Tag Archives: Blame

Why did coronavirus hit hard in Italy and Spain? Some blame a lack of social distancing — and a lot of social kissing.

Why did coronavirus hit hard in Italy and Spain? Some blame a lack of social distancing — and a lot of social kissing.A seeming lack of urgency marks the coronavirus in Spain, where cases began climbing three weeks ago, and where concepts like social distancing didn’t enter the discussion until this week.

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Peter Navarro Snaps When CNN Anchor Asks if Trump to Blame for Stock Losses: ‘Let’s Not Do That’

Peter Navarro Snaps When CNN Anchor Asks if Trump to Blame for Stock Losses: ‘Let’s Not Do That’White House trade adviser Peter Navarro did not react well when confronted by CNN anchor Poppy Harlow on Monday morning over sinking stock markets in the wake of a full-blown coronavirus pandemic, insisting that now wasn’t the time to talk about whether the president’s response to the crisis was causing markets to plummet.Appearing on CNN just as the Dow Jones Industial Average opened Monday morning with a 10 percent drop that caused trading to be temporarily halted—something that’s been happening more frequently lately—Navarro first attempted to sidestep questions on whether America was now in a recession.After Navarro boasted about everything he and the White House coronavirus task force were doing to try to mitigate the spread of the virus amid mass cancellations and shutdowns, adding that he has the “full force of American business” working with the government, Harlow stopped him short.“I hear you, Peter, but the Dow is off 2200 points, the S&P; is off 8 percent,” she exclaimed. “You’re a top economist at the White House. Are we headed into a recession? I appreciate the efforts you just outlined, but this is freaking people out, Peter!”“Look, here’s what’s critical now, Poppy,” Navarro replied. “It’s the policy response, and we have to have four different vectors coming in all at once in a matter of days, not weeks.”“But Peter, what can you do? The market’s off 2000 points!” Harlow shot back.The CNN anchor would go on to reiterate that the “market is not responding well at all” to the federal government’s recent actions to fight COVID-19, which recently included another Federal Reserve rate cut and insertion of liquidity into the credit markets. She further noted that during their conversation, she couldn’t track the market movements because trading had been halted for 15 minutes.“Finally for the message from the president over the weekend is that this virus is under tremendous control, but Dr. Fauci leading this effort says the worst is yet to come and the cases have doubled over the weekend, Peter,” Harlow eventually stated. “Markets are looking for leadership. Leadership is prescriptive. The markets here are reacting also to the president and his words. Is he doing enough to put confidence in the market by saying something that’s not under control is?”Navarro, who has repeatedly credited Trump when the stock markets have surged and has literally said he’s “never disappointed in my president,” admonished Harlow for her question.“Poppy, let’s not do that kind of thing right now,” he huffed.“Peter, it’s not doing that kind of thing,” she answered. “The market is hanging on his words. You know this.”While stocks have been plunging over the past few weeks over fears that the coronavirus will cause a global economic recession or even depression, the president bragged about the one-day Dow rally on Friday, sending off autographed stock graphs to loyalists such as Fox Business host Lou Dobbs.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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China Launches a Fake News Campaign to Blame the U.S. for Coronavirus

China Launches a Fake News Campaign to Blame the U.S. for CoronavirusHONG KONG—Bombastic Chinese government officials are laying the groundwork to blame the United States for the global coronavirus pandemic, and in turn extricate the Chinese Communist Party from any blame. Trumpian rhetoric, it seems, has a clear mirror reflection on the other side of the globe. The American president calls the pandemic sweeping the globe “a foreign virus”? The Chinese are calling it an American one.Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry and face of the CCP, insinuated by tweet in both English and Chinese on Thursday that the United States is behind the the novel coronavirus outbreak in China: “CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in U.S.? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! U.S. owe us an explanation!”The rant was inexplicably paired with a video clip from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield’s testimony before Congress on Wednesday, subtitled in Chinese, about Americans who may have been misdiagnosed with the flu when they actually had COVID-19, the disease brought on by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.Zhao’s creeping escalation of rhetoric is the latest example of the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to shift blame after its officials bungled efforts to contain the virus at the onset of the outbreak. And who better than its key geopolitical foe—the United States—to be the scapegoat?The claim by Zhao was first seeded in late February, when Zhong Nanshan, a seasoned epidemiologist and pulmonologist who identified the SARS virus in 2003, said that the coronavirus “may not have originated in China” even though the first known cases were in the city of Wuhan and the majority of confirmed infections were there and in the rest of Hubei province.It didn’t take long for state media and Chinese trolls to grab hold of Zhong’s talking point, merging it with the crackpot theory that the coronavirus is a bioweapon. Soon they were asking which nation has sophisticated biowarfare capabilities and can release its viral weapons to wipe out an unsuspecting population. The obvious conclusion, for them, was the United States.Simultaneously, on Chinese social networks like Weibo, hashtags for the “Japanese virus” and the “Iranian virus” helped shape the narrative that SARS-CoV-2 could be of foreign origin, and China merely got a raw deal. Now, the “Italian virus” tag is doing the same.Never mind that Chinese researchers, like Shi Zhengli, the “Bat Woman” virologist profiled by Scientific American, have conducted field research in China’s rural areas to locate and identify dozens of lethal viruses that are similar to SARS and the coronavirus that is now infecting many around the world. They recognize that there are many more strains that could make the leap to humans, causing new viral outbreaks like the one China went through in the past three months.Like Trump, Zhao has a history of posting combative outbursts on Twitter, which is banned in China except for some of the party’s officials. He is one of the first Chinese diplomats to register and run an official account on Twitter—and the first to weaponize his feed, rallying China’s paid trolls through talking points spewed onto the social network. Last August, he was promoted from his post as deputy chief of mission in Pakistan to become deputy director of the Chinese foreign ministry’s information department.That’s all to say, in an age of post-truth misinformation and disinformation, Zhao is Beijing’s vociferous master of spin. Other Chinese officials often echo his talking points online. There is little doubt that the CCP’s ranks coordinate the content of their Twitter feeds.As new infection numbers taper off to mere dozens per day in China, the pandemic is politicized more than ever. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan this week in what was essentially a victory tour for the country’s “war” against the virus. To prevent the embarrassing situation from the previous week, where residents shouted “It’s all fake!” from their balconies when a CCP official staged a photo op, two police officers were stationed in every apartment near locations where Xi was set to appear.Right now, people in mainland China and Hong Kong are baffled by the current situations in Western Europe and the United States. There have been months of warnings from Asia, and thousands have died from COVID-19, yet all of that was insufficient for many nations in the West to prepare for the virus’ landfall.“If it were purely a financial crisis in Asia—an illness of capital,” a venture investor said to me offhandedly this week, “institutions [in Europe and America] like banks and hedge funds would have reacted with no delay.” But public health, she suggested, wasn’t as much of a concern even in an era of globalization, when, normally, many millions of people are moved across continents each day.In the past three months, some of those who suffered in China thought their cases would be signals of a global threat. That their warning signs were mostly ignored may serve to feed Zhao’s disinformation suggesting the U.S. is behind it all.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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