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Chinese Coronavirus Chicanery

Chinese English language newspaper the Global Times attempts to prove that it is the least credible news source by pushing a ‘coronavirus is linked to vaping’ lie

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“The Chinese public is not satisfied with old orthodoxies and stale stories, and neither is the Global Times,” says the Chinese English language newspaper Global Times. So, it appears, it is making up stories that aren’t stale at all – and one tries to link the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak with “mysterious” American lung diseases.

The Global Times quotes Jorge Guajardo, the Mexican Ambassador to China, saying the newspaper is, “a must read for anyone wanting to understand China”. When it comes to “Flu, vaping or novel coronavirus: experts suspect the US might have failed to identify causes of deaths”, the only understanding can be that Chinese readers love fiction.

“Foreign media view the Global Times as a trustworthy source,” crows the newspaper. “The Economist calls it a ‘remarkable innovation,’ which addresses ‘realms once thought taboo.’ The Wall Street Journal praises its ‘insightful stories’.”

“Dozens of staff and residents at Life Care Center of Kirkland are reportedly exhibiting coronavirus-like symptoms with two confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far,” write the GT staff reporters.

Could this be the spread of the flu-like bug said to have originated in Wuhan, China or could this be down to Americans failing “to identify illnesses of different causes, experts said, considering the outbreaks … vaping-related illnesses in the country.”

News agency Reuters wrote today: “A total of 74 cases of the COVID-19 have been confirmed in the US by Monday morning, with one death.”

So, definitely COVID-19 from Wuhan and not vaping then? Not according to the Global Times’ source: Wuhan University’s Yang Zhanqiu, resident of Wuhan and deputy director of the Wuhan pathogen biology department. In Wuhan.

“There must be a possibility [of it being related to vaping]," Zhanqiu apparently told reporters. True, but there is also a possibility that the admissions might be down to the rollout of 5G, allergy to socks, or simple bad chi; an exceptionally remote possibility.

Zhou Zijun, professor at Peking University, allegedly told the Global Times that America should conduct, “further investigation and research when mysterious illness occurs."

Beijing United Family Hospital (BJU) Lung Cancer Centre’s Zhi Xiuyi told the paper that it could absolutely maybe down to vaping. “A mysterious lung injury outbreak in the US, which is claimed to be associated with e-cigarette, or vaping, has affected 2,807 people and caused 68 deaths as of February 18. It has been named e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury, or EVALI. The outbreak saw a sharp increase in August 2019 and peaked in September 2019. EVALI patients have been declining, according to the CDC.”

Zhi Xiuyi has probably missed the fact that the CDC have pulled back from blaming vaping for the lung dieases, maybe the Global Times thought it was an “old orthodoxy or a stale story?

“The EVALI and other respiratory viruses share similar symptoms, including shortness of breath, night sweats, low oxygen levels, and hazy spots on a lung X-ray,” the Global Times continued, “quoting experts, who mentioned the difficulty to ‘tease apart a bad flu case and a vaping case’."

Zhi Xiuyi isn’t just a clinician with a loose grasp of EVALI facts, he is also vice president of the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control – someone everyone can clearly trust – added: “The US, as a big country, should also take the responsibility to pay more awareness on the prevention.”

Vaping causing or related to coronavirus? Absolutely not. Many may wonder if The Wall Street Journal also praises the Sunday Sport for its “insightful stories”?


  • “Flu, vaping or novel coronavirus: experts suspect the US might have failed to identify causes of deaths”, Global Times – [link]

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Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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