Former FDA official thinks the cases are “dramatically under-reported” by “tens of thousands”.
“some analysis coming out that there may be as many as 300,000 cases in China right now”
The moment at 1:30:
The reporters in China are too afraid to expose the real situation, except this one brave soul, Chen Qiushi (陈秋实). He is in trouble with the CPC and risking his life (with the disease or getting captured) to report on the situation in Wuhan. Please cheer him on and support him!
Video (transcript below the video):
I just want people to spread awareness!
My translation below:
Hi everyone I’m Chen Qiushi. It’s Jan 30 around noon, 11ish. My video today is going to be a little bit wordy, I hope everyone will understand. My prior ones have been around 5 minutes because my target audience is mostly the mainland Chinese in the country, I don’t really care how foreigners are viewing this video. Because everyone is more used to vertical videos. 5 minutes is the upload limit for WeChat. So I wanted people to download my videos and share them on WeChat. In the past, I’ve talked about topics like the legal system, equality, checks and balances. I’ve experienced so much since coming to Wuhan. It’s the 6th day since I’ve arrived. My name has completely become a blacklist keyword. Anything with the 3 words Chen Qiu Shi or CQS or my face is blocked on WeChat. I’ve already had a lot of people tell me that sharing my Wuhan related videos will lead to account suspension. Because I admit, recently on WeChat there are many rumors going around. So I advise you to just watch my video here. I don’t recommend you to try to share it on WeChat. If you try you will get your account suspended. I’ve already got one of my accounts suspended and lost contact with a lot of people.
Today is the 30th, let’s talk about my experiences from the past couple of days. During the first two days, when I first arrived, I visited Wuhan Central Hospital last month on the 30th day of the Lunar year [Lunar New Year’s Eve]. Then I went to Wuhan No 11 Hospital, twice. I went to a supermarket in Wuhan, went to donate some supplies with volunteers to Xiehe Hospital, went to HuoShenShan construction site. This is a while back. Yesterday, on the 29th, I went first to Wuhan No 5 Hospital, the legendary one where so many medical staff collapsed. But I couldn’t…It was impossible to directly ask the doctors, “Did you have colleagues that collapsed?” They were also very busy and there was no way I would have been able to interview the directors of the hospital. The doctors and the directors would not have accepted an interview because I heard the news is that all the medical staff in Wuhan received notice that they are not allowed to take interviews…even to the point where some hospitals, the doctors have to turn in their cellphones so they can’t share any information. So now we know, the 8 people who were arrested initially, seemed like they were all doctors. They were discussing this epidemic in their work/industry related WeChat group.
A few days ago, didn’t I make a video where I said the local civilian groups were like a sheet of loose sand [in a state of disunity]? Soon they came to slap my face [prove me wrong]. Some civilian groups already contacted me. Some were driving medical staff around for their commute to work. Some were responsible to transport and unload shipments because supplies were being sent in from all over the country. They were responsible for unloading supplies from trucks and then delivering them to hospitals. So these are the volunteer groups. I added them on WeChat and they asked me to go participate in their activities. But I could see their work was also very stressful, lots to complain about. It’s not easy for them. The Chinese public don’t trust the Red Cross, so they sent small packages to the hospitals here. When I went to the hospital I could see so many piles of packages sitting there. But in reality these small packages are really inefficient. Think about it. Hospitals have to arrange for people to open the packages. There are masks and protective gowns of all sizes, types, and qualities. They have to re-sort them by type, re-inspect them, and figure out what goes where and what to do with them. The best method is if they can do a commercial org to org shipment with a big load of supplies shipped directly to the hospital. This is the best scenario. So these volunteers were helping with these things. Having to deal with loose shipments from all over the country is already a lot of work to begin with. The other day, I saw a volunteer’s WeChat Moment and it said the police was asking them for supplies. They said, what about all the donations the government has received, what did you do with them? Why are government organizations asking for supplies from civilian groups? The situation is still a mess.
