NY Times Defends 'Scapegoat' Communist China, Cuba on Disease Response

April 20th, 2020 3:52 PM

The New York Times is quick to attack Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but readily defends Communist countries way of handling contagious diseases, as on the front page of Sunday’s New York Times, “G.O.P. Aiming To Make China The Scapegoat – Bid to Shift Blame Off Trump for Response.”

By definition, a guilty party cannot be a “scapegoat.” China is undeniably guilty of being both the initial spreader of the novel coronavirus, and is responsible for its global outbreak, for failing to warn the world while squelching whistleblowers who tried to get the word out.

Oblivious to those facts, reporters Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman made it all about Trump and the Republican Party shifting blame.

The strategy could not be clearer: From the Republican lawmakers blanketing Fox News to new ads from President Trump’s super PAC to the biting criticism on Donald Trump Jr.’s Twitter feed, the G.O.P. is attempting to divert attention from the administration’s heavily criticized response to the coronavirus by pinning the blame on China.

The same edition featured another example of reporters preferring actions of dictatorial regimes: A long, depressing front-page analysis by Donald McNeil Jr., “What the Next Year (or Two) May Look Like,” was offensive from a couple of angles, hailing Cuba’s Communist dictatorship for its fight against AIDS in the 1980s. McNeil defended the regime’s involuntary quarantines of AIDS patients that lasted until 1993. Theater troupes!

In the 1980s, Cuba successfully contained its small AIDS epidemic by brutally forcing everyone who tested positive into isolation camps. Inside, however, the residents had their own bungalows, food, medical care, salaries, theater troupes and art classes.

A May 2012 story by McNeil was even worse, with a reverse take on “brutality”  ("life inside was not brutal") about a policy the Times would undeniably find fascist if suggested by President Trump.

The last section of McNeil’s Sunday piece (titled “Goodbye, ‘America First.’”) was particularly obnoxious. A sampling:

This is not a world in which “America First” is a viable strategy, several experts noted.

“If President Trump cares about stepping up the public health efforts here, he should look for avenues to collaborate with China and stop the insults,” said Nicholas Mulder, an economic historian at Cornell University. He has called Mr. Kushner’s project “Lend-Lease in reverse,” a reference to American military aid to other countries during World War II.

Dr. Osterholm was even blunter. “If we alienate the Chinese with our rhetoric, I think it will come back to bite us,” he said.

“What if they come up with the first vaccine? They have a choice about who they sell it to. Are we top of the list? Why would we be?”


If a vaccine saves lives, many Americans may become less suspicious of conventional medicine and more accepting of science in general -- including climate change, experts said.

The blue skies that have shone above American cities during this lockdown era could even become permanent.

Silver linings!