Double standards in Western media coverage of the virus

In recent coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, various Western media sources have used certain events to claim that China “covered up the virus”. I go into further into debunking those claims in an earlier post.

The purpose of this post is to highlight how Western countries have responded to the virus and specifically the double standards of Western media, for claiming certain actions as a sign of censorship by China, but not making the same claim when the same or even worse things happen in Western countries.

Government censorship

The Trump administration barred a top US disease expert from speaking freely to the public
https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-anthony-fauci-trump-admin-stops-discussion-2020-2

Official: White House didn’t want to tell seniors not to fly
https://apnews.com/921ad7f1f08d7634bf681ba785faf269

Trump tried to stall intelligence report by DNI, cut funding for pandemic preparedness, CDC
https://time.com/5799765/intelligence-report-pandemic-dangers/

CDC wanted to recommend all over 60 to remain inside their homes, but was instructed not to by government officials https://twitter.com/LACaldwellDC/status/1238870221672386563

Refusal to disclose which nursing homes have confirmed cases  https://www.reddit.com/r/Coronavirus/comments/fp5tq9/more_than_140_nursing_homes_have_reported/

Seattle lab uncovered Washington’s coronavirus outbreak only after defying federal regulators
https://theweek.com/speedreads/901405/seattle-lab-uncovered-washingtons-coronavirus-outbreak-only-after-defying-federal-regulators

Pentagon orders Fort Bliss, other posts not to report virus cases as 1st service member dies & military infections reach 1,000 https://kvia.com/news/military/2020/03/30/pentagon-orders-fort-bliss-other-posts-not-to-report-virus-cases-as-1st-service-member-dies-military-infections-reach-1000/

Fired for raising coronavirus alarm, US Navy captain Brett Crozier tests positive https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/3078534/us-navy-captain-brett-crozier-fired-voicing

Censoring of doctors

ER doctor fired after criticizing coronavirus response at his hospital in Washington https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/er-doctor-who-criticized-bellingham-hospitals-coronavirus-protections-has-been-fired/

Hospitals Tell Doctors They’ll Be Fired If They Speak Out About Lack of Gear https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-31/hospitals-tell-doctors-they-ll-be-fired-if-they-talk-to-press

UK NHS staff ‘gagged’ over coronavirus shortages https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/31/nhs-staff-gagged-over-coronavirus-protective-equipment-shortages

Fake numbers of cases

Lawmaker Condemns ‘Unacceptable’ CDC Decision to Stop Disclosing Number of Coronavirus Tests
https://www.thedailybeast.com/cdc-decision-to-stop-disclosing-coronavirus-test-total-condemned-by-lawmaker

Medical professionals around the US say the officials are under-reporting the number of CoronaVirus deaths they’re seeing on the front lines. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/nidhiprakash/coronavirus-update-dead-covid19-doctors-hospitals?bftwnews&utm_term=4ldqpgc#4ldqpgc

Harvard professor: US cases may be 10 times higher than reported due to lack of testing https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-us-cases-report-map-news-death-toll-a9421186.html?

Coronavirus death toll: Americans are almost certainly dying of covid-19 but being left out of the official count https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-toll-americans-are-almost-certainly-dying-of-covid-19-but-being-left-out-of-the-official-count/ar-BB12cKHL

US coronavirus death count likely an underestimate. Here’s why https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/06/health/us-coronavirus-death-count-cdc-explainer/index.html

Japan underreporting its cases, using only one sixth of its capacity despite WHO encouraging countries to make as many tests as possible. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/03/18/national/japan-testing-covid-19-sixth-of-capacity/

France’s Health Director revealed that they massively undercounted death numbers, only counting deaths in hospitals. https://www.reddit.com/r/Coronavirus/comments/fougz9/numbers_are_hugely_under_estimated_and_do_not/

An Italian mayor leaked that the real death count is 3 to 4 times more than the official, due to them only counting hospital deaths. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/live-blog/coronavirus-updates-stimulus-bill-fails-senate-canada-australia-pull-out-n1166286/ncrd1166641#liveBlogHeader

The total number of Italian coronavirus cases could be ’10 times higher’ than known tally, according to one official https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/24/italian-coronavirus-cases-seen-10-times-higher-than-official-tally.html

London NHS trust has recorded 31 deaths, but UK national figures show 11 deaths at its three hospitals https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/03/29/coronavirus-questions-true-death-toll-london-hospital-records/

Double standards of Western reporting

Looking at this list censorship, misinformation and restrictions on doctors, its clear that China has been more transparent and open about the virus than most Western countries.

In one example, China negatively impacted their own image by switching to classifying all pneumonia cases as the virus when they ran low on tests, resulting in a spike in numbers. Western countries simply stopped counting when the same thing happened.

However, the key difference is that no Western media and Western commentators have made the claim that Western governments are covering up or hiding their cases. Had it been China, any one of the posts above easily would have been twisted and used as “evidence” of a Chinese coverup.

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