How Communist China Is Exploiting Perceived US Weakness and Becoming More Aggressive—KT McFarland
In recent weeks, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has skillfully exploited arguments about race to try to discredit the American system, says former Trump deputy national security adviser KT McFarland.
Propaganda and disinformation campaigns are a critical part of the Chinese Communist Party’s strategy of unrestricted warfare against the United States.
At the same time, the regime has brought its economic power to bear on those that dare cross the regime. After H&M took a stand against forced labor in Xinjiang, it vanished from Chinese e-commerce stores, ratings apps, and even Apple Maps in China.
“China plans to remake the world in its own image,” McFarland says.
What should the Biden administration do to protect the United States from CCP aggression?
Jan Jekielek: KT McFarland, such a pleasure to have you back on American Thought Leaders.
KT McFarland: It’s always an honor, and I’ve got to tell you, Jan, what you’re doing is what almost nobody in the media is doing. You’re having in-depth, intelligent conversations with a range of people on a lot of different topics. You’re doing a great service, not only to the American electorate, but really, to people all around the world. So thank you for doing it. I’m honored to be with you.
Mr. Jekielek: I appreciate that very much. Actually, we’re going to be talking about some pretty sobering issues. We’re in a situation where the State Department has designated what’s happening in Xinjiang, China, as a genocide. At the same time, we’re having these meetings in Alaska where Chinese “wolf warrior diplomacy” is playing out. What is your take on what happened in Alaska, and then we’ll build out from there?
Mrs. McFarland: A couple of things happened. One, the United States took a knife to a gunfight. The Chinese came ready with a prepared statement that they wanted to criticize the United States and humiliate us on our own soil. In doing so, they wanted to use the words of the American media, those woke media, the canceled culture, and the people who say that “America is a racist nation,” “it was conceived in evil,” et cetera. They quoted those people back to the American leadership. It was meant to be humiliating.
So then the response time came when the American secretary of state had an opportunity to respond, AND instead of saying, “This is outrageous,” and walk out—which is what I would have done—he said, “We’re trying, we’re not perfect, we’re going to get there someday.” It was not only the fact that the Chinese said it in such a brazen in-your-face way, on American soil, quoting Americans back to our leaders, but then our leaders, instead of acting strong and tough in response, it just rolled over. I thought it was humiliating on all sides.
The second part of it that just struck me was that the Chinese, they’ve already laid down the gauntlet. This is the Cold War. This is a new Cold War, Cold War 2.0, and it’s going to be different this time. It’s not going to be like the first Cold War with the Soviet Union, which was nuclear arms race, proxy wars around the world. This is going to be fought in a different sphere. It’s going to be economic competition, it’s going to be technology, leadership and competition, it’s going to be cyber, it’s going to be all no-holds-barred, no international law that’s going to prevent theft and acquisition —a lot of the things that the Chinese have already been doing—but they’re now doing it in a very blatant and open way. To me, this represented a real shift in the Chinese approach. They’ve always done it this way with this, as you call, “wolf warrior diplomacy,” but now it’s out in the open.
The Chinese, to my mind, has now concluded that their rise is inevitable and America’s decline is inevitable. They think that they are, or at least soon will be, in a more dominant position in the world than the United States, economically, technologically, diplomatically, militarily, and in all ways. They plan to replace the United States as the global world leader and then rewrite the liberal world order, the rules of order, and they make it very open and plain. They’re not hiding this. They’re talking about rewriting the rules of order, and to have “Chinese characteristics.” In fact, the Chinese leaders in Alaska were talking about this [and] saying, “This liberal world order, there’s really nothing to it.”
It was a significant meeting even though nothing was accomplished. It was significant because it showed the Chinese intentions and I think it showed the United States, at least the Biden administration, in a position of great weakness, which will reverberate around the world to our disadvantage.
Mr. Jekielek: To be fair, Secretary Blinken did articulate the U.S. position on a number of issues that certainly weren’t things that the Chinese representatives wanted to hear.
Mrs. McFarland: He did. To a large extent, the Biden administration has kept in place a number of tough-on-China moves that the Trump administration has made: sanctions, various investment, co-investment issues. I won’t get too much in the weeds with that, but they’ve kept a lot of it in place. The problem I have though, is the Biden administration, their deeds don’t always match their words.
When they talk about, we’re going to bring up these issues that are neuralgic for the Chinese, the Chinese say, “These are our red lines, you don’t dare discuss them, you can’t cross them.” Those are Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the concentration camps in Xinjiang province, the Uyghur camps. The Chinese say you can’t even bring them up, Biden brought it up, and he should have brought them up and it was a good thing to do.
