During a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, FBI Director Chris Wray couldn’t confirm the cause of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s death. Sicknick passed away after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, but his cause of death is still unknown.
“There is an ongoing investigation into this death,” Wray told Committee Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R, IA.”I have to be careful at this stage because it’s ongoing not to get out in front of it. But I certainly understand and respect and appreciate the keen interest in what happened to him. After all, he was here protecting all of you, and as soon as there’s information that we can appropriately share we want to be able to do that. But at the moment the investigation is still ongoing.”
On whether the FBI has determined the cause of Sicknick’s death, Wray said, “That means we can’t yet disclose a cause of death at this stage.” But when Wray was further pressed by Grassley, he said the FBI is “not at a point where we can disclose or confirm the cause of death.”
Sicknick died on January 7, but investigators have yet to release his cause of death.
Sicknick’s mother said late last month that she’s unsure of her son’s cause of death after it was first reported by many outlets that the Officer was killed by rioters who hit him in the head with a fire extinguisher.
“He wasn’t hit on the head no. We think he had a stroke, but we don’t know anything for sure,” she told The Daily Mail. “We’d love to know what happened.”
On January 8, The New York Times reported that Sicnick died as a result of the blunt force of being hit with a fire extinguisher. The paper later quietly corrected the report in a February 11 separate piece, writing: “Investigators have found little evidence to back up the attack with the fire extinguisher as the cause of death, the official said. Instead, they increasingly suspect that a factor was Officer Sicknick being sprayed in the face by some sort of irritant, like mace or bear spray, the law enforcement official said.”
Moreover, on January 8, it was reported by ProPublica that Sicknick’s family had communicated with Officer Sicknick after he was hurt and that there was no mention of a fire extinguisher. At the time, the family was heading to Washington from New Jersey, which is Sicknick’s home state.
“He texted me last night and said, ‘I got pepper-sprayed twice,’ and he was in good shape,” Ken Sicknick, his brother, told ProPublica. “Apparently he collapsed in the Capitol and they resuscitated him using CPR.”
Sicknick was later placed on a ventilator and passed away before his family made it to the hospital to see him, according to the family.
Follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer
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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village
Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.
But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.
Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19
The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.
Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China
The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”
Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World
The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”
In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.
While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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