In this image taken and provided by Beibei, who asked to be identified only by her given name, a police officer wearing a protective gear watches residents move into the National Exhibition and Convention Center which converted to a quarantine facility set up for people who tested positive but have few or no symptoms on April 15, 2022, in Shanghai. Credit: Beibei / AP

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Kenneth Rapoza is a former staff journalist for Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal. He wrote this for

When will the hallowed multilateral institutions of Western democracy call out China for its merciless human rights violations in Shanghai, one of the world’s most famous, if not beloved, cities? Where is the esteemed Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization? Where is Bill Gates, the man who once said China was a COVID fighting exemplar? Where are these people?

If there is one thing you should know about China it is this — whatever the Chinese Communist Party does to its people, you can count on the C-suites and jet-setting philanthropist class of the Western world to be quiet. The more harm it causes, the deeper these guys bury their heads in the sand. But imagining if they were not such a bunch of cowards, they would say that what they see happening in Shanghai disgusts them and no Western nation should copy them.

What’s happening?

Shanghai is on lockdown. It is, in fact, the city’s first full-fledged, Wuhan-style lockdown. In 2020, it had closed schools and instituted work-from-home policies, but no one was locked in their homes with curfews and mandatory testing. There were no long lines to get a foot-long cotton swab stuck up your nose. That didn’t exist. It does now.

Some 26 million people are barricaded in their homes. Shanghai, the jewel of mainland China, is a COVID hellscape.

If your kid is sick, she is sent to a quarantine center. If you test positive, too, you can join her. If you have pets at home, they will be left to starve. “Public health authorities” — now some of the most despised people on Earth, especially in China — round up dogs and cats left alone to cull them.

That means kill them.

People are seen in social media posts screaming from their apartment windows. Shanghai is a hellhole. Shanghai is emblematic of what two years of COVID policies have done to the souls of millions — punished them, destroyed them, humiliated them. Hated them.

The Port of Shanghai — the world’s largest — is technically open, but there is no one to work. Expect supply chain problems in the weeks ahead and more inflation here at home.

China’s “zero COVID” policy is D-student-level public health management. Many in the West think China did great against COVID, with all its masking and lockdowns and obedience.

Will the social contract between the “Shanghainese” and the Chinese government be torn asunder? It is hard to know. I suspect the Chinese Communist Party can’t possibly keep Shanghai on lockdown for much longer. Wuhan was locked down for nearly a month. Shanghai is going on week three.

What we do know is that the World Health Organization and our own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are unlikely to say Shanghai’s actions are not the way to fight disease. Their silence should be taken as a sign.

Remember, lockdowns were first Made in China.

I believe that there is a reason the policy- and agenda-setting institutions are quiet about Shanghai. They don’t want the Chinese Communist Party to look bad. There is a reason for that. The Western establishment loves the party model — from its economic management to its social management. They’re just “wokefying” it for their educated audiences at home.

If they are successful, I suspect one day you will see New Yorkers screaming from Chelsea to Harlem, “Let us out of here,” as the local “experts” with master’s degrees in public health from storied universities slaughter their dogs and send their PCR-positive (polymerase chain reaction) 10 year old to the local Holiday Inn to recover from a disease that has a 0.001 percent chance of causing them harm.

Shanghai is suffering. Who will admit it? Surely not those who wish to one day emulate it.