Like I said, I went to visit the people at the HuoShenShan hospital construction site. They are so overworked. Construction workers are taking 2 to 3 shifts, non-stop work for 24 hours. The mid to entry level managers unlike the workers who can still take shifts, basically don’t have time to rest. When one saw us, he had red eyes and a hoarse voice, and said, ” I don’t have any time to mind you. Leave the masks and do whatever you want. If you want to see the construction site go ahead. I haven’t been home for 3 days, I’ve gotten 2-3 hours of sleep every night.“ And the brother that brought me to the site, he works locally in construction. He knows a lot of people in the construction circles. A foreman said, “We all are Wuhan locals. If we die from exhaustion here, we might as well be martyrs. In this life, if I can do something good for Wuhan, I accept my fate.”
The Chinese people are really…I really hate the phrase “do the work, don’t complain”. Why the fuck should they work hard and not complain? Then, okay I’ll answer a dumbass question…Why can’t you convert an existing hotel to a hospital? Because a hospital for infectious disease needs to be clearly separated into a “red zone”, “yellow zone”, and “green zone”. You can’t even allow air to escape from places that hold the infected patients so people who really are infected can’t possibly live in a regular hotel. They can be used to separate the [people with] suspected cases. [So for example], the 200 some people that went back to Japan have been quarantined at a hotel. But the hospital they want to build now is under “negative pressure”. That is, the pressure inside needs to be lower than the pressure outside. Air can only go in, not out. And there is a special drainage system that makes sure all contaminated air, water, etc. aren’t released outside. So that’s what they are building, in just these few days, fighting against time. I don’t even know if there is going to be any construction accidents at the HuoShenShan hospital. Because so many different construction companies are working together with such strict requirements, at such high speeds. It is difficult to avoid hiccups and accidents.
[This is at 5:54 in the video]
Now, let’s go back to yesterday. Yesterday, Jan 29th, I went to Wuhan No. 5 Hospital. There were actually not that many people at No. 5 Hospital, but I was able to socialize with some more patients. I talked to the patients more in depth. Before that, I went to Central hospital. There were very few people, because it was Lunar New Year’s Eve. Then I went to other hospitals and there were not many people for various reasons. First, many people were “sealed” up at home. Some were not even allowed to leave their apartment complexes. So if you don’t have a mode of transportation, how do you go to the hospital? This is the first reason. The second reason, even if you get to the hospital, even if you know you got to the hospital, you still can’t get admitted to be hospitalized or get tested. So why even [bother to] go?
I made a video before complaining about the local WeChat groups, how they were like dumbasses, talking nonsense. My friend said, “did you join a group full of crazies?” So he added me to a local WeChat group made up of local taxi drivers. You know taxi drivers must be the group in the city with the most up to date information, right? Even though sometimes they do say random ignorant things. So these taxi drivers told me, many of them had already heard of the news around mid to late December. It’s because their friends and family were locals so they knew here was this virus, this infectious disease. At the time, they suspected it was SARS. But why couldn’t they just call it SARS? It’s fucking similar to SARS, okay? Plus, why should a common citizen be able to distinguish between SARS and the coronavirus? Even until now, the Wuhan police fucking never even apologized one bit. They only said, “You committed a light offense. You mistook the thing for SARS”. I don’t know what the scientific name for it is. Let me give you an example. Someone said, “Hey, there are North Eastern tigers in the mountains, don’t go up there.” Then a government official says, “No there isn’t. There are no tigers in the mountains”, resulting in a bunch of people getting killed. Afterwards, they [officials] investigate, “Oh, it wasn’t the North Eastern tiger in the mountains. It was the South China tiger. You guys were mistaken. You only committed a light offense. You mistook the South China tiger for the North Eastern tiger.” [Qiushi sighs] Let’s go back to what I was just talking about. I said some taxi drivers had already received the news mid to late December, so among the taxi drivers, they told each other to stop going to the Huanan Market so much. Some who had often gone there to buy groceries no longer went there. I do not know if Huanan Market is the origin point [of the virus] but it was definitely an outbreak point. Understand? I don’t know where the virus came from, but Huanan Market was definitely a place where the outbreak happened. That’s why when I went to Huanan Market, the locals were mortified.
