Beijing blames Wuhan police for Li Wenliang scandal

AFP reports:

Police in China’s virus epicenter Wuhan acted “inappropriately” by punishing a doctor who blew the whistle on the outbreak that has now killed more than 9,000 worldwide, a Chinese government investigation [in Chinese] found Thursday.

Lǐ Wénliàng 李文亮, one of a group of doctors in Wuhan who shared posts on social media warning of a SARS-like virus spreading in the city in December, was reprimanded by police for sharing the information and made to sign a statement agreeing not to commit any more “law-breaking actions.”

This is the tried and tested Chinese central government approach: Blame the local cadres and sack a few scapegoats. See also: Reclaiming Doctor Li on the China Media Project.

Other COVID-19 propaganda news:

“The coronavirus messages China is projecting to the world” is the subject of this New York Times video.

Xinhua News Agency’s top story earlier today (in Chinese) was titled: “Make it the first priority! What does Xi Jinping care about most in his heart?” The answer:  

Xi Jinping cares most about the treatments and cures of patients. Xi Jinping always reflects every possibility to reduce the influence of the epidemic for the people to the lowest point.

Misinformation is dominating Chinese social media postings about COVID-19 in other countries, reports Sixth Tone:

As COVID-19 infections fall in China but rise abroad, social messaging app WeChat has been flooded with fake news about the supposedly chaotic pandemic situations in foreign countries. An analysis [in Chinese] published Wednesday by Sixth Tone’s sister publication The Paper said that, out of more than three dozen public accounts found to be spreading fake news, many were publishing nearly identical articles, with the only differences being the country’s name and a few minor details.

—Jeremy Goldkorn