Skip to main content

Coronavirus: media and politicians take anti-China fear mongering to new levels

Despite praise from the World Health Organization for its handling of the coronavirus, China has been derided by Western media and politicians alike over nearly every aspect of its response.

by Alan Macleod

Starting in Wuhan in December, the coronavirus outbreak has spread across China, infecting around 64,000 people and worrying the rest of the world. Fueling the panic, media have been printing alarmist scare stories and politicians peddling false information.

One prominent example of this is Arkansas senator Tom Cotton, who claimed that the virus was actually developed by the Chinese government. Wuhan, he stated, “has China’s only biosafety level-four super laboratory that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens to include, yes, coronavirus.” He also claimed that the outbreak is “worse than Chernobyl,” referring to the 1986 nuclear meltdown in Ukraine. “The Wuhan coronavirus is a catastrophe on the scale of Chernobyl for China, only Chernobyl was localized. The coronavirus is spreading worldwide,” he said, adding that in one day “confirmed cases increased in China by 30 percent. The true numbers are likely much higher.”

Cotton’s remarks were condemned as unhelpful, at best, and dangerously alarmist fake news, at worse by health authorities. Experts have had to take time off from fighting the virus to debunk his super laboratory conspiracy theories. On the supposed huge increase in cases, Dr. Michael Ryan, the head of the World Health Organization’s (W.H.O.) health emergencies program, said there was a far more mundane explanation for the change in numbers; “This increase that you’ve all seen in the last 24 hours is largely down to a change in how the cases are being reported,” he told media.

The Chinese government has also expressed its consternation at Cotton’s views. “It’s very harmful, it’s very dangerous to stir up suspicion, rumors and spread them among the people. For one thing, this will create panic. Another thing, that it will fan up racial discrimination, xenophobia, all these things that will really harm our joint efforts to combat the virus,” said Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the United States. “Of course, there are all kinds of speculation and rumors… How can we believe all these crazy things?” he added.

Western media have continually scorned China for its handling of the crisis. The BBC claimed that “Chinese authorities are trying hard to control the narrative” and asked, “can we trust the numbers” from the government. But in reality, the W.H.O. has exalted China as a model of openness and dedication to eradicating the virus, sharing as much genetic and logistical information as possible with partners and organizations. It also managed the Herculean task of building two huge hospitals to house patients in a matter of days. Dr. Ryan stated that he and the W.H.O. Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had, “never seen the scale of the commitment of an epidemic response at this level…The challenge is great but the response has been massive and the Chinese government deserves huge credit,” personally thanking them for their unparalleled effort.

Despite this, the U.S. government has declared itself “disappointed” with China’s supposed defensiveness. “We thought there was better transparency coming out of China, but it doesn’t appear to be,” White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said.

The W.H.O. did make some strong criticisms regarding the outbreak. However, these were reserved for the media, the organization declaring that alongside the medical global emergency, there was also a “massive ‘infodemic’ – an overabundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.

As the virus has spread, so has anti-Chinese racism. In a similar fashion to how Ebola was racialized as an African plague, news of the coronavirus has led to an outbreak of anti-Chinese sentiment across the West, with Chinese restaurants in Europe experiencing decreased business and people of Chinese ancestry all over the world reporting an upsurge in xenophobic and bigoted comments leveled at them. MintPress reported on the phenomenon last month.

As of Friday, there have been 64,435 confirmed cases in 25 countries, resulting in 1,383 deaths, all but two in China. This means that only two percent of those who have contracted the virus have died. While certainly a serious cause for concern for health authorities, it pales in comparison to other, more mundane illnesses. For example, the U.S. government estimates that during the winter of 2017-8, over 800,000 Americans were hospitalized with influenza, with 61,000 deaths.

Reminiscent of the coverage of the SARS outbreak in 2003 or 2014 Ebola virus, media and politicians have hyped up the threat levels of a foreign virus for their own ends, creating pandemics of fear and xenophobia to accompany the real but limited medical outbreaks. The coronavirus is serious enough without the pandemic of scaremongering that has come with it.

