Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired a segment on Friday night that showed how a lot of the rhetoric being used by the mainstream media and Democratic Party matches the propaganda that the communist Chinese government is using to deflect blame over the coronavirus outbreak.
Carlson began the segment by reporting on what he says U.S. government officials have told him about the coronavirus outbreak that originated in China, and by also documenting how China has repeatedly changed its story about what happened.
Later in the segment, Carlson said, “As of today, says someone in a position to know, there is ‘Almost unanimous agreement in the American intelligence gathering agencies that the virus currently destroying much of the world emerged from a lab in Wuhan.’ Almost unanimous. That is a phrase almost never used to describe any conclusion coming out of the Intel Community.”
“Government officials in this country have believed that for some time now,” Carlson continued. “They’ve been unable to interest our media or our epidemiologists in writing about it. In recent weeks analysts from the CIA, the NSA, and others have reached staff at The New York Times about the origins of this virus, but the newspaper has still not reported their findings. At the same time, and this may be directly related, China has been waging an unremitting propaganda war on the subject. Chinese officials have tried to squelch all conversations about who might be responsible for this pandemic by inflaming the political sensitivities and race guilt of American elites.”
Tucker Carlson blasts China for their coronavirus cover up. pic.twitter.com/yfBtxui2dv
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) April 18, 2020
We brought you fresh reporting last night on the question of where the deadly coronavirus pandemic came from. Tonight, we have more. We spent much of the day speaking to highly informed officials in the U.S. Government as well as seasoned specialists on China, and here’s the picture that emerged from those conversations.
First, many in the intelligence world with experience in China suspected right away that the story the Chinese government was telling about this virus was almost certainly a lie.
The first indication of that was the torrent of obvious nonsense coming from official sources in Beijing. Now initially, Chinese sources, you may remember this, claimed the virus had jumped from an obscure scaly animal called a “Pangolin,” which was sold in the Wuhan wet market, but that explanation didn’t make any sense. Wet markets are seafood markets. Pangolins are mammals. So, for that matter, are bats. So in the face of skepticism at this explanation, the Chinese then blamed Italian armed forces personnel, who it turns out had been near Wuhan a few months before for the military world games – that’s an international sporting event. The Italians must have brought the virus to China, the Chinese said.
When the Italian government complained about that, the Chinese shifted the blame to the U.S. military. The American armed services and western tourists must have infected Wuhan, the Chinese said. Meanwhile, as they were saying this, behind-the-scenes Chinese officials were working frantically to destroy relevant evidence of where it actually came from. Doctors and journalists in Wuhan who raised uncomfortable questions about the virus disappeared. Some of them may have been murdered. At one point in January, scientists in Shanghai succeeded in sequencing the DNA from the virus. The information they gathered from that could’ve been crucial to researchers around the world who were trying to understand the virus and develop vaccines against it. In other words, the rest of us.
But the Chinese government ordered that viral sample destroyed and the lab notes from that shredded. The scientists themselves were disciplined for daring to conduct this research, and their lab was shut down. The Chinese government then quarantined the entire city of Wuhan, up to 5 million people fled. But apparently, relatively few of them were allowed to travel to Beijing, the Chinese capital. Instead, they flew to western cities around the world. Now, to most in the United States, reactions to a crisis like this seem grotesque, really unimaginable. But to mandarin speakers who follow China carefully and have for a long time, these were highly familiar moves.
The first reflex of the Chinese government is always to lie in order to hide failure and avoid embarrassment. In 2003, for example, the Chinese government lied about the initial outbreak of SARS, another Coronavirus. In July 2011, two passenger trains traveling in opposite directions smashed into each other at high speed outside the Chinese city of Wenzhou. The trains collided on a railroad bridge. Four calls derailed and tumbled to the ground below. Within hours, authorities arrived with backhoes, they pushed the passenger cars into a pit, and began covering them with dirt. By some accounts there were still survivors inside at that time, inside the passenger cars. In their initial statements, Chinese officials claimed that a lightning strike had caused that crash. They later conceded under pressure that it was sloppiness and shoddy construction that were to blame. Chinese media meanwhile were ordered to ignore the crash entirely except for “positive news” or … news issued by authorities.
