China’s state-run media can’t prevent the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from facing consequences for downplaying the severity of COVID-19 when it first broke out in Wuhan city last year and spread around the world. Many Chinese in the mainland and people around the world want to hold the CCP accountable for the pandemic.
A survey, called the “COVID-SCORE-10,” was conducted around the world to rate governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic such as providing personal protective equipment to medical workers, accessible COVID-19 testing, and mental health services; and cooperation with international partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO). It was done by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in conjunction with City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy.
Chinese state media People’s Daily cited the survey’s results and boasted in a recent report that “China is the country whose response was rated most positively” [by its own citizens] while “the United States ranked ninth.”
The survey was exploited by the CCP’s mouthpiece media and used to cover up the regime’s gross mishandling of the pandemic and promote its narrative.
According to the survey report, a total of 712 Chinese were sampled. How likely is this small number representative of the 1.4 billion population and were they really allowed to express their true opinions under tight censorship?
What the Chinese People Actually Said
On Jan. 24, a nurse in Wuhan, Hubei Province—the epicenter of the pandemic—told her friends and relatives in a video that the outbreak was actually much more terrifying than what was reported on television. “There are quite a lot of patients,” she said. “A doctor estimated that there were 100,000 infected.”
On Jan. 31, a doctor in Wuhan posted on social media that a lot of patients were dying at a local hospital, and many corpses were left in the corridor. “I don’t need encouragement [referring to the political slogan “Wuhan, stay strong” used all over the country at the time], I just need the entire nation to know what’s happening in Wuhan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Yan Cheng, a 17 year old with cerebral palsy, was left alone at home in Huanggang city, Hubei Province. On Jan. 22, local authorities took his father away and put him in isolation after he developed symptoms of COVID-19. Despite the father’s desperate plea for help on social media, local authorities failed to provide adequate care for the teen who was found dead in his home a few days later.
On Feb. 1, Caijing, an independent magazine in Beijing, posted a long report online, titled, “People Outside Statistics: Did They Die of Common Pneumonia?” It questioned the CCP’s official pandemic narrative and evoked a strong response from the readers. But the report was removed by the regime’s propaganda department.
On Feb. 7, Fang Bin, a citizen journalist and resident of Wuhan, posted his viral video “Report from Wuhan” on YouTube, saying: “This pneumonia is not only a natural disaster, but also a man-made disaster. The CCP began covering up and suppressing Dr. Li Wenliang. After the authorities were unable to cover things up, they imposed a lockdown on the city, causing crowds in hospitals, airports, and stores. Those who already had contracted the pneumonia were left together with the ones who hadn’t, so they became infected too. And then 300,000 to 400,000 people were able to flee from the epicenter [Wuhan], and they spread the virus to all of China and the world.”
On Feb. 29, a Wuhan resident, known as “Ershui Grapefruit Tea” on social media, witnessed patients being turned away by local hospitals in Wuhan. She wrote in a blog post: “On the morning of the 19th [February], my mother was finally taken by ambulance to the ER at Wuhan University People’s Hospital. It was the last vacancy at the ER. There, I witnessed a humanitarian crisis: no matter how seriously ill [the patient is], no matter how much you plead, the doctor won’t admit anyone because there are no beds. Crying, pleading, kneeling down and kowtowing, one by one they were taken to the ER, and then one by one they were driven away—an endless line of victims.”
“Too many patients like my mother have been sacrificed. They are not counted in the statistics and will not be announced. Outside, there is a lot of praise that the situation is very good, as if [we’re suffering from] collective amnesia. … Ordinary people are all ants in the face of this catastrophe. Relief aid [has come to Wuhan] from all over the country but we have never seen a dime of it.”
On March 13, a man from Hubei Province criticized the CCP and lamented on the internet: “You can’t imagine what kind of government this is. And what exactly is this government doing? Why are we, the Chinese, so badly hurt and living such a miserable life?”
On April 15, Tan Jun, a public civil servant in Yichang city, Hubei Province, sued the provincial government for covering up the virus outbreak, becoming the first person in the mainland to file a lawsuit against authorities for the pandemic.
Tan told The Epoch Times that the CCP used the state machinery to deal with the people. “Someone must take responsibility for this. This matter is very serious. As a Hubei native, I think it is important to stand up and appeal. Let the Hubei provincial government take responsibility.” He was later ordered by police not to talk about the matter, according to an AFP report.
On Sept. 23, Wuhan resident Yang Min filed a lawsuit against local authorities and to hold them accountable for her daughter’s death, who died from the coronavirus on Feb. 6.
The CCP has ignored the pain and suffering of many Chinese pandemic victims and their families. The official death toll of around 4,600 is misleading and netizens claim the figures could be much higher.
Not only did the CCP conceal the pandemic, it then carried out an anti-American propaganda campaign to distract and confuse people about the facts of the origin of the virus.
Global Times Editor Spews Anti-US Propaganda
Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the CCP’s mouthpiece media Global Times, posted a few comments on Twitter, distorting the facts and shifting the blame for the pandemic to the United States.
On Oct. 2, after news broke that U.S. President Donald Trump and the first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, Hu tweeted, “President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the COVID-19.”
Hu further suggested that Trump’s infection will “impose a negative impact on the image of Trump and the US, and may also negatively affect his reelection.”
The post, which has since been deleted, was published about an hour after Trump first announced the test results.
‘China Is Going to Pay a Big Price’
On Oct. 7, just days after testing positive for the CCP virus, President Trump posted a video on Twitter saying: “It was China’s fault, and China is going to pay a big price for what they’ve done to this country. China is going to pay a big price for what they’ve done to the world. This was China’s fault, and just remember that.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed Trump’s message on Newsmax TV on Oct. 9, saying the CCP chose to hide information from the world and thereby caused “not only the loss of life here that’s so tragic, but all the destruction of jobs and opportunity that’s happened. The Chinese Communist Party is directly responsible for this. … The world has turned against them. People have come to understand the threat that they pose. … The Chinese Communist Party has already started to pay a price in so many ways.”
Presently, more than one hundred countries have called for independent investigations into the origin of the novel coronavirus and the WHO’s performance during the pandemic.
The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Minority Staff and the UK’s scientific advisory group Henry Jackson Society have both issued investigation reports that state: “It is an undeniable fact that the CCP concealed information, manipulated the WHO, and caused a worldwide pandemic.”
The pandemic is a huge disaster inflicted by the CCP, and pressure is mounting around the world to hold the regime accountable.
The propaganda and lies spread by the CCP’s media are meant to cover up the actual number of deaths caused by the coronavirus in the mainland and the truth exposed by many courageous netizens and activists.
A regime that doesn’t care about human life and distorts the truth should not have the right to stay in power.
Tian Yun, M.A., specializes in education management and historical-cultural research. She has published articles on China-related current affairs in The Epoch Times since 2018.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.