Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Disinformation pushed world into lockdowns (1)

China’s Global Lockdown Propaganda Campaign | The Tablet - Michael P. Senger: 

September 15, 2020 - "In Wuhan in late December, Dr. Li Wenliang warned his friends that a new SARS-like illness had begun spreading rapidly. Li’s message inadvertently went viral on Chinese social media, causing widespread panic and anger [within] the Chinese Communist Party [CCP]. On Jan. 7, Xi Jinping informed his inner circle that the situation in Wuhan would require their personal supervision. Two weeks later, Xi personally authorized the lockdown of Hubei province.... The World Health Organization [WHO]’s representative in China noted that 'trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science … The lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in public health history, so it is certainly not a recommendation the WHO has made.'

"The CCP confined 57 million Hubei residents to their homes. At the time, human rights observers expressed concerns. As one expert told The New York Times, 'the shutdown would almost certainly lead to human rights violations and would be patently unconstitutional in the United States.' Regardless, on Jan. 29, WHO Director Tedros Adhanom said he was 'very impressed and encouraged by the president [Xi Jinping]’s detailed knowledge of the outbreak' and the next day praised China for 'setting a new standard for outbreak response.' Yet only six days in, the lockdown — 'unprecedented in public health history' — had produced no results, so Tedros was praising human rights abuses with nothing to show for them.

"International COVID-19 hysteria began around Jan. 23, when 'leaked' videos from Wuhan began flooding international social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — all of which are blocked in China — allegedly showing the horrors of Wuhan’s epidemic and the seriousness of its lockdown. Viral videos claimed to show residents spontaneously collapsing in the streets.... But in hindsight, this crisis theater is somewhat comical; in [one] infamous video, the 'spontaneously collapsing' man extends his arms to catch himself. Official Chinese accounts widely shared an image of a hospital wing supposedly constructed in one day, but which actually showed an apartment 600 miles away.... 

"In a viral tweet on Jan. 25, an epidemiologist with little background in infectious disease wrote, 'HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, the new coronavirus is a 3.8!!! How bad is that reproductive R0 value? It is thermonuclear pandemic level bad.' This was the first of a monthslong series of dubious, widely shared tweets by the previously unknown Eric Feigl-Ding, prompting a prominent Harvard colleague to denounce him as a 'charlatan.' 

"And then — success! Beginning in February, the CCP reported an exponential decline in coronavirus cases, until March 19 when they announced their lockdown had eliminated domestic cases entirely. In its Feb. 24 report, the WHO waxed rhapsodic about China’s triumph: 'China’s uncompromising and rigorous use of non-pharmaceutical measures to contain transmission of the COVID-19 virus in multiple settings provides vital lessons for the global response'....

"Scientists quickly began drafting plans in many languages to imitate China’s lockdowns. The New York Times immediately cited WHO’s report, forming a pro-lockdown stance it has clung to for months with surprisingly little introspection: 'China "took one of the most ancient strategies and rolled out one of the most ambitious, agile and aggressive disease-containment efforts in history."'

"On Feb. 26, WHO’s Bruce Aylward of Canada — who later disconnected a live interview when asked to acknowledge Taiwan — put it bluntly: 'Copy China’s response to COVID-19.' In April, Canada’s parliament summoned Aylward for questioning, but the WHO has forbidden him from testifying.

"Within China, the CCP has long paid hundreds of thousands of social media propagandists and also pays for posts on an a la carte basis, totaling hundreds of millions of propaganda comments each year. More recently, these activities have gone global and escalated dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic. Social media companies have proven somewhat unserious about the gravity of the problem. When the State Department provided a sample of 250,000 accounts likely involved in coronavirus disinformation, Twitter refused to take action. These activities affect countries with little say in social media governance; a recent study found thousands of inauthentic accounts still promoting Serbian-Chinese friendship after Twitter deleted thousands of others. A former Facebook employee wrote 'I have blood on my hands' due to the company’s routinely discounting malicious political activity despite its 'disproportionate impact.'"

Read more: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/china-covid-lockdown-propaganda

Do You Know the Scientific History of Lockdowns? - video by Ivor Cummins

Also read:

Disinformation pushed world into lockdowns (2)

Disinformation pushed world into lockdowns (3) 

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