Source, links:



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Operation Mindfuck: The origins of the Illuminati conspiracy fraud and how it became popular in our times

From the new documentary Can 't Get You Out of My Head by Adam Curtis   globinfo freexchange   The first settlers had come from Europe to America to flee from the corruption of power in the Old World. But although they had got away from the old power, they hadn't got away from their suspicious minds, and alone, out in the vast wilderness of the new America, that led them to imagining dark, hidden conspiracies in their own government, far away in Washington.    One of the first of these, in the early 19th century, said that a secret group from Europe, called the Bavarian Illuminati, were running a giant conspiracy in America to destroy the new democracy. In reality, the Illuminati had been a utopian movement who wanted to replace religion with reason. But instead, they now became the first of a series of frightening suspicions that fed off the isolation of the settlers in the New World.    One night (in 1958, somewhere in the vicinity of Whittier, California), Kerry Thornley

Ποιος ολιγάρχης θα πηδήξει πρώτος από το κυβερνητικό Μητσοτακικό καράβι που βουλιάζει;

failed evolution   Όλα δείχνουν ότι η αντίστροφη μέτρηση για την πτώση του Μητσοτακικού καθεστώτος έχει αρχίσει. Το καθεστώς δέχτηκε απανωτά χτυπήματα σε όλα τα μέτωπα, με κεντρικό, βεβαίως, το μέτωπο της πανδημίας. Η αποτυχία του καθεστώτος όσον αφορά τα μέτρα και το πρόγραμμα εμβολιασμών, που απ'ότι φαίνεται χωλαίνει, θα αποτελέσει την αρχή του τέλους της αποτυχημένης Μητσοτακικής διακυβέρνησης.   Η απέλπιδα προσπάθεια ενός τραγικού Μητσοτάκη να κινητοποιήσει τα αντανακλαστικά των νοικοκυραίων, πάντα με τη βοήθεια της μιντιακής χούντας, χρησιμοποιώντας την πρόσφατη επίθεση εναντίον αστυνομικού, φαίνεται ότι πέφτει στο κενό. Οι νοικοκυραίοι μεσαιοταξίτες δεν "τσιμπάνε" πλέον με τέτοιου είδους φτηνά επικοινωνιακά κολπάκια, πολύ απλά γιατί βλέπουν ότι το παρατεταμένο λοκντάουν του ενός έτους, τους εξοντώνει συστηματικά κυρίως στον οικονομικό τομέα. Όπως είχαμε γράψει αμέσως μετά τις εκλογές του Ιουλίου του 19, μπορεί ο Έλλην μικροαστός να άγεται με ευκολία από τη μιντιακή

COVID-19: After one year, Mitsotakis regime fails dramatically to control pandemic in Greece

globinfo freexchange   After one year, Greece has become one of the most characteristic cases of blatant failure concerning COVID-19 pandemic control. The situation is getting worse and the National Health System of Greece receives extreme pressure, while there are signs that it has already crashed. According to some recent reports , " A record number of patients with Covid-19 in Greece are on ventilators on Thursday. The total number of people undergoing the treatment has reached 706, breaking the previous record of 699, which was recorded on both the last two consecutive days, on Tuesday and Wednesday. " With the help of jodi.graphics we present a brief timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country: February 26, 2020: The first verified COVID-19 case in Greece. March 10, 2020: The government shuts down schools and universities. March 12, 2020: The first death in Greece from COVID-19.   March 23, 2020: The first lockdown in Greece.   March 28, 2020: COVID-19 cases in Gr

QAnon and Russiagate: How the capitalist elites produced a mass conspiracy hysteria to maintain power

globinfo freexchange   In his new documentary Can't Get You Out of My Head , Adam Curtis traces the origins of popular conspiracy theories that survived up to our days and spread rapidly due to Internet. As a result, Curtis finds that Trump election and Brexit triggered a conspiracy paranoia that took over both the liberal establishment and the ultra-conservative camp. The story begins in the late 60s, when Kerry Thornley and his friend Greg Hill had started what they called Operation Mindfuck . They had spread the conspiracy theory that the Illuminati were really the secret rulers of the world. They had done it to parody and ridicule all conspiracy theories because they thought that they undermined the confidence of individuals and made them easier to control.    But now, in the mass of data online, those stories about the Illuminati got mixed up with other conspiracies, both true and false, and out of it came extraordinary dreamlike stories built out of fragments of truth and fic

Γκάλοπ πρόωρων εκλογών

failed evolution survey software * Η σειρά με την οποία έχουν τοποθετηθεί τα πολιτικά κόμματα έγινε με βάση το αποτέλεσμα των τελευταίων βουλευτικών εκλογών του Ιουλίου του 2019.  * Αν προτιμάτε άλλο κόμμα από αυτά που εκπροσωπούνται στη βουλή, υπάρχει η επιλογή "Άλλο", ενώ μπορείτε, αν θέλετε, να γράψετε στα σχόλια το όνομα του κόμματος.  * Παρακαλούμε κοινοποιείστε για καλύτερο δείγμα.

