Controversial tensions have risen in these global times between China and the U.S. recently after the Chinese government promised to stop using anal swabs instead of nasal or throat swabs on American diplomats. However, a Department of State spokesperson confirmed that U.S. diplomats in China were subjected to anal swab tests for the coronavirus, adding that there now has been a protest at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Although the U.S. had received assurances that diplomatic personnel was exempt from this kind of testing in the midst of the pandemic, apparently the tests were already done and were done in error. The State Department spokesperson had explained, “The Department is committed to guaranteeing the safety and security of American diplomats and their families while preserving their dignity, consistent with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, as well as other relevant diplomatic law provisions.”
However, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, reportedly checked with his colleagues to validate the truth and said, “China has never asked U.S. diplomats stationed in China to have anal swab tests,” denying that the U.S. diplomats ever had to experience such testing.
China Using Anal Swabs for COVID-19 Testing
Chinese cities have been using anal swab samples because they are reportedly more effective. Traces of the coronavirus stay in fecal excrement longer than they do in the upper respiratory tract, according to Dr. Li Tongzeng, a respiratory disease doctor in Beijing. The anal swabs were used to also detect potential infectious diseases before people traveled to their loved ones to celebrate the Lunar New Year holidays.
President Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi by phone about the White House’s concern with the country. The White House said in a statement that President Biden talked about, “Beijing’s “coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan,” according to NBC News. And now, a physical violation of privacy seems to also be a problem.
Getting a cotton swab stuck up anywhere, much less your rectum, is not ideal. And honestly, if anal swabs proved faster detection rates in testing for COVID-19 cases, I probably would rather still just stay in lockdown until I could get the vaccine. You wouldn’t have to worry about me going out and about, interacting and/or infecting high-risk COVID-19 patients. Not if we were required to get tested via anal swab.