Trump Jr. accuses NBC News of pushing Chinese propaganda

Donald Trump, Jr. called out NBC News on Tuesday for pushing Chinese “propaganda” about the coronavirus.

The president’s eldest son mocked a tweet from NBC credulously reporting that China recorded no new deaths from COVID-19 in a 24 hour period, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday. Many around the world are skeptical of China’s claims to have gotten the pandemic under control.

DTJ calls out NBC

America is officially the world’s hotspot for the coronavirus, a distinction that many Democrats have blamed on President Donald Trump for a failure to test and aggressively contain the virus early on. However, Republicans have said that China, where the virus originated, should bear the brunt of the blame and that Xi Jinping’s regime covered up — and perhaps still is concealing — the extent of the outbreak.

Conservatives have also accused Democrats, the media, and some international groups like the World Health Organization (WHO) of China boosterism. China, a nation of over one billion people, has reported astronomically low numbers of cases and deaths that the media has, for the most part, incuriously printed. For example, NBC News claimed Tuesday that not a single mortality was recorded in the past day.

“U.S. reports 1,264 coronavirus deaths in over 24 hours. Meanwhile in China, where the pandemic broke out, not a single new coronavirus death was reported,” NBC tweeted, pointedly contrasting the devastation in America with the situation in China. According to the Examiner, Trump Jr. replied to the network’s tweet by complaining that NBC shouldn’t be “so obvious” about an agenda to promote China’s state talking points.

Taking on the WHO, media

Don Jr.’s father has called the WHO “China-centric” and threatened to withhold money from the organization, which is part of the United Nations, Fox News reports. The WHO’s relationship with China has attracted negative attention recently, largely on account of the group’s lavish praise of China’s efforts to contain the outbreak. The WHO’s director even commended China early on in the crisis and said that travel restrictions were not necessary, Reuters noted.

President Trump, for his part, has taken flak for labeling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus,” and many of his foes — from Democrats to members of the press corps — questioned his early decision to restrict travel from China in January, fearing it would inflame “xenophobia.” However, many of those critics now support the decision, according to Fox.

Deaths from the coronavirus have been high in America, with over 1,000 new fatalities each day recently, as Trump’s coronavirus task force predicts that the peak is nearing. New York alone now has more cases than any country, with over 150,000 infections, going by official tallies. The New York Times has reported that the state’s outbreak probably originated in Europe, not China, citing scientists who traced the genome.

Americans turning against China

Meanwhile, a new poll shows that a bipartisan majority of Democratic and Republican voters do not trust China, The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin reported. The new Harris poll found that 22% of Republicans and 34% of Democrats think China’s coronavirus statistics aren’t reliable.

“It’s as much of a consensus issue as you can get in today’s divided world,” Mark Penn, Harris chairman, said, according to a report from the polling center. “Overall, there’s very little trust for anything that the Chinese government says or does, especially its premier. Xi Jinping has less than half the credibility of President Trump in this poll.”

Indeed, in a time when many are skeptical of China’s claims, the American media are blasting them out to the world. Why is that?

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