UPDATE — TMU initially reported that Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, who blew the whistle on the novel coronavirus back in December and was later arrested by authorities in China, had died as a result of contracting the virus after Chinese state media reported his death, causing an uproar on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. Corporate media quickly picked up the story and ran with it, clearly communicating that Li was a victim of 2019-
However, Wuhan Central Hospital quickly denied reports of Li’s death, claiming he was still alive but in critical condition. It has now been revealed that the hospital and Chinese state media walked back on the initial report and ordered the deceased doctor be put back on life support in an attempt to control the narrative, after seeing the reaction on Weibo. U.S. corporate media immediately took note and changed their headlines and reports to fall in line with what Chinese state media was reporting. Almost instantly TMU was inundated with comments on our social media platforms labeling this article as fake news.
It appears that not long after, Chinese officials became aware that their efforts to control the narrative failed and again walked back on their reports. After confirming his death, yet again, corporate media changed their headlines and their reports yet again.
BBC’s Ross Atkins explained what happened:
The story of how China announced the death of Dr Li Wenliang & then allegedly told doctors to put his body on life support & say he was ‘critical’. A grotesque end to the story of a brave man who tried to warn about the coronavirus & has now died from it. Produced @brysonandy pic.twitter.com/yy4hngupl0
— Ros Atkins (@BBCRosAtkins) February 6, 2020
This series of events is an excellent example of what independent media outlets like the Mind Unleashed deal with on a daily basis, albeit on a larger and more urgent scale. Fact checkers on social media platforms like Facebook are scanning our content daily looking for details they can flag as false, thus forcing us to jump through hoops to remove these strikes that inhibit our readers from seeing our content in their feeds. But today’s reporting on Dr. Li Wenliang showed us that news consumers are now acting as fact checkers themselves. The fake news scare has been so successful that readers are buying into the “if you see something, say something” marketing ploy resulting in comments and reports at the behest of the establishment narrative.
What this experience also showed was that U.S. corporate media is more than willing to report whatever China’s government and state media reports as fact despite a wealth of evidence that China’s government censors and issues false information in order to keep a tight grip on their preferred narrative. In the midst of a deadly pandemic is not the time to blindly trust reports from a not typically trustworthy source. In the midst of a deadly pandemic is the time to use resources and people power to investigate and search for hard proof. Unfortunately independent media does not have the same resources as corporate media giants but we do have a strong enough set of morals to not simply parrot the establishment narrative and flip flop our headlines simply because another country’s state media does.
(TMU) — Despite early praise from the World Health Organization (WHO) for China on their response to the recent novel coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government is facing increasing backlash for its treatment of whistleblowers and journalists sharing news about the illness.
For public health situations such as this, the Chinese government has a strict bureaucracy in place to ensure that any information or direction comes directly from the authorities, which means that anyone sharing information different from official statements is considered a risk to national “harmony” or “security.”
Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor working in Wuhan, was among the first of these whistleblowers who attempted to get the word out about the virus before it spread throughout the country. Today, global media reports have indicated that Li is the most recent victim of the virus, having just passed away after contracting 2019-
The doctor first learned about the virus in late December when seven patients came through his hospital with a “SARS-like illness” and were subsequently quarantined.
The doctor sent out a post in his medical school alumni group on the Chinese messaging app WeChat about the situation, telling his friends to be careful. Screenshots of the post quickly went viral across WeChat before reaching global social media.
On January 3rd, Li and a few other medics at the hospital were arrested by the Wuhan police for rumor-mongering.
After an intense interrogation, Police allowed Li to return to home and to work after signing a statement promising not to commit further “unlawful acts.”
This Wuhan doctor was targeted by police for trying to blow the whistle on the deadly coronavirus in the early weeks of the outbreak.Then, after treating a patient who had the virus, he caught it too.https://cnn.it/2u9heUZ
Posted by CNN on Tuesday, February 4, 2020
By January 12, just over a week after he was interrogated, Li was hospitalized and was suspected of having the virus. However, he did not test positive for the virus until February 1, after being hospitalized for nearly an entire month. Less than a week later, on February 6, he was reported to have died.
Li’s death is as tragic as it is concerning given that he was a young and healthy adult—not the typical immunocompromised cases we expect to see from something that people have been comparing to the flu—and was battling the virus on the frontlines.
One of the few U.S. citizens being vocal about their experience in quarantined Wuhan, being evacuated from China, and their resulting quarantine in the U.S. has expressed her suspicions about the situation on Twitter.
The official number of confirmed cases is around 28,275 at time of publishing, with a vast majority of those cases being confirmed in China. A total of 565 deaths have been reported with all but two having occurred in China.
Just moments ago, Wuhan Central Hospital denied reports of Li Wenliang’s death and claimed he was still alive but in critical condition.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.