U.S. Takes Action to Curb Chinese Communist Party’s Coronavirus Misinformation Campaign
(Minghui.org) From Wall Street companies to institutions of higher learning, from the World Health Organization to American media outlets, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has spent much effort infiltrating many sectors in the U.S. in the past decades. It has used these entities as “soft powers” to export its communist ideology and propaganda, as well as to influence key decision-makers to advance its own agenda.
The CCP's successful infiltration into and control over certain entities are especially evident during the coronavirus pandemic, as these organizations and media outlets are helping the CCP in covering up the information and shifting the blame.
By April 15, 2020, more than two million people around the world have contracted the virus and nearly 135,000 people have died from it.
The World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (WHO) has played a very important role in the quick spread of the coronavirus.
In the early stage of the pandemic, the WHO repeated the CCP’s claims that the coronavirus was unable to transmit between humans, despite evidence pointing to a different story. It also ignored warnings from Taiwan, who contacted it on December 31, 2019, about human-to-human transmission cases.
After the CCP couldn’t hide the epidemic anymore and ordered a lockdown of the country, the WHO praised them for the timely response.
When countries like the U.S. announced travel restrictions against China, the WHO strongly opposed it and also declared that the coronavirus did not pose a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, which eventually led to the spread of the virus to every country on the planet.
After having criticized the WHO for being very “China-centric” and “severely mismanaging and covering up” the coronavirus’ spread, President Trump announced during the coronavirus news briefing on April 14 to stop all funding for the WHO.
Voice of America
In the statement published by the White House on April 10, titled “Amid a Pandemic, Voice of America Spends Your Money to Promote Foreign Propaganda,” it criticized Voice of America, a U.S. government-funded news network, for “speaking for America’s adversaries—not its citizens” and “amplified Beijing’s propaganda” in the coronavirus pandemic.
“Journalists should report the facts, but VOA has instead amplified Beijing's propaganda. This week, VOA called China’s Wuhan lockdown a successful ‘model’ copied by much of the world—and then tweeted out video of the Communist government’s celebratory light show marking the quarantine’s alleged end.
“Even worse, while much of the U.S. media takes its lead from China, VOA went one step further: It created graphics with Communist government statistics to compare China’s Coronavirus death toll to America’s. As intelligence experts point out, there is simply no way to verify the accuracy of China’s numbers.” the White House statement said.
CCP’s Propaganda Mouthpieces
Even after the U.S. Department of State has declared five state-run Chinese media organizations as “foreign missions” on February 18, 2020, it was troubling to see reporters with ties to other Chinese propaganda outlets appearing in White House briefings and attempting to get President Trump to praise Beijing’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Wang Youyou, a reporter of Phoenix TV, said during the briefing on April 6, that, “Only last week, there were multiple flights coming from China full of medical supplies. Companies like Huawei and Alibaba have been donating to the United States, like 1.5 million N95 masks and also a lot of medical gloves, and much more medical supplies.”
After the long statement, she asked, “Are you cooperating with China?”
Instead of directly answering her question, President Trump responded, “Who are you working for, China?”
Wang claimed that Phoenix TV was a private company, but its former director, Chung Pong, told Fox News that, “I know from personal experience that Phoenix TV's content is subject to the dictates of the leadership of the Central Communist Propaganda Department, Central Communist Overseas Propaganda Office, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which often directly sent instructions to Phoenix Satellite TV.”
Sen. Ted Cruz wrote on Twitter, “Phoenix TV has been waging information warfare in the US for yrs. The WH Correspondents Assoc gave a seat at the WH press briefing to an employee of the Chinese Communist govt, to ask globally televised Qs to POTUS, at the same time China is waging a propaganda campaign to hide their culpability & coverup of the Wuhan virus?!?”
Only days after Wang’s appearance during the briefing, another reporter named Ching-Yi Chang told President Trump that he was from Taiwan, when in fact he works for Dragon Television, another Chinese state-run outlet owned by Shanghai Media Group, one of the largest state-owned media groups in China.
Investigation Task Forces
In response to the CCP’s attempt to control narratives about the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. is forming different task forces to investigate the issue and call for action to stop it.
Rep. Michael McCaul, a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he has called for the State Department to investigate the CCP’s mishandling and cover-up about the pandemic.
Rep. McCaul said in an interview with Fox News, “We must stop the CCP from causing further damage amid this pandemic that they allowed to fester and then spill out into the world.”
The Washington Post also reported that deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger is leading an inter-agency team “focused on fighting coronavirus propaganda and disinformation coming from the Chinese government.”
The Washington Post article said that Pottinger witnessed how the CCP dealt with internal crises and underplayed the problem during the SARS crisis, when he worked in China as a Wall Street Journal reporter.
“An Information War With the Chinese Communist Party”
In an opinion piece on Fox News, Sen. Tom Cotton is also urging the U.S. to “hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for unleashing this plague on the world.”
Sen. Cotton condemned the CCP for covering up the coronavirus information, threatening whistle-blowers like the late Dr. Li Wenliang, “destroying samples that pointed to the virus’s origin, and shutting down a laboratory that shared the virus’s genetic sequence on the Internet.”
He said, “We should treat this pandemic not just as a war with a deadly pathogen but as an information war with the Chinese Communist Party.”
He expressed his disappointment that a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman insinuated that the U.S. Army might have brought the virus to Wuhan. He pointed out the spokesman's “comments are part of a larger misinformation campaign to shift the blame for this pandemic from Beijing, where it belongs, to literally anyone else.”
He called for the U.S. to launch an investigation into the CCP's cover-up of the outbreak in Wuhan and impose stiff sanctions against those CCP officials responsible for the cover-up. He said he introduced a bill in early April to make such sanctions possible.
He also urged the U.S. to “restrict Chinese propaganda organs that sow misinformation within the United States, like state-sponsored newspaper China Daily and Confucius Centers on college campuses.”
In his opinion, the CCP must also pay for the harm it has caused to the world and be demoted “from positions of prominence in international institutions like the United Nations as well as technical standards-setting bodies that Beijing has co-opted in recent years to promote Chinese technology.”
Sen. Cotton also cautioned that the U.S. “dependence on China for essential goods like medicine, respirator masks, and other strategically important goods” has given the CCP leverage in influencing other countries. He said, “Pulling our most sensitive supply chains out of China must therefore be a top priority.”
He said that “this crisis has proven that Chinese communism is a grave affliction whose pain is felt not only by its subjects but by the whole world.”
He concluded that, “We must treat the CCP as we would any serious disease: immediately and aggressively.”
Related article in Chinese:美国参议员科顿-要象对待恶疾一样对待中共