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时间:8/9/2020 4:13:18 AM 点击:

  核心提示: A conspiracy theory about Covid-19 escaping from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology is the Trump administration’s Iraqi WMD. And the Washington Post...

A conspiracy theory about Covid-19 escaping from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology is the Trump administration’s Iraqi WMD. And the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin is playing the role of Judith Miller.

By Max Blumenthal and Ajit Singh

With US deaths from Covid-related complications peaking above 30,000, allies of President Donald Trump are taking their anti-China public relations blitz to new heights of absurdity, hoping to legitimize a conspiracy theory blaming a Chinese biological research lab for engineering the novel coronavirus. 

The theory points to the Wuhan Institute of Virology as the culprit behind the pandemic, either through an accidental leak caused by unsafe research on bat coronaviruses or deliberately, by manufacturing a biological weapon. First deployed in January by the right-wing Washington Times, the conspiracy was dismissed and discredited at the time by journalists and scientists. 

With an apparent cue this April from a Trump administration desperate to shift the blame for its feckless coronavirus response, Fox News and the Washington Post have fished the story out of the right-wing’s political wet market and polished it off for public consumption.

Though neither outlet published a single piece of concrete evidence to support their claims, the story has gained traction among even fervently anti-Trump elements of the political establishment.

Regarding the real source of Covid-19, the conclusion by a team of American, British, and Australian researchers could not be more clear: “we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible…. Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus,” the virologists stated in a March 17 article published in the scientific journal Nature.

group of 27 public health scientists from eight countries signed an open letter this March in the Lancet medical journal issuing support to scientists and health professionals in China and “strongly condemn[ing] conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.” The letter states that the scientific findings to date “overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging pathogens.” 

Having spent the past four years railing against the “fake news media” and “deep state” elements in the national security bureaucracy for their campaign to paint him and his allies as Russian collaborators, Trump is now employing the same tactics he condemned to ratchet up conflict with China. By planting fake news about Chinese evildoing through anonymous US officials and dodgy document dumps, the White House appears to hope that an escalated conflict abroad will paper over its failures at home.

Trump’s deployment of conspiracy theories about a Chinese lab not only mirrors the tactics his opponents used to ramp up the Russiagate narrative, it recalls the successful disinformation campaign neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration enacted when they planted a seemingly explosive revelation about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction with New York Times correspondent Judith Miller.

The august reputation of the Times conferred legitimacy on the bunk WMD story, enabling the Bush administration to sell the invasion of Iraq to the Beltway political class across partisan lines. Miller was ultimately exposed as a fraudster and went to jail to protect her neocon sources, but not before thousands of American service members were killed in Iraq and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died in the chaos they spawned.

Today, as the Trump administration ratchets up its propaganda war against China to a disturbing new level, a neoconservative columnist at the Washington Post is filling Miller’s shoes.

How a Trump media dump mainstrThe Washington Post’s Josh Rogin

作者:花花云 录入:花花云 来源:原创
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