Home Coronavirus The Chinese Lockdown-and-Mask Model Failed. Now Its Proponents Need Scapegoats
Home Coronavirus The Chinese Lockdown-and-Mask Model Failed. Now Its Proponents Need Scapegoats

The Chinese Lockdown-and-Mask Model Failed. Now Its Proponents Need Scapegoats

The problem isn’t just the China Virus. It’s that we adopted the China Model to fight it.

Public health experts adopted China’s draconian lockdowns without knowing how well they really worked and in a country that, fortunately, lacks the power to truly enforce them.

China’s deceptiveness and lack of transparency meant that we did not know how well anything that the Communist dictatorship did to battle the virus that it spawned actually worked. Despite that, our public health experts, and those of most free countries, adopted the China Model.

We don’t know how well the China Model worked for the People’s Republic of China, but it failed in every free country that tried it. Lockdowns eventually gave way to reopenings and new waves of infection. This was always going to happen because not even the more socialist European countries have the police state or the compliant populations of a Communist dictatorship.

Desperate, the public health experts adopted China’s compulsive mask wearing, a cultural practice that predates the virus, as if wearing a few flimsy scraps of fiber would fix everything.

It hadn’t and it didn’t.

But by then the public health experts and the media that had touted them were moving fully into the scapegoat portion of the crisis. The China Model had failed, all that was left was shifting the blame to more conservative and traditional populations, and away from the cultural elites.

In New York City that meant falsely blaming Chassidic Jews for the second wave. From Maine to San Francisco, Democrat leaders and their media blamed conservative Christian gatherings. Their national counterparts loudly blamed President Trump for not wearing a mask all the time.

A New York Times headline captured the cynical broad spectrum cultural scapegoating with, "N.Y.C. Threatens Orthodox Jewish Areas on Virus, but Trump’s Impact Is Seen."

The uncomfortable truth was that the lockdowns had failed economically, socially, and medically.

Even blue states and cities were no longer able to carry the impossible economic burden much longer. The Black Lives Matter riots and the onset of summer broke the #StayHome taboos, and medically, the lockdowns had been useless efforts to meet a fake crisis of hospital overflows.

America, like too many other countries, put the experts in charge and they failed. Miserably.

Democrats claimed that they were superior because they were “listening to the science”. They weren’t listening to the science, which is not an oracle and does not give interviews. Instead, they were obeying a class of officials, some of them whom weren’t even medical professionals, who impressed elected officials and the public with statistical sleight of hand. And little else.

The entire lockdown to testing to reopening pipeline that we adopted wholesale was a typical bureaucratic and corporate exercise, complete with the illusion of metrics and goals, that suffered from all the typical problems of bureaucracy, academia, and corporate culture.

The system that determines reopenings and closings is an echo chamber that measures its own functioning while having little to do with the real world. Testing has become a cargo cult exercise that confuses the map with the world, and the virus with the spreadsheet. It gamifies fighting the pandemic while dragging entire countries into an imaginary world based on its invented rules.

When the media reports a rise or decrease in positive tests, it’s treated as if it’s an assessment of the virus, rather than an incomplete data point that measures its own measurements.

The daily coronavirus reports have become the equivalent of Soviet harvest reports. They sound impressive, mean absolutely nothing, and are the pet obsession of a bureaucracy that not only has no understanding of the problem, but its grip on power has made it the problem.

The smarter medical professionals understand that the theories have failed, while the administrators who put the theories into practice confused their system with science. The politicians listen to the administrators and when they tell us to trust the science, they mean the bureaucracy. The medical professionals can’t and won’t backtrack now. It’s too late.

The best and brightest spent the worst part of a year shuffling rationales like a gambler’s trick deck, wrecked the economy, and sent tens of thousands of infected patients into nursing homes to infect the residents, accounting for at least a third of the national coronavirus death toll.

Like most national leadership disasters, it was a combination of misjudgement, understandable mistakes, tragic errors, and acts of incomprehensible stupidity or unmitigated evil.

A lot of people are dead, a lot more are out of work, and the problem is far from solved. Someone will have to be blamed and they certainly don’t want it to be themselves.

The lockdown and the rule of the public health experts has become too big to fail.

Mistakes were made, as the saying goes. Projections were built based on bad and incomplete data. Everyone followed the path of least resistance by doing what China had done. And everyone in the system, from the experts to the administrators to the politicians to the media, is complicit. That makes the massive error the world has been living under too big to fail.

There are only two choices left. Admit the magnitude of the mistake or find someone to blame.

The establishment that touted the experts is blaming its political and cultural enemies, the people it has been priming the public to see as strange, selfish, irrational, and dangerous. And also the very people who have been the loudest opponents of lockdown culture.

Given a choice between admitting the system was wrong or blaming the system’s failure on its critics, the establishment has followed the same pattern as every authoritarian leftist regime.

The lockdowns didn’t fail, they were failed by conservative Christians and Jews, by President Trump, by people who were too selfish to give up their lives, businesses, and religion for the greater good. And if only they had, the coronavirus would be gone and everything would be fine.

