Chinese state media showed up at a Los Angeles high school on Monday to capture and disseminate images of students getting immunized against COVID-19.
China’s official news agency Xinhua took pictures of several children getting shots at Woodrow Wilson High School during the launch of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s first mobile vaccination clinic. Officials say teams will eventually visit every middle and high school campus in the district to offer first and second Pfizer doses to eligible students and employees. Children ages 12 to 15 must have an adult present, while 16- and 17-year-olds need a signed consent form. More than 600,000 pupils are enrolled in LAUSD, the second-largest public education system in America.
One of the images showing an LAUSD student was posted on Xinhua’s verified Twitter account promoting an article that claims the U.S. report on the origins of COVID-19 “is ironic and politicized,” citing a Chinese expert. The social media platform identifies the account as “China state-affiliated media.”
The U.S. report on #COVID19 origins, conducted by its intelligence community, is ironic and politicized, South China Morning Post reported citing a Chinese expert https://t.co/KMuXdLTcCJ pic.twitter.com/Ij8SLGTPRc
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) August 31, 2021
The adolescent’s picture was also included in the linked story.
“A student receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Woodrow Wilson Senior High School in Los Angeles, California, the United States, on Aug. 30, 2021,” the photo caption reads.
In May, Xinhua’s U.S. division registered as a foreign agent — three years after Trump’s Department of Justice ordered the outlet to do so. Axios reported at the time, “The media organ is owned by the Chinese government, run by senior Communist Party officials and widely seen as a Beijing mouthpiece.” According to Axios, the filing under the Foreign Agents Registration Act “disclosed $8.6 million in payments since March 2020 from Xinhua’s Chinese parent to its U.S. arm, including payments directly to bureaus in Washington, Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco and Chicago.”
“Thanks largely to its stable of propaganda operations, China is now the top spender on foreign influence operations in the U.S.,” the Axios report said.
Xinhua’s pictures from Monday are available for licensing through Getty Images, which describes itself as “the largest global distribution network” for premium visual content in the industry. Along with numerous legacy and alternative news outlets, The Daily Wire is a subscriber to the service but has a policy against publishing state-run media images without disclaimers.
LAUSD announced a new mandate earlier this month requiring all teachers and staffers to be fully vaccinated by October 15 as a “condition of continued employment/service.”
On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the teachers union had demanded mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all eligible students but noted that “there is no indication” the district would go along with the request.
LAUSD’s coronavirus protocols are widely considered among the strictest in the country. As The Daily Wire previously reported, officials informed parents of a new policy in July requiring every student, teacher, and staffer returning to campus take part in weekly testing, regardless of vaccination status. There are also indoor and outdoor mask mandates in place on campuses.
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