Authoritarian countries like China have an advantage in controlling the spread of outbreaks like the Coronavirus, but the West has the advantage in preventing them from even happening. Not that it shows.

Images coming out of China, despite the Communist regime’s best propaganda efforts, show the police arresting people on the streets for not wearing masks. In some cases, they are handled very roughly. China’s efforts to control the Corona outbreak consist of very simple preventative measures like requiring anyone in public to wear face masks (in short supply in a country of 1.6 billion people); closing the city of Wuhan which has a population of over 11 million, and building huge hospitals in place to care for the sick.

Smuggled image of corpses in a Chinese hospital in Wuhan (Twitter).

While these are effective measures they come at quite a cost in terms of the individual rights of Chinese citizens. You don’t really have the right to say “No” to that government if it wants to lock you in a city or arrest you for not wearing a breathing mask. Since authoritarian regimes are able to take such draconian measures to control the outbreak of disease, they really have no incentive to develop the full suite of vaccinations for their populations that are available in the West. In the U.S., the government can’t lock you inside Chicago or New York or arrest you for going outside without a mask.

That regard for individual rights has required our society to develop a vaccination regime that has eradicated many deadly infectious diseases, like Typhoid and Yellow Fever.

In the West, we have the annual trudge to the doctor or pharmacy for the Flu Vaccine. In spite of this, 26 million in the U.S. have contracted the flu this year and 25,000 have died — in just about four months.

Imagine the panic a headline like this would cause here: “Virus Kills 25,000 in the U.S., 26 Million Infected!”