Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 13, 2021

Caught In The Act - New York Times "Selectively Misquotes" Scientists To Fit Its "Prescribed Narrative"

The New York Times continues Trump's anti-China campaign by claiming that China hindered a WHO investigation into the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and is withholding data.

On W.H.O. Trip, China Refused to Hand Over Important Data
The information could be key to determining how and when the outbreak started, and to learning how to prevent future pandemics.

Chinese scientists refused to share raw data that might bring the world closer to understanding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, independent investigators for the W.H.O. said on Friday.

The investigators, who recently returned from a fact-finding trip to the Chinese city of Wuhan, said disagreements over patient records and other issues were so tense that they sometimes erupted into shouts among the typically mild-mannered scientists on both sides.

China’s continued resistance to revealing information about the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, the scientists say, makes it difficult for them to uncover important clues that could help stop future outbreaks of such dangerous diseases.

“If you are data focused, and if you are a professional,” said Thea Kølsen Fischer, a Danish epidemiologist on the team, then obtaining data is “like for a clinical doctor looking at the patient and seeing them by your own eyes.”
Peter Daszak, a member of the W.H.O. team and the president of EcoHealth Alliance in New York, said the trip was emotionally draining, as he and the team came to terms with the trauma of the early days of the pandemic. The team interviewed some of the first people to fall ill with Covid-19 in Wuhan, as well as medical workers.

“The world doesn’t realize, you know, that they were the first to get this thing,” Dr. Daszak said, “and they didn’t know how bad it was.”

While the Times claims that the Chinese have more data than they provided (they don't) and insinuates that they have something to hide, the researchers quoted in its piece reject both as nonsense.

Linking the NYT propaganda piece Peter Daszak refuted its basic tone:

Peter Daszak @PeterDaszak - 11:27 UTC · Feb 13, 2021

This was NOT my experience on @WHO mission. As lead of animal/environment working group I found trust & openness w/ my China counterparts. We DID get access to critical new data throughout. We DID increase our understanding of likely spillover pathways.

New data included env. & animal carcass testing, names of suppliers to Huanan Market, analyses of excess mortality in Hubei, range of covid-like symptoms for months prior, sequence data linked to early cases & site visits w/ unvetted live Q&A etc. All in report coming soon!

Quoting Daszak's tweet Thea Fischer pitched in:

Thea K Fischer, Prof. i PH Virus Inf. og Epidemier @TheaKFischer - 14:03 UTC · Feb 13, 2021

This was NOT my experience either on the Epi-side. We DID build up a good relationsship in the Chinese/Int Epi-team! Allowing for heated arguments reflects a deep level of engagement in the room. Our quotes are intendedly twisted casting shadows over important scientific work.


To which Daszak responded:

Peter Daszak @PeterDaszak - 14:07 UTC · Feb 13, 2021
Replying to @TheaKFischer

Hear! Hear! It's disappointing to spend time w/ journalists explaining key findings of our exhausting month-long work in China, to see our colleagues selectively misquoted to fit a narrative that was prescribed before the work began. Shame on you @nytimes !


Posted by b on February 13, 2021 at 17:23 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 14 2021 12:22 utc | 79 -- "Can you trust anyone on anything? The answer is clearly no, as public trust in establishment figures has been thoroughly abused and exploited by so called journalists, scientists, NGOs, politicians, MSM, think tanks and what have you."

There you go again, my dear Norwegian friend.

You seem to labour under the misconception that the West is the world, quite forgetting the other billions of human beings who do not think, live, act, like the West.

While it is true that we ought not trust any "leadership" source in the West today, yet there are those who are trustworthy in the rest of the world. Think Lavrov, Putin, Xi, Iranian / Cuba leadership, and the millions of people assisting them, all leaders in their own right, etc.

Live local. Think international.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Feb 15 2021 2:46 utc | 101

I'm seeing a lot of people here are just East vs West cultural warriors nonsense. For them, the West is bad, thus the East is now the "shining city in the hill".

I'd echo vk and Norwegian here, don't trust anyone without verifiable evidences, analyze the contents (if it's good for your health, your livelihood, will it benefit your people?) and judge them based on that.

The exact same person can be right about certain things but can be wrong about certain things.

Don't be a contrarian who puts your position as the opposite position of your supposed enemy (i.e. Putin is good because he's anti-USA, likewise for China and WHO/UN).

