On January 23, 2020, there was a terrible unknown virus outbreak in Wuhan, China. Since the virus infection rate is very high, it has already infected two hundred thousand people, including 180 countries. Recently, a rumour said this virus was started by the US on purpose to attack China. Based on news reports, the virus spread quickly before it was detected, and a rumour appeared that threatened to damage the reputation of the US.
A Twitter message out of China created an enormous dispute. It all began when Lijian Zhao, one of the official spokespeople of the China Foreign Ministry, tweeted an accusation on February 12, 2020, saying “2/2 CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in the US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be the US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! The US owes us an explanation!” Before that, Chinese epidemiologist and pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan said ”Although the virus was an outbreak in Wuhan, China first, that didn’t mean the origin is China, it could be another country.” Therefore, their actions made people think they said those things on purpose because the timing was very close. Meanwhile, in Chinese social media, for example ”Weibo” and ”WeChat”, there gradually appeared a lot of ghastly hearsay that in mid-March, a military competition was held in China that included the US. After the competition, two US Army soldiers appeared to have symptoms of the Covid-19 illness. Chinese media used this point to attack the US Army, faulting them for the virus and saying it originated from the US. As there was much news about this incident, the Chinese people were very agitated, and some of them went to the official account of the US embassy on ”Weibo”, which is their ”Twitter”, to write many messages to curse the US. In addition, the Chinese government set up a firewall to stop their people from using Google, YouTube or Twitter, since 2002, so they have been using ”Baidu” and ”Todou” instead of Google and YouTube. If you want to cross this firewall, you might get in trouble because it’s illegal.
When the US heard those accusations, it shocked government officials. US President Trump responded ”I know where this virus came from, it’s a foreign virus.’’ Meanwhile, the White House said, ”It’s a very serious charge to us, they smear our army and our country.” They immediately summoned Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the United States, to protest the comments made by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Twitter. As events were happening very quickly, President Trump called Covid-19 the ”China virus”, and that caused many people to say this name indicates racism, and requested him to revoke it. However, right now Trump still doesn’t revoke his statement. Soon afterward, Vice President Pence said it’s very serious, and they would try to find out the origin of this virus and give the truth to the public. Moreover, Fox News also agreed with Trump’s idea, and used ”Chinese virus” to report their news.
The effect of this event was huge, and brought us a lot of negative racist incidents. In March on London’s metro, a black person yelled at an Asian teen and called him ‘’Chinese virus”, and then punched him. After that, the Asian teen was punched several times, so he needed to go to the hospital. This incident shows the terrible racism and its impact on Asians.
Eventually, this virus became a pandemic, and the rumour created anger towards the US among Chinese citizens. Through Internet research, it was found to be ”fake news”. There was no direct evidence to show that this virus had an actual connection between those two soldiers, so it can’t be said that Covid-19 came from the US. As time went on, many scientists said the origin of this virus was probably a bat, and the main reason for this pandemic was
that some Chinese people eat bats, and the bat’s virus came to them. Meanwhile, the local government of Wuhan was late to find the problem, so that caused a huge influence on the world. However, the slow reaction of the local government is the main reason for the diffusion of this virus to the world, and they are trying their best to dissolve the problem. Therefore, fact checking is important when you read the news.