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New York Times slammed for ‘too obvious’ double standards

(People's Daily Online)    17:05, March 12, 2020

The New York Times has been slammed online for double standards after it recently posted two completely different news tweets about the lockdowns in China and Italy. It called the measure in China a campaign that has “come at great cost to people’s livelihoods and personal liberties”, while saying that Italy is “risking its economy in an effort to contain Europe’s worst coronavirus outbreak”, according to the WeChat accounts of Beijing Daily and China Daily.

This discrepancy drew widespread criticism online, with many saying “the bias is too obvious.”

Both tweets were published on March 8. The tweet on the lockdown in virus-hit Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei province, was posted at 10:30 a.m., 20 minutes before the tweet about Italy.

“To fight the coronavirus, China placed nearly 60 million people under lockdown and instituted strict quarantine and travel restrictions for hundreds of millions of others. Its campaign has come at great cost to people’s livelihoods and personal liberties,” says the tweet.

“Can’t wait to see what you say about the lockdown in Italy. I’m sure words like ‘loss of liberties’ would be replaced with more beautiful ones like ‘selfless sacrifices’,” commented an Internet user, whose post would turn out to be extremely prescient.

“Breaking News: Italy is locking down Milan, Venice and much of its north, risking its economy in an effort to contain Europe’s worst coronavirus outbreak,” the media said in another tweet just after the first one about China.

The tweets were quickly swamped with comments mocking and criticizing the media for its old trick of using double standards on “whatever” China does.

“Double standards is the best game they know,” said an Internet user.

“China has made great sacrifices to avoid further spread of the epidemic. You can live without epidemic only through China’s efforts. You should be grateful,” commented another netizen.

Other comments included: “China sacrifices a province to save the world from coronavirus,” and “Whatever China will do, western media will remain critical. If they do nothing they will be criticized and if they do something will get criticism either.”

In fact, just a few days before the two tweets, The New York Times published an interview with Bruce Aylward, team lead of the WHO-China joint mission on COVID-19.

“Journalists also say, ‘Well, they’re only acting out of fear of the government,’ as if it’s some evil fire-breathing regime that eats babies. I talked to lots of people outside the system — in hotels, on trains, in the streets at night,” Aylward said.

“They’re mobilized, like in a war, and it’s fear of the virus that was driving them. They really saw themselves as on the front lines of protecting the rest of China. And the world,” stressed Aylward.

Since the article on the interview, which was published on March 4, was a clear demonstration of China’s efforts and measures to contain the epidemic, it’s very confusing why media still posts such tweets about China.

History has proven that effective isolation and even lockdowns in emergency situations are some of the most primitive and yet most effective measures to prevent and control infectious disease, which is why China implemented the emergency action to lock down the epicenter of the epidemic with great courage and sense of responsibility.

As the facts have clearly shown, this huge sacrifice has brought significant rewards, as the country has not only been able to continuously improve its own epidemic situation, but also gained valuable time for other countries to take action.

With more and more patients being cured and discharged from hospitals, all 16 temporary hospitals in Wuhan were closed by Tuesday. Meanwhile, China’s daily new confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside Hubei have remained at low levels for many consecutive days. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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