We now have more cause to question communist China’s role in the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. officials confirmed that “Chinese agents” helped spread panic with false information about the coronavirus in the United States, according to a report by the New York Times.
The Times cited “six American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to publicly discuss intelligence matters.”
They did it
Perhaps you were one of those individuals who received an alarming message on your cell phone in March about the coronavirus. One message led to so much confusion that it forced the White House’s National Security Council to issue a statement, tweeting, “Text message rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE. There is no national lockdown. @CDCgov has and will continue to post the latest guidance on #COVID19. #coronavirus.”
Now, according to the cited officials, who represent six different agencies, it has been determined that it was Chinese operatives who were behind these messages, and they were designed to spread panic.
“Since that wave of panic, United States intelligence agencies have assessed that Chinese operatives helped push the messages across platforms,” the Times reports.
The Times, however, did clarify that the intelligence operatives don’t believe that the messages originated from the Chinese agents, but that these agents “amplified existing ones.”
“Two American officials stressed they did not believe Chinese operatives created the lockdown messages, but rather amplified existing ones,” the Times reported. “Those efforts enabled the messages to catch the attention of enough people that they then spread on their own, with little need for further work by foreign agents.”
The cited officials said that the technique used by the agents was particularly troubling. “The amplification techniques are alarming to officials because the disinformation showed up as texts on many Americans’ cellphones, a tactic that several of the officials said they had not seen before,” the Times reported.
This technique used by these Chinese agents, apparently, is one that was learned from “Russia-backed trolls.” It includes “creating fake social media accounts to push messages to sympathetic Americans, who in turn unwittingly help spread them.”
It also includes “using texts and encrypted messaging apps as part of their campaigns,” which makes it harder to track where the messages are coming from.
It is looking more and more likely that communist China was trying to capitalize on its own global disaster.