Fresh evidence published jointly by The New York Times and ProPublica confirms that Beijing has been trying to keep COVID-19 information from the rest of the world since the very start of the pandemic.
On Feb. 7, Li Wenliang, the doctor who blew the whistle on COVID-19, died of the disease he’d warned the world about. While working at Wuhan Central Hospital in China’s Hubei Province, he saw a new version of the severe acute respiratory syndrome known as SARS, which also originated in China in 2002.
As news of the 34-year-old doctor’s untimely death spread and grief went viral on social media such as Weibo and WeChat — Beijing set out to bury the truth.
“They ordered news websites not to issue push notifications alerting readers to [Li’s] death. They told social platforms to gradually remove his name from trending topics pages. And they activated legions of fake online commenters to flood social sites with distracting chatter,” the Times-ProPublica team reports.
In all, the Hangzhou offices of Beijing’s Internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, issued more than 3,200 directives and 1,800 memos in its COVID-censorship drive — all leaked by the hacker group C.C.P. [Chinese Communist Party] Unmasked.
“At a time when digital media is deepening social divides in Western democracies,” the investigative team warns, “China is manipulating online discourse to enforce the Communist Party’s consensus.”
In January, before the coronavirus had even been definitively identified, the CCP began working overtime to mislead the world about the truth to protect the party’s image as infections began soaring — even making the disease look less severe. As a result, the world lost its best chance of preventing the global pandemic.
This is a damning expose from two left-leaning news organizations. Now it’s up to left, right and center to unite in holding the CCP to account for its obscene effort to protect its own image at the huge and deadly expense to the entire world.