Then let’s talk about the taxi drivers. About the taxi drivers…right now there about 20,000 taxis in the city plus maybe a few tens of thousands of app-based ride share cars [DiDi]. The ride share cars count as private vehicles. The taxis count as public service vehicles belonging to taxi companies, right? They set aside about 6,000 for “reserved sharing”, meaning “to ensure a supply”. But what did they plan for these “reserved” taxis? They dispatched four vehicles to every residential district/street. Each residential district office covers several apartment complexes. For example, the entire residential complex of TianTongYuan of Beijing, with zone 1, zone 2, and zone 3 combined has 600,000 to 1 million people. Wuhan has a population of 11 to 14 million. Let’s just say it’s like what I said before, 5 million left the city and 9 million remain. Therefore, each residential district street entrance has at least tens of thousands to hundred thousands of people. They only provide 4 cars? [Qiushie gives WTF look] They say it was for “emergency transportation of goods” or “critically ill patients”, or for like…the cars don’t even transport people, only shipments. Only 4 cars. So if you want to use this car, you have to call the community office. The community volunteer has to help you arrange this car in order for you to use it. Basically, it’s impossible for you to reserve the car. So yesterday, a local lent me an electric moped. When I rode around, many people were walking or riding Mobikes [bike sharing company] to the hospital. Wuhan is super big, I feel like it’s bigger than Beijing. It has this river separating Hankou, Wuchang, several boroughs. So that’s why people are not even going to the hospitals. There is basically no way to get there. It’s just like what that “Brother Mask” [anonymous whistle blower from a video last week] said about the reality. Patients totally rely on calling 120 [China’s 911] for an ambulance to transport them. Are there enough ambulances? Are there enough taxis? Also the taxi drivers even complained that they needed to “ensure supply”, but they had to buy their own masks and protection suits.
Let’s continue, there is not enough transportation power. A large number of people are isolated, even to the extent that some people suspect…I’m saying, if I didn’t see it myself or heard it myself with my own ears then I would not say “some people suspect”. I can’t be like the people on the Internet. I show my face in my videos. I must have only witnessed it in person before sharing it here. I’m not going to just take a screenshot from the web and share it. Some people suspect Li Keqiang [Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, second in command to Xi Jinping] is coming. So these hospitals cleared up the patients. That’s why you can see the number of people in the hospitals are dwindling. Yesterday, I went to the No. 5 Hospital. It was fairly orderly. Many people came to look for test kits. You have to use the test kits to confirm if you are diagnosed [with the disease]. Because there was a line, I blended in the crowd and pretended I was a patient who was standing in line with them. I chatted with them. “How many days have you been coughing or had a fever?” “Are you here to be diagnosed or for a follow up?” “Look here, you’re holding a CT scan. What are you here for?” “Is it just you who has the symptoms or do you have many people at home with the same symptoms?” I was chatting with the patients standing around. People said they “had a cough for days or had a fever for dayss”…”[The fever is] persistent and won’t down even after taking fever reduction meds.” “I’m [a] suspected [case]” “Suspected”, this word, is too psychologically torturous!
[Cut into video of screaming Wuhan lady at 11:20. Summary of the video is the woman is freaking out because she has to wait in line to be diagnosed even though she has had diarrhea and has been coughing for 6 days]
Then at the hospital reception, sorry I’m all over the place, take your time to figure out how all this relates…I saw at the reception desk, the young nurse was helping with registration, “You are number 126 in line. We have test kits today. Exit this door, go to the second floor and line up at the testing department and wait.” Then [she also explained], “Yes, when you have a test kit, you can get a diagnosis. Then you can stop worrying about whether you are infected or not.” Then a local friend helped me contact a “suspected” patient. I wanted to go with this patient and see first hand the process of seeking treatment. So I did see a patient. Yesterday afternoon, I went to No. 5 Hospital. Then I followed this patient to Tongji Hospital. This patient, including many patients at Tongji Hospital…many had went to 3 to 5 hospitals to get a diagnosis. They were deemed “suspected”. They carried CT scans. He said, in the beginning, he had a shadow on his left lung, a glass-like state, then he got shadows in both of his lungs and other symptoms appeared. He had trouble breathing and felt sick. But, when he arrived at Tongji with his CT scans…This is where I first realized I was scared. At the entrance, there were a lot of oxygen tanks, labeled with “filled with oxygen, caution”. Inside, people were lounging on the waiting room chairs. They added beds in the hallways. They even added beds in front of the bathroom. 60-70% of the people were inhaling oxygen. Some even were breathing high pressure oxygen with masks, forcing it in. If that guy didn’t have pneumonia, why is he using the high pressure oxygen? So I went with the patient to the hospital. His little brother also went with him. He said, “if it weren’t for my accompanying my older brother, I wouldn’t dare to come here. Qiushi, why aren’t you afraid to come here?” So we had to disinfect our whole bodies when we went in, and then once again when we exited.
