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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Pentagon ran secret anti-vax campaign to undermine China during pandemic

This is a Reuters report about misinformation spread by the United States military in order to discredit China's Sinovac vaccine. It was directed at the Philippines and other countries who were purchasing the China vaccine.

Reuters suggests that by undermining public trust in government health initiatives the US military might have cost thousands of lives in the Phillippines.

A REUTERS INVESTIGATION: Pentagon ran secret anti-vax campaign to undermine China during pandemic

The U.S. military launched a clandestine program amid the COVID crisis to discredit China’s Sinovac inoculation – payback for Beijing’s efforts to blame Washington for the pandemic. One target: the Filipino public. Health experts say the gambit was indefensible and put innocent lives at risk.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that nations engage in propaganda wars in order to destabilize or demonize their perceived enemies. The world is a complicated multinational environment and meddling in the affairs of other countries is a routine part of modern international relations. It's important to emphasize that it's not only the "bad guys" who do this sort of thing. Your own country and your friends and allies also spread misinformation in order to convince you that you are one of the "good guys" (e.g. defenders of morality, decency, democracy, and freedom).

I emphasize this for two reasons. One, here in Canada there's a lot of pearl-clutchng these days about foreign interference and the main focus is on China and India and how they might have influenced our elections. I think this is pretty minor stuff compared to what else is going on and the foreign influence from other countries, including the United States.

Second, as mentioned above, we all need to be aware of the fact that misinformation is rampant and that doesn't just include misinformation spread by Russia, China, Iran, and Hamas. We also need to be skeptical about information being spread by the governments of Ukraine, Israel, and the United States. Do not assume that everything they say is truthful.

These days, I find that it's almost impossible to hear, read, or watch any "authority" who convinces me that they are critical thinkers without an agenda. Almost all of them seem to be victims of propaganda.

Note: I'm aware of the fact that this report may not be accurate—it may, in fact, be misinformation. I'm mostly using it as a vehicle to point out that you can't trust anyone these days, including your friends. That's very upsetting because I grew up thinking that the mainstream news outlets (TV, radio, newspapers) could be (mostly) trusted.


psbraterman said...

To say nothing of the abysmal quality of reporting, on scientific topics in particular. Thus it could even be the case here that the US was spreading warnings, which from what I have heard may well have been justified, about the efficacy of the particular vaccine that China was offering, and the reporter cannot see the difference between this and advising against vaccination in general. Or maybe not. I don't know.

Mikkel Rumraket Rasmussen said...

Larry I think your note should be up top. Too many people get news from headlines only.

forsdyke said...


I had to look up "pearl-clutching." Seems it means "showing more shock than you really feel." Thank you for the introduction to this terminology. However, when MSNBC's Ali Velshi (a Queen's University graduate) gave a talk at his alma mater, he stressed the importance of distinguishing between being given incorrect information either with no evil intent ("misinformation"), or with evil intent ("disinformation"). The alleged incorrect information concerning a Chinese vaccine should, by your account, be referred to as "disinformation."