Prestigious British science journal apologizes for “associating the virus with Wuhan and with China”
Chinese government disinformation and pressure campaign is working. Journal ‘Nature’ writes: that “we did so was an error on our part, for which we take responsibility and apologize.”
The Chinese government has a vast and sophisticated disinformation campaign to cover-up its complicity in the spread of the coronavirus that started in Wuhan, China, and now is a worldwide pandemic devastating lives and economies.
As previously discussed, a key component of that disinformation campaign is to control the words used to describe the virus, If you claim that calling it ‘Wuhan coronavirus’ is racist, you are part of the cover-up:
The Chinese government now is deep into a disinformation campaign denying that this all started in Wuhan. A key component of that campaign is controlling the language used to describe the pandemic, stripping it of its connection to Wuhan and China, mandating that only generic terminology is used. Meanwhile, Chinese diplomats and media spread claims that the virus either started in the U.S. or was planted in Wuhan by the U.S.
So if you claim that calling it Wuhan coronavirus is racist, you are part of the cover-up. Speaking the truth is not the problem, covering up the truth is the problem.
Two things are true at the same time: The Chinese government did this, and Chinese/Asians are not collectively responsible for the Chinese government’s crime against the world and must not be harassed or otherwise discriminated against.
Terms like “Wuhan coronavirus” are called racist in this Chinese government campaign, and that policy was adopted by the Chinese-controlled World Health Organization and then other governmental health organizations like the CDC.
Since when do public health organizations get to dictate our speech? Welcome to the current state of politicized science, or perhaps more accurately, science in the service of politics.
There’s a purpose behind this word policing. If you call it Wuhan coronavirus, it’s pretty hard to deny it started in Wuhan, China. If you call it COVID-19, that permits the Chinese government to spread the lie that the virus started and spread elsewhere.
It also scares people into not speaking the truth about where the virus started, and how it spread.
Not surprisingly, academia is among the first places to fall. Numerous colleges and universities have dictated that the virus only can be called COVID-19 at risk of being dragged into the hell of campus bias disciplinary proceedings.
Also not surprisingly, that chilling effect has reached scholarly journals, like the prestigious British journal Nature, Stop the coronavirus stigma now:
When the World Health Organization (WHO) announced in February that the disease caused by the new coronavirus would be called COVID‑19, the name was quickly adopted by organizations involved in communicating public-health information. As well as naming the illness, the WHO was implicitly sending a reminder to those who had erroneously been associating the virus with Wuhan and with China in their news coverage— including Nature. That we did so was an error on our part, for which we take responsibility and apologize….
Many leaders want to listen to and act on expert scientific advice to deal with this pandemic and save lives. On terminology, the advice is clear: we must all do everything we can to avoid and reduce stigma; not associate COVID-19 with particular groups of people or places; and emphasize that viruses do not discriminate — we are all at risk.
Read the whole Nature apology. It’s sickening, what one would expect from the Chinese professors brutalized during the Communist Cultural Revolution, paraded in front of howling university mobs and forced to confess.
A Wall Street Journal Editorial explains how this language policing threatens science, Politicizing Coronavirus Science:
Ivy League biologists compete to publish their research in Nature, and the magazine’s approach could threaten the scientific enterprise. That the virus originated in China is important to understanding its qualities. If it jumped to humans from bats or pangolins, as widely thought, which species are present in Wuhan or sold at its wet markets? And what does the rate of spread in Wuhan tell us about how fast it would spread in cities with different densities and climates?
These questions ought to be explored in scholarship published in Nature, but they may become sensitive or taboo if the journal’s official position is that associating “a virus and the disease it causes with a specific place is irresponsible and needs to stop.”
Political pressure has distorted scientific judgment since early in the crisis. As the Stanford biologist Michael Lin notes, even the name “Covid-19,” given in part to distract from the virus’ origin in Wuhan, created confusion about the nature of the disease. “Given the similarity in clinical presentation, SARS2 would have been an accurate name” he wrote, but the World Health Organization “wants to avoid any reference to SARS for political reasons.” SARS also originated in China in the early 2000s.
China has leveraged its economic and political muscle to obfuscate about the virus and even deny its origin out of national pride. But some Western progressives do the work for them because of their fear the truth could lead to stigma. Elite humanities and social science journals have already bent to elaborate political conventions, leading to a loss of trust from the general public. If that happens in the natural sciences, the consequences could be much worse.
The Nature apology is a window into what is coming on campuses when students and faculty return in the fall.
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