As an increasing number of western nations follow Italy in going under more or less complete lock-down, mainstream media outlets don’t seem particularly interested in questioning the official narrative out of China. According to the Chinese government, the peak of the outbreak has passed and all temporary hospitals in Wuhan have been deconstructed. At the time of this writing, China has documented 80,879 cases, 3,213 deaths and 67,765 recoveries. The country claims to have just under 10,000 active cases while Italy currently has over 30,000 with more expected.
The same can be said for the rest of Europe, the United States and the world at large. In recent weeks, cases have exploded outside China, with Italy the nation most currently hard hit. To date, Italy has recorded over 30,000 cases with an alarming amount of deaths. These numbers are expected to rise over the course of the week and have already surpassed China’s official totals. U.S. totals have also risen dramatically as testing expands.
The global explosion of cases makes no sense if the Chinese government is to be believed. While the outbreak was not reported to global scientists until January, according to the South China Morning Post, the outbreak may have begun as early as November 17, 2019 in Wuhan. We know for a fact that whistle-blower doctors from Wuhan were arrested in late December after discussing the outbreak in a forum.
One such doctor, Dr. Li Wenliang, posted a warning to his medical school alumni on December 30, 2019. Dr. Wenliang stated that a cluster of patients had been unsuccessfully treated for viral pneumonia. The patients had been (now incorrectly) diagnosed with SARS and were isolated after not responding as intended to treatment. On January 3rd, 2020, Dr. Wenliang and 8 of his colleagues from the forum were arrested and accused of “severely disturbing the social order”. He was presented with a formal letter that stated: “We solemnly warn you: If you keep being stubborn, with such impertinence, and continue this illegal activity, you will be brought to justice — is that understood”?
Li signed the letter and returned to the front-lines, where he contracted the virus and later died. After his death caused widespread local and global outrage, the government rehabilitated him and praised the doctor as a hero. “Wuhan indeed owes Li Wenliang an apology. Wuhan and Hubei officials also owe a solemn apology to the people of Hubei and this country” wrote Hu Xijin, editor of the state controlled Global Times.
Despite Dr. Wenliang raising the alarm as early as late December, it was not until January 11th that the Chinese government reported the illness to the world. At that time, China claimed to have 46 cases and one death.
These numbers seem extremely low given the disturbing content pouring out of Wuhan at this time. Hospitals pushed to the brink, people collapsing in the streets, citizens being bolted into their homes. One video shows desperate citizens crowding a store window for medicine as a woman coughs up blood on the ground. Nobody pays any attention to her. A journalist filmed a pile of body bags at a Wuhan clinic and ended up disappearing. This type of content poured out of China as the government sold the outbreak as contained and relatively minor.
The government’s swift silencing of the whistle-blowers coupled with the situation on the ground raises many questions.
In the days following Dr. Wenliang’s concerns being voiced, key terms related to the outbreak were censored on popular Chinese social media platforms. WeChat – a widely used messaging app in China – censored coronavirus related content on December 31st. The censorship was unearthed by the Toronto based Citizen Lab, which determined what keywords were being censored with the help of algorithms.
According to the report, censored terms were broad and no doubt affected vital communication about the disease. Chatter concerning a flu-like pneumonia disease, references to Dr. Wenliang, information regarding the location of the outbreak and discussions about the disease in regards to SARS were all censored.
So given that the government in China has demonstrated a direct pattern of lying about the outbreak, how come more questions aren’t being raised? It makes no sense to blindly accept details regarding the start of the outbreak from a government that has shown that they will only come clean when they have to. If the outbreak began in November/December, that is a critical fact. It would mean that Beijing lied about the scope of the outbreak in order to save face. If the virus was spreading long before the CCP came clean, it would mean that containing the global spread was never going to happen.
If this is indeed the case, the Chinese government must face dire consequences. Containing a potential global pandemic requires early coordination with international scientists, it requires being straight forward. The Chinese government has routinely displayed a disregard for human rights, so it is astonishing that the WHO has blindly accepted their narratives.
Sadly, in the U.S., it’s been politics as usual. Media outlets and woke Twitter have gobbled up Chinese propaganda in an effort to score some political points against Trump. As millions of Americans face potential job loss, it’s been business as usual for extreme partisans. Donald Trump has been bombarded with criticism over his handling of the crisis while China has received little to none from the same crowd.
Trump’s insistence on referring to the outbreak as the “Chinese virus” – done in an effort to highlight the CCP cover-up – has been slammed by rabid partisans as “racist”. Coincidentally, racism charges are exactly what Chinese propagandists have been hyping up in recent weeks. Tweets praising China while slamming the U.S. have very questionable like counts, and they are numerous. Given the CCP’s history of deploying botnets to discredit the Hong Kong protests, we are likely witnessing something similar here.
Sadly, many Americans have taken the bait and deployed the same partisan nonsense that has engulfed this country for 4+ years. The same people who downplayed the virus in favor of impeachment a mere month ago are now blaming all COVID-19 damage on Trump. This is happening as Senate Democrats voted down a bi-partisan stimulus package that would have provided much needed financial relief to Americans making less than 50K a year, many of whom have been laid off. When Trump declared a public health emergency and suspended travel from China on January 31st, Joe Biden called it “xenophobic” and accused the President of “fear mongering”.
Coronavirus coverage has just become more “orange man bad” fodder for shameless partisans who like to pretend like they aren’t shameless partisans, a routine that has become commonplace in the United States.
It is truly frightening that as the shady COVID-19 handling by the Chinese government becomes clear, American media is more concerned with attacking the President than asking critical questions. It is now more imperative than ever to continue to preach facts over narrative, because so far, the facts point to a massive cover-up and subsequent propaganda effort by the CCP.