by J Michael Waller / Center for Security Policy / May 12, 2020 – A prominent pundit who pushed the discredited Russia collusion conspiracy theory is now promoting a range of well-established Chinese propaganda themes about the coronavirus.
Soviet import Max Boot reinforced and laundered a range of Chinese Communist Party propaganda and disinformation themes in a May 3 Washington Post op-ed.
Followers of our Wuhan pandemic propaganda timeline will recognize many of the themes as having their origin in CCP publications and statements between January and April.
Below are highlights from Boot’s essay:
- The 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic ‘should be known as the American flu.’ The “Spanish Flu” was “spread around the world by U.S. soldiers initially infected at Camp Funston in Kansas. It should be known as the ‘American flu’ or ‘Kansas flu.’”
- China’s coverups and lies are just like America’s. “The influenza became a global pandemic in no small part because U.S. officials failed to warn their own citizens — or the world. Many, in fact, lied to avoid undermining the war effort.”
- By pro-reparations logic, America should have paid reparations to the world. “So should the nations of the world have punished the United States and demanded reparations for its role in spreading one of the most destructive diseases in history? That would seem to be the logic of the China hawks who demand that China be punished because the novel coronavirus originated there.”
- Extracting reparations from CCP will harm America’s economy. “The Post reports that ‘senior U.S. officials are beginning to explore proposals for punishing or demanding financial compensation from China for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.’ Some within the administration have even talked of canceling part of the U.S. debt obligation to China. Talk about a cure being worse than the disease: No step is more calculated to shake the faith of global financial markets.”
- Trump is scapegoating China. “Not even President Trump is likely to go that far, but he is eager to scapegoat China for a pandemic that has infected more than 1.1 million Americans, killed more than 68,000 and left more than 30 million jobless.”
- China covered up, but it’s still Trump’s fault. “It’s true that China initially tried to cover up the coronavirus outbreak. It didn’t lock down Wuhan until Jan. 23. One study found that if China had acted even two weeks earlier, it could have averted 86 percent of its coronavirus cases. But another study shows that if Trump had announced social distancing guidelines two weeks earlier — on March 2, rather than March 16 — he could have prevented 90 percent of U.S. coronavirus deaths.”
- [Note how Boot avoids saying that the Chinese government could have prevented 95 percent of the coronavirus pandemic worldwide if it had not covered up, blaming the President instead of Beijing for American casualties.]
- ‘China did a lot wrong,’ but it’s really Trump’s fault. “China did a lot wrong, but it’s not China’s fault that Trump didn’t listen to the warnings of the U.S. intelligence community starting in early January. Instead, Trump naively believed Beijing’s false assurances.”
- Trump should be thanking Xi Jinping. “Now, rather than thank Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump wants to pillory him.”
- Trump is probably making it all up. “He claims to have secret evidence that the virus originated at a Chinese research facility in Wuhan. But Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, says he hasn’t ‘seen the basis for this.’”
- Wuhan lab leak is ‘unlikely,’ but even if it’s true, Trump is still a bungler. “Even in the unlikely event that the outbreak was the result of a lab accident, that still wouldn’t absolve Trump of bungling the United States’ response…”
- Authoritarian Singapore and Communist Vietnam are better than POTUS. “… while nations much closer to China, such as Singapore, Vietnam and South Korea, have done much better.”
- Don’t punish the poor Chinese regime. Cooperate instead. “Rather than seeking to punish China for a disease that has killed at least 4,633 of its citizens and cost it billions of dollars — isn’t that punishment enough? — the United States should cooperate with Beijing in developing a vaccine and cure.”
- [Note how Boot uses official CCP figures of 4,633 Chinese deaths as ample evidence of China’s suffering, after saying that the US has lost 68,000 people to the pandemic and blaming it all on the president.]
- Can’t bring himself to call Chinese regime ‘evil.’ “The Chinese regime is no angel — it is a brutal dictatorship that censors information, jails dissidents, commits atrocities against the Uighurs and bullies its neighbors.”
- If US demands reparations from China, others might demand reparations for ‘American flu.’ “The United States would be better advised to focus on those genuine abuses rather than playing the pandemic blame game — lest other nations start demanding reparations for the 1918 flu.”