China’s Zero-Covid-Risk Policy Is a Political Lightning Rod

Chinese artist speaks out against zero-Covid policy by wearing 27 hazmat suits in Times Square

Graphic: Andrew J. Cherlin

This week was supposed to be full of positive changes. Yet in the midst of an unprecedented national emergency, the federal government kept Americans on lockdown, and even those who weren’t infected were kept from visiting nonessential businesses.

That’s how the government decided to tackle COVID-19, with a policy that forced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin shutting down all its projects immediately, even as the country has more or less recovered its economy. (The government claims the Corps’ projects are essential – but that hasn’t actually been determined; other projects, meanwhile, continue as usual.)

The policy has become a political lightning rod that’s been generating nationwide outrage – even as lawmakers have been trying to keep people and businesses safe and continue normal business operations.

But Chinese artist Shen Zifei isn’t buying it. She’s made a video about the zero-covid-risk policy, and she’s putting together an online exhibit about it as a way of protesting it. Shen wants Americans to see how the government is treating them in comparison to the Chinese people – and she’s sharing it with folks who aren’t currently receiving any governmental stimulus. While that sort of thing isn’t encouraged in China, it would make just about as much sense here:

This video is a compilation of footage from Chinese social media and news outlets, and was made to expose this outrageous policy and the government’s lack of accountability.

On Monday, China made a sweeping announcement to its people, and to the world: The epidemic is over, and as soon as China’s economy recovers, its coronavirus response will end. The Chinese government’s actions here are unprecedented in any other country – including those who have been following the pandemic so closely.

So when

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