Jim Geraghty of National Review Online highlights an interesting development in communist China.

In the U.S., Covid-19 is an afterthought, overtaken by all kinds of other problems, such as inflation, gas prices, and even monkeypox. (See below.) Meanwhile, there’s a report that over in China, once again the Communist are proposing five-year plans:

“A story first posted in the Beijing Daily, the official publication of the capital’s ruling party, quoted former mayor and current party chief Cai Qi as saying the city will uphold the controversial ‘zero-COVID’ policy ‘for the next five years.’”

“The quote from Cai, a close ally of Chinese President Xi Jinping, provoked a quick and furious social media backlash. On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, the hashtag ‘for the next five years’ was banned in response to the uproar.”

So China will be shutting down cities every time somebody sneezes until 2027?

You don’t see as many “What the U.S. can learn from China’s response to COVID infections” articles as you used to see. For two years, major U.S. publications liked telling the story of China’s smoothly implemented, efficient, and ruthlessly effective policies to shut down the virus, while the stumbling, bumbling, unruly, and chaotic Americans accumulated the highest death toll and infection rate in the world. The New York Times’ narrative of “how China beat the virus and roared back” on the strength of “power, patriotism, and 1.4 billion people” looks silly now. That was always a misleading, stage-managed narrative promoted by an authoritarian regime, hoping their own subpar vaccines and draconian lockdowns could keep a virus as contagious as the common cold at bay.

Anyone with eyes can see that the official Chines figures on Covid-19 infections and deaths are nonsense. The Chinese government would have you believe that, out of China’s total population of 1.4 billion, it has recorded only about 225,000 total infections since the start of the pandemic — fewer than in Montenegro, with a total population of 621,000!. …