But what did he bring up? Why did they not bring up COVID? Why did they not bring up the Chinese involvement in the coronavirus? We should have brought that up. The whole world is suffering from a pandemic that the Chinese knew they were unleashing on the world and the consequences are probably in a lot of ways more devastating than a World War would have been. Why not call them [out]?
The next thing is that even President Biden, in his press conference a few days ago, mentioned the new China policy and it all sounded great. I was applauding. These were all the things that I think are really important in the way of standing up to China. One is that you work with our allies and in this case, in Asia; Japan, Australia, particularly India and you form a relationship with these countries to stand up to China. Two, you use American technological superiority and you really double down on American investment, STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] education, things that we’ve let lag in the last 20 years. Three, Joe Biden talked about reinforcing American values. All this stuff is terrific.
The problem is, where are the deeds matching the words? I don’t see the deeds yet. Maybe they will but I don’t see that the deeds have matched the words. For example, they’ve talked about they’re going to invest more in research and development, but they haven’t done it. They talk about working with these countries, the Quad, our allies. That’s great and they’ve had a couple of meetings, but they’re not to the point yet where we’re having these four countries in Asia stand up and maybe do military operations together, maybe do intelligence sharing, maybe do co-investment.
The United States has an opportunity right now with India where we could invest in India, the same way we invested in China 20 years ago. India is soon going to have a larger population than China, and India is a democracy. I would like to see a lot more muscle behind those words, although the words were right.
Mr. Jekielek: Let’s talk about COVID a little bit because recently that’s been up in the news again with Robert Redfield, former CDC [Center for Disease Control and Prevention] director, having expressed again the position of the previous administration, basically, that the most likely scenario was that [COVID] escaped from the lab. What new information does this bring, or does it bring any?
Mrs. McFarland: I don’t think it brings new, as much as it brings together old all in one place. The former director of CDC, he’s a very well respected doctor and scientists and virologist. His expertise is actually in viruses—he spent his whole career. So when he says, I don’t have the proof, it’s my opinion, but my belief is that the most likely thing is it happened in a Chinese lab—I’m paying attention to this guy. I don’t care if he’s a Republican or a Democrat or an independent or whatever, he’s got a lot of credibility in the field.
Secondly, let’s look at the pieces of this puzzle. Let’s bring them all together and what picture does it show us? Number one, we now know that the Chinese knew the lethality and the contagion of COVID was pretty significant, and they knew it well enough and soon enough that they closed down Wuhan, the city where it came from, from people traveling around other parts of China into Wuhan, and [prevented] people from Wuhan into other parts of China. They were concerned enough about it to shut down travel internally.
However, at the same time, they kept open travel from Wuhan to the rest of the world. When countries like the United States and others tried to close that travel down, the Chinese accused them of “racism.” In other words, the Chinese knew it was so bad, they didn’t want it to happen in their own country, but they were perfectly happy to have it travel around the world.
Another piece of evidence that I think is significant is that when it was first discovered, it was WHO, World Health Organization, scientists and doctors in Wuhan who raised the alarm. They talked about it but early on, those same scientists and doctors, they were disappeared. They were told to be quiet and they were never heard from again. At that point, early on, before this became a pandemic internationally, the Chinese government took it out of the hands of the scientists in the World Health Organization in China and they turned it into the hands of the Chinese military.
Since then, they passed a national security law saying that any Chinese who’s going to talk about this virus has to get permission from the central government, from the military, before they talk about it. I could go on and on and on about these points. To me, what are they trying to hide? They wouldn’t even let, and they still haven’t let, American scientists in. It’s been a year and now, they’re finally letting scientists come in and have a look. But a year’s a long time to cover up the evidence. If the Chinese have nothing to hide, why did they not let people in? Why did they not help the world prevent this pandemic?
Bottom line is, I look at this and say, “The Chinese, they caused this. One way or another, they caused it, and then America cured it.” Let’s even go back another step and say, maybe it didn’t happen in a lab. Maybe it was just bats—bats and human transition. It almost doesn’t matter because it’s what the Chinese did once they realized the lethality and contagion of it. They employed that virus as a biological weapon and let it spread around the world, and here we are today.
