A Chinese state media outlet has released an animated video using Lego pieces to mock the United States’ coronavirus response and the Trump Administration’s claims of an initial Chinese COVID-19 coverup.
- Personified Lego characters representing the US and China satirised the Trump Administration
- The videos appear to be part of China’s retort to claims over its coronavirus mismanagement
- Donald Trump has continued to repeat an unverified claim about the virus’s origin
Entitled Once Upon a Virus, the short animation — released by China’s official Xinhua news agency — takes the form of a back-and-forth between China and the US with China being represented by a Lego terracotta warrior and a team of hazmat wearing characters, and the US by the Statue of Liberty.
The dialogue begins with the Chinese warrior who stated they had discovered a dangerous new virus, to which the Statue of Liberty replied:
“It’s only a flu … Don’t wear a mask”, adding that China’s “stay at home” measures were a violation of human rights.
The video purports that the US did not heed warnings from the Chinese Government but later accused China of “giving false data”.
Last month, US president Donald Trump accused both China and the World Health Organization (WHO) of a COVID-19 cover-up, saying “the world received all sorts of false information about transmission and mortality”.
The animation makes reference to the US’s decision to halt funding of the WHO, which Mr Trump said promoted China’s “disinformation” about the virus, “failed in its basic duty” and “must be held accountable”.
“The WHO failed to investigate credible reports from sources in Wuhan that conflicted directly with the Chinese government’s official accounts,” Mr Trump said at the time.
The video also noted the US’s labelling of lockdown measures the communist country implemented were “barbaric”.
The video was also posted on Twitter by the Chinese embassy in France.
The US embassy in Canberra told the ABC they had no comment regarding the video at this time.
COVID-19 had claimed 233,257 lives as of Friday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, with more than 3.2 million cases confirmed worldwide.
The US has reported the highest number of cases surpassing one million infections on Thursday with 63,019 confirmed deaths from the virus.
Mixed reactions on social media
The post gained some support among Facebook and Twitter users.
“What a goddamn shame this is: Chinese are telling the truth,” posted a user named Jeff on Twitter.
“Pretty much spot on, except that the US voice that was heard most often and most clearly was a political one,” posted Steve Brunt on Facebook.
But others called the animation “fake news” and said China had conveniently omitted some information.
Meanwhile, another user alluded to an incident earlier this year when whistleblower Doctor Li Wenliang was threatened by authorities for warning the public about the virus, and then later died from the infection while working to save others.
Trump says China may have created virus
On Thursday, Mr Trump said he was confident the coronavirus may have originated in a Chinese virology lab, repeating previous unsubstantiated allegations.
When asked if he had seen evidence that gave him a “high degree of confidence” the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, he said: “Yes, yes I have,” but declined to give specifics.
The Chinese state-backed Wuhan Institute of Virology has dismissed the allegations, and other US officials have downplayed their likelihood.
Most experts believe the virus originated in a market selling wildlife in Wuhan and jumped from animals to people.
Mr Trump also said on Thursday it was possible that China either could not stop the spread of the coronavirus or let it spread.
“But we’re going to find out. You’ll be learning in the not-too-distant future,” he said.
Mr Trump has shown increasing frustration with China in recent weeks over the pandemic, which has cost tens of thousands of lives in the US alone, sparked an economic contraction and threatens his chances of re-election in November.