The China Model promised something that its proponents quickly knew it couldn’t deliver. Everything since then has been a scam to cover up the original quackery and hackery. The louder they blame critics and dissenters for the failure, the more obvious the coverup becomes.

Lockdown culture needs patsies to take the fall for why it didn’t work. Like every leftist social and economic experiment, its defenders are left to argue that it was never properly tried. If only it weren’t for Trump, and for the dissenters, for the Chassidic Jews in Brooklyn, for Christian weddings in San Francisco and Maine, for gyms, bars, and beaches, it would have worked.

Yet the simple truth is that the China Model hasn’t worked in any country that isn’t China.

It doesn’t matter who the leader or the ruling party are, whether the public wore or didn’t wear masks, the resurgence is not a political phenomenon, science doesn’t speak, and the virus doesn’t listen. But of all the countries in the world, America was especially ill-fitted to adopt an authoritarian public health model. The sheer size, openness, and diversity of the country makes us unique and should have made it abundantly obvious that no such system would work.

Anyone but an expert or administrator would have understood that these plans were doomed.

But what the system failed to accomplish in battling the virus, it made up for by providing the leadership that had enacted it with a wonderful opportunity to settle its political scores.

The lockdowns don’t exist anymore as a prophylactic policy, but as a political vendetta. The more people die, the more businesses are ruined, the more everyone suffers, the more vicious the vendetta grows as it hunts for scapegoats, political and religious, for the great error of terror.

Leftist regimes turn to political terror as their policies fail. When the idealism dies, and the theories fall apart, the organizers pursue misery for the sake of misery, using fear, deprivation, and hate to maintain their grip on power while crushing the political threats to their rule.

The rule of the experts isn’t fighting the virus. It has become the virus.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.


  1. Anonymous18/10/20

    A MA ZING!

    1. Any hard evidence that the West adopted the "Chinese model" of lockdown? If it succeeded would there be acknowledgement? Now that it has failed in the West, it is called the "Chinese model". In China, lockdowns were quickly lifted, official reports of cases and deaths simply ceased. How could anyone in their right mind copy China when there was such flimsy information available?

    2. Anonymous19/10/20

      Fake news blaming Trump for what uour communust far far left did. They screwed over Americans. Don't blame our great president. Look at your self first.

  2. Anonymous18/10/20

    Medical officials surely knew the effort of lockdowns and masks wasn't going to stop the spread of COVID-19. The strategy - supposedly - was that it would slow the spread sufficiently to prevent the overloading of hospitals and other emergency health care services while better treatment options and vaccines were developed. Did it do that? I'm not sure we will ever know. What we do know is the harm it caused the economy, that it gave Democrats a political weapon to use against Trump, and that it gave certain governors and mayors a chance to exercise an authority they seem reluctant to relinquish.

  3. Alicia PS18/10/20

    An excellent critique.
    A worldwide madness, with Chinese methods to solve a third rate viral gnats bite for all but the seriously compromised.
    Seems the global rot requires a medical dictatorship, with those face nappies getting duct taped on by way of a gag, so nobody gets to say how mad and godless it's all getting.
    Schwab, Soros and Gates, Agenda 21 and Socialislam via an Erdogan/Xi Dream Ticket in 2023?

  4. Anonymous18/10/20

    Science. Thanks to our shitty government schools,
    our last several generations have no clue what it
    even is. That’s good for the “scientists”, because
    most are academic whores screwing for grant bucks.
    No wonder the claim, “97% of scientists agree blah,
    blah, blah”, is invoked. A dissenter will be as
    poor as a conservative in Hollywood.

    Let’s look at the track record:
    Climate scientists predict catastrophic warming,
    Climate scientists predict ice age,
    Second hand smoke claimed causes cancer; turning
    society to treat smokers like lepers,
    Chernobyl crisis from normal Soviet sloppiness,
    Three Mile Island panic when radiation was
    contained, no-one hurt,
    Ozone Hole scare outlawed CFC’s, massive rework
    of all refrigeration systems,

    Well, you get it. “Scientists” aren’t oracles or
    Brahmins. Free citizens should know science,
    math and technology well enough to ask good
    questions and suspect sophistry.


  5. Brilliant as always.

  6. great post Daniel. Not withstanding the fact the virus had most likely made its way thru major population centers months before lockdown measures implemented. Thankfully People (if they wish) can try to compare policies and results from state to state

  7. Utter CRAP..We in NZ, plus other countries totally disagree with your propaganda.

    1. Who asked you? Stay in your little fear bubble.

    2. Anonymous21/10/20

      No problem. Enjoy your tyranny with your commie PM.

  8. Anonymous19/10/20

    There is an essay by George Orwell "Shooting an Elephant" that is particularly relevant to the Covid situation. The people in charge make decisions to save face and protect their image instead of doing what is right.

  9. Anonymous19/10/20

    Best thing that I have read in ages. Saw it on Zero hedge.

