Counterfeiting of condoms is widespread in Vietnam, and almost certainly what this operation was really involved in. The people who got caught clearly wanted to protect their suppliers, and foreign media giddily took it at face value and passed it along to the world when anyone--ANYONE--could have turned the numbers over in their head for a few minutes and known it didn't add up.

It's a trivial matter in this instance, but much more serious topics get the same treatment.

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This story that has been making the rounds all over international media is a prime example of how the rush to exoticize a foreign place gets in the way of basic, easy-to-do critical thought:

nytimes.com/2020/09/25/world/a

Anyone taking a moment to think through some of the numbers included in the article will quickly see that none of it adds up. There is no way this is true as it is being presented. There is no cost effective way to amass, recondition, and distribute 300k used condoms.

Which countries have protected both health&the economy in the pandemic?
From "Our World in Data"
"among countries with available GDP, we do not see any evidence of a trade-off between protecting people’s health + protecting the economy. Rather the relationship we see between the health and economic impacts of the pandemic goes in the opposite direction. As well as saving lives, countries controlling the outbreak effectively may have adopted the best economic strategy too"
ourworldindata.org/covid-healt

These flights should be taxed at approximately 8.36 x 10⁹ percent. What a complete and utter waste of resources. Beyond stupid.

uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/

Sen Nguyen is a must read for her timely and considered reporting on . Here is her latest:

amp.scmp.com/week-asia/economi

It is a delicate balancing act for the country. So much riding on it.

This storm is predicted to slam into the central coast of , but some storms that approach on this line end up pausing just at the coast and run northward toward Quảng Ninh. They manage to stay strong, dump tons of rain, and rip up half the country's east coast provinces. Those are the really nasty ones.

uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/

Until the beginning of August, Vietnam was the world’s largest country with zero coronavirus deaths (a small number of people have died since then). The head of a central hospital in Saigon looks back on months of aggressive crisis management. bit.ly/3lFd9xw twitter.com/techreview/status/ #Tech #MIT #coronavirus #Vietnam

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