Author: Justice After All （正义之师）
Date: 01 May 2020
The Lancet editor-in-chief, Richard Horton, interviewed with CCP’s state media CCTV “News 1+1” on 01 May 2020 (Beijing time) to endorse CCP and WHO passionately while criticizing UK and US without reservation.
Horton became the editor-in-chief for The Lancet in 1995, and since his appointment, he has turned a once-staid medical journal into a publication of controversy. Horton has been heavily criticized for contributing to the ongoing dramatic drop of vaccination in children in both Europe and America because he published a controversial paper in 1998 concluding MMR vaccine can cause autism, which was based on a biased selection of patients. While refusing to take action for over a decade, Horton was forced to retract the paper by the General Medicine Council, which oversees doctors in Britain.
Along with many other controversies, Horton brought himself back to the center of criticism during coronavirus pandemic. On 23 Jan 2020, when Wuhan has already initiated lockdown order, Horton calls the media to downplay the coronavirus by tweeting: the virus “has moderate transmissibility and relatively low pathogenicity. There is no reason to foster panic with exaggerated language”. Comments below his tweet warned him that this tweet would not age well.
Here are some highlights from Horton’s interview with CCTV:
CCTV: “What do you think of the Wuhan lockdown by China?”
Horton: “The government of China acted tremendously and decisively in the face of an acute emergency. By taking those actions, China led the world in response to this pandemic. It is not only the right thing to do, but it also shows other countries how they should respond in face of such an acute threat. So I think we have a great deal to thank China for about the way that it handled the outbreak in Wuhan.”
CCTV: “On 20 Feb, you published a statement in The Lancet composed by several dozens of public health experts. They oppose any doubt in the origin of the virus, such as it is not from nature or any ‘conspiracy theory’ . Why did you make the statement?”
Horton:“ As the director general of WHO said, we’ve been fighting two pandemics in recent months. 1. Pandemic that has been caused by virus. 2. Pandemic that has been caused by disinformation, and the pandemic caused by disinformation, in many ways, is as dangerous as the pandemic caused by the virus.”
CCTV: “Regarding the origin of the virus, as well as the effort made by different countries to look for patient zero, what is your opinion on this?”
Horton: “I do not believe it is helpful to search for patient zero.”
*Notes: Patient Zero, defined as “a person documented as being the first known case of a communicable disease in a particular population or region,” has long been used by public health professionals to assist contact tracing in the effort of slowing the spread of an outbreak.
CCTV: “You must have heard as well that some politicians state the virus originated from China and they demand a compensation. Is this a tradition for any pandemic in history?”
Horton: “ I think this is the most unfortunate that people are blaming a country such as China for the origins of the pandemic. It’s not helpful and it’s not true to blame a country in this way. What we should be doing instead is dispassionately working as partners with Chinese authorities to understand the epidemic and do what we can to make sure the epidemic doesn’t happen again. China didn’t want this epidemic; China isn’t responsible for this pandemic; it has happened. China in my view, the doctors and scientists who I know in China have done the most tremendous job in advising the government and in treating the population and in protecting the lives of Chinese citizens. I think China should be very proud of its medical and scientific community; and for international political leaders to be so critical of China, it is not only unfair, but it’s plainly incorrect and factually untrue. We have a lot to be thankful for the Chinese doctors and scientists who have managed the pandemic.”
*Notes: Till today, CCP demonstrates the opposite of being cooperative by persistently rejecting call for independent international investigation into the origin of the virus. Without any doubt, all medical professionals are greatly appreciated in any country, but how does CCP treat its medical professionals? Wenliang Li, an ophthalmologist from Wuhan who warned his colleagues as early as 30 Dec 2019 about the outbreak of the disease, was interrogated and reprimanded by the police from Wuhan for “spreading rumors on internet”. Dr. Li’s punishment was aired on CCTV (the very same state media who is conducting this interview with Horton now) and on 07 Feb 2020, Dr. Li sadly passed away from COVID-19 while his wife was pregnant with his second child.
Horton continues to credit himself that he has published 5 articles since the end of January to warn the world about the pandemic. He claims that “most western countries, including the United States of America, wasted the whole of February and early March before they acted, that is the human tragedy of COVID-19. ” “What is very disappointing is seeing the politicians who are, for example, giving credibility to conspiracy theories, who are promoting treatments that have no evidence to support them, and who are unfortunately damaging the potential and prospects for global collaboration by being so openly critical of other countries such as China and organization such as WHO. I don’t think it is a helpful response.”
*Notes: The state media then shows off Chinese medical professionals dressed in full set protective gear, while medical professionals from other country having limited PPE capacity.
*Notes: Let’s not forget that at the beginning of COVID-19 in China, Chinese medical staff have submitted an appeal letter to The Lancet asking for international assistance due to “severe shortage of protective equipment”. The Lancet published this letter on 24 Feb 2020 but it was retracted later on.
*Notes: Peter Navarro revealed on 20 Apr 2020 through Fox Business News interview that CCP’s vacuuming up PPE around the whole world while hiding the virus (2 billion masks alone not counting goggles or gloves) was the very reason why New York City and other hot spots around the world didn’t have enough medical supplies during the pandemic.
*Notes: When the French President Emmanuel Macron requested PPE from China, he was told by the Chinese President Xi Jinping that the medical equipment would be sent only if France kneels before Huawei 5G. While CCP is pushing its “Mask Diplomacy,” Netherland government had to recall “defective” masks failing to meet quality standards from China.
Horton emphasized that he believes the lockdown in Wuhan has successfully extinguished the transmission of the virus.
CCTV interviews Richard Horton, the Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet. https://tv.cctv.com/2020/05/01/VIDEBIB2mZaPrhRtixMJa7mO200501.shtml?spm=C45404.PLCcHnO0TNnZ.EfYEA7ucEeUS.1. New 1+1. 01 May 2020. Accessed on 01 May 2020.
Fox Business News interviews Peter Navarro, the Assistant to Pres. Trump. https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6150908704001/#sp=show-clips. 20 Apr 2020. Access on 01 May 2020.
Zeng, Yingchuan & Zhen, Yan. “Chinese medical staff request international medical assistance in fighting against COVID-19.” The Lancet. 24 Feb 2020. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(20)30065-6/fulltext. Accessed on 01 May 2020.
Narang, Akshay. “We will give you masks if you accept Huawei 5G,’ China is forcing Coronavirus-hit countries to kneel before Huawei.” Newswire. 05 Apr 2020. https://tfipost.com/2020/04/we-will-give-you-masks-if-you-accept-huawei-5g-china-is-forcing-coronavirus-hit-countries-to-kneel-before-huawei/. Accessed on 01 May 20.
DW. “Netherlands: Government recalls ‘defective’ masks failing to meet quality standards from China.” Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. 30 Mar 2020. https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/netherlands-government-recalls-defective-masks-failing-to-meet-quality-standards-from-china. Accessed on 01 May 20.