Mr. Jekielek: I’m just remembering, months, months ago, I’ve had people on [the show]. One gentleman is running a class action lawsuit, one of many, to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable. I don’t know where that’s at, actually. I’m very curious. I haven’t heard much. There was legislation. I remember Congressman Mark Green had introduced legislation in a similar vein to create some accountability around this. The information that you’re describing, I think it’s a matter of a factual record, not something of huge debate yet. It just isn’t something that’s talked about very much.
Mrs. McFarland: It’s almost like the attitude is, we don’t want to embarrass them, so let’s just move along here. No. They need to be held accountable. What they’re doing now in the aftereffects of this is they are using “wolf warrior diplomacy.” They’re using all the elements of Chinese national power to punish countries which are disagreeing with them or calling them out.
For example, Australia, early on, joined 100 other countries to ask the World Health Organization [to] get to the bottom of this [and to] find out the origins of the coronavirus. The Chinese government said this to Australia, “Don’t—back down.” Australia wouldn’t, so the Chinese have now set out to destroy some of the agricultural exports from Australia into China. They just stopped buying them and that has already wreaked havoc on the Australian economy, a large part of which is their agricultural economy. So the Chinese, if you cross them, they remember and they’re using strong-arm tactics including, really, eviscerating the economic relationship with a lot of countries that dare cross their red line.
Mr. Jekielek: A big element of this is something I was just reading about recently, their extensive disinformation and misinformation operations. I was just reading recently about how U.S. Special Operations Command is creating a task force, basically, to specifically deal with Chinese information operations in the Pacific region. I’m hoping that this is something that’s been active for a while and they’re only now letting us be aware of it. It seems to be a key area of this warfare that you described. It’s not the nuclear mutual assured destruction doctrine anymore. It’s all these other ways that aren’t typically thought of as warfare.
Mrs. McFarland: It’s easy to be an authoritarian country because you just say something and then everybody has to follow suit. In a democracy, we debate it, we thrash it around, we have winners, we have losers. While it may be a great strength of America—we think it’s a great strength—the Chinese understand that it can be a vulnerability and it can be a weakness, and that’s why their disinformation campaigns are so pernicious and frankly, so effective, because they can get us going after each other.
The other part of their disinformation campaign, let’s be nice and call it diplomacy, the Chinese diplomatic offensive, is that they are looking at the rest of the world and saying, “America, you’re where you are but we want to lead the next world order. We want to be the leaders of the non-white world, Asia, Central America, Latin America, the subcontinent, and Africa.” That’s one of the reasons that they continue to parrot the woke media mob in the United States. They’re talking about America is racist. I don’t think they care about whether America is racist or not, but they want to portray America as morally flawed, as they try to ascend to diplomatic dominance around the world.
Mr. Jekielek: Let’s talk about that. Of course, there’s been all this discussion recently of anti-Asian hate, and actually, some real issues that America needs to deal with. At the same time, the Chinese Communist Party has been fanning the flames of this very actively.
Mrs. McFarland: Of course they are because it suits their advantage. I spent my graduate years at Oxford University and I studied communism and revolutions, and I read Marx and Engels and Lenin. Lenin had a phrase, he called them, “useful idiots,” and those are the people in free societies or in other countries who were buying into the Soviet disinformation and propaganda campaign, and then from within those countries, they tried to tear down the leadership. I look at America and say there are a lot of useful idiots here.
The useful idiots are the people in the cancel culture and the Twitter mobs who go after political leaders or anybody in the conservative movement to try to destroy them. If the Chinese are going to be running the world—I hope they won’t, I don’t think they will, but if they do—the first people they get rid of are the useful idiots. The people who talked about all these “freedoms” who in fact are not going to have the right of free expression or any of the rights that we enjoy in the United States, any more than the people of China enjoy any of those rights.
Mr. Jekielek: Let’s actually jump to Taiwan for second. We’re talking about all this saber rattling that the Chinese Communist Party’s involved in right now. Taiwan is actually reporting some of the most aggressive incursions into its air space, the most from what I saw. Again, at the same time, we have the U.S Pacific Fleet commander, Admiral John Aquilino, testifying that he believes that Chinese attack on Taiwan is like the most threatening flashpoint at the moment in that whole theater. What do you make of all this? What do you think the Chinese Communist Party has in terms of its ambitions with respect to Taiwan?
Mrs. McFarland: I can’t remember who was saying, maybe Henry Kissinger who was one of my old bosses—The Chinese leaders basically said, “The Korean War in the 1950’s cost [them] Taiwan. The real country [they] cared about was Taiwan and bringing Taiwan back into what they thought, the greater China. By the Korean War, it got the whole world turned against China, so China couldn’t make its move on Taiwan.
