China, WHO: The Daily Disinformation Roundup
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, China has ramped up a campaign of spreading disinformation about its handling of the virus and about the world. Similarly, the World Health Organization has taken steps back to reverse initial advisories and support China’s coverup. SaraACarter.com will report to you the latest on this story. Check here for regular updates.
Monday, April 13:
On Monday, a spokesperson for the Chinese government defended the country against allegations of “discriminatory measures in our outbreak response.” However, there are a number of reports indicating otherwise.
The Chinese government has attached high importance to the health & safety of foreign nationals in China. We treat them equally and reject any discriminatory measures in our outbreak response. @statedeptspox pic.twitter.com/3fcyu39HKu
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) April 13, 2020
African citizens and expatriates living in Guangzhou, China reported undergoing mandatory testing for the coronavirus last week and are required to quarantine for 14 days, according to reports. The action comes as the government reports a sudden increase in new cases over fears of a second wave of the virus, which it’s attributed to foreign travelers.
According to CNN, the group of Africans were tested regardless of recent travel history. African officials warned citizens in China to leave over the alleged “mistreatment.”
President Trump always talks about restarting the economy and seems impatient when it comes to epidemic controls. He and his team are still misleading American society: Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin #HuSays pic.twitter.com/pNnoU2zVWl
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) April 13, 2020
China’s Global Times (state-owned) Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin criticized the U.S. for its handling of the coronavirus calling President Donald Trump “impatient when it comes to epidemic controls” and accused him of misinforming the American people.
The U.S., he said, should be blamed for playing a central role in the spread of the virus.
Thursday, April 9:
Countries should be focused on putting their people’s lives first, over politics, said China Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian.
China rejects "unfair" accusation of initial #coronavirus cover-up
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) April 9, 2020
“Viruses are not defined by borders, races, or social systems. Countries should always put the rights to life and health first and provide adequate and effective protection for its people. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, great achievements have been made in China’s anti-pandemic battle,” he told reporters.
He added, “It’s impossible to get rid of the virus by slandering and accusing others. We hope that the American people can also defeat the pandemic as soon as possible and that the American people can resist this approach of politicizing the pandemic, stigmatizing China, and shifting blame to avoid responsibility.”
Welcome to China anytime and talk to anyone in the streets to enjoy the freedom. BTW Where is freedom & transparency when Captain Crozier was dismissed for a letter to save thousands of lives and medical workers fired for talking about working conditions? pic.twitter.com/l95kYPzTO3
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) April 9, 2020
A Spokesperson for the Chinese government extended an invitation to U.S. officials to visit China “anytime and talk to anyone in the streets to enjoy the freedom.” It was a response to U.S. State Department Spokeswoman who urged transparency from Beijing in order to “combat the COVID19 pandemic.”
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr responded to the Chinese official asking China’s communist government to give him permission to speak with the many disappeared citizen journalists who sounded early alarms on the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, which began in the city of Wuhan.
Wednesday, April 8:
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 8, 2020
Earlier in the day, Senior WHO officials including Dr. Bruce Aylward rejected Trump’s claim that the organization is “China-centric.” Notably, Aylward was the official who refused and even hung up on a reporter who asked him about Taiwan’s, a country that is banned from WHO membership, response to the coronavirus spread.
Bruce Aylward of the World Health Organization refuses to answer any questions about Taiwan or why they’re banned from the WHO. China controls the WHO. pic.twitter.com/uLXGvuZne4
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) March 28, 2020
Editor-in-Chief of China’s state-run newspaper the Global Times Hi Xijin attributed the United States’ “failure… in containing the pandemic” for the ‘mess’ and ‘turbulence’ the world is facing amid the global outbreak, in a Wednesday Tweet. Further, he accused Trump of “blaming China to shirk responsibility.”
What really messed up the world is failure of the US in containing the pandemic. It makes the US unable to aid Europe. Trump govt is desperately blaming China to shirk responsibility, which pushes big power relations to deep crisis. The world is teemed with sense of turbulence.
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) April 8, 2020
Spokesman & Deputy Director General of China’s Information Department called a recent Spectator USA piece that revealed “China is making Italy buy coronavirus supplies that it had donated to Beijing earlier” ‘Fake news.’
Q: The Spectator USA published an article on its website on April 5, saying that China is making Italy buy coronavirus supplies that it had donated to Beijing earlier.
A: Fake news! It’s based on hearsay and unverifiable third-hand information. pic.twitter.com/NN2liTkLyQ
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) April 8, 2020
The Spectator’s story, however, gave multiple examples of China’s negligence that occurred from the start of the coronavirus outbreak including its underreporting of case numbers and casualties. In fact, the information about China’s PPE was obtained from a Senior Trump administration official, but for the Chinese government that’s “hearsay.”
“Before the virus hit Europe, Italy sent tons of PPE to China to help China protect its own population,” the administration official told the Spectator. “China then has sent Italian PPE back to Italy — some of it, not even all of it … and charged them for it.”
Tuesday, April 7:
On Tuesday morning, President Donald trump slammed the World health Organization, saying they “really blew it.”
The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020
“For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation? Trump wrote.
The President closed U.S. borders to China on Jan. 31 after declaring the coronavirus a public health emergency. Just one day before Trump’s declaration, the World Health Organization declared the virus a global public health emergency, however, the body recommended that countries not implement travel restrictions.
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China🇨🇳. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020
The World Health Organization trusted Chinese officials early on and repeated the communist government’s statement that they “found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” of the coronavirus.
They’ve since changed their tune advising the public to practice social distancing.
Maintain at least 1m distance (3 feet) between yourself & others.
Why? When an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks they spray small liquid droplets from their 👃 or 👄 which may contain the #coronavirus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 7, 2020
China Daily, a news outlet controlled by the Chinese government, said Tuesday that China “effectively prevented the spread of COVID-19” by instituting a lockdown of Wuhan, where the virus originated.
#NovelFight Lockdown of Wuhan effectively prevented spread of COVID-19, a crucial measure for its containment in China, experts said. #Covid_19 #coronavirus https://t.co/FKZx15QiVC pic.twitter.com/Hxp89y9TqI
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) April 7, 2020
However, Wuhan wasn’t placed on lockdown until January 23, which was months after Chinese officials were alerted to the virus.
According to documents obtained the South China Morning Post in March, the first case of the coronavirus was reported on November 17. By mid-December, case counts reached double digits.
By the end of December, Zhang Jixian, a Hubei-based doctor, tried to warn the country’s health officials that the illness was being caused by a coronavirus, but his calls fell on deaf ears and the situation was already spiraling with case counts in the triple digits, according to the SCMP’s report.
Wuhan’s lockdown is set to end on Wednesday.
China’s Communist Party confirmed Tuesday a probe into Chinese real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang, for alleged “serious violations of discipline and law” after he penned an essay sharply criticizing the Chinese government for its handling of the coronavirus. Moreover, Ren took aim at the CCP for “trying to cover up the true facts with various ‘great achievements,’” according to translated excerpts of the essay.
The move is an example of China’s continued efforts to shut down any outspoken critics including American journalists who they ousted from the country in March. There’s also been a number of citizen journalists disappeared after they blew the whistle on the lethality of the coronavirus. Ren is no different and serious questions remain after his recent disappearance.