China uses American media to push coronavirus propaganda as war of words continues
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expand, society’s fears about the virus are being taken advantage of with the spread of myths, hoaxes and scams. Here are some of the worst misinformation and scams about the virus that you should keep an eye out for.
This time it’s from a prominent Chinese official who is using articles written by the American media to fuel Beijing’s propaganda machine as the tit-for-tat between the two superpowers escalated Monday over COVID-19’s origin and which country’s lack of action is responsible for turning the novel coronavirus into a global pandemic.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian tweeted, “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.”
Zhao also retweeted a March 21 USA Today article that claims race and global health experts believe that describing COVID-19 as a “Chinese” virus exacerbates xenophobia and that President’s Trump’s repeated use of it, despite pressure from China to stop, only makes the situation worse as the bodies pile up worldwide.
Zhao tweeted or in some cases retweeted stories from The New York Times, The Washington Post and CBS News that have all reported on America’s response to the global crisis and Trump’s insistence that it’s China’s fault.
The war of words between the two governments has turned particularly dirty in recent days as China tries to reposition itself as a global leader and the U.S. struggles to find an effective way to muzzle the monster virus.