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 2:55 utc | 102

@ 102 Piotr Berman
An intermediate host is a verifyable theory. In particular if the ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 is highly infectious for the intermediate host there should still be some of them in some animals in central China. In the case of SARS (now SARS-CoV-1) it took three years to conclusively establish the link from bat over intermediate host (Masked palm civets) to humans. This is roughly the time frame we can reasonably expect.

@ 99 William Gruff
I consider this highly unlikely. While it is possible to genetically modify an excisting virus in order to be much more infectious it is not possible to fine-tune infectivity and mortality in the manner that you propose. It is not possible to deduce from the known genome of a virus it`s whole biochemistry, how exactly it behaves in the living organism of it`s host and to relieably predict the equally complex phenomenon of an epidemic caused by that virus. All of this would have to be established in extensive research, experiments and clinical trials - always with the risk that something "leaks" - and would still yield a great deal of uncertainty.

There is a reason why the field of bioweapons hasn`t really made much progress in decades and why eventually most nations have abandoned their bioweapon programs. Bioweapons are just to unpredictable, to uncontrolleable.

Posted by: m | Feb 15 2021 8:02 utc | 103

More on the New York Times and other America media deceptions--as well as studies that suggest that the COVID virus possibly didn't originate in Wuhan or had appeared in Spain and Italy as early as March 2019 or end of summer 2019:

N.Y. Times Lies to Say WHO Investigators Dissatisfied w. Chinese Cooperation

Neither ‘lab’ nor ‘wet market’? Covid-19 outbreak started months EARLIER and NOT in Wuhan, ongoing Cambridge study indicates

Posted by: ak74 | Feb 15 2021 8:53 utc | 104

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 2:55 utc | 104 -- "I'm seeing a lot of people here.... For them, the West is bad, thus the East is now the "shining city in the hill."

Jumping to false conclusions. People here who criticise the West do not necessarily take the East as a lamp upon a hill. People here who criticise the West are more often than not, criticising Western leadership, and not the people who live in the West. People here can despise Western leaders, but love Western deplorables as friends (I live in FiveEyes NZ, and have Western deplorables as friends).

That people can jump to those erroneous conclusions reveals, amongst other things:
-- an inferiority complex (can't take criticism, ouch ouch);
-- a suspicion that the critics are correct (so they stone the critic);
-- an inadequate worldview (see below);
-- some or all of the above (get help if you feel pain at reading these words).

The American mindset is so simplistic. For them, it is always either-or, black-white, good guys-bad guys. And you do not need to have American citizenship to have an American worldview too, which is so much the sadder. The Iranians, for example, can teach you a thing or two on multi-variate, multi-dimensional, multi-cultural thinking.

If it is true that you need to make america great again, if it is true that you got to build back better, then the West, in amedika at least, already in a bad place.

Does it make it any easier to climb out of the amedikan shithole by denying that there might be new centres of excellence in governance?

Could it be possible that Eurasia might lend you a hand if you only be polite for once? be civilised for once? be agreement-capable for once?

Posted by: kiwiklown | Feb 15 2021 10:16 utc | 105

@kiwiklown | Feb 15 2021 2:46 utc | 103

There you go again, my dear Norwegian friend.

You seem to labour under the misconception that the West is the world, quite forgetting the other billions of human beings who do not think, live, act, like the West.

I don't know where you got that idea. My family is international, well outside the western sphere. Therefore it is easy to see what is wrong in the west.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 15 2021 10:20 utc | 106

@Smith | Feb 15 2021 2:55 utc | 104

The exact same person can be right about certain things but can be wrong about certain things.

This is exactly right, and why trust is not a usable tool in analyzing information.

Instead apply a scientific method approach, requiring direct verification of significant claims by own observation or access to data that can be used for verification. If such verification is unobtainable, the claims must be assumed false.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 15 2021 10:24 utc | 107

@ kiwiklown

You are engaging in either-or yourself by doing this East vs. West nonsense. Take your own medicines.

East or West doesn't matter, what matters is if it's good for you or not, and why.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 10:51 utc | 108

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 10:51 utc | 110

Yes. There are no good guys, and the people you really need to keep an eye on can be easily recognized by their great need and desire to order other people around. That's the truth.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 15 2021 11:04 utc | 109

@ Bemildred

Can't say I agree with that myself, again, I'm no anarchist, it depends if the order is made for your well-being or others's well-being.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 11:33 utc | 110

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 11:33 utc | 112

I favor government by persuasion myself. It's not really that difficult. It's true that from time to time you have to use force, but you don't have to make a habit of it. It's just laziness and not knowing any better, and that's the best you can say for it.

