Let it be stated that the Xinhua News Agency is widely known as being a propagandistic mouthpiece of the Chinese government and the organisation’s journalistic integrity should generally be viewed as questionable. That said, its unfavourable read on the United States’ slow response to the covid-19 pandemic is pretty on the money.
Late last night, Xinhua released a fairytale-styled video detailing some of the earliest days of the pandemic, when public health officials in Wuhan first identified people falling ill to the novel coronavirus and the World Health Organisation shortly thereafter confirmed people becoming infected with the virus outside of China. Other than some slight commentary on the Xinhua Twitter account, nothing else has been said about the video (certainly not its use of what appear to be Lego minifigures, which could be knockoffs)—though it pretty clearly speaks for itself.
The video’s exact timeline of events regarding the steps the Chinese government took to combat the pandemic as other countries began to realise the threat it posed is not exhaustive in any way; instead, it focuses specifically on the Trump Administration’s flatout refusal to acknowledge the disease, which is what’s led to over one million Americans becoming infected and over 60,000 Americans to die from the virus.
Back at the end of February, at a point when Wuhan was already quarantining and WHO had classified the pandemic as a global health crisis, Donald Trump insisted that the virus was comparable to the flu and that shots to guard against the virus would be available “in a fairly quick manner.” Rather than taking the virus seriously, the President would refer to it as the “Chinese virus” and insisted that travel bans would prevent the virus from spreading to the U.S. as other countries were moving forward with plans to order citizens to stay home and begin practicing social distancing.
What the video accurately captures is how long the U.S. government spent trying to deny that the pandemic was a problem before pivoting to abject racism to downplay its own shoddy response, and then pretending that health officials across the world haven’t spent months warning us that the current situation we’re in was the inevitable outcome. It’s both scathing and damning, but the worst part of it all is that a propaganda machine quite expertly read the hell out of our elected officials with a shitpost filled with nothing but dark humour and Lego.
We’ve reached out to a Lego representative to see if the company has any comment on the video and will update if we receive a reply.