China has made it very clear, they said it to us at the beginning of the Trump administration. I sat down with the same leaders that the Biden people sat down with a week or so ago. We sat down with them at the beginning of the Trump administration. They have these meetings and then they go through their list of what they call their core interests or red lines or non-negotiable demands, and they basically say, “Hands off.” That’s what they told Biden and that’s what they told us, “Hands off Hong Kong, hands off Taiwan.”
At that point, there were no Uyghur concentration camps, but those were their two things. They consider Taiwan and Hong Kong to be part of China, and as part of China, it’s a domestic Chinese issue [when it comes to] what happens in those countries. Whether those people have rights or don’t have rights is nobody’s business. They look at Taiwan not as an independent country with an independent economy, independent government, and independent tradition, they look at it as merely yet another part of China which they own.
At the end of the day, nobody wants to go to war over Taiwan. Probably not even Taiwan wants to go to war over Taiwan, and certainly the Chinese don’t and we don’t. What the Chinese want to do is use this moment of perceived weakness on the part of the United States for all the reasons I’ve just said and make their moves. They are moving out now. They are claiming what they think is rightfully theirs: world leadership, economic superiority, and certainly Taiwan.
So I don’t think that these are all precursors to an invasion or a war, but they are China putting down the marker of, “Think twice, everybody in the world, if you want to criticize us over Taiwan, because this is what’s possible.” They assume that most countries will back down and probably even Taiwan will back down.
Mr. Jekielek: KT, another thing that you mentioned earlier was the issue of sanctions. The U.S. has issued a series of sanctions against Chinese officials and companies, for example, in Xinjiang. The Chinese Communist Party has responded with reciprocal sanctions. This has happened with the EU recently. Four to one sanctions the Chinese issued against individuals in the EU, in response to the EU basically putting out sanctions against individuals in China. Are we going into this “war of sanctions”? How is this actually working? How is this going to play out?
Mrs. McFarland: I credit the Biden administration that they did assemble the European Union and a number of other countries. Altogether, we put sanctions on Chinese companies that were using slave labor at these concentration camps that you’re referring to. The Chinese response was to come back, double down, and slam even harder, and issue economic sanctions of their own against international corporations. In addition to that, they’re doing a PR campaign internally so that all leading Chinese celebrities, TV stars, personalities, are all coming out and proudly wearing cotton fabrics and cotton clothing that’s made from these camps that come from this part of Western China.
From their perspective, they think they’re already there, that they are already in a position of dominance and therefore, any concessions to be made are not going to be made on their part, [and that the concessions are] going to be made [to them by] other countries. To show how powerful they are, they use this economic weapon, and it’s a very powerful weapon, especially in a democracy. What country is going to have an economic disadvantage to their own people in order to make a point?
The Chinese can do this because they have an autocracy, an authoritarian government. They can just say, “We’re not going to buy Nike products now because Nike is bad for China.” You can’t do the same thing in the West, because we’re a democracy. They’re very clever in choosing the weapons they’re using, and investment and trade is one of the most potent.
That’s why I think it’s just critical—the Biden administration’s talked about it, I sure hope they follow through, I’ll be their biggest cheerleader if they do—to get the democracies of the world to band together because the Chinese plan, long range plan, is to pick us off one at a time, pick off Japan, pick off South Korea, and use the Chinese leverage, their trade weapons, investment weapons, and the economic weapons to get these countries to do China’s bidding.
However, if all of these countries are banded together and say, “United we stand, divided we fall,” then we do have an opportunity and a very strong position to go back to China and say, “You may want this but we’re not going to let you get away with it.” In other words, “Not so fast. Let’s all play by some very different rules.”
Mr. Jekielek: In terms of these internal PR campaigns that you just described with the actresses and so forth wearing the Xinjiang cotton, there are also these types of campaigns in the other direction against Nike and H&M [because they] have made these statements saying, “We’re concerned about what’s happening over there.” I was just reading this morning that H&M locations are now missing from Apple Maps, and various ride hailing and e-commerce applications because there’s a Chinese mapping company that’s involved in delivering this data, or at least that’s what people surmise.
On one hand, you have essentially these people in China being stirred up around these issues saying, “Look at how unfairly we’re being treated here.” People are boycotting these stores, that’s the information we’re getting. At the same time, there’s a blackout of even the locations of some of these stores. From what I’m hearing again, it’s not just H&M, but that was one of the cases that was highlighted.
