Following a Year of Spin CNN Surprised by Its Report That China Misled on Coronavirus Details

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

 

 

You can understand their concern after months of defending the country and it response to thee pandemic.

CNN has a breaking story out of China where documents have been acquired which reveal that the Chinese communist government authorities have not been honest in their reporting of the crisis within their country. The documents show that the Chi-Com leaders were intentionally downplaying the crisis and deceptively underreporting the figures they were dealing with on the Mainland. 

As this is their own BREAKING report you understand the grave delivery and urgency in the presentation, but what is also unmistakable is the tone of surprise, as if this is somehow a new revelation to things. The idea that the communist leadership was not being completely transparent with numerous aspects of the outbreak has been long seen, but CNN has been part of the cabal of news agencies which have taken a more defensive posture in its approach to how that government had been responding.

To many thinking people the concept of China misleading on the Coronavirus in the early days of it becoming known was a pragmatic assumption. There were a number of indicators that there was a dose of misinformation involved with their reporting. It was in January of this year when the Chi-Coms were still insisting there was little threat, abetted by the World Health Organization, yet by the end of the month the severity of the outbreak was becoming realized and led to President Trump taking numerous steps, including a travel ban placed on China.

Yet in the ensuing months the press in this country took a more positive spin on China, going so far as to note their cooperation and then serving as the PR spin merchants for the country. For the first time a viral outbreak was reclassified from the normal practice of naming it after its place of origin. Recall how CNN and others were energetically telling us how referring to the new scourge as ‘’Wuhan virus’’ or ‘’Chinese Flu’’ was a practice in racism.

Even in its latest release you can see where CNN is hedging, reporting on the details while still trying to frame things. Note the attempt to downplay anything approaching a call that there was intentional lying conducted by the Chinese leaders.

The Chinese government has steadfastly rejected accusations made by the United States and other Western governments that it deliberately concealed information relating to the virus, maintaining that it has been upfront since the beginning of the outbreak. However, though the documents provide no evidence of a deliberate attempt to obfuscate findings, they do reveal numerous inconsistencies in what authorities believed to be happening and what was revealed to the public.

This follows media sources unwilling to be openly critical of the Chinese. Even later this year the news outlets were obtuse in their coverage. They failed to show much in the way of curiosity towards the origins of the outbreak. By summer China was being hailed for its mastery in how it handled the outbreak, with few reports criticizing the extreme human rights-violating measures that were employed. News reports critical of the practice of sealing off the city of Wuhan and welding doors shut to contain the sick in their homes were more novel than the virus itself. Further, as they praised what is now seen as a propaganda campaign, the news networks used this false narrative to compare it to President Trump’s announced failed response.

Yet to those paying attention there was ample reason to be suspicious of China’s actions. As the country was imposing strict protocols inside the Hubei province on its citizens they maintained a status quo appearance globally. The Chi-coms issued no initial no warnings and still permitted travel out of the area, which allowed the spread to become worldwide. 

Beyond the stalled announcement to world leaders of the problem there were reports on how doctors reporting on the virus in the early days and issuing warnings were silenced, or turned up missing. As news of the outbreak within China began to grow the Chi-Com government clamped down fiercely on social media, hoping to squelch the spread of information. All of this pointed to a country more concerned with its image than it was with containment.

While credit needs to be given for CNN actually filing this report it does not at all exonerate them for the year spent spinning this story in another direction. Their surprise today is a direct result of their tendency to simply repeat the official word out of China, with little in the way of introspection seen towards the accuracy of the official state reports.