“Wuhan virus”? How America’s elites are successfully controlling public opinion

unsplash-logoTedward Quinn

America’s elites have been busy at work steering public opinion away from national issues and towards unimportant discussions.

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In a perfect example on how to apply the teachings of Chinese authorities, America’s elites are successfully steering public worries and opinion away from national matters and towards useless discussions, in a period of time where the US government must be questioned and held responsible for their inability in managing the current crisis. While China was initially attacked for diminishing the gravity of the coronavirus outbreak and attempting to gather support for a series of causes, reinforcing patriotism during a time the authorities were failing to keep control on the population, this strategy is now being applied in the United States and, worse of all, is succeeding spectacularly.

For instance, citizens should be questioning their government and authorities, forcing somebody to take responsibility for the impressive failure of preparing for the coronavirus outbreak and the lack of measures against this one. Instead, a number of high-ranking public figures have been stroking fights about the naming of the coronavirus, making everyday citizens from all sides of the political spectrum fight over whether the naming “Wuhan virus” is racist/insensitive or not. Here are a few examples of these high-ranking, high-profile people, or well-established accounts, stroking this fight:

Of course, not all of these profiles are from the US, with Katie Hopkins being British, and a few of them are rather suspicious, as they share quite a lot of similarities with bot accounts, used, in this case, to derail the conversation towards the objectives of a specific person or group of people:

While in some cases these arguments might have some truth to them, such as the naming of past diseases, the reality is that many people, especially in the United States, have made use of the virus’ origin to mock, attack or even discriminate the Asian, and more precisely, the Chinese community, coming for terms such as “Chinese virus”, “China Originated Virus” [an alternative meaning of COVID], “Wuhan kung flu” [Play of words with “Kung fu”] or spreading fear that Chinese citizens are viruses. We already covered this Sinophobia in a previous article, so we will not go over it once again.

Coming back to the subject at hand, this disease was initially named “Coronavirus”, which refers to the broader category and can also imply other illnesses such as SARS-CoV. Later, the name used by most people and media, at least in Europe, moved to 2019-nCoV, before the WHO gave it its definitive name, COVID-19. So far, the majority of European and Chinese news outlets have referred to this disease with this latter term, or still use “coronavirus”, and don’t use the name “Wuhan virus” or any other variation, not even once, showing how this discussion is limited to a very specific area of the world, and, if anything, of the English-speaking world: the US. The rest of the world, such as Europe, has moved away from discussing the naming of the disease and instead spend their time doing their work, in other words, report the news. For instance, most news outlets are too busy keeping up with the spread of the coronavirus on our continent, and the measures imposed by various governments, such as the lockdown in Italy.

Part of these people fear that, if the naming is not changed to reflect its place of origin, Chinese authorities will be able to shift the blame away from them and somehow rewrite the events of this outbreak. Sadly, this is unlikely to happen, taking in account media can perfectly write “This disease, which was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan” or “Wuhan and the province of Hubei, regrouping most of the current coronavirus cases, have been quarantined”, with most people aware that the outbreak spread from China, and, likely, originated from this country. At the same time, authorities don’t need any help to cover up this information, as citizens will soon be submerged by a new wave of news on multiple events taking place on their shores and the world, with 2020, so far, having been quite heavy: coronavirus, possible war between Iran and the US, the current migration situation in Greece, etc.

At the end of the day, regardless of what we say or do, US citizens are bound to continue fighting these petty wars between themselves, being used to defending the interests of their elites instead of seeking to improve their own lives, as we’ve been able to observe on a number of occasions in the past. The rest of the world should just sit by and watch, enjoying the show, while taking care of their own interests at home, and giving the cold shoulder to the US whenever this one comes asking for anything, the same way the US treats its “allies” and “friends”.

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