Earlier than even this New York Times report, Chuck Todd, host of NBC News's Meet the Press, on March 8 hailed China's supposed success in tackling the virus, asking whether the Chinese Communist Party's style of despotic governance deserves all the credit.
"How uncomfortable is it," Todd asked, echoing the sentiments of others in Western media, "that perhaps China's authoritarian ways did prevent this? Meaning, had China been a free and open society, this might have spread faster?"
The U.S. intelligence community determined last week that China has underreported both the total number of coronavirus cases and deaths, all of it in an attempt to conceal the full extent of the pandemic in its country.
Early on, China silenced doctors who raised alarms about the virus, denied access to foreign scientists who could have studied the virus, and falsely claimed that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.
NBC breathlessly reported, "As the U.S. struggles to stem coronavirus, China asserts itself as global leader" on efforts by China to provide help to other countries. But the reality is that China has delivered faulty equipment around the world. In the Netherlands, the health ministry recalled 600,000 Chinese manufactured face masks despite their desperate need for medical equipment after their filters did not work properly, and they did not fit. Spain purchased hundreds of thousands of tests from China, only to learn that at least 60,000 did not work.
The American press's readiness to treat reports out of Beijing with little, if any, skepticism comes as actual Chinese communist propaganda videos cite members of the free press in conjunction with its broader, hyperaggressive effort to avoid blame for creating the coronavirus pandemic.
Whether they know it or not, the journalists who claim it is problematic to refer to the virus by its country and city of origin, and the ones who claim China has the pandemic mostly under control, and who praise China's efforts to help other countries are doing the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party, which is eager both to present itself as the world's leading superpower and scrub from the record its culpability in the spread of the virus.