NYT accuses China of twisting WHO’s arms, but MSM are the ones twisting the narrative
The politicisation of the Covid-19 pandemic rages on. Following findings from the World Health Organization (WHO) which did not conveniently fit the ‘Western narrative’, the New York Times spearheaded the Western mainstream media’s push to retake the initiative, accusing the WHO of claiming that China withheld critical data from them concerning the early outbreak of Covid-19 in Wuhan. Not surprisingly, other outlets, including the BBC, jumped on this bandwagon, as did the Biden administration and the UK government, both of whom accused China of failing to be transparent.
Except, that wasn’t quite the full story. Following the publication of the NYT piece, two doctors who attended the WHO mission in Wuhan took to Twitter and accused the New York Times of intentionally misquoting them and opting for narrative above fact. They stated that China was, in fact, open, cooperative, and helpful to them. Again, to nobody’s shock, the mainstream media outlets did not follow up on this feedback. It comes as a “study” by AP and the Atlantic Council accused Beijing of being one of the biggest advocates of misinformation concerning the virus.
This was NOT my experience on @WHO mission. As lead of animal/environment working group I found trust & openness w/ my China counterparts. We DID get access to critical new data throughout. We DID increase our understanding of likely spillover pathways. https://t.co/gwGnm9pnGj— Peter Daszak (@PeterDaszak) February 13, 2021
I don’t think so. It should be quite clear to everybody that there is only one side that is repeatedly opting for misinformation, conspiracy theories, and political blame games concerning Covid-19, and that side isn’t China. The intentional misquoting of several WHO-affiliated experts in order to cast doubt over their findings in Wuhan and keep liability pinned on Beijing ought to be a huge warning sign concerning the level of opportunism and deception which has been employed throughout the course of this crisis, coordinated between media and governments alike. Only the West’s sense of self-righteousness keeps the public from realizing this.
This was NOT my experience either on the Epi-side. We DID build up a good relationsship in the Chinese/Int Epi-team! Allowing for heated arguments reflects a deep level of engagement in the room. Our quotes are intendedly twisted casting shadows over important scientific work. https://t.co/elL5qrKCxk— Thea K Fischer, Prof. i PH Virus Inf. og Epidemier (@TheaKFischer) February 13, 2021
Truth and Propaganda
When it comes to foreign policy-related issues, Western audiences as a majority suffer a persistent logical blindspot in believing everything they are told, even if they scathingly distrust their own governments when it comes to domestic issues. Boris Johnson or Donald Trump for example, are branded notorious liars in everything they say domestically, but when they say China is bad, it’s taken as true without a doubt. Why is this? The reason is that the West’s own sense of superiority, mission and righteousness distorts reality, it is the perfect ‘false consciousness’. The Western public understand their countries not as colonizers, exploiters, and self-interested subjugators of the world, but as enlightened heroes and saviours who alone possess the ‘sole political and moral truth’ and have a divine right to preach it to others.
On the international stage, the Western public normatively assumes they can do no wrong, that their motivations are always ‘good’ and ‘pure’. Morality is assumed to exist independently of material reality, which distorts the truth as to how national interests and political agendas operate in a materialistic sense, and thus how deception can be advanced in the form of ‘value sentiments’. This also creates a binary ‘othering’ in contrast to other countries which assumes that ‘propaganda’ is something only their adversarial states do, as opposed to their own governments. In this case, Western administrations, in conjunction with the media, have the ability to advance deception, manufacture content, and get off scot-free with it. Only countries like China do ‘misinformation’.Also on rt.com Wuhan probe members blast NYT story for ‘misquoting’ them as Beijing mocks US bid to hold WHO ‘to higher standards’
A Political Virus
Because of this dictum, the Western public has been subjected to grand-scale deception and political deflection concerning Covid-19, which has sought repeatedly to frame political responsibility and accountability for the illness primarily on China, and frame Beijing as being opaque and dishonest. It has further thrived on the xenophobic mindset that frames disease outbreaks as a ‘foreign’ product from ‘backward’ nations, impossible in the ‘civilized West’.
There has been no insight whatsoever into how the West itself has in fact advanced disinformation from various channels, which include notorious conspiracies concerning the origins of the virus in a laboratory, both directly and indirectly, endless obsession over China’s Covid-19 numbers – and of course, the most staggering and recent development, which is cherry-picking and twisting the words of WHO affiliated experts who travelled to China. Because the onus of deception is always assumed to be on Beijing, audiences in the West don’t seem to be able to comprehend what their own governments and media are doing. The West initially sought to frame Covid-19 as an ideological failure in China, and then when they overcame it and the virus struck home, it transformed into a vicious blame game. It is rooted in the simple motive that China ought not to appear ideologically superior in any way.
Given this, it’s time to question, who’s really producing the propaganda here? And who’s really telling the truth here? It appears that the Biden administration, and the mainstream media at large, will be happy with nothing less than a grand conspiracy that places maximum culpability on Beijing. Any facts, any scientific truth, and any outcomes which depict a more nuanced and balanced reality, that Covid-19 was an unknown illness that spread in ways unknown at that time, is repeatedly dismissed out of hand. This should be a huge wakeup call to the Western public to the real agenda at hand here.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.