U.S. info warfare about China's COVID-19 response is hypocritical

CGTN| 2020-04-27 14:51:55|Editor: Wang Xiaoyu
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Editor's note: Andrew Korybko is a Moscow-based American political analyst. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

It's obvious by now to any objective observer that the U.S. is engaged in an intense information warfare campaign about China's COVID-19 response, but its targeted audience across the world would do well to realize how hypocritical all of it is.

The U.S. alleges that China covered up the virus' lethality (specifically its human-to-human transmission), which isn't true, but it's a testament to how effective its prior information warfare campaign was that many people haven't questioned why the U.S. wasn't suspicious from the get-go.

After all, the U.S. has spent the past couple of years trying to convince everyone that China can't be trusted, so it's hypocritical that its officials now claim that they would have believed China had its experts known right away about how deadly this virus was.

Earlier media reports claimed that the U.S. knew about the outbreak back in late November and suspected that it was very serious, yet the Trump administration didn't react accordingly until fairly recently when it was already too late to properly contain the virus within its borders.

This speaks to the fact that even American medical experts were uncertain about how serious the virus really was, just like their Chinese colleagues initially were too, though the U.S. government still failed to take preventive action even after China locked down Wuhan other than banning most flights from the country.

Now the American authorities want everyone to believe that lives could have been saved had China somehow miraculously known right away that the COVID-19 was so contagious, yet this argument is unconvincing.

Had the U.S. been consistent with its information warfare message of the last few years that China can't be trusted, then it would have taken all precautionary measures in its capacity to ensure that the virus didn't reach its shores.

It didn't do this, however, which strongly suggests that even the authorities didn't believe their own government's false narrative about China and thus took the natural wait-and-see approach that the rest of the world did until after it became clear beyond any reasonable doubt that the outbreak was real serious.

Several conclusions can therefore be reached from this observation. The first was already mentioned and it's that the American authorities didn't pay any credence to their government's politicized message about being unable to trust China.

Nor, for that matter, should anyone believe any related information warfare narratives on that topic, including the present one that China allegedly covered up the virus' lethality from the World Health Organization (WHO).

On that tangent, the second conclusion is that the U.S. wouldn't have believed the WHO even if it too had somehow miraculously known right away that COVID-19 was so contagious.

The Trump administration and its media surrogates have spent the last few weeks claiming that the organization is corrupt, yet they now want their targeted audience to believe that they would have trusted it had the global body told the world right away that the outbreak was a risk to everyone before they even had the evidence to make that determination.

Thirdly, the aforementioned conclusions clearly contradict the U.S. interconnected information warfare narratives about China and the WHO, proving that the present messages propagated by the Trump administration are being crafted in political desperation with the assumption that the target audience doesn't remember anything that they were preconditioned into believing for the past few years until just a couple of weeks ago when the U.S. reversed its stance.

The reason for this is that the Trump administration wants to eschew all accountability for its belated response to the virus even after it was known that the situation was extremely serious.

This motivation is all the more pressing since the Democrats launched an investigation into the government's handling of the crisis.

It thus follows that Trump will probably double down even more on his unconvincing claims that China allegedly covered up COVID-19's contagiousness since he has an interest in distracting the public from his mistakes.(Andrew Korybko)