The “devil virus,” as President Xi Jinping called COVID-19, has already killed over 1,300 people and it’s accelerating. The last few days have seen more than 100 deaths a day, and the death rate in Wuhan is now 4 percent of those infected.

Significantly, Xi is no longer claiming that he is “personally commanding” the anti-virus fight. If this is going to be a disaster, somebody else should take the blame, and the man in charge of the campaign against the virus is now Vice Premier Sun Chunlun. Aware that he is now the designated fall guy, Sun immediately visited Wuhan and declared that the city and country now face “wartime conditions.” Waxing hysterical, he warned: “There must be no deserters, or they will be nailed to the pillar of historical shame forever.” But mere rhetoric won’t save him if the epidemic goes nationwide.

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