“Coronavirus has people keeling over in streets” (TomoNews US, February 3, 2020)
Published: April 26, 2021 (upd.)
Already in mid-March 2020, SPR argued that the coronavirus situation appeared to show aspects of a possibly serious pandemic, a mass psychosis, and a psychological (i.e. propaganda) operation.
Since the early days of the pandemic, some people have been wondering if the notorious videos of “people collapsing in Wuhan”, which emerged in late January 2020 (see above), had in fact been staged by the Chinese government to frighten the West into lockdowns and self-destruction. After all, it is argued, such events haven’t been seen anywhere else later on during the pandemic.
For instance, on January 31, 2020, British newspaper The Guardian titled: “A man lies dead in the street: the image that captures the Wuhan coronavirus crisis”. A week before, the British Express titled: “Coronavirus horror: Social media footage shows infected Wuhan residents ‘act like zombies’”.
But an analysis of these videos and their context shows the following:
- Contrary to claims that there were “dozens” or even “hundreds” of such videos, there were only about ten such videos, which were shown in various places and in various combinations.
- Most of these videos really had nothing to do with covid. Rather, these videos showed drunk people, homeless people (even in other Chinese cities), road accidents, unspecified medical emergencies, and even training exercises run by Chinese authorities.
- Because of the simultaneous virus outbreak, first responders in Wuhan often already wore protective equipment (the famous white bio-hazard suits). Thus, to bystanders and to people uploading and sharing the videos, it may have looked like actual “sudden coronavirus deaths.”
- In many cases, video titles, captions, or comments did suggest or claim the videos showed “sudden coronavirus deaths”, but in no case was this confirmed or claimed by Chinese authorities. In fact, several of these videos were quickly debunked by Western “fact checkers”.
- It looks like most of these videos were shared internationally not by people close to the Chinese regime, but by people and groups opposed to the Chinese regime (e.g. by ‘Voice of Hong Kong’ and ‘Badiucao’),