China State Media Outlet Says Democrats Will Expose Trump Administration's Coronavirus Lies, End Propaganda War

President Donald Trump has been accused of "real international hooliganism," "dereliction of duty" and "extreme nationalism" in an op-ed by the editor-in-chief of the state-run Chinese newspaper Global Times.

Furthermore, the piece claims that "the U.S. Democratic Party wants to prove the weakness and inability of the Trump administration's epidemic fight." Democratic opposition to Trump and Americans' outrage over the epidemic's casualties, the op-ed says, will eventually end the "Washington-launched propaganda war" against China.

The op-ed, titled "Washington's hysterical COVID-19 claims will fail," directly mentions Trump by name only once, but it takes issue with " attacking Beijing from three directions."

Editor Hu Xijin writes that Washington has accused China of concealing the epidemic, hiding the country's actual numbers of deaths and subsequently filed "farcical" lawsuits against the Asian country.

The first two claims arise from the conclusions of an alleged U.S. intelligence report to the White House that circulated among political leaders in early April. Rumors of the report were echoed by Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, in a statement he issued to Bloomberg News.

"The claim that the United States has more coronavirus deaths than China is false," Sasse wrote. "Without commenting on any classified information, this much is painfully obvious: The Chinese Communist Party has lied, is lying, and will continue to lie about coronavirus to protect the regime."

Trump said as much during a White House coronavirus briefing when he commented, "Their numbers seem to be a little bit on the light side, and I'm being nice when I say that."

US President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks on April 13 during the daily briefing on the government's response to the coronavirus outbreak. Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty

The op-ed's third claim, about "farcical" lawsuits, involves at least two suits. The first is a class-action federal lawsuit filed by Robert Eglet seeking billions from the Chinese government over claims that its hiding of information harmed over 32 million American businesses. The second is a federal lawsuit filed in Texas by lawyer Larry Klayman and his group Freedom Watch. It seeks $20 trillion from the Chinese government for deliberately creating coronavirus as a biological weapon to unleash on the United States.

Neither lawsuit is likely to be successful. Klayman has previously filed lawsuits based on conspiracy theories, including one accusing President Barack Obama of secretly being a Kenyan native who committed involuntary manslaughter. Another of Klayman's lawsuits accused CNN of trying to incite an assassination attempt against Vice President Mike Pence.

While the Chinese op-ed seems to pin all the blame on the current administration, it doesn't refute accusations of misrepresentation by the Chinese government, merely stating that the accusations are an attempt to divert attention away from U.S. infections and deaths.

The op-ed also overlooks bipartisan opposition to China's handling of the epidemic. A letter issued earlier this month and signed by 11 Republican and Democratic members of Congress called on China to shut down the country's "wet markets."

Chinese scientists believe COVID-19 originated in an unregulated Wuhan wet market, where live animals were sold. The virus is thought to have been transmitted to humans through a zoonotic spillover, in which the virus jumped from an animal to a human.

"It is well documented that wet markets in China have been the source of a number of worldwide health problems," the letter said, "and their operation should cease immediately so as to protect the Chinese people and the international community from additional health risks."