We’ve told you before that news and information coming into and out of China is tightly controlled by the Communist government in Beijing, so there is very little “rogue journalism” that takes place.
With that in mind, the Chinese government is really sensitive about bad news getting out as well as any information that makes Communist leaders look bad or incompetent.
As such, it’s been really tough to trust anything Beijing has said in regards to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “Official” reports stating the number of sick and dead have to be looked at with skepticism because all information is tightly regulated.
Plus, almost on a daily basis now we see reports from trusted media sources that make us even more skeptical of what the Chinese government is telling the world regarding the virus’ spread.
As The Epoch Times reported earlier this week, a ‘citizen journalist’ from Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus epidemic began, was paid a visit by Chinese police after documenting something they didn’t want him to see or broadcast:
For days on end, [Fang Bin] had been driving around the town, documenting every step of the way with his phone to show the life in a now locked-down city.
On the morning of Feb. 1 alone, he had visited five hospitals where doctors hustled about in the packed halls and frantic patients groaned and sobbed. At the fifth hospital, he counted eight dead bodies from a funeral van, all within the five minutes after he arrived at the hospital. Inside, a sick man moaned and gasped for breath by the bedside of his father, who had already turned lifeless. Fang uploaded all of these moments to the internet.
About 7 p.m. local time, six masked men wearing HAZMAT gear visited him and demanded to take his temperature.
“You’ve been to dangerous places,” one of them said to him. “We have to find out whether you are infected or not.”
‘There should only be one voice’
The men claimed to be on-duty medical officers and that he was a “hazard” to others because he visited hospitals were patients sickened by the coronavirus were being treated. They broke into his home and ignored his repeated protests that he had no temperature — that he was fine.
But the half-dozen men weren’t there for him, per se; they were there to confiscate a laptop computer, a desktop computer, and his cellphone. And before long, Fang found himself at a police station, The Epoch Times reported.
Police interrogators accused him of “igniting a nuclear bomb” with images and video he reportedly uploaded to social media. He was accused of taking more from “foreign forces” before they threatened to keep him in quarantine for “creating fear” (yes, that’s a real crime thing in China, apparently).
“There should only be one voice, otherwise it will create chaos,” police told Fang.
In other words, only the government should be speaking to the world about the coronavirus China has unleashed on the world; that way, the propaganda can be carefully crafted and unchallenged.
Eventually, Fang was released and was given back his phone. But clearly, what happened to him was a warning: Don’t be uploading the truth to the Internet or it’s likely you’ll ‘disappear’ somewhere for a while, and maybe permanently.
In a post Feb. 3, he told followers that he had received thousands of friend requests on WeChat, a popular Chinese messaging platform (that is, of course, closely monitored by the government). It took him hours to respond to all of them, he said, noting that the Chinese state-run media warned of serious consequences for anyone who “spread rumors” about the virus.
It all smacks of dishonesty, of course, and it’s no wonder why the Chinese government simply cannot be trusted to be honest about the pandemic spreading throughout the country and beyond.
What are trying to hide? Why are apparently healthy people simply collapsing in the street?