Mrs. McFarland: The Chinese have an all-government approach and an authoritarian government can do this. They even have a national security law that they passed a couple of years ago saying that any company, private or otherwise, in China, if the government, the Chinese military, or the Chinese intelligence services asks you for information or asks you to cooperate with them on something, you have to do it. It’s against the law if you don’t. You can be put in jail for life. You are accused of treason if you don’t do the bidding of your government. So yes, of course they’re able to mobilize that.
The other thing though, and I guess I’ve worried about this for a long time in a different direction, is that China has a population that has been nurtured on this notion that they were treated unjustly for 200 years—that China was always the dominant, most successful, most powerful, most just country in the world. They’re the history of the world, but they had a lousy 200 years after the Industrial Revolution. They blame the West, they blame the United States, they blame Europe. They have a chip on their shoulder about this.
So to a certain extent, what they’re trying to do is payback time. They feel that they’re just resuming their rightful place in the world, and all of these countries and companies who want to criticize them for forced labor camps or Hong Kong democracy, “Well you’re just little pipsqueaks. You’re over. You’re the ashbin of history.”
So the Chinese have stirred up their own nationalist sentiment internally to say that this is the great Chinese history, and it’s patriotic to do these things to other countries. At the same time, they’ve got this all-government approach where they’re using every aspect of government, not just the Chinese businessman, or not just the Chinese military, as you just pointed out, [in] disappearing H&M stores on Apple or Google Maps because China has an application that’s somehow in the middle when you try to find a location on Google Maps.
They are really playing hardball and they’re going to an enormous effort for even the most, what we would think, insignificant thing—they’re not letting anything pass. That’s why they’re such a formidable adversary. We’ve never had a country that could pose such a strategic threat to the peace and prosperity to the United States and to the world. This is much more serious than this Soviet Union or even Nazism. China plans to remake the world in its own image and it is at our expense. Make no mistake, it will be at our expense.
Mr. Jekielek: With respect to the sanctions I wanted to follow up on that a little bit. There’s a quite thoughtful quote that Professor Donald Clarke offered. He said, “It’s important to remember that the Chinese sanctions are not exactly mirror images of the EU/UK sanctions”—and then by extension, I’m adding this, U.S. sanctions—”The EU/UK sanctions are for crimes against humanity. The Chinese sanctions are literally for saying stuff.”
Mrs. McFarland: That’s a very insightful point. The Western and Eastern democracies are united [along] these international norms of appropriate behavior and as you pointed out, crimes against humanity. But for China, it’s all about you can’t say bad stuff about China. You can’t even criticize China and you can’t criticize China internally. We know that. They have the first world’s total surveillance state. But they’re not even allowing people outside of China to criticize China.
This means that it’s going to be a very difficult decade because China, they used to think they could replace the United States as the dominant world power by mid-century. But with a pandemic and with the dysfunction in Washington, they feel that they’re going to get there within the decade. This is going to be a very difficult decade that tries men’s souls in the United States and in democracies all around the world.
Mr. Jekielek: As we finish up here, let’s pull in everything we’ve been talking about. You mentioned the realities of coronavirus, or CCP virus as we call it at The Epoch Times. We’re talking about the wolf warrior diplomacy in various forums, including with the sanctions, and the internal information and external information campaigns. What is the response that’s required at this point to not be subjugated to this onslaught of the Chinese Communist Party?
Mrs. McFarland: Let me take an even bigger picture. You’re great at big pictures, Jan. You’re famous for always having the big picture. I want to take an even bigger picture. In the United States, we go through these periods where we can become dysfunctional and part of it is because Washington likes to preserve powers. It’s the nature of every government, whether it’s in China, Beijing, or in Washington, to preserve power for itself.
But in the United States, unlike other countries, unlike China, for example, we have the right to a political revolution and we go through this. We go through this with great regularity every 40 years or so, and the reason we do is because American society is dynamic. It’s always changing, technologically, sociologically, religiously, ethnically, all the above, and government never keeps track. So we go through these periodic political revolutions where we kick the old party and ideas out, old leaders of both parties, and we have a new set of leaders. Then that’s when America recreates itself. We reinvent ourselves, and we do it time and time again. That is the definition of American exceptionalism.
How do you combat what I see is a growing threat to the peace and prosperity, not just to the United States and the world, but to Western democracy, coming from China? I think America reinvents itself. We’re in the process of doing that now, and the technologies that we can’t even dream of are probably just around the corner. We’re going to create them, we’re going to invent them. They’re not going to come from Beijing.
