Press "Enter" to skip to content

Opinion As covid evolves, China’s obstinance grows — at huge economic cost

Frida Ghitis: Humans evolve more slowly than viruses, but we, too, have a gift for survival called learning. She says in the last weeks of 2019, there was one version of the novel virus and essentially zero human knowledge about it. Ghitis says China appears to have learned nothing from the world’s fight against covid-19, and it threatens to disrupt the world economy. She asks: China's leader commands a rigid, top-down approach to the disease; he can't afford to change his mind, even if he wants to abandon the policy of “zero covid” She says the slowdown at the port has thrown another wrench into the $22 trillion flow of international trade, and China is sending itself into a recession.

Authoritarian governments look strong from the outside, unburdened by the noise and mess of partisan competition and free enterprise. But they fall prey to this inherent weakness: By centralizing decisions and cutting off debate, they render themselves unable to learn and grow. Ideas come from a single source, the leader, rather than