The best defense is a good offense, and that’s exactly how China is strategically reacting to continuing pressure building on Beijing officials to come clean about a possible viral lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in mid to late 2019.
Article by Jordan Schachtel from The Dossier.
The stakes are high, as acknowledging the lab leak thesis would implicate the Chinese Communisty Party (CCP) in one of the greatest scandals in modern history. So instead of discussing the lab leak thesis, China is attempting to redirect blame at the United States, claiming that America is the true culprit for the spread of COVID-19.
In recent days, Beijing has decided to amp up the aggression in their war of words against the United States. The CCP is engaged in an active information operation, using virtually all of its public diplomacy tools to claim that the origin of COVID-19 is actually the Fort Detrick U.S. military lab in the Washington, D.C. area.
China’s advancement of the idea that there is a U.S. origin for COVID-19 is not new, but it is more settled on a particular culprit. In fact, it began in early 2020, but it has made a comeback thanks to Biden Administration officials finally changing their rhetoric about the Wuhan lab leak thesis, in addition to the once-maligned idea infiltrating the American corporate press.
Wall Street Journal: “Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report…” Wow. https://t.co/uByiohbwLD @WSJ
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) May 23, 2021
In recent days, I’ve collected an assortment of claims from high-ranking Chinese officials and state-media outlets. Unsurprising for a top-down authoritarian regime, the messaging campaign is consistent and relentless in attempting to advance their particular narrative.
China is going full throttle on a new coordinated disinformation operation, attempting to divert attention from the Wuhan lab leak momentum. After putting the claim to rest when Biden entered office, they are again advancing baseless idea that the U.S. military created COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/YpspcSfivY
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) May 26, 2021
The U.S. biodefense lab in Fort Detrick, which is located just outside of the D.C. Beltway, was temporarily shut down in August of 2019 after failed safety inspections. The laboratory was known to handle disease-causing material, such as Ebola and bacterias responsible for plague and tularemia.
There is no public evidence of any outbreak related to the temporary closure of the U.S. facility in Frederick, Maryland. Unlike in the Wuhan lab, where there is a sustained and documented evidence trail, there is no public information regarding the U.S. lab and the handling of viruses similar to the one that causes COVID-19. While this cannot be ruled out, the lack of evidence means that China’s claims are nothing more than blind allegations. Without any particular proof, Chinese officials are attempting to link a July, 2019 respiratory outbreak at a nursing home in Virginia to the closure of Fort Detrick, which is about an hour drive away from the facility.
China’s accusations are particularly baffling because they contradict the CCP’s initial claims about the origin of COVID-19.
In a joint paper published in early 2020 with the World Health Organization, the Chinese government pointed to a crossover event potentially arising from the Wuhan Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. The paper ruled out the idea of a lab leak, and urged a focus on a zoonotic reservoir thesis.
However, China’s tone rapidly changed when President Trump began to hold Beijing’s feet to the fire for a potential lab leak from a high-level lab in Wuhan. When President Trump placed blame squarely at the feet of the Chinese government for the global pandemic, Beijing retaliated by reinventing their origin story.
It appears that the CCP will continue hammering the Fort Detrick theory with the hopes that it catches on with an audience outside of Beijing. For now, the information operation has failed to gain momentum, unlike China’s wildly successful disinformation campaign to shut down the entire world and convince its adversaries of the merits of lockdowns.
On Thursday, Chinese authorities on social media continued to demand an inquiry into Fort Detrick, continuing their attempts to redirect the focus from the Wuhan lab to Fort Detrick:
How many secrets are hidden in the Fort Detrick lab and other biolabs overseas? What is the truth of the outbreaks of respiratory disease in northern Virginia in July 2019 & the EVALI outbreak in Wisconsin? The US owes the world an explanation: Chinese FM https://t.co/hYUFlGH2Zs
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) May 27, 2021
What secrets are hidden in suspicion-shrouded #FortDetrick & the 200+ #US bio-labs all over the world? In July 2019, there were reports on the unexplained outbreaks of respiratory disease in northern Virginia and on the subsequent EVALI outbreaks in Wisconsin. pic.twitter.com/EeaDkGYoJm
— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) May 27, 2021
Why does the #US keep silence on #FortDetrick and its 200+ bio-labs around the world? What's the connection between the unexplained outbreaks of respiratory disease in Northern Virginia in July 2019, the EVALI outbreaks in Wisconsin and #COVID19?
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) May 27, 2021
The rhetoric is surely heating up, but what remains to be seen is whether the Biden Administration will continue to hold China accountable in the face of major escalation from Beijing.
‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us
Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.
For the last few months, NOQ Report, Conservative Playbook, and the American Conservative Movement have appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.
It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. Both of our YouTube accounts were banned. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Medium canceled us. Apple canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.
The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancellation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.
The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects, including death. One of our stories about the Johnson & Johnson “vaccine” causing blood clots was “fact-checked” and removed one day before the government hit the brakes on it. These questions and news items are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting canceled.
There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ, CP, and ACM readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are pacing to be short by about $3700 per month in order to maintain operations.
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During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.
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