To defuse its accountability, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tried to blame the United States for sending the coronavirus to China. One of its accusations was that U.S. soldiers brought it to China during the Military World Games in Wuhan in October 2019.
Since March 16, a video of an American spreading the virus on the Wuhan subway train during the Military World Games has widely spread on Weibo and WeChat, the two most popular Chinese social media platforms. In the video, a foreigner pulled out his face mask, licked his fingers, and then wiped his hands on the handles of the subway cart. The video displayed the Chinese subtitle “During the Military World Games, Americans were spreading the virus. Please watch it. The U.S. is so awful!” Many Chinese netizens criticized the United States out of anger after watching the video.
The rumor creator also said, “The U.S. delegation, after the Military World Games was over, went to visit shopping centers, supermarkets, and trains. What if they were to spread the virus?”
The video was originally posted by account “Souf” on Twitter on March 10. According to a report by a British media, the scene happened in Brussels. The Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company said, “This man was drunk and had been arrested by the police and the staff from our security department. The train cart was disinfected and taken out of service.”
The Chinese characters in the video were added by Weibo account Miaoxiangbuyi, whose holder was certified to be Xu Xibiao, working for the Kaili City government, Guizhou Province. Xu’s job was to monitor and exercise Internet control.
The website of Chinese Information at Phoenix published the news and then summarized the CCP’s method of creating the rumor as: starting with netizens’ “bold speculation” that U.S. biochemical soldiers set the virus in Wuhan, following with a media rumor of a “maybe” accusation, then an official rumor “it might be the U.S. soldiers who brought the virus to Wuhan,” and finally sealing the case with an official/private mixed rumor (a government staff member sent an individual posting) of the video, “U.S. soldiers deliberately spread the virus during the Military World Games.”
Related postings on Chinascope:
- Propaganda and Lies: Italian Media Called out CCP for Spreading Fake News
- Propaganda and Lies: Chinese Bots Flooded Twitter to Spread That U.S. Is the Origin of the Coronavirus
- Propaganda and Lies: People’s Daily Commentary: “Must Resist the Poison of Stigmatization”
- Propaganda and Lies: Geng Shuang, A Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Said U.S. “Stigmatizes” China
- Propaganda and Lies: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Said Virus Was From the US
Excerpt in Chinese:
2020年3月16日以来，一则所谓军运会期间美国人在武汉地铁传播病毒的视频在微博和微信疯传。视频显示，地铁上，一名外籍男子拉下口罩，舔了舔手指后，将手握在地铁扶手上抹了抹。视频中打上“军运会期间 美国人传播病毒 注意看 美国真是太可恶了”字样。发布者还配发视频说明文字称：“美国人军运会期间故意传播病毒铁证！典型的损人不利己！人性居然如此之恶，突破了我对人类的认知底线！”众多“爱国”网民看了义愤填膺，纷纷严厉谴责美国。至今，还有网友发微博称：“这个美国大兵，在军运会期间，己经带上了口罩。开始坐地铁传播疫情病毒了。武汉市的监控摄像头都有美国大兵的行程路线图与当时的视频记录……，大数据是不会说慌的。可怜的武汉市民为病毒背黑锅了”（注：“说慌”是“说谎”之误。）
目前可查到，对原始出处的视频进行编辑，添加说明文字以造谣美国人在武汉地铁传播病毒的是加V（微博认证“前 贵州省凯里市人民政府 义务监督员 徐锡彪”）的“苗乡布衣”，其发布时间是3月16日晚上。那几句煽动性的视频说明文字疑似“苗乡布衣”的原创。
Source: Chinese Information at Phoenix website, March 18, 2020