As the CCP Coronavirus (Coronavirus) began spreading across the globe in February, Americans began receiving strange advice from the U.S. Surgeon General. Americans were told to stop “hoarding” masks because they don’t work, and medical workers need them. In addition to the Surgeon General misleading the public about the efficacy of masks, posts have been circulating around social media sites blaming “hoarders” for the lack of masks and medical equipment in American hospitals. This has raised an important question: are American “hoarders” to blame for the lack of protective equipment, or did someone else buy up medical supplies and send them out of the country?
A recent article by the Sydney Morning Herald revealed that a Chinese property developer called Risland Australia, bought up over 90 tons of medical supplies in Australia and sent them to Wuhan, China in February. This was done on multiple occasions. Another major property developer called Greenland Australia also sourced and sent large amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE) back to China from Australia in February. These were massive efforts, and drained many stores of their mask and glove supplies.
This is not only an Australian phenomenon. Organizations, businesses, and students across America began buying up massive amounts of N95 masks and other protective equipment throughout late January and early February to send back to China. Below is picture from the China General Chamber of Commerce in America (CGCC). They sourced and donated tens of thousands of dollars of supplies from cities across the United States to China. The CGCC began sourcing supplies in January.
Below is a woman buying so many boxes of N95 masks(sent to China), they barely fit in her vehicle. After her, there’s a Tweet about a man in Massachusetts who sent $5000 worth of masks and other medical supplies to China.
In addition to these individual efforts, international Chinese students wanted to help their “Motherland” by raising money, then sourcing supplies in America to send to China. Below are two students who raised over $ 50,000 to buy and send masks and needed medical equipment to China.
Similar to other efforts, these students began raising money and buying supplies as early as January. It is important to note that organizations began buying up medical supplies in January, and throughout February. Stores across America and the world began reporting shortages and increased sales throughout January and February, before many Americans realized the full potential of the CCP Coronavirus.
An article by Business Insider noted that ” US sales of medical masks soared 428% in the week ending January 25 compared with the same week a year ago.” Americans began waking up to the threat of the CCP Coronavirus in late February. By that time, massive efforts had been underway by companies, organizations, students, and citizens with strong ties to China, to buy massive quantities of medical supplies from all over the world, and send them to China.
There are many more stories of people and organizations with strong ties to China bleeding their host countries of medical supplies throughout January and February, but I cannot discuss them all here. I do not believe sending medical supplies to China is the only reason Americans and others lack sufficient amounts of PPE, but it likely contributed in a significant way. It should also be investigated in more detail.
I should also clarify, this is a difficult situation. Many Chinese nationals and companies around the world did not have bad intentions when they bought up supplies of masks and gloves. They genuinely love their country and families, and wanted to help. However, we must ask ourselves: should this type of behavior be acceptable on a such a scale during a global crisis? If a large American population in China went to Chinese stores, pharmacies, etc. to buy face masks and sent them to America during this outbreak, would this be acceptable in China? I do not think so.
Moving forward, we cannot allow strategically important supplies to be removed from our country during a crisis. We must communicate honestly as well: Americans are not “hoarding” medical supplies, many of them were sent back to China.