New bill designed to destroy 3rd parties in the US

Redacted Tonight   The Democrats are pursuing  an ostensible "Voting Rights" bill that seriously undermines 3rd party politics. 

Νέα απόπειρα περαιτέρω μετάλλαξης του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ από την ντόπια ολιγαρχία καθώς το κυβερνών καράβι της Μητσοτακοδεξιάς βουλιάζει

globinfo freexchange   Ήδη από τον Ιούλιο του '15, ανιχνεύσαμε την πιο σοβαρή απόπειρα της ντόπιας ολιγαρχίας, σε συνεργασία πάντα με τους δανειστές της Τρόικας, να μεταλλάξουν τον ΣΥΡΙΖΑ σε συστημικό κόμμα, κομμένο και ραμμένο στα μέτρα τους. Η μεγάλη επιτυχία των ολιγαρχών και του άξονα Βρυξελλών-Βερολίνου, ήταν η απομάκρυνση της επικίνδυνης γι'αυτούς Αριστερής πλατφόρμας από το κόμμα.    Όπως είχαμε γράψει πριν από ένα χρόνο, μετά την εικονική έξοδο από τα μνημόνια, οι ολιγάρχες άρχισαν να φοβούνται ότι ο ΣΥΡΙΖΑ θα μπορούσε να εκτροχιαστεί από την "κανονικότητά" τους. Δεν είναι τυχαίο ότι η "κανονικότητα" άρχισε να πλασάρεται, ως έννοια, από τους μιντιακούς παπαγάλους, όταν οι ντόπιοι ολιγάρχες και το νεοφιλελεύθερο ιερατείο είδαν τον ΣΥΡΙΖΑ να "τσινάει" και να αρχίζει να σκαλίζει διάφορα μεγάλα σκάνδαλα. Έτσι, η "κανονικότητα" ταυτίστηκε με την άνοδο της Μητσοτακικής δεξιάς στην εξουσία, που θα γλίτωνε τη χώρα από τους επικίνδυνους

Max Blumenthal debunks US accusation of China's 'genocide' against Uighurs

The Grayzone   Max Blumenthal documents the deceptions behind the US government's accusation that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims in its Xinjiang region, picking apart NED-funded studies that rely on botched statistics and exposing extremist Adrian Zenz and his error-filled research. 

Joe Biden is already breaking his promise to end the US’ ‘forever wars’ in the Middle East

by Robert Inlakesh   Part 4 - Twisting the nuclear deal   Along with the demonisation of Iran and its influence in Iraq being used as a partial justification for further action in the country comes the Biden administration’s continued hardball stance when it comes to re-entering the JCPOA/Iran nuclear deal. Biden has offered to rejoin talks with Iran, on the issue of the JCPOA, dropping Trump-era restrictions such as the tight limitation of movement imposed on Iranian diplomats, but these gestures have not budged any party. In a meeting this Thursday between US, German, French and UK diplomats, the quartet blamed Iran for the lack of progress on the restoration of the deal. The statement focuses on its reactionary enrichment of uranium, which came in the wake of US and EU non-compliance with the deal, and urged Iran to consider the “ consequences of such grave action ”.  In response to the statement, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif lambasted the US and E3 partners for what he call

Aurora police killed without consequence, now their protestors face 48 years for “kidnapping” cops

The cops and the district attorneys want people to see what we are going through — the conditions of our arrests, our experiences in jail, and our legal battle — and to think that this is what you risk when you stand up against them. – Lillian House, Aurora Activist and Defendant   by Alan Macleod   Part 3 - A vindictive police response To this day, Aurora Police classify McClain as a “suspect” in a case, meaning that his family cannot seek compensation, even for funeral costs. At the height of the Movement for Black Lives last summer, activists organized a mass protest for McClain, including a somber violin vigil in the city’s Center Park. Musicians (including children) from all over the city and further afield congregated to mourn the death of one of their own. The event was broken up by masked, black-clad police in full riot gear, wielding batons and pepper spray. “ We challenged their impunity, we challenged their ability to kill without consequence, and the protests we led brought