On May 18 at 1:58 am, Bloomberg published a story, claiming:
Over 100 Million in China’s Northeast Face Renewed Lockdown
Some 108 million people in China’s northeast region are being plunged back under lockdown conditions as a new and growing cluster of infections causes a backslide in the nation’s return to normal.
In an abrupt reversal of the re-opening taking place across the nation, cities in Jilin province have cut off trains and buses, shut schools and quarantined tens of thousands of people. The strict measures have dismayed many residents who had thought the worst of the nation’s epidemic was over.
They did not cite a source, except for the WeChat of the government of Shulan, a city in Jilan. The Hill published their own story citing Bloomberg shortly thereafter, and Fox News recently published another story, citing Bloomberg.
“Over 100 million people” would be a huge story, even in China, and if there were not something deeply flawed with this claim, I would have expected to see more stories and sources for this in the two days since its publishing. Furthermore, despite goofy claims of Western media, Chinese media is hardly more censored than Western media (in some ways much less censored), and they do not have the censorship infrastructure set up to hide a lockdown of the number of people that amounts to the total populations of Canada, Australia and Poland combined. Furthermore, there is not even a claim that China is covering this up, they just don’t mention that China isn’t mentioning it.
Indeed, neither Xinhua nor the China Daily, official government news sources, are dedicating headline space to this story. Xinhua reported on the Shulan city lockdown on May 18.
Shulan city has a population of 700,000 people – so the other one hundred and seven million and three hundred thousand referred to by Bloomberg have yet to be accounted for.
South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong paper that is de facto run by the PRC but has more editorial freedom than mainland papers, reported on May 18:
The small city of Shulan in northeast China has been locked down as a growing cluster of infections threatens to undermine the country’s efforts to contain the coronavirus.
All villages and residential compounds in the city of 700,000, in Jilin province near the Russian border, were sealed off at noon on Monday, its coronavirus prevention and control group said in a statement.
One person per household is allowed out every two days for two hours to buy necessities. No one can enter or leave villages or compounds with suspected or confirmed cases, with all supplies to be delivered by local stores, the statement said.
To put this in perspective, Wuhan has a population of 11 million, so what the Western media is claiming – without a source – is that a lockdown ten times the size of the Wuhan lockdown has happened but that no one is really paying much attention to it, and even the media themselves don’t really think it’s very important. It isn’t running as a top story on any site.
If you type “China lockdown” into Google News, you get numbers ranging from the apparently accurate number of 700,000 to the Bloomberg claim of “over 100 million.”
SCMP also reported on May 16 that the senior Communist Party official in Jilan had been removed from his post in connection with the declared outbreak, and released a video reporting that five other local officials had been fired.
The report also states that the country, so far, has 4,634 total corona deaths since the Wuhan event.
It seems unlikely that China will continue to shut down cities over very small caseloads, if the Central Committee’s policy is to fire the local authorities responsible for doing this.
If I had to guess what was going on in China, I would say that, with the original Wuhan event, there was a short period in which the Committee was concerned it could be a dangerous pathogen, and then they sent in their people, found out it was benign, and fired many people in Wuhan responsible for drumming up hysteria.
However, by the time they figured out it was not a big deal, they were already committed to the narrative. If they turned around and declared that it was a false alarm, it would undermine their people’s confidence in government measures, and damage the reputations of the people who they chose not to fire. Further, they don’t seem to mind that the West is using this virus hysteria to collapse their economies, and probably didn’t want to interrupt them in the middle of that.
What’s the Point of the Bloomberg 100 Million Hoax?
I am thunderstruck by the sensationalist and unsubstantiated reporting on this alleged event by Bloomberg, which until now I considered to be a relatively reliable source of information. Having looked more deeply into this story, it is now clear to me that these claims of a massive shutdown are a hoax.
It’s not clear what the purpose of this hoax is, but they seem to only be doing it half-heartedly. There isn’t a media blitz about 100 million Chinese being locked down. There are just a handful of articles. Frankly, it almost appears as if the media is stress-testing out the process of completely falsifying a major world event. As we’ve reported here before, we’re entering into a situation of mass censorship wherein it will be impossible to even get a general idea of what is true and what isn’t.
Because there is no other easily-identifiable reason the media would run with this false information, given that it doesn’t serve any clear purpose, they seem to be putting it out to see how people respond to it: how many people report on it, where it gets cited, how much (if any) criticism of it pops up. Bloomberg is a respected publication that doesn’t have the same amount of eyes as the New York Times, so it’s the ideal place for the story to be seeded, for them to then monitor. They are presumably dropping this in various cable news shows, fishing around and seeing if anyone catches it. If no one catches it – other than the Daily Stormer, of course – then that will be a go to start more boldly seeding the media with fake news stories that are actually designed to serve the larger narrative.
Andrew Anglin contributed to this report.