And the media wonders why the American public doesn’t trust them. This report from NBC News at least suggests that the Trump administration wants to sell its efforts against the coronavirus, taking at skeptical tone as to whether they are succeeding in containing the spread. At the same time, NBC offers up China’s assertions on halting the spread of COVID-19 with absolutely no hint of skepticism at all — and not even an acknowledgment that China lied about it for weeks, at least:
At the start of what is expected to be the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the White House tried to offer some hope that measures to contain the spread were working.
The virus killed 1,264 over 24 hours in the U.S. as of 2:05 am ET on Tuesday, according to NBC New’s tracker. A total of 10,906 have been recorded killed by COVID-19.
Meanwhile in China, where the pandemic broke out, not a single new death was reported, and the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, where the new virus was first identified, prepared for lockdown measures to be lifted.
What about those low numbers? China’s doing a great job on containment, says NBC, with data from their source — Beijing. All of the few new cases they have reported all came from outside China … according to China. Trust us!
Health officials reported 32 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in mainland China on Monday, all of them imported, bringing the total to 81,740.
The former epicenter of the epidemic, Wuhan, reported only two new confirmed cases in the past 14 days.
“Health officials” told us that they saw no human-to-human spread too, and that their earlier lockdowns had succeeded. Then they proceeded to close all cinemas and shut down travel, all while claiming their numbers were dropping. Even with plenty of secondary evidence of China’s dishonesty and a finding by US intelligence that China is hiding the massive scope of ongoing infections and deaths, NBC seems happy to parrot China’s claims. In fact, there is not a word in this report that would even suggest that China might not be a reliable source.
Why would China lie about its situation? CNBC noted their global-leadership ambitions while also pushing China’s numbers as reliable over the weekend:
Beijing is bolstering its soft power and taking the lead in a global response to the coronavirus public health crisis. The moves come as China’s daily number of new infections decline while those in the U.S. rise.
In the last few weeks, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been busy calling leaders across the world and rallying for global coordination in managing the coronavirus outbreak. Chinese health experts have hosted video conferences with those from other countries to share experiences.
“This is the first international crisis where China is actively taking a global leadership role and it stands in particular contrast to the US, which has disdained international cooperation and invested more political capital in criticizing China for its role in allowing the outbreak to spread,” said analysts from the Eurasia Group in a report this week.
On social and state media, China continues to promote its shipments of medical supplies to hard hit countries in Europe and Africa.
What about those medical supplies? As it turns out, they’re worthless. That worthlessness might also explain why China isn’t reporting many new cases:
The British government will seek refunds for millions of coronavirus test kits purchased from China, after a study of the products found them to be unreliable for use with most patients.
Professor John Bell, coordinator of coronavirus testing for Public Health England, said Monday that the antibody tests are not reliable when used on any patients who do not qualify as severely ill—i.e. most people being tested.
In a blog post, the University of Oxford academic explained: “Sadly, the tests we have looked at to date have not performed well.” He added, “We see many false negatives and we also see false positives…This is not a good result for test suppliers or for us.”
The British government ordered 3.5 million of the antibody tests, largely from China, last month. A provisional order of 17.5 million kits was placed with nine companies, including some in the U.K., the Daily Telegraph noted. But Bell said none were reliable enough to roll out for mass testing.
They’re actually worse than useless. False positives allow for continued transmission, maintaining the momentum of the disease. If China is actually using these tests, they are going to have to work overtime to keep hiding the deaths in a few weeks.
Even other media outlets have begun to notice that national outlets have their noses pressed firmly into China’s backside. The Colorado Springs Gazette rips the mainstream media for continually swallowing and then regurgitating Beijing’s propaganda, although their main targets are CNN and the New York Times:
It should not be this easy for Chinese Communist Party propaganda to make its way into major American newsrooms.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, which Chinese lies ensured would become a pandemic, American news media have promoted a number of Beijing-approved talking points, including the one that alleges it is racist to refer to the virus by its country and city of origin. American news media have also accepted at face value a series of dubious claims pushed by Chinese communist apparatchiks, including the absurd boast that China’s new case numbers have remained essentially flat since late February. …
The American press’s readiness to treat reports out of Beijing with little, if any, skepticism comes as actual Chinese communist propaganda videos cite members of the free press in conjunction with its broader, hyperaggressive effort to avoid blame for creating the coronavirus pandemic.
Whether they know it or not, the journalists who claim it is problematic to refer to the virus by its country and city of origin, and the ones who claim China has the pandemic mostly under control, and who praise China’s efforts to help other countries are doing the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party, which is eager both to present itself as the world’s leading superpower and scrub from the record its culpability in the spread of the virus.
Media outlets in America seem to believe that Trump is less reliable than Xi Jinping. That alone speaks volumes about the reliability and credibility of both their reporting and especially their analyses. At the end of this crisis, the national media will find another entirely of its own making, if that crisis has not already fully arrived.