The White House issued a rare statement on April 10 accusing the taxpayer-funded Voice of America radio station network of promoting propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party about the spread of the CCP virus.
“Secrecy from the Communist Party of China allowed the deadly virus to spread across the world,” the White House said in a statement. “Journalists should report the facts, but VOA has instead amplified Beijings propaganda.”
The White House cited two examples of VOA allegedly amplifying propaganda from Beijing about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
The first example pointed to a video VOA posted on Twitter on April 7 showing a light show in Wuhan, China, marking the alleged end of the citys 76-day lockdown. The link in the tweet leads to an Associated Press article about the light show. The video clip includes an Associated Press credit. VOA was not the only outlet to share the video.
The second example pointed to an infographic created by VOA comparing the number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States to the alleged number of COVID-19 deaths in China.
“As intelligence experts point out, there is simply no way to verify the accuracy of Chinas numbers,” the White House statement said.
VOA released a detailed statement addressing the White House allegations, pointing out that the outlet has regularly exposed Chinese disinformation related to the CCP virus.
“We are thoroughly covering Chinas disinformation and misinformation in English and Mandarin and at the same time reporting factually—as we always do in all 47 of our broadcast languages—on other events in China,” VOA Director Amanda Bennett said in a statement.
“Unlike China, VOA has stuck to verifiable facts, including publishing numerous articles in Mandarin, English and other languages that outed Chinas initial secrecy keeping information of the initial outbreak from the world,” Bennet added. “VOA has thoroughly debunked much of the information coming from the Chinese government and government-controlled media.”
Bennett noted that the data used for the comparison of deaths in China and the United States came from Johns Hopkins, a source broadly used by other media. The VOA statement includes a substantial list of articles debunking Chinese propaganda.