’s ability to pass from one person to another.

On February 8th, deaths from the coronavirus eclipsed those caused by the 2003 SARS epidemic.

To date, the coronavirus has caused at least 802 deaths in China and Hong Kong; 780 of those deaths occurred in the Chinese province of Hubei, where the virus originated.

Nearly 35,000 people have been infected, with some experiencing no symptoms while spreading the disease to others. The coronavirus has a mortality rate of about 2% worldwide (or 4% if you live in Hubei). SARS has a mortality rate of 9%.

In the meantime, millions of Chinese residents are under quarantine as officials implement wartime measures to halt the spread of the disease. In Wuhan, officials closed public transportation without warning and have ordered all residents to report their body temperatures to health officials daily. Those who succumb to the virus are cremated immediately without funerals.

This weekend, China agreed to allow an international team of experts into the country to investigate.


The Headline

Two US soldiers in Afghanistan killed in surprise attack

The Grind

An individual wearing an Afghan uniform opened fire with a machine gun on coalition forces Saturday, killing two soldiers and wounding six before he was brought down.

The attack occurred in Eastern Afghanistan, in the Sherzad district of Nangarhar province.

“As a result, unfortunately, one brave ANA member was martyred and three brave members injured; and two brave Resolute support members lost their lives and six brave members were injured,” said Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense in a statement on Sunday.

The Details

It is unclear whether the gunman was an Afghan soldier or an infiltrator wearing an Afghan uniform. His motive remains unknown.

This sort of attack, when a person wearing an Afghan uniform attacks coalition troops, has been occurring for years. The frequency of so-called “green on blue” attacks peaked in 2012, at the time representing 15% of all coalition deaths.

“Incidents such as this fail to have negative effects on the friendship and spirit of cooperation between the ANDSF and US Military forces,” said Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense. “We will continue our fight against terrorism together.”

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