The political left is quick to blame U.S. air emissions for both the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and climate change. China is the primary culprit for both, and the Chinese Communist Party is …
The political left is quick to blame U.S. air emissions for both the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and climate change. China is the primary culprit for both, and the Chinese Communist Party is attempting to mislead the world.
In April, Harvard University researchers released a study that claimed people who lived in areas with more air pollution stood an increased chance of dying from the coronavirus. The study caused a media sensation, and Democratic politicians publicly embraced its findings. However, the study was not peer-reviewed. Experts questioned its results. Harvard has since rolled back the study’s dramatic claims.
The idea that U.S. pollution is responsible for the spread of the pandemic is simply false. From the time the disease emerged, Chinese authorities have engaged in a comprehensive disinformation campaign.
Communist Party leaders destroyed evidence and misled the world about the outbreak.
When Dr. Li Wenliang, a physician at Wuhan Central Hospital, attempted to alert the public, he was forced to recant. He died of the virus weeks later. Chinese authorities censored journalists and blocked social media sites.
According to Johns Hopkins University, over 8 million individuals have contracted the virus worldwide and the death toll is over 400,000. The Chinese government has tried to avoid accountability.
A closer look at China’s pollution data also shows deception. Chinese authorities have routinely underreported emission totals and pollution levels. An audit found hundreds of Chinese power firms had falsified emissions reports.
The data China shares is likely woefully inaccurate — yet still staggering. Over the past two decades, as U.S. emissions have fallen, China’s have grown.
China, not America, lied about its contributions to the spread of the coronavirus and a changing climate. It should be held accountable for both.
(U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, is an orthopedic surgeon and chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. This column first appeared in the Chicago Tribune.)