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A Statement from VOA Director Amanda Bennett

One of the big differences between publicly-funded independent media, like the Voice of America, and state-controlled media is that we are free to show all sides of an issue and are actually mandated to do so by law as stated in the VOA Charter signed by President Gerald Ford in 1976. We are thoroughly covering China's dis-information and misinformation in English and Mandarin and at the same time reporting factually – as we always do in all 47 of our broadcast languages - on other events in China.

Unlike China, VOA has stuck to verifiable facts, including publishing numerous articles in Mandarin, English and other languages that outed China’s initial secrecy keeping information of the initial outbreak from the world. VOA has thoroughly debunked much of the information coming from the Chinese government and government-controlled media.

VOA News depends on factual unbiased reporting. For example, VOA sources the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths both inside individual nations and globally from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Data from the graphic cited in the White House press release was drawn from Johns Hopkins, which is used throughout the world.

Our coverage includes this week’s fact-check of the Chinese government’s false timeline of its COVID-19 response, its misleading count that excluded asymptomatic cases, China’s underestimate of the number of deaths in Wuhan and its use of Twitter to further its narrative internationally -- a platform the Chinese government has banned domestically. VOA has literally carried hundreds of stories on China’s response and narrative.

We’ve included links (below).

Along with other U.S.-based media outlets, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Time Magazine, most of VOA's reporting staff has been effectively barred by the Chinese government from working inside China. Despite China’s attempt to hamper factual journalism on its response to the pandemic inside its borders, VOA continues to bring news from inside China to its global audiences and to Chinese citizens.

A response from VOA Director Amanda Bennett
A response from VOA Director Amanda Bennett

The fact check of the false timeline:

The story on China’s misleading count excluding asymptomatic cases testing positive:

China’s underestimate of the number of deaths in Wuhan:

China's use of Twitter, a platform banned in its country, to spread disinformation globally:

China claims no infection in its military:

The VOA story on Chinese misinformation, which provides background on the pattern of Chinese dishonesty and misinformation:

VOA ran this story about Europeans being fed up with the Chinese spread of disinformation and the scale of the disease, which goes to the point of questioning the validity of China’s official numbers about the coronavirus:

Regarding China’s ally North Korea:

And VOA’s Polygraph did this fact check which, among other issues, debunked the Chinese and Russian claim that the US military seeded the coronavirus in Wuhan:

This is another story debunking the claim:

There was also this piece on Europeans’ skepticism of China’s “mask diplomacy”:

And how the mask diplomacy is failing:

This is a very touching story about how families are being intimidated at funeral homes when they go to pick up their loved ones ashes and how the government is overcharging for tombs in the official cemetery

Video: Early in the quarantine, a family in Wuhan being forcibly taken to a quarantine center -- portraying the stark difference in how the West and China behave:

These two stories show China and Iran working together and also Iran's health minister called China's numbers a joke – and that the US is pushing back against disinformation from Iran, Russia and China.

From the time that the outbreak began we've been reaching out to those on the ground in Wuhan and other parts of China to get a better understanding about the pandemic and its impact on everyday citizens' lives.

…and the economic strains everyday citizens are facing.

This story shows families in Wuhan not even being allowed to mourn the loss of their loved ones without having someone monitor them during the process.