This was the template for China’s official response to the Wuhan virus. From the early days of the outbreak, Chinese diplomats around the world insisted there was no chance whatsoever the virus had come from a lab. They sometimes insisted this even when no one had asked them, as if they were reading from a script. It soon became very obvious what was going on. English-language academic journals had raised for years questions about the safety standards in Wuhan bio research labs. An article in “Nature” for example from 2017 noted that “Some scientists outside China worry about pathogens escaping from the facility.” Classified State Department cables a year later than voiced the same concerns. Chinese scientists themselves publicly discussed working with extremely dangerous pathogens in Wuhan.
As of today, says someone in a position to know, there is “Almost unanimous agreement in the American intelligence gathering agencies that the virus currently destroying much of the world emerged from a lab in Wuhan.” Almost unanimous. That is a phrase almost never used to describe any conclusion coming out of the Intel Community. Government officials in this country have believed that for some time now. They’ve been unable to interest our media or our epidemiologists in writing about it. In recent weeks analysts from the CIA, the NSA and others have reached staff at “The New York Times” about the origins of this virus, but the newspaper has still not reported their findings. At the same time, and this may be directly related, China has been waging an unremitting propaganda war on the subject. Chinese officials have tried to squelch all conversations about who might be responsible for this pandemic by inflaming the political sensitivities and race guilt of American elites. Watch this clip from early last month as a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry tries to dictate how American press outlets describe the virus.
Among the many ironies in what you just heard, even now, even today, the disease is widely referred to in China as the Wuhan virus. Our news outlets, meanwhile, almost always call it COVID-19. That term does not translate to Chinese. COVID-19 is the name devised by the World Health Organization back in January under influence from Chinese leaders who were anxious to deflect responsibility for it. Once they succeeded in removing any hint of origin from the name of the virus, the Chinese government launched a campaign to tar anyone who mentioned Wuhan as a dangerous racist. “Racism is not the right tool to cover your own incompetence” lectured Chinese state media when President Trump refer to the Wuhan virus. American media parroted that line almost precisely, as no doubt Chinese expected they would.
Fools. But not a major victory for the Chinese government. Media outlets are relatively easy to corrupt, given the relatively low level sophistication of the people who work there. The Chinese government have bolder aims than that. The Chinese instructed their employees and assets in the United States to exert influence on elected officials. For example, according to an informed U.S. government official, “Beijing has instructed diplomats in their consulate in San Francisco to work with American state and local officials, and members of Congress to push back against anyone who gets too far out on blaming China for this.” That is what they are doing, apparently it’s working. Here’s Connecticut senator Chris Murphy on CNN earlier this week.
Other members of Congress voiced similar views, often in eerily similar language. Barbara Lee of California, long considered a strongly pro-China voice, tweeted this to the president, “Diseases don’t have nationalities. China isn’t to blame for you fumbling this crisis.” On March 12, congresswoman Judy Chu of Los Angeles wrote this, “China didn’t unleash anything. A virus spread as viruses do. Blaming China and insisting on calling this the Wuhan virus, even though every medical expert said not to, is putting people’s lives in danger. Stop politicizing this and put people first.” Just week before Judy Chu wrote that on March 6, a man called [inaudible] who runs the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles met with the Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti about the American response to Coronavirus. He tweeted about it that day. He said this, “Looking forward to working closely with the city of Los Angeles to address this common public health challenge and develop closer ties between our cities and peoples.”
Now, we have no idea what they talked about in that meeting that day. It would be interesting to know. We reached out today to a number of California lawmakers with a history of closeness to China, including Dianne Feinstein, who once employed a Chinese spy, to see if they have spoken to Chinese officials recently. None of them responded to our calls. But it’s not just happening in California. According to a study and a story reported by National Review, the head of the state Senate in Wisconsin recently received multiple emails from the Chinese consulate general in Chicago. She asked him to propose a resolution praising China for its handling of the Wuhan virus outbreak.
The entire story of how the government of China successfully shaped our understanding of this pandemic of the virus, as well as our response to it, may take years to tell. In fact, it may never fully be told at all. We promise to do our best on the show. But it is clear how China sees this pandemic. China doesn’t see this simply or even primarily as a public health disaster in which thousands are dying. China sees this as part of a larger geopolitical struggle for control of the world. Most Americans still don’t perceive that or understand the profound gravity of the stakes involved.