One Big Thing: China’s Misinformation Machine
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What is it?
- The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) originated in Wuhan, China late last year and has since infected 292,142 and killed 12,748 people worldwide. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the Chinese government has received a lot of international criticism for the attempted cover up of the virus and general mismanagement of the crisis.
- Earlier this month in an attempt to deflect blame, a Chinese government spokesperson falsely claimed that the U.S. military developed COVID-19 and released it in Wuhan. This weekend, Axios reported that the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai disowned the theory – debunking it as “crazy” and “harmful”.
- During his interview, Amb. Cui denied any knowledge about the citizen journalist Chen Qiushi who disappeared last month while reporting Coronavirus.
Why is it important?
- Since the epidemic began, China’s state-run media sources have specifically pushed two false narratives: one, although COVID-19 was first found in Wuhan, it did not originate in China; and two, China’s response bought the world more time. Both of these accounts are clearly false.
- China’s management of the Coronavirus epidemic has been poor from start to finish. From silencing the doctor who originally discovered the virus to their continued policy of misreporting statistics and pushing false narratives, the Chinese government has prioritized their public image over the health of their citizens and people around the world.
What can you do?
- If you think you have been exposed to Coronavirus and develop symptoms, immediately call your healthcare provider for medical advice. You should take the appropriate steps to prevent spreading the disease to those around you.
- Rely on real data and information such as from Johns Hopkins, the WHOand CDC.
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