The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Coronavirus: Why Italy?

Posted on | March 20, 2020 | Comments Off on Coronavirus: Why Italy?


It was reported yesterday that Italy now has more coronavirus deaths than China, and that there were zero new cases in Wuhan. Everyone immediately became skeptical: Is Beijing lying again?

But there’s another important question: Why has this pandemic hit Italy so hard? Saturday, I suggested the likely answer:

Almost no one in the media is reporting the demographic factors involved in Italy’s pandemic disaster, and I can’t vouch for this “alternative” source’s account about the way manufacturers in Northern Italy brought in thousands of Chinese laborers to work in the leather and textile industries. Nonetheless, seems plausible, because it resembles the way Mexican and Central American laborers have been brought into the United States to work in, for example, meat processing plants.

It proved nearly impossible to find mainstream media reports on this. The only mention I found was by Robert Fisk in the U.K. Independent, and that column was behind a paywall. So I was forced to go digging into the archives to verify what the alternative source had reported:

As the United States prepares for a second week of lockdown to slow the spread of the Chinese coronavirus (COVID-19), hundreds of people in Italy are dying every day from this disease. And the reason why Italy now has more coronavirus deaths than any other country can be summarized in a single word — luxury.
In the world of fashion, the “Made in Italy” tag has a distinct value associated with luxury and status. Merchants can charge higher prices for clothing, shoes, handbags, and other fashion goods manufactured in Italy, and that value was coveted by certain Chinese entrepreneurs. During the past three decades, more and more Chinese investors bought into textile and leather-good factories in northern Italy, and they brought over Chinese laborers to work in those factories. By 2010, there were reportedly 60,000 Chinese in Prato, an industrial suburb of Florence. To accommodate Italy’s new foreign labor force, nonstop flights were established between China and Rome.
None of this was a secret. . . .

Read the rest of my latest column at The American Spectator.



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