March 26, 2020

BECAUSE IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE, AND CHINA’S KNOWN TO LIE? Why the World’s Doing a Double-Take on China’s No-New-Infection Claim.

Still, skepticism about China’s no-new-local-infections claim is widespread, including, at least according to the anecdotal evidence, inside China. The doubt is fueled both by China’s Communist Party’s long history of propaganda and by the obvious benefits of changing the focus from the government’s initial efforts to suppress information about the coronavirus to its supposedly glorious victory over the disease crippling much of the world.

“A propaganda spokesman’s job is the turn messy facts into a clean narrative,” Andrew J. Nathan, professor of political science at Columbia University and a leading China expert, said in an email. “China is trying to bury the embarrassment of the Covid-19 cover-up in a happy story of triumph over the virus.

“But it feels like overreaching to say that transmission has completely stopped,” Nathan continued. “It seems that the message is political, not epidemiological.”

Indeed. Plus, seen on Facebook:

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