Ever since the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, the world has been more or less been united in trying to contain and combat the terrifying disease. But there are increasing signs that China may not be entirely truthful when it comes to sharing information and transparency about what is happening at ground zero, so much so it almost feels like we’re treading dangerously into real-life conspiracy territory.
Speaking of the coronavirus, the GOAT team unpack all the info surrounding the disease on It’s Been A Big Day For… below:
We’ve known for a while that China is pretty fond of bending the truth to serve whatever narrative that suits them the best (with wide-reaching consequences) and it seems like even the onset of a worldwide pandemic isn’t enough for the Chinese authorities to break their bad habits.
Following reports that China tried to silence Dr. Li Wenliang, the first doctor who caught wind of the coronavirus and tried to blow the whistle on the deadly disease (before trying to cover up details of his tragic death and silencing internet tributes to him), the Chinese authorities are up to more of their shenanigans as it is reported that they’ve now arrested citizen journalist, Fang Bin.
For those who are unaware who Fang Bin is, he is citizen journalist who became well known for sharing a viral video of corpses piling up at a Wuhan crematorium, as well as other revealing videos detailing what’s happening in the city following the coronavirus outbreak.
Fang Bin’s revealing videos have cast doubt on the information released by China regarding coronavirus infection and casualty numbers and it appears that the Chinese authorities want to take back control of the narrative by silencing the him.
According to local media reports, Fang Bin was arrested on Monday, February 10, by police officers after refusing requests to leave his apartment. The authorities reportedly surrounded his home and he was taken into custody after firefighters broke down the door.
It seems like Fang Bin was anticipating retaliation for his coronavirus coverage. He posted a video a few days before his arrest, saying that he’ll keep sharing videos every morning so the world knew he was safe. However, no video was posted on Monday.
Fang Bin is just the latest in a list of journalists, lawyers and doctors who have been silenced by China for trying to spread the word about what’s really happening in Wuhan. This all reads like a conspiracy spy thriller playing out in real life and it begs the question: what is China trying to hide regarding the coronavirus?
It must be noted that while all those videos from citizen journalists like Fang Bin are unverified, the response from Chinese authorities – and their history of silencing journalists – makes it seem like they’re trying to cover something up.
At the time of writing, China has confirmed (via CNN) that the coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people globally and infected over 40,000 people. However, some folk on Reddit have done some napkin math and found that the numbers released by China were suspiciously in line with their makeshift mathematic model, so much so that Reddit was able to accurately predict the fatality numbers released by Chinese authorities ahead of time.
While the model is far from an accurate prediction of the coronavirus’ death toll (and the creator admits it), the fact that the released info from China corresponds so closely to some fudged numbers, all while not taking into account real-life factors such as the effects of mass quarantine lock-down, it suggests that China may not be entirely truthful with the world.
From silencing journalists to seemingly suss casualty and infection numbers that don’t quite gel with apparent footage from Wuhan, one can’t help but feel like some sort of conspiracy is at play here.
But like the ridiculous “Simpsons predicted coronavirus and Kobe Bryant’s death” conspiracy, let’s try and keep a level head about all this because otherwise we’re going to descend into misinformation territory and that’s a slippery slope we don’t need to tread near.
We can’t confirm what exactly is going on in Wuhan and whether China is being truthful or lying to us. What we can confirm is that the coronavirus is real and terrifying, and the misinformation campaigns going around are hindering efforts to fight and understand of the disease. Best be on your guard because it sounds like things are going to get worse before it gets better.
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