Then we saw the doctors, etc….The guy I followed was somewhat scatter brained. He took CT scans at another hospital and was suppose to bring it and show it to the doctor but he didn’t bring it. The doctor said, “Where is your scan? Not the one from 5 days ago, where is your current scan?” Then he said “The current one, I didn’t bring it. I only have a photo of it on my phone.” The doctor said, “It’s so small, how do you expect me to look at that? You have to give me the scan.” So he said, “Well can I get diagnosed first with the test kit? I want to confirm first.” The doctor said, “Whether you can use a test kit or not, it’s not up to you to decide. We have to make an evaluation. After our evaluation, we have to prioritize the critically ill patients. There are not enough test kits.” Did you hear that? There are not enough test kits!
I saw on the news that Tianjing city gave us 10,000 test kits but the city of Wuhan alone has 10 million people. You distribute that among all the hospitals and each only gets a few hundred test kits. So there’s not enough. Some locals said the hospitals are reserving some for their doctors to use. I don’t think that’s a problem. Who’s going to save us if the doctors collapse? China used to have this saying, “We shouldn’t worry about whether the cake is split evenly, let’s make the cake bigger first before discussing how to split it.” Right now, the fucking cake isn’t big enough, not enough to be split. If you are a doctor and there are several ten thousand patients asking you for diagnosis to confirm, and you only have a few hundred test kits, how do you split them? How do you use them? No enough. So many patients are staying home because they went to 5 to 6 hospitals without any way to get test kits. Yeah, sure, just get in line. Because you can only get a diagnosis after you get this test kit. Only are you confirmed can you be admitted to the hospital. Furthermore, every hospital I went to said they don’t have enough beds. They all said they don’t have beds left. That’s why they are scrambling to build the Huoshenshan. Then, yesterday, it was this patient [that I followed] who did not end up getting a test kit. The doctors and nurses definitely had very good attitudes for how overworked and wrapped up they were in their suffocating suits. They still directed people to the lines. The doctors were seeing patients one by one and the guards were maintaining order. It was already more orderly than before, but the patients in the courtyard were all very helpless. Some were just laying on the waiting room chair with an IV. The more well-off ones had a car, with their car parked in the parking lot, with the IV bottle hanging from a tree. The ones without cars were sitting on the stoop outside in the cold with the IV propped up on a stick.
I’m only telling you what I saw with my own eyes and what I personally heard from patients. The rumors online, there are too many online. I can’t talk about them here. You want rumors, go look on the internet. I met a man in his 40s who was on the verge of breaking down in front of me and crying. He said he had cough and fever for a whole week. “My younger brother has a fever so does my mother in law. A few days before the lockdown, I went and ate a meal with my whole extended family. I went to my mother in law’s house and ate a meal with them, too. I played mahjong with my old classmates. I was in contact with a dozen people. If I’m confirmed, what will happen to those a dozen people? My whole family is done for.” This is what that patient told me in person.
Then, in other news, for example, I’ve been in consistent contact with Japan’s Foreign Ministry. In the past, I’ve gone through them to go to Japan. I was pretty close to the officials at the embassy. Now, they don’t really responded to my WeChat messages anymore. I said, “I want to go film you guys evacuating from here. I want to talk to the people at the embassy. I want to know if this disease is really this serious because you guys evacuating can cause the Chinese people to panic, you know? So this is important.” But my friend said he couldn’t help me. “I can’t arrange it for you”. I heard about 200 Japanese are evacuating, but how many were confirmed? I haven’t figure this news out. If you are paying attention to this news, out of the 200 some that were evacuated, how many were confirmed? The ratio is important! It is important! Do you hear me?