  10. I was in China during the entire time. We all stayed inside and did our part. It worked VERY WELL. China has a very low infection and death rate. We all communicate by phone and WeChat (Weixin) during the whole time. We have relatives in Wuhan, so we were able to know what was going on there. China had a REAL LOCKDOWN. People stayed inside unless absolutely necessary. Anybody who was sick went to a special hospital. Anybody who was exposed to a sick person went to quarantine in special hotels. They were not told to go home and stay inside while infecting their families as America did. America and the entire West DID NOT try the Chinese lockdown method.
    The citizens of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and others did what needed to be done because the harmonious functioning of society is the highest value, not the imaginary rights of the individual.

    1. Anonymous19/10/20

      Roddy, what a perfect worker bee you are!
      The good of the hive (CCP) is so important
      that you (a resource thereof) are to be
      expended for it. Enjoy your harmony.

      Your friendly individual, Charlie

    2. PATRICK GRENGS20/10/20

      Yes, worker bees must protect the Hive. The Hive Mind. As an individual, with nearly a zero likelihood of having ill effects from C19, I will pass. And no, I am neither imaginary nor are my individual rights.

  11. Most oblivious unscientific article ,did you pass high school btw ..i mean i am not your typical communist chinese guy per say ... lets purely talk on the merits of subject inside ... Japan followed chinese model for its not a dictator ship , American vagabond'ism vs japanese self control of public can show a drastic difference in Covid spread . and mask itself is not contention its the HIGH PROBABLE SUPER SPREADERS and local people demographics and temperature and life style .
    Problem is we all need to be a Part of Solution where is your Solution ?

    1. PATRICK GRENGS20/10/20

      Solution is simple. Handle this like any other virus. Attend to the vulnerable. The rest of the population can continue to move about freely. This is what happened in Sweden. No lockdown (prison term). Sweden did remarkably well. The costs of the lockdowns will echo through the next decade and eclipse any costs from the Flu. Additionally, only 6% of the C19 deaths in the USA were due only to C19, the remaining 94% had an average of 2.5 comorbidities. Those folks were going to die in 2020 anyway .... just a slight push out the door. The masks and social distancing were all a measure of Social Engineering. The people wearing the masks due so out of ignorance + fear + compliance + virtue signaling. I do not wear the muzzle. I am a Man. Real men do not wear a state-mandated arbitrarily enforced muzzle. Glad to be an American.

  12. Weapon against Trump? You gotta be joking. More like the weapon the Governors created for their own demise. People are not Stupid. State Governors lockdowns their own States for months on end.

  13. Anonymous19/10/20

    Are all of the other countries subsidizing covid deaths like the USA does? (The deaths in the USA were caused by a pre-existing condition, but, since they had covid, the medical facility received the Covid bonus check). Just curious. They need to add the population to tests ratio to give us a better idea on just how bad the US is really doing.

  14. The China model failed wherever it was tried? Funny, China, South Korea, New Zealand and Denmark, all countries that went for that model, are quite happy with it. They all now have really low cases and, wait for this, their economies are doing fine and people live life as normal.

    Now, the USA clearly didn't follow the China model. Because that means, locking down, preferably early, till you have really low cases of the virus, and then carefully trace any and all small outbreaks afterwards. The USA locked down late, stopped early, and failed to trace because there were just too many cases to trace successfully. That isn't the China model. That is pretty close to the Brazil model, or the India model, and not surprisingly, it's producing similar results: a destroyed economy, destroyed trust in the authorities, and a general disaster that probably will take many years to recover from.

    By now it's obvious to everyone that you are incapable of following the China model, so try at least to follow the model of another somewhat dysfunctional country: Italy. That should be within your abilities. But I doubt you can do even that. Instead, you will follow the American Hollywood model: fail in the most utterly humiliating way possible and then make a few movies pretending you did the best possible. Much like you did with Vietnam and Afghanistan.

    1. That's the whole point isn't it? countries such as the USA, Brazil, India and Indonesia are too diverse and the people are not going to stand in line for whatever the government says. One has to tailor according to the particular cultures and countries. Lockdowns have not succeeded in these countries for the simple reason that the cure is worse than the disease. My home state in India, Kerala, was touted as the best performing state in controlling the virus about six months ago. It had a capable team handling it, the people were educated early on. Yet today the situation is no different from what has transpired in the rest of India.

  15. Anonymous20/10/20

    The lock-down is what damaged the economy. We were told a very few weeks in order to get up to speed, flatten the curve, most states went beyond that. Trump cannot dictate to states. The states that have continued it are killing their economies. The pandemic is over there is only a casedemic aggravated by hysteria. We are killing more than preventing with the lockdowns and the continued useless restrictions The death RATE is about the same as the flu incidences of recent years.

  16. Anonymous18/11/20

    Good article. But I must complain that this site has a terrible display whitewashed and wide lines of tiny print. It really is taking away from this good article.

    It's clear that media made President Trump the scapegoat. The average Joe plumber who knows this is hysteria can do nothing to affect his government's tyranny. That's why the white colonists made committees of correspondence prior to the Revolution.

    1. I'm sorry it's not showing up well

      What are you using to read it?

  17. Anonymous18/11/20

    Thanks for replying. What was it I heard Rahm Emanuel say, "We can't let a good crisis go to waste."

    By the way I'm using the Opera browser. Maybe that is the problem?

    1. the crisis always get pumped dry

      are you on a phone, or a laptop/desktop?


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