The following column is adapted from "The Michael Savage Show" podcast, available for download on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever podcasts are heard.
Today I’m speaking about reparations from China for releasing COVID-19. I was perhaps the first in the media to call for reparations from China, in early 2020.
Does China owe the world reparations for COVID-19? In my estimation, yes they do, and I will explain the reasons below.
But my position is nuanced.
What might be the price paid for forcing such payments? War with China is one. Moreover, history tells us that reparations perceived as unjust by a country’s people can turn into great propaganda tools.
We saw this exploited by a totalitarian regime in Germany after World War I, and it led directly to World War II and the Holocaust.
I also asked in 2020, “Is COVID 19 our generation's Pearl Harbor?”
Yes, in many ways, it is.
What is the legal background for demanding reparations from China? I don't believe it was planned or intentional, rather I do believe it was an accidental escape from their laboratory.
That said, the Chinese did cover this up.
And nations have duties under international law in relation to the outbreak of any disease.
A nation has a general obligation to prevent the spread of epidemics over borders into other countries.
That is a law that stems from the customary “No harm” principle.
China also has obligations under World Health Organization (WHO) international health regulations, IHR, which is an international treaty binding 196 states, including China.
Now Article 6 of this treaty says that each state “Shall notify WHO within 24 hours of assessment of public health events which may constitute a public health emergency of international concern within its territory.”
Article 7 of the WHO law provides that a state must share all information regarding “an unexpected or unusual public health event.”
The Chinese authorities not only hesitated to call up the WHO when they were aware of the impending release of COVID-19, but worse, they covered it up.
It's an obligation of "conduct" and a nation does not have to be successful in its effort to halt or mitigate an outbreak, but it does have to make its best efforts to reduce the risk of transboundary harm.
And that should occur from the minute it gains knowledge of the risk. That is a standard of due diligence.
Once China's officials knew about the outbreak, they were obligated to act immediately and transparently in order to attempt to prevent harm to other countries in close cooperation with the WHO.
But in fact, WHO helped to cover up the spread of COVID-19. You're not reading this in the newspaper right now, but there's a global backlash building against China over coronavirus.
There is a 1927 case where the permanent Court of International Justice asserted that a state must “Wipe out all the consequences of the illegal act, and re-establish the situation which would in all probability have existed if that act had not been committed.”
If such restitution and integrity is impossible, as in the case of an epidemic with thousands or hundreds of thousands of casualties, the only appropriate form of reparation is monetary compensation.
The Chinese authorities did not purposely cause the virus to spread, but they allowed it to happen. And so in such a case, according to the law, all that can be established is “normative causality.”
That is going to be fought over because reparations are going to be demanded by America and many other states.
In May 2020, Australia called for an inquiry into the origin of the virus. Germany and Britain are hesitating to do business with Chinese tech giants.
The backlash is building against China and creating a deeply polarizing battle of narratives and setting back China's ambition to fill the leadership vacuum left by the United States.
President Xi is a totalitarian dictator, and the powerful propaganda department of the Chinese communist party works with the powerful propaganda departments of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS & NBC. I don't know where this will go since we don't control the media.
Since the virus is now reappearing in a very virulent manner, China's tone has only toughened. And that shows us how dangerous China's leaders considered the virus is to their standing at home.
Moreover, the idea that COVID-19 originated in a lab in China is gaining new attention. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that scientists that Wuhan Institute of Virology became so ill with COVID-19 like symptoms that they required hospitalization back in November of 2019.
Former President Donald Trump recently asked the nations of the world to work together to present China a bill for a minimum of $10 trillion to compensate for the damage they've caused “… even though the damage is far, far greater than that,” he added.
That's leadership that you're not going to hear from “China Joe” Biden.
Biden is busy making it worse by bringing in fresh COVID cases over the Southern border. Maybe we should demand that Joe Biden pay reparations!
In my opinion, we’re not going to collect one cent from China on reparations. It's just going to be a political point to make.
Also, as discussed above and in my recent Newsmax TV appearance, demanding reparations could wind up as a very dangerous boomerang.
Learn more in today’s “Michael Savage Show” podcast.
A National Radio Hall of Fame recipient, Savage has hosted his radio show for more than 25 years and launched The Savage Nation Podcast in January of 2019 with one of the most successful podcast debuts. A prolific New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Savage's latest book is "Our Fight for America: The War Continues." To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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