NBC News celebrated China’s triumphant successes Wednesday in apparently controlling the novel Wuhan coronavirus, relying on Chinese figures to tell the story while griping over the American response.
One year since coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, Americans living there look home.
"I would be very afraid if I were living in the States." https://t.co/4P0q2s2B6r
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 30, 2020
The piece that reads as explicit Chinese propaganda begins by featuring the fears of a Louisiana native living in Wuhan, the city of the first outbreak that gave the Wuhan virus its name, who told NBC’s two overseas-based reporters that living in the United States appears to be more terrifying than living in the dystopian-like Hubei province. Wuhan, said Benjamin Wilson, is “one of the safest places in the world.”
The report outlines China’s response, praising its numbers released by the Chinese Communist Party while taking every opportunity to admonish President Donald Trump in what’s become routine for corporate media.
“China funneled national resources and expertise into the city, mobilizing nearly 43,000 medical staff from January to March, according to the state-owned Global Times, in the country’s largest medical support operation since 1949,” NBC reported. Trump, meanwhile, “held mask-free gatherings, appeared to promote unproven virus treatments, and later tested positive himself.”
NBC continued, “Trump has maintained that he took early steps to stem the spread of the virus, including barring entry to some foreigners, among them those traveling from China. Despite this, America remains out front with both the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths on the planet.”
The network offered only scant skepticism of China’s reporting, while relying on Communist Party-reported data to amplify its narrative. “In China overall, a country of some 1.4 billion people, the government says the virus has killed over 4,600 people, the majority in Wuhan — although experts say the statistics should be treated with caution,” the reporters wrote.
Indeed, leaked documents from Chinese authorities, reported by CNN in December, after the election and months after it had regurgitated Chinese talking points to go after Trump, found that China had deliberately underreported the severity of the early coronavirus outbreak in Hubei province, home to Wuhan.
China publicly reported 2,478 new coronavirus cases on Feb. 10 in Hubei, but internal documents showed 5,918 cases had actually been detected.
To its credit, NBC did note Trump’s attacks on the World Health Organization (WHO), right before berating the president for engaging in racist rhetoric for using the term “Wuhan virus,” ripping a talking point straight from Beijing.
“Trump has further fueled resentment, often through racist rhetoric, by referring to the pathogen as the ‘China virus,’ or the ‘Wuhan virus,'” NBC reported, without mention that each term had been widely used by corporate media or that it’s common practice to name diseases after places or people related to their first outbreak.
Liberal media pundits want you to think referring to the coronavirus as the "Wuhan" or "Chinese" virus is racist.
Here's just a few of the times the liberal media did just that. pic.twitter.com/ss3kV5smSP
— MRCTV (@mrctv) March 12, 2020
Legacy outlets turned to condemning the president for using such language during White House press briefings after the Chinese Communist Party labeled phrases connecting its country to the pathogen as racist, effectively weaponizing the United States’ woke divisions to evade blame for the global pandemic.
“We condemn the despicable practice of U.S. politicians eagerly stigmatizing China and Wuhan by association with the novel [Wuhan] coronavirus, disrespecting science and WHO,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in early March.
NBC is by no means the only corporate American media outlet to rely on Chinese state-reported figures to tout its mirage of success this week.
Democracy dies in darkness, or something https://t.co/1HdsFB2I9e
— Kara Zupkus (@kara_kirsten) December 31, 2020