Friday, December 02, 2005

"Why don't they believe us?"

China's health minister admitted the obvious yesterday when he said many human cases of bird flu might be missed because of the inability of local doctors to make the diagnosis:
China's health minister defended the government today against accusations of a cover-up of human infections of bird flu, but said ill-equipped and ill-trained doctors might be unable to detect cases.


"I am not worried about governments at various levels covering up an epidemic," Gao told a news conference. "But I am worried about the inability of our medical and quarantine personnel at the local level to diagnose and discover epidemics in a timely fashion due to their low abilities and relatively backward equipment." (SABC News)
Duh. Could have said so earlier.

China is now reporting 30 separate poultry outbreaks that span the length and breadth of the country. It has been patently obvious for a long time that having only three confirmed human cases, and those only within the last month, was not credible. Their sorry performance in the recent 100 metric tonne benzene spill that knocked out the water supply of Harbin, a city of 9 million people, is another example of China's credibility problem.

Even when they are telling the truth, people will suspect them of lying. That's what happens. But they never seem to get it.