I'm not an anarchist, but I do favor a lot of local control of local issues.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 15 2021 12:32 utc | 111

@ Bemildred

Government big or small, eastern or western, southern or northern, needs to care about society's well-being, if they don't, I propose we replace them until they do. And that's the end of it.

I always stick to bottom line (food, wage, healthcare, maybe guns and military training for the masses) and don't make excuses when they don't do their job.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 12:49 utc | 112

Hello b.

Looks like someone has noticed. Is this OK?

Posted by: John Cleary | Feb 15 2021 14:03 utc | 113

m @105: " is not possible to fine-tune infectivity and mortality in the manner that you propose."

I didn't propose any "fine tuning" at all. I proposed that the CIA grabbed a vial off the shelf at Fort Detrick that looked like it might do what they wanted.

" exactly it behaves in the living organism of it`s host and to relieably predict the equally complex phenomenon of an epidemic caused by that virus. All of this would have to be established in extensive research, experiments and clinical trials..."

That is one of the reasons the CIA has "black sites". Testing infectious agents on captives is just another form of torture for the CIA, and they don't need any justification for torture. They do it for fun. Furthermore, they didn't reliably predict the spread of the virus. They screwed up massively and totally miscalculated the dynamics of the infection, which isn't really so much of a surprise when you consider that very few in the CIA are real STEM grads. Most are products of university special education programs like business, journalism, public relations, and other programs for the cognitively (and in the case of the CIA morally) disabled.

"...most nations have abandoned their bioweapon programs."

Well, most nations except for the US, which has over 200 bioweapons labs scattered around the world. Do you imagine that scale of investment doesn't produce anything usable? Anyway, it looks like a portion of SARS Mk.II development was done in the private sector, sorta as dual use civilian/military tech as it were.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 15 2021 17:24 utc | 114

This goes here even if it is a late post. NYT retracts an article, "Sicknick" didn't die from being hit on the head with a fire extinguisher during the Capitol protests.

What did he die of ? That is another question. So there was only ONE violent death ; of Ashli Babbitt, and she was among the protestors. Is this one reason they did not call witnesses during the Impeachment?

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 15 2021 18:09 utc | 115

Stonebird @117

The only reason that they are abandoning the ol` "fire extinguisher to the head" story is probably because the individual who threw the fire extinguisher is a fairly highly placed provocateur that they want to keep out of the limelight. Had the video of the incident not been seen by millions already then the establishment could have just picked a "Trumpist" at random and railroaded him for what has now turned into the officer's death by natural causes. After all, isn't it odd that the fire extinguisher hurler has not yet been named and shamed? Had that not been theater then he would have been the first one to be tracked down and his name immortalized by a few dozen news cycles worth of hate.

Anyway, presumably the officer died of a stroke, which is something that could be precipitated by trauma. The medical examiner could probably be convinced to find some trauma if they really needed the death to be murder, but since they found no trauma then that means they need to squash the murder narrative. That in turn means they need to keep the identity of the supposed murderer out of the news, along with his probable work history for Langley.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 15 2021 19:34 utc | 116

There is no video of any incident with Sicknick.

The fire extinguisher guy, from the Russian tv video, was apprehended.

Sicknick was not part of that incident.

All one has to do is look at the video.

Its clearly a different officer, different hair colour entirely.

So unless you have some other video in mind, one no one else has seen, you're simply wrong, and the NYT lied not the coroner who conducted Sicknick's autopsy

Posted by: Triden | Feb 15 2021 21:43 utc | 117

After all, isn't it odd that the fire extinguisher hurler has not yet been named and shamed?

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 15 2021 19:34 utc | 118

Fire extinguisher guy, named &shamed
Residence: Pennsylvania
Age: 55
Occupation: Fire Fighter (Retired)
Arrested/Charged: 2021-01-14
Indicted: 2021-02-05
Jurisdiction: Federal



Posted by: Triden | Feb 15 2021 23:30 utc | 118

Below is a posting from Xinhuanet

BEIJING, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- About a century ago, Walter Lippmann, known by many as the "Father of Modern Journalism," criticized The New York Times for distorting reports on Russia and "seeing not what was, but what men wished to see."