Again, look at the example of the coronavirus or CCP virus or whatever you want to call it. It started in China. Has China cured it? No. They’ve used the way they control their population to quarantine people, to lock them up. What do we do in the West? We created not one vaccine, not two, but three, four vaccines. We’ve created cures. There’s nothing that explains to me the difference between our two societies and our approaches towards life and governance, than the Chinese approach in dealing with the virus—using it as a pandemic and then spreading it around the world, but locking themselves down. The Western idea of it is, “We’re going to just cure this thing,” and [that’s] what we’ve done.
So I look at that—the best way you confront and deal with an authoritarian China is the way we’ve dealt with the virus. We’re going to maintain our technological superiority. I hope Biden does it. If he doesn’t do it, a Republican president who follows him in 2024 will, and that’s when America continues to reinvent itself. In one sense, we’re going to go through a really rocky couple of years, but in another sense, America has always reinvented itself. That’s what we’re going through now. It’s a process of rebirthing and reinvention.
Mr. Jekielek: It’s a very thoughtful commentary that you’re making here. I’ve heard some very, very compelling arguments and actually, I’ve been mulling this over—the idea that through its information operations, the Chinese Communist Party managed to convince some of the West or big swaths of the West that the lockdown authoritarian model is actually the one that we should be employing. In the U.S. it’s very interesting because we’ve got a mix. For example, where you are in Florida, there was an initial lockdown but then that changed very quickly. In other places, lockdowns or something in that direction have been more part of the course, more the rule. I feel like some folks in America admire the Chinese Communist Party’s approach and have been replicating it to some extent.
Mrs. McFarland: Sure, but look where it’s gotten them. Time will show even more so that the lockdowns have not been effective, that the lockdowns aren’t having any better numbers in the United States. In California, for example, in New York, which are very locked down, their economies are struggling, but their rates of infection and reinfection, certainly their rates of vaccination have fallen far behind the free states. If you look at states like Florida and others which have remained open, or as you point out, briefly shut down and locked down, but then immediately came back, schools have been operating, businesses are operating. Wear a facemask when you go to a grocery store, but other than that, these are open societies and the economies are humming.
From the Chinese perspective, they’re thrilled at the thought that the West is locked down. Why? Because every day that we’re locked down, our educational system falls further and further behind. We are raising a generation of kids who aren’t going to be socialized and are not going to be educated. We’re indebted, we’re borrowing, borrowing, borrowing trillions and trillions and trillions, and our economies are not growing. This is pretty effective disinformation from the Chinese and from others to saying, “America, you’ve just got to be locked down forever. You’re going to be wearing those masks forever. Your kids aren’t going to go to school, you’re not going to manufacture stuff anymore, you’re just going to be a suspended animation.
The people who think, “The lockdown, that was the right way to go. Look at how China did it.” Look at how it’s worked in America. The second wave of this virus is not going to be a physical viral disease, it’s going to be on the economy, and the destruction this is making on the economy. The United States is becoming not only a debtor nation, but a debtor nation that’s just borrowing all around the world including from China to recover from this. So I look at not where we are today, but where we’re going to be in six months, where we’re going to be in nine months. The United States is going to look at the Chinese model and say, “No, it doesn’t work here. What works here is let’s find a cure and keep our societies open.”
I think the American people aren’t nuts. At a certain point, people just are going to look around and say, “I’m in California, it’s not working, I’m going to Idaho.” Or you’re in New York and you’re saying, “I’m in Manhattan, this isn’t working for me, I’m going to Florida.” It’s already started happening. The free states have succeeded in battling the coronavirus, they’ve succeeded in vaccinating their populations, and they’ve succeeded in having their economies remain open. I’d take that any day of the week over the lockdowns and certainly over the system that China has.
Mr. Jekielek: KT, any final thoughts?
Mrs. McFarland: People have worried about America for two or three centuries. We’re always just about to lose to some other country that’s going to replace us and take over, and some other system is better than ours. At the end of the day, I really believe in democracy and I really believe in free market capitalism. Even though we’re going to have a rocky couple of years ahead, ultimately, the American people, the American system, the American way of life and democracy and free market capitalism will survive and will indeed thrive.
Mr. Jekielek: KT McFarland, such a pleasure to have you on again.
Mrs. McFarland: Jan, you’re the best. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you.
These interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity.