April 22, 2020

Chinese Agents Spread Messages That Sowed Virus Panic in U.S., Officials Say

Featuring Kristine Lee

Source: The New York Times

Journalists Edward Wong, Julian E. Barnes, Matthew Rosenberg

The alarming messages came fast and furious in mid-March, popping up on the cellphone screens and social media feeds of millions of Americans grappling with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spread the word, the messages said: The Trump administration was about to lock down the entire country.

“They will announce this as soon as they have troops in place to help prevent looters and rioters,” warned one of the messages, which cited a source in the Department of Homeland Security. “He said he got the call last night and was told to pack and be prepared for the call today with his dispatch orders.”

The messages became so widespread over 48 hours that the White House’s National Security Council issued an announcement via Twitter that they were “FAKE.”

Read the full article and more in The New York Times.

Authors

  • Kristine Lee

    Associate Fellow, Asia-Pacific Security Program

    Kristine Lee is an Associate Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where she focuses on U.S. alliances and partnershi...