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Tipsheet

List of Shame: US Media Who Took China's Propaganda Number of Wuhan Coronavirus Cases at Face Value

Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP

It's no secret how China has been misleading the world from the beginning of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. From suppressing news about the virus until it was too late to stop it from leaving the country, to giving other countries faulty medical equipment, and spreading conspiracy theories on the virus's origins, it has now been confirmed what many people have known: China is purposely underreporting its infection numbers. 

In a new report from Bloomberg News, the U.S. intelligence community has concluded the Chinese Communist party's reporting on cases and deaths from COVID-19 is intentionally incomplete and fake. Despite being the country of origin for the virus, China has only reported 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths. In comparison, the U.S. has reported 190,740 coronavirus cases and 4,127 deaths as of Wednesday.

When the U.S. surpassed China in the number of confirmed cases last week, the American mainstream media breathlessly reported on it and stated it showed how President Trump failed to take drastic action to prevent the spread of the virus within the country. While it is one thing to report on the number of confirmed cases, it is malpractice to not include the possibility of China underreporting their cases in the same report, which a lot of the following stories did not even bother to mention.

  • "U.S. Surpasses China In Cases Of Coronavirus" — NPR
  • "The U.S. Now Leads the World in Confirmed Coronavirus Cases" — New York Times
  • "U.S. Surpasses China for Most Infections Worldwide: Virus Update" — Washington Post republishing Bloomberg News article

  • "US has more known cases of coronavirus than any other country" — CNN

  • "U.S. Has the Most Coronavirus Cases in the World, Surpassing Italy and China" — Daily Beast

In contrast, when Fox News reported on the U.S. reaching the grim milestone, they included: "Some analysts have advised against giving China's reported statistics much weight. Chinese leader Xi Jinping touted a dip in new coronavirus cases, but foreign affairs analyst Gordon Chang told Fox News, 'For China, the truth has always been a casualty.'"

It's disturbing to see how American media, who want to call out Trump's misleading statements, will take China's propaganda numbers without hesitation or second thought.

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