Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) is urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to take steps to limit the spread of online Chinese misinformation around the coronavirus pandemic.
McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Pompeo on Thursday requesting that Pompeo intensify efforts to counter disinformation around the coronavirus spread by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“The CCP is carrying out a disinformation campaign in an attempt to transfer blame to the United States that is exacerbating this dire situation,” McCaul wrote. “The State Department has demonstrated considerable flexibility and ingenuity in responding to the CCP’s information warfare, and I urge you and your team to continue these efforts and to coordinate with willing allies.”
The congressman asked that the State Department pursue an investigation into the “CCP’s coronavirus coverup,” including disinformation spread about where the virus originated, and that Pompeo brief Congress about the CCP’s disinformation efforts.
“The CCP’s information warfare against the United States on coronavirus and other matters underscores the Department’s counter disinformation and public diplomacy efforts are more important than ever,” McCaul wrote.
The letter to Pompeo was sent on the heels of a separate one McCaul sent to the CEOs of Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook earlier this week, in which he called on the social media platforms to ban all CCP media outlets and their officials from posting due to the disinformation they spread, as well as Beijing recently expelling American journalists in China.