Let’s continue. Sorry my thoughts are somewhat scattered, because I’m now starting to become very afraid. I definitely know to be afraid now. Because the locals who aren’t that worried that they are sick basically won’t go to the hospital. There is no one on the streets. The locals are very afraid. I’m very envious of those CCTV folks. CCTV even filmed inside Jingyintan Hospital, in the infected area. But even their filming is safer than mine. They had full hazmat suits. Jingyintan is separated into green, yellow, and red zones. The red zone is probably infected zone. Yellow is probably a danger zone. The green zone is the safest. They were wearing the suits in the green zone, using a phone to video chat the patients to conduct the interviews. How dangerous is that? I’m just going to the clinic. I couldn’t get into the areas with the in-patients. Impossible to get in. Impossible to interview the local experts or officials. But exactly how many people at the clinic have the disease and is infected? Who knows? All the doctors were in full protection suits. I only have glasses, 2 masks, and my coat. Everyday when I come home I have to disinfect the coat. I leave my coat hanging at the door, I don’t even dare bring it in. I stink of disinfectant. No one dares to go on site.
Before I came here, I originally wanted to contact Caixin [Caixin Media Company Ltd. is a Beijing-based media group] because at that time, before the lockdown, Caixin was the only media onsite. No other media was here! Reporting is a profession that takes specialized skill. It’s not just taking your cellphone and recording stuff, that’s not reporting. I’m trying hard to not to spread rumors here, only what I see and hear myself. Caixin, I tried to contact through friends. I couldn’t. I found someone that worked there but they didn’t really respond to me. I figure no one dares to talk to me. People from CCTV don’t dare talk to me either, definitely not. Yesterday, I met someone from a Guangdong TV channel and I think it was a little better. Then I wanted to ask for some professional interviewing advice. I broadcasted for Wang Zhian on Twitter. He reported in mainland China on Zhou Libo or whoever…Enbo..whatever…the one about the boxing school. He’s an investigative reporter. I originally had Lao Liao’s Wechat. When he was still in China, I told him I wanted to be added to Wang Zhian’s Wechat group because he is one of the few investigative reporters left in China. According to statistics, there are now less than 200 investigative reporters in China. This time, there are just no reporters here. So I shouted at him on Twitter and someone helped me contact him, wishing he would mentor me. How can I be more effective and get to the bottom of things better? He did mentor me a bit. I was finally able to make contact with Wang Zhian on Twitter. Then I painstakingly found out, that a Hong Kong TV station still has a reporter here, staying. She hasn’t left. So I finally got her WeChat and she’s a Hong Kongner. She can use WeChat and knows how to speak Chinese. So when I made contact, I thought I met a comrade. I said, “We could exchange some information and we can go interview together”. She told me, “Lawyer Chen, I haven’t gone out for 6-7 days. I’ve been in the hotel this whole time. My broadcast company told us we are no allowed to go outside. We have to prioritize protecting the safety of our employees. So Lawyer Chen, you are one step ahead of everyone else. If you have information, please share it with us.” [Qiushi looks panicked] I finally realized what it means to fight a lone battle [be a one man army], you know? Like, I even got in contact with a reporter from the New York Times who was here. I got in contact on Twitter, but I haven’t figured out exactly where he is located. But I scrolled through the articles on his Twitter. He’s called Bai something Bai something, a reporter who is in Wuhan who works for the New York Times. I don’t know if he is Chinese, but he knows how to write Chinese. I looked at his Twitter and I also did not see any photos of him setting foot in any clinic or any infected areas. NO ONE IS GOING ON SITE. So that’s why I’m starting to be so scared. Especially…for example, there’s news from Japan that says a tourist group from Wuhan went to Japan. A bus driver who only helped guests transport luggage still got infected. I’ve been on the frontline for 3 to 4 continuous days, spending my time inside the clinic. A person’s psychological stress can really cause you to break down. Like for example, those patients who were at the hospital, many say, “I know it’s only a cold, but I want to be sure. If you don’t test me, how would I know?” So that’s why he’s coming to get diagnosed. But here’s only a few hundred test kits. Why should they give you the test kit when you just have a little cough? But many patients were unhappy. “Oh, you only serve the patients who are critically ill? Well I have mild symptoms now but you if delay and cause me to have severe symptoms later, and I use the test kit and then get treatment, will you still succeed then? What’s the point? But really, with a few hundred test kits, what can you do?
