Why did scientific journals help China censor the truth about COVID-19?

Security moves journalists away from the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a World Health Organization team arrived for a field visit. Ng Han Guan/AP

Why did scientific journals help China censor the truth about COVID-19?

Washington Examiner April 25, 12:00 AM April 25, 12:01 AM Video Embed

From the start of the COVID pandemic, China‘s government has ruthlessly censored doctors and researchers who tried to tell the truth about the origin and early spread of the novel coronavirus. This has long been known. But a New York Times report suggests Western institutions, particularly medical and scientific journals, also helped the Chinese obscure anything that might lead researchers and scientists to the truth.

The Chinese government bullied scientific journals into retracting research papers from within China about “early cases, conditions for medical workers, and how widely the virus had spread.” They got the Lancet Global Health to retract a February 2020 letter from two Chinese nurses describing appalling work conditions in Wuhan and describing the situation as “more difficult and extreme than we could ever have imagined.” According to the letter, more than 1,700 medical staff in Wuhan had been infected at that early date.


In early March 2020, after initial papers were published that the Chinese government considered embarrassing, Beijing put scientists in China on notice that they would be punished if they did not run all research topics past censors first. Meanwhile, China’s campaign to get prestigious journals to retract papers containing information about the spread of COVID in China continued. As Retraction Watch founder Ivan Oransky explained, scientific journals were so eager to sell subscriptions to the vast pool of universities, research institutions, and medical professionals inside China that they were loath to offend the ruling Communist Party and risk exclusion.

Last month, a DNA sequence was scrubbed from a Chinese database right after Western scientists noticed it and realized it had previously been concealed. By withholding such data, and by forcing the withdrawal of other DNA sequences before that, China has been trying to prevent researchers from knowing anything useful about the pandemic that just shook the world.

The full story of Chinese negligence and malfeasance in the early spread of the coronavirus is important. But it misses the point to quibble over what conclusions could be drawn from evidence that was hidden or destroyed. Beijing and the Chinese Communist Party care less about conclusions than simply preventing certain topics from being talked about at all, ever, no matter where the discussion might lead.

This is a daily fact of life in China. Do not discuss, for example, Chinese banks freezing depositors’ funds, China’s massive mortgage boycott, any famous person’s disappearance, flagrant institutional racism against foreigners, the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, the Dalai Lama, the Tiananmen Square massacre, or the Great Famine caused by the collectivization of agriculture in the 1950s. Beijing aggressively covers up anything that makes China appear badly run, chaotic, or unserious — anything that might cast the nation or its communist regime in a negative light. Do not joke about Winnie the Pooh or Chinese electric vehicles catching fire unless you want trouble.

China’s government perhaps especially does not want discussion of the beginning of the pandemic and its origins in Wuhan. It distracts its people from the topic by spreading conspiracy theories about the U.S. Army creating COVID. For the rest of the world, it just tries to make it impossible to find the truth.

U.S. media as a whole took three years longer than most ordinary people took to conclude that Chinese malevolence and subterfuge helped spread COVID. But better late than never.

The new revelations usefully illustrate how it was not only corrupt international institutions such as the World Health Organization but also reputable Western scientific journals that enabled Chinese censorship of scientifically relevant information. Western institutions must stop cooperating with this evil. China, expanding its nuclear arsenal to match that of the United States, has emerged as America’s most dangerous enemy. American institutions that have genuflected to the communist tyranny need to reform themselves and refuse to let potential sales in China buy their allegiance to scientific truth.


© 2023 Washington Examiner

One thought on “Why did scientific journals help China censor the truth about COVID-19?

  1. 🚀 Wow, blog ini seperti roket melayang ke galaksi dari kegembiraan! 💫 Konten yang mengagumkan di sini adalah perjalanan rollercoaster yang mendebarkan bagi imajinasi, memicu ketertarikan setiap saat. 🎢 Baik itu inspirasi, blog ini adalah sumber wawasan yang mendebarkan! #KemungkinanTanpaBatas 🚀 ke dalam perjalanan kosmik ini dari penemuan dan biarkan pikiran Anda melayang! ✨ Jangan hanya membaca, alami kegembiraan ini! #MelampauiBiasa Pikiran Anda akan berterima kasih untuk perjalanan menyenangkan ini melalui ranah keajaiban yang menakjubkan! 🌍

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *