Our last four presidents before Donald Trump were globalists. They believed that the United States and its economy were just a part of the larger world community, so they paid little attention to the businesses and industry leaving our country for places with lower taxes and cheap labor. We were told that manufacturing was gone forever and instead our economy would be based on the service industry. They said that the cheap merchandise that we could get from China and other countries was good for our economy, even though they now had our good jobs.

Trump ran for the office of president on the themes of “America First” and bring back our good jobs. One of the first things that he did when he was elected was to restart our steel and aluminum industry in the name of jobs and national security.

The coronavirus disaster has proven beyond a doubt that he was right; national security is a critically important issue. When the coronavirus first became a worldwide problem, a whole shipload of medical safety gear was on its way to the U.S. from China. The Chinese government immediately turned it around and took it back.

China makes almost all our medical personal protection equipment. Who knew? We now have a severe shortage of all these products and if this crisis gets bad, there could be disastrous consequences for our country.

It also came to light that much of our most widely used and critically important pharmaceutical drugs are also being made almost exclusively in China.

During one of his interviews, Trump called the coronavirus, “the Chinese virus.” The Chinese government was enraged and threatened that if he didn’t stop calling it “the Chinese virus,” they would stop sending us our drugs. Oh my God.

For the last 20 years, China has gleefully taken our jobs and industries and started manufacturing more and more of the products that we need and use daily. The Chinese government has used currency manipulation and theft of intellectual property, such as copyrights, patents and trademarks, to build their own economy. They have forced American companies to give them their technology and business secrets if they wanted to do business in China. They have freely imposed tariffs on American products and subsidized their own industry to undercut ours.

During this same time period, they have built their military into a modern and extremely formidable force. They have become increasingly aggressive against us and other countries around the world.

The Chinese government has imprisoned close to 2 million of its own people in concentration camps. It has a legion of about 1 million loyal communist party members who move in with families throughout China for periods of time to observe them. If these people are caught saying or doing anything against the government, they are prosecuted and imprisoned.

They have cameras with facial recognition technology that they bought from American companies, spread throughout their cities that they use to monitor and control their population. An independent tribunal based in London has determined conclusively that the Chinese government has been harvesting and selling organs for years from people, mostly political opponents, who are incarcerated in their prisons. It is a multibillion-dollar business.

China has been the main source for the deadly drug fentanyl that has been killing tens of thousands of Americans each year.

Recently, the Chinese government expelled American newspaper reporters from their country because they were reporting on these issues. They don’t want us to know what they’re doing.

The horrific coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the world started in communist China in early December. Some believe that it originated in the Huanan seafood wholesale market, where live exotic animals like snakes and bats are sold for human consumption. And some think it came from a government biological warfare laboratory close to the city of Wuhan. We probably will never know. But either way, it is a product of their corrupt and incompetent communist government.

By mid-December, medical professionals in China had identified the virus among patients in their hospitals and were warning of an upcoming epidemic. Finally, it got so bad that eight leading Chinese medical professionals went public with the information and attempted to warn their leaders. They were immediately arrested and charged with posting and spreading rumors. The Chinese security forces and the state-run media smothered the whole thing and covered it up to protect their communist leaders.

Meanwhile the Lunar New Year Holiday was in full swing in China. Millions of people were preparing for the upcoming celebration. In Wuhan, tens of thousands of people were attending massive shopping fairs to purchase gifts. One such event was a potluck dinner held in downtown Wuhan that brought in more than 40,000 families from all over China. These people carried the virus to the world.

It was almost seven weeks from the appearance of the coronavirus before the Chinese government was forced to admit its existence. If the government had acted even three weeks earlier, the world would have been spared the horrific pandemic.

The American people have been lulled into a state of complacency. To them, China is just a big wonderful place where they get cheap cellphones, computers and all kinds of toys. In fact, the technology firm Huawei, which is set to bring us the exciting new, next generation, super-fast 5G technology for our phones and computers, has close ties to the Chinese communist party.

Wake up, people. Do we want this evil, corrupt government to be able to access and possibly control our cellphones and computers? What about our government, the military and industry? Our relationship with communist China is a serious national security issue.

Dugger retired as a journeyman carpenter from Clearwater Paper. He lives in Lewiston.

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