An Illinois Democrat who accused President Donald Trump of killing Americans by lying to the public about the coronavirus also spread pro-China misinformation about the deadly disease during a townhall with constituents.
As COVID-19 spreads across the nation, Rep. Sean Casten (D., Ill.) has repeatedly attempted to blame Trump and Republicans for the death toll, accusing them of spreading fatal misinformation about the pandemic. Casten himself, however, has misinformed the public about China’s role in the pandemic. When one of his constituents asked about the early Chinese response to the outbreak at a March 21 electronic town hall, the congressman refused to talk about the regime’s coverup of the virus. Instead, he incorrectly said that China had successfully isolated the outbreak in Wuhan.
“China, to their credit, once they realize they had a problem, shut down the entire province that this was in and they seem to have largely isolated the cases in China,” Casten said. “We have missed that window in the United States.”
In reality, however, China has failed to isolate the cases in the province of Wuhan, the origin of the illness. The virus has spread to nearly every part of the country, killing thousands in distant provinces such as Guangdong and Zhejiang. And while China’s self-reported data indicate the worst has passed, reports of funeral homes overflowing with urns have led critics to believe that the regime is grossly underreporting the impact of the pandemic. One media report, for instance, estimates China’s coronavirus deaths are in the tens of thousands, as opposed to the officially reported count of 3,308.
“A *single mortuary* in Wuhan reportedly ordered more urns in two days than the Chinese Communist Party has reported total deaths in the whole country,” tweeted Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) on March 29. “I’m sure you’re shocked by evidence of Chinese lies.”
During his townhall, a constituent asked Casten why China did not react sooner during the early days of the pandemic. In response, the Illinois congressman said the origin of the outbreak was irrelevant since “viruses don’t know borders.”
“The best estimate is that it did move into people from the wet market of China,” Casten said. “But once that virus was out there, it’s sort of trivial that it came from China.”
In reality, China significantly exacerbated the coronavirus outbreak by initially downplaying its danger in state media outlets and punishing whistleblowers, doctors, and journalists who tried to collect accurate information about the disease. The delayed Chinese response to the outbreak—which only started in late January, more than a month since patient zero—has cost lives: One study found that if China started its response three weeks earlier, there would have been 95 percent fewer cases.
Casten’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Casten also asserted the United States shut down its pandemic response team in the National Security Council, a false claim repeated by many Democrats and mainstream media outlets. Trump merely consolidated several redundant teams, including those tasked with the pandemic response, into one office while retaining much of their original staff, according to Tim Morrison, who previously led the consolidated office.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: AUSSIE BEATDOWN: Tim Blair Delivers An Old-Fashioned Fisking to the Chinese Propaganda Apparat, And It’s Brutal.
The Daily Telegraph this week received a letter from the Australian Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, who took gentle issue with our excellent coverage of the coronavirus crisis.
Following is a point-by-point response to the Consulate General and China’s communist dictatorship:
Recently the Daily Telegraph has published a number of reports and opinions about China’s response to COVID-19 that are full of ignorance, prejudice and arrogance.
If a state-owned newspaper in China received this kind of complaint, subsequent days would involve journalists waking up in prison with their organs harvested.
Tracing the origin of the virus is a scientific issue that requires professional, science-based assessment.
Sure it does. How professional and science-based was the claim published on March 12 by China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian that “it might be US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan”?
The origin of the virus is still undetermined, and the World Health Organization has named the novel coronavirus “COVID-19”.
The World Health Organisation also appointed Zimbabwean murderer Robert Mugabe as its Goodwill Ambassador and declared on March 2 that the “stigma” of the coronavirus “is more dangerous than the virus itself”.
The World Health Organisation does a lot of stupid stuff.
So what is the real motive behind your attempt to repeatedly link the virus to China and even stating that the novel coronavirus was “made in China”?
Our motive is accuracy. That’s why we don’t link the virus to Bognor Regis or state that it was “made in Panama”.
The people of Wuhan made a huge effort and personal sacrifice to stop the spread of the epidemic.
Wuhan’s Dr Li Wenliang indeed made a huge effort to warn people about the coronavirus outbreak. Then, as the New York Times reported: “In early January, he was called in by both medical officials and the police, and forced to sign a statement denouncing his warning as an unfounded and illegal rumor.”
And now he’s dead, so that’s “personal sacrifice” covered as well.
Nevertheless, in order to capture attention and gain more internet hits, you called Wuhan the “Zombieland” and Wuhan seafood market the “bat market”. How low can you go?
In the civilised world, “Bradman bats and bats and bats” is a famous newspaper banner:
In Wuhan, it’s the name of a restaurant.
The effectiveness of China’s epidemic prevention and control has fully underlined the people-centred philosophy of the Communist Party of China and the strong advantages of the Chinese system.
In 2018, Amnesty International reported that China executed more citizens than the rest of the world combined.
Please tell us more about your “people-centred philosophy” and how many bullets it requires.
More at the link.