Media pundits and publications have not only pushed Chinese propaganda amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, but praised the country as well for how it has handled the virus.
All of this comes despite numerous recorded events showing how China made early attempts to downplay the threat of the virus. If authorities in China acted three weeks earlier, coronavirus cases may have been reduced by 95% and its worldwide spread may have been limited, according to one March study.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has often used American media outlet’s reporting on the novel coronavirus to push Chinese propaganda, a Fox News article noted. Zhao has peddled Chinese propaganda about the virus on Twitter. He suggested in a March 12 tweet that the “US military brought the epidemic to Wuhan.”
Zhao furthered Chinese propaganda by claiming on March 22 that the “US CDC admitted some #COVID19 patients were misdiagnosed as flu during the 2019 flu season. 34 million infected & 20,000 died. If #COVID19 began last September, & US has been lack of test ability, how many people would have been infected? US should find out when patient zero appeared.”
The spokesman has also consistently tweeted or re-tweeted various articles from American news websites about the virus, Fox News reported. Zhao has re-upped articles from The Washington Post, The New York Times and CBS News.
In one example, Zhao re-tweeted an article published March 20 by USA Today about President Donald Trump’s use of the phrase “Chinese Virus.” This article cites race and global health experts who allege that this term contributes to xenophobia.
China has repeatedly pressured the president against using the term, despite official state media first calling it the “Wuhan Virus.” Numerous outlets have repeated this talking point, bashing Trump for calling the virus by where it originated. Some of these media sources even used the phrases themselves before adopting China’s propaganda.
China has reacted to the outbreak of coronavirus in Italy by sending aid. The US has reacted by suspending flights. Who is the superpower? https://t.co/TsM3Eu7KR7
— Anne Applebaum (@anneapplebaum) March 12, 2020
“China Bought the West Time. The West Squandered It,” one NYT op-ed article is headlined.
Meanwhile, NYT reporter Donald McNeil spoke to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and praised China on March 12. He said that China has had “enormous success in beating down its epidemic.”
Maddow later shared a clip of the segment and headlined it “How coronavirus testing works in a country that take the problem seriously.”
How coronavirus testing works in a country that takes the problem seriously. pic.twitter.com/NaYZcDND9o
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) March 13, 2020
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd also pushed Chinese propaganda by suggesting that “China’s authoritarian ways did prevent this.” (RELATED: Top WHO Official Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Won Election With China’s Help. Now He’s Running Interference For China On Coronavirus)
“How uncomfortable is it that perhaps China’s authoritarian ways did prevent this?” according to Todd. “Meaning, had China been a free and open society, this might have spread faster?”
China appears to continue its attempt to spread misinformation into the American media as the novel coronavirus threat grows. A Sunday report, for example, indicated that the country has not been truthful with its coronavirus numbers.
Over 43,000 people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus by the end of February were omitted from China’s confirmed case numbers, Chinese government data indicates. The data was obtained by the South China Morning Post.
This is just the latest in a series of reports highlighting China’s apparent attempts to cover-up and misinform the public about the virus.