Yesterday, at Tongji hospital, I saw another dead body, but this one did not have his face covered. He was sitting.
[cut into video] [22:37] Qiushi: What happened to him? Lady: He already passed. Qiushi: He’s not here anymore huh? Lady: Correct, not here anymore…trying to contact a car to the morgue. Qiushi: You can’t get a ride huh? Lady: I’m trying to contact the car from the morgue. [something about coming here] but the car wasted so much time [it was too late]. Qiushi: Mm, so he’s gone. Lady: He got sick suddenly.
[23:08] I don’t know if the “car” she was talking about was an ambulance. But think about it. If the ambulance’s solely responsible for transporting critically ill patients…these past couple days, there were none stop ambulances going back and forth. At night, everything is dead, except ambulances going back and forth. Do you know how scary that is? Then the old man…later we left, then after a score or so minutes, we saw the old man got put in a yellow body bag and was carried away. This is news of what I saw at Tongji hospital, yesterday.
I’ve been very stressed. I feel like I’m having a little bit of trouble breathing. My chest hurts a little. I don’t know. Of course, I hope it is only mental stress. I’ve also have a bit of diarrhea which is common for me because my digestive system isn’t so good and also I drink so much milk every day. You know one of the symptoms is diarrhea and also you start getting lung problems. I don’t know if it’s because I had to wear a mask for 5-6 hours a day making it difficult to breathe which caused my chest pain. Yesterday I quickly sent my location to some of my friends, because up until now only Brother Mask [brother mask is the anonymous whistle blower from days ago] knew where I was staying. And I don’t even know what Brother Mask’s name is. I’m bad with names and faces.
Okay, this is the news of what I saw on the 29th. I am repeating what I said before. I am only telling you what I saw. I only tell what patients’ family told me in person: not enough masks, no enough protective gowns, not enough supplies…most importantly, not enough test kits. No test kit, no way to diagnose. You can only quarantine yourself at home. When you do have a test kit, you still need a bed. You have a bed, you still need doctors. You can’t have a row of people laying on beds without doctors. What good does that do? Still need doctors. So this problem is still very serious, so many problems have not been solved.
Today, ugh, I’ll stop here. Originally, I was supposed to go out and interview. I got in contact with the reporter at the New York Times right? I even asked, could I go interview you? He said no you cannot film me. He even wanted to interview ME. Haha
Okay Okay. That’s it. I blabbed a lot today, talked for more than 20 minutes. That’s it for now, okay? For now. I will try my best to regain composure. Heh, the Department of Justice called me again. The Qingdao police station also called me. They asked me where I was, told me to go home to cooperate with an investigation. I said I am in Wuhan. They said, what are you doing in Wuhan? I said, if you don’t even know I’m here, why are you looking for me? To cooperate for what? They asked, where are you staying? I said at my friend’s house. Then they went and talked to my parents, yesterday or the day before. My mom said, “Am I not more worried about him than you are? Do I not wish more than you that he will come back?”
Honestly…I am afraid. In front of me is the virus. Behind me is the Chinese law and administration. But I will regain my composure. As long as I’m still alive in this city, I will continue to report. I am only going to speak about what I see and hear.
I usually like to leave behind some taunts right? Well, today I will leave some fighting words. You f**king cunts, I’m not even afraid of death! Would I be afraid of your Communist Party?
This guy may be arrested at any point [as of Jan 31, he made a Twitter post so still okay]. He is risking his life! Please spread his work.
They are taking those drastic actions for a reason.
This is a genie that cannot be put back in the bottle.
Natalie Dagenhardt is an American conservative writer who writes for Right Journalism! Natalie has described herself as a polemicist who likes to “stir up the pot,” and does not “pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do,” drawing criticism from the left, and sometimes from the right. As a passionate journalist, she works relentlessly to uncover the corruption happening in Washington. She is a “constitutional conservative”.