China’s state-run Global Times kept up the Communist Party propaganda offensive on Thursday with an editorial accusing the United States of being “second to none among all countries in terms of the poor antivirus performance.”
The editorial was part of China’s relentless effort to gaslight the world into forgetting where the virus came from and forgetting that Beijing has consistently lied about it, right up to the latest absurdly false case numbers. In effect, this is an effort to punish the civilized nations of the world for being honest about their struggle with the disease and it is uncomfortably harmonized with certain American political and media narratives.
Here is the Global Times taunting the United States on its supposedly world’s-worst response to the Wuhan virus:
With the most national strength and the best public health facilities, the US did nothing when the virus set its footprint on US soil and became the new epicenter of the pandemic. So far, there are more than 430,000 confirmed cases, with new daily cases reaching 30,000 and a daily death toll of nearly 2,000, the world’s highest.
All the advantages of the world’s most developed country have been eroded by the pandemic. The US has become the virus’ slaughtering field. It is also one of the most dangerous sources of infections and exports a large number of infected cases to its allies such as Australia. The severe setbacks of the US anti-virus fight will drag the entire process of the world’s containment of the virus.
The US is supposed to display its strong economic power and assist other countries in the face of a global public health crisis. But the epidemic made itself baffled enough. It is not capable of providing urgent medical supplies to its allies and countries badly hit by the virus. Instead, the US snatched up medical supplies from other countries. All these have disappointed the international community.
China is the original “exporter” of the virus to all the world; China’s lies about the virus were biggest “drag” every other nation has experienced against containing the disease; China used all of its overseas companies to “snatch up” medical supplies, and banned foreign factories on Chinese soil from supplying their own countries as the pandemic exploded across the globe.
Compare the CCP’s latest propaganda to the content of American news media. Here is CNN on Thursday echoing the CCP’s argument that America has a disproportionate number of coronavirus fatalities and deaths:
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) April 9, 2020
This assumes China, Iran, and other authoritarian nations have accurately reported their number of coronavirus infections and deaths. Every time a U.S. news outlet proceeds as though China was telling the truth, the CCP’s primary goal of obscuring its responsibility for the pandemic is advanced. The next step down this absurd path would be suggesting American doctors could learn valuable lessons from North Korea’s amazing achievement of having zero coronavirus infections.
Furthermore, as people capable of doing math pointed out, the U.S. does not have an excessive share of coronavirus deaths even if China is left completely out of the equation:
Italy has 0.8% of the world population, 19% of the deaths.
Spain has 0.6% of the world population, 16% of the deaths.
France has 0.8% of the world population, 12% of the deaths
All of them combined are less than half the US population
— PoliMath (@politicalmath) April 10, 2020
Another harmonization with the CCP’s agenda occurred when researchers said on Thursday that, based on genetic analysis, New York City’s earliest coronavirus infections may have been brought by travelers from Europe rather than arrivals coming directly from China.
A shocking number of the less-thoughtful critics of the Trump administration immediately leaped to the conclusion that this meant all of America caught the coronavirus from Europe, China was blameless, and President Donald Trump was foolish for attempting to restrict travel from China during the early stages of the pandemic.
Even a child would probably think to ask the obvious follow-up question of where Europe got the virus from before passing it along to New York City, or how the virus arrived in the even earlier hot spots on the other side of the United States, but the CCP has shrewdly calculated that America’s political opposition is not interested in thinking so deeply about anything that might damage the incumbent president. There are, to put it simply, plenty of eager American buyers for the narrative China is selling.
The Global Times wrapped up its criticism of the U.S. coronavirus response with the CCP’s other favored narrative, which is that asking questions the conduct of China or its proxies “politicizes” the pandemic and inexcusably interferes with efforts to resolve it:
The US tries to protect itself when plunged in dilemma. But it has left the destructive impact to the world. When humanity needs unity most, the US government launched an ideological war to duck responsibility, pushing the international community to a state of division. The political selfishness of Washington has been substantially exposed.
It attacked China first, then took aim at the World Health Organization. These crushed world unity and confidence in fighting the pandemic and made people worry about the wider destruction the pandemic may cause. We are now living in a disorderly and chaotic world.
The vicious virus, the polarization of US politics and deepening international divergences have plunged humanity into unprecedented uncertainties. A jumbled, irresponsible and impulsive US greatly enhanced the risks the world is facing.
Here again, the CCP will find many partners in America and Europe who do not want to explore China’s responsibility for the pandemic. Political correctness is riding to Beijing’s rescue in the form of allegations that only “racism” can explain criticism of the Chinese government. Another CNN report on Thursday touted a study that claimed anti-Chinese racism is surging in the United States because the researchers found a “rise in derogatory terms for Chinese people” on the notoriously toxic forum 4chan, which is brimming with derogatory terms for everyone and everything.
One of the great dangers with buying Beijing’s line on the pandemic and accepting its false data on the virus is that it becomes intellectually difficult to resist the other half of the CCP message: China deserves thanks for becoming the coronavirus savior of the world.
This line was pushed hard in another Global Times editorial on Friday that argued China is poised to take leadership of the global economy after the Wuhan virus completes its global rampage:
Warning of new difficulties and challenges for China’s economic and social development, President Xi Jinping on Wednesday urged “preparedness in mind and work” to cope with prolonged changes in the external environment, and efforts to minimize losses caused by the epidemic.
Xi made the remarks during a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, where the country’s top leadership discussed epidemic prevention and control and fully advancing work resumption, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
The meeting underscored the urgency felt by top leaders to reopen the economy despite the uncertainties and risks involved. It also provided a glimpse into how the country is planning to move forward on both fronts: normalizing anti-epidemic efforts, including strict quarantine and contact tracing, while stepping up efforts to lift the economy.
[…] Domestic consumption contributes to more than 70 percent of GDP growth. With uncertainty continuing to loom over overseas markets, officials and businesses are also counting on the domestic market to make up some of the export shortfall to ease the pain. Chinese officials are also actively expanding export channels for domestic producers, including organizing large trade shows, increasing air and train cargo capacity and streamlining customs clearance procedures.
In any event, [Peking University economics professor] Cao said that the domestic market is “big enough” and there is “plenty of time” left in the year to make up for the lost time and money, but just like during the epidemic, reviving the economy will also require a whole-of-society approach.
There is already a widespread social mobilization underway to save the economy, with the participation of governments at all levels, large state-owned and private corporations, and even ordinary citizens.
The U.S. plan for economic recovery will be crucial for both domestic prosperity and international security. We are beginning a fateful race between capitalist democracy and fascism, which is a more accurate description of the current Chinese system than “communism.” Fascism lost that race in the previous century and has been spoiling for a rematch.
There is ample room for criticism of the U.S. government response to the pandemic at every level, from the White House through federal agencies and down to city officials. If the critics really want to help the free world, they would do well to read Chinese Communist media and try as hard as they can to avoid sounding like it.