Democrat praises China's handling of coronavirus, despite allegations of Beijing's involvement in massive cover-up

By Sam Dorman | Fox News

‘They’re faring much better because they have shown the kind of discipline necessary to address this,’ she said.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., ripped the federal government’s response to the coronavirus, comparing it unfavorably to the way China handled the disease.

“You look at China with so much more in terms of population … and they’re faring much better because they have shown the kind of discipline necessary to address this,” she told MSNBC on Monday.

She called out President Trump, accusing him of spreading false information and failing to provide leadership for the states.

“Unfortunately, the president brings us into this parallel universe, where he talks about hydroxychloroquine as if that’s going to be a solution, and then we find out that can actually hurt people and create heart problems,” she said.

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“He said anyone can get a test that wants a test. That of course isn’t the case – and he’s never really invoked the Defense Production Act. So, we are scraping for the testing agents that we need. So, there’s a total lack of leadership on the federal level. So you have states doing very different things. And that’s why we are not being able to rein in this virus.”

Her comments came amid a broader debate about the way U.S. media outlets covered China’s response. The issue garnered renewed attention after reports surfaced indicating that China had suppressed information about the pandemic’s impact on the country.

Some outlets have favorably compared China’s response to that of the U.S., while other reports have uncritically repeated China’s claim that it saw no new coronavirus deaths in April.

Writing in the Washington Examiner last week, T. Beckett Adams accused media outlets of spreading “Chinese communist propaganda.”

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Adams highlighted a Foreign Policy report alleging that China’s government directed media outlets not to publish negative information about its response to the pandemic.

In the Foreign Policy article, reporter Tracy Wen Liu said she was “repeatedly shut down by authorities” when she tried reporting on the virus. She added “that [t]he government sent dozens of journalists to Wuhan to shape the narrative around the virus.”

Liu said Beijing’s suppression included mass removals of COVID-19 patients’ online pleas for help.

Similarly, Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a Chinese virologist, has accused the Chinese government of knowing about the coronavirus long before it acknowledged its existence to the world.

Fox News’ Barnini Chakraborty contributed to this report.

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