While the Times' tradition to push a narrative instead of presenting the facts has long predated its highly biased reporting on China's fight against COVID-19, its latest step to twist facts to suit its anti-China agenda represents a new low for the daily.

By intentionally misquoting professionals on a World Health Organization (WHO) team who have concluded their mission on COVID-19 origin-tracing in China, the Times, among some other Western media, have made themselves accomplices in politicizing the pandemic.

Though the Times was at the vanguard when it came to pointing out conspiracy theories and lies churned out by the former U.S. administration of Donald Trump, it has more than its fair share distorted reality when it comes to reporting on China.

Take its latest misleading account of the trip to China by the WHO expert team as an example. By selectively misquoting WHO experts to leave the impression that those scientists were endorsing the falseness of a report, the Times again attempted to frame China as lacking transparency.

In the report, those WHO scientists were depicted as "typically mild-mannered." Shortly after the report was published, two of those "mild-mannered" interviewees slammed the Times for misquoting them and stressed that the fabricated accounts by the Times "was NOT my experience."

"Shame on you @nytimes!" As Peter Daszak, a British zoologist and a member of the WHO expert team, tweeted.

For the past months, the world has borne witness to how a politicization of the pandemic could hinder the global campaign against the once-in-a-century health crisis. Unfortunately, even now, some Western politicians and media like the Times are still spreading misinformation in pursuit of their geopolitical agenda against China.

While China is committed to transparency and global collaboration in the fight against COVID-19, some Western media like the Times have no qualms about abusing their influence to mislead the public over China out of self-interest.

Those groundless accusations constitute a stark disrespect for the hard efforts of scientists from both China and the WHO, as well as malicious slander against China's achievements in the fight against COVID-19.

As noted by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, COVID-19 origin-tracing is "a complex scientific issue involving many countries and regions," and should be carried out by global scientists in collaboration.

For the global collaboration to succeed, mutual respect and trust must be guaranteed. China is unswervingly committed to building trust, but some Western politicians and media like the Times should keep in mind that trust is a two-way street.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 16 2021 5:23 utc | 119

@116 William Gruff
Are there any other suspicious cases, where the CIA might have used bioweapons?

Posted by: m | Feb 16 2021 5:29 utc | 120

@ m.... study the history of the korean war for a start....

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2021 6:12 utc | 121

Triden @119

Thanks for that! I don't read the hysterical gossip columns, er, I means "news", so I missed it. I had assumed it would create a big enough stir to hear about it anyway, with enough prime time hyperventilating to end up in media that I do occasionally skim through. The Pelosi podium purloiner seems to have received much more coverage, after all.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 16 2021 14:03 utc | 122

Well the lack of 24/7 wall to wall blasting of this guy's name probably has to do with everyone in the media knowing the original "head smashed in by fire extinguisher!!!!!!" claim was obvious bullshit.

We know it was obvious bullshit from the way it was originally reported, using "anonymous sources", contradictory accounts of events, ridiculously vague and detail-free "official statements" etc etc

And even if you were a regular "news" consumer you would have missed it anyway since most of the legacy media refused to cover it, because the original lie, which they surely knew was a lie, served it's purpose.

That purpose being that there are still milions of bed-wetting hysterical "omfg it's a nazi insurrection!!!!!!!!!!" idiots out there still either firmly convinced of it's truth, or who never cared as to its veracity in the first place and saw it only as a useful political tool for cheering on the resurgence of a more elite-friendly and approved form of Corporate fascism.

Interesting also that the many commenters here who at the time ran around screeching about this like the hysterical chicken-littles they are, are so conspicuous now by their absence and silence

Posted by: Triden | Feb 16 2021 16:09 utc | 123

psychohistorian @121--

That's rich, Walter Lippmann one of the founders of modern propaganda calling out the NY Times. Lippmann was one of the key members on the US Government's Committee on Public Information that was formed to get the public to support entering WW1. Larry Romanoff's been recounting his deeds and those of others in an attempt to revive critical history swept under the rug that's vital in our era of Narrative Control and ubiquitous trolls. Pompeo's intense, sustained vulgarness is mild compared to the demonization of Germans prior to WW1. When one understands what actually was being done, then Wilson's 1916 reelection mantra--"He Kept Us Out of War"--is one of the first excellent examples of Orwellianisms that marks the beginning of the 100+ years of Federal government lying to the citizenry and itself.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 16 2021 17:25 utc | 124

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