Accuracy in Media

The mainstream media has ignored recent news that some Chinese-made masks are faulty and cannot be used by medical professionals. Few media outlets covered the issue in the United States, especially the mainstream media.

Newsweek and TIME reported that the Chinese-made masks were deemed faulty and unusable by recipient countries’ medical professionals. But there was no mention of the ongoing issues from ABC News, CBS News, CNN, the Washington Post or the New York Times.

Newsweek headlined European officials’ concerns about Chinese-made masks, “As Europeans flag concerns over faulty Chinese coronavirus equipment, state media is leading Beijing’s fight back.” The website noted that the Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic, and Turkey reported that protective masks and testing kits were ineffective, if not unusable.

Time wrote that the Chinese state-run media obscured Chinese-made equipment failures in its reports, often conflating “purchases of supplies by foreign countries … with aid.” Time added that many masks “failed to meet international standards.”

The Netherlands recalled 600,000 face masks that they purchased from China, while Spain refused to use 50,000 testing kits from China after the accuracy rate was found to be 30%.

As recently as March 18, the New York Times wrote an article on how China “turns focus outward” and how the country was aggressively sending medical supplies to foreign countries.

The newspaper called it “a diplomatic offensive” to help “reposition itself…as a responsible global leader at a moment of worldwide crisis.” But the New York Times failed to mention how many of these supplies were unusable.

The New York Times did not do its due diligence in reporting about the quality or condition of the Chinese-made masks and medical supplies, but neither did the rest of the mainstream media. Multiple countries rejected Chinese-made products due to their ineffectiveness, yet the mainstream media ignored the news. The media should acknowledge that although China’s donations could be an olive branch to the world, China fell short of providing working supplies that could help in fighting the coronavirus. This misinformation built up China’s standing in the world, but in reality, it hid the reality that its supplies do not deliver the necessary aid in combatting the virus’s spread.

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