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Here, someone asked the following question :

On March 18th, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China announced new measures that would be implemented against several US news organizations, including a demand that

journalists of US citizenship working with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post whose press credentials are due to expire before the end of 2020 notify the Department of Information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within four calendar days starting from today and hand back their press cards within ten calendar days. They will not be allowed to continue working as journalists in the People's Republic of China, including its Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions.

The justification given by the Ministry is that the US has implemented similar measures on Chinese media organizations:

For instance, in December 2018, the US ordered certain Chinese media organizations in the US to register as "foreign agents"; in February 2020, it designated five Chinese media entities in the US as "foreign missions" and imposed a cap on the number of their employees, in effect expelling Chinese journalists from the US.

What is the background behind these measures? Has the US done as China accuses, and if so, what reasons were given for taking these steps? Are the measures related at all to the reporting of the COVID-19 virus, which saw three WSJ reporters expelled from the country in February?

I responded to this with the following answer :

I've been doing hours of research into this matter, and I keep finding more any more pieces of the puzzle, all pointing to the same conclusion : the US released the coronavirus as a bioweapon, intended to weaken China & Iran and to paralyze Europe while it the US prepares for stage to in what is essentially a hybrid war.

Something else I learnt today, besides probable US involvement in the release of COVID-19, is that they just happened to have planned to do the biggest NATO war game on European soil in 20+ years, with 30,000 American troops, just this month. All, while China & Iran seem ever more confident the US launched a pre-emptive biological attack on them.

There's so many strange "coincidences", really, that all make sense once you consider the US may just have started WW3 and the coronavirus pandemic is stage one.

The one thing I haven't been able to figure out yet, is if this pandemic was supposed to go global, or if things just got out or hand real fast. Either way, the US already claiming they have a vaccine suggests they probably at least considered the risk and were willing to take it because that vaccine was waiting somewhere in a vault...

Anyway, once you figured all this out, it should be obvious why US journalists are expelled from China: the US pretty much started WW3 against China, and China is now taking protective measures. This includes expelling American journalists, as the media plays an important role in psychological warfare, and some of these journalists may even be actual spies. The last thing you want when you're at war with a foreign country, is enemy agents & propagandists sabotaging your efforts from within!

That answer got downvoted, then deleted, and then the person raising the question seems to have deleted his question.

Here, I found a related question :

President Trump speaking yesterday (Feb 26th 2020) gave an update about the response of the US to the novel coronavirus outbreak. In an announcement that introduced a new team to tackle the virus, Trump said that

Because of all we've done (so far), the risk to the American people remains very low.

and that

It is what it is. We're ready for it. We're really prepared. We have, as I said, we have the greatest people in the world. We're very ready for it. We hope it doesn't spread. There's a chance that it won't spread, too. And there's a chance that it will.

The president's remarks were then followed by Dr Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who reiterated the organisation's remarks of February 25th where the director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, said that:

Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in this country.

What measures, referred to by the President, have already been taken by the US government to prepare for the virus? Which of these have the Trump administration been responsible for? What is the purpose of the new team announced yesterday?

I responded to this with a variation on my answer to the other question :

Yes! Not only did they prepare for it, they probably are responsible for it.

I've been doing hours of research into this matter, and I keep finding more any more pieces of the puzzle, all pointing to the same conclusion : the US released the coronavirus as a bioweapon, intended to weaken China & Iran and to paralyze Europe while it the US prepares for stage to in what is essentially a hybrid war.

Something else I learnt today, besides probable US involvement in the release of COVID-19, is that they just happened to have planned to do the biggest NATO war game on European soil in 20+ years, with 30,000 American troops, just this month. All, while China & Iran seem ever more confident the US launched a pre-emptive biological attack on them.

There's so many strange "coincidences", really, that all make sense once you consider the US may just have started WW3 and the coronavirus pandemic is stage one.

The one thing I haven't been able to figure out yet, is if this pandemic was supposed to go global, or if things just got out or hand real fast. Either way, the US already claiming they have a vaccine suggests they probably at least considered the risk and were willing to take it because that vaccine was waiting somewhere in a vault...

That answer got deleted almost immediately by a moderator with the following comment :

This is a ridiculous conspiracy theory which is disputed by pretty much every medical professional who knows their stuff. Please stop spreading it.

How is this acceptable?

Suppose I'm wrong, why not just counter those claims with sources that prove me wrong?

Suppose I'm right, doesn't the public have the right to know what's going on?

How does censoring this kind of perspective really help people who are trying to make sense of this crazy time we're living in?

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    I'm not the most censorship-inclined guy here (look at the Trump-fascism discussions, if you doubt that), but you have been literally cross-posting the same stuff all over SE (Biology too). It's fine to have one Skeptics question on this. That you think you've discovered some deep truth and need to post it on every question remotely related to covid... is way over the top. – Fizz Mar 19 at 17:29
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I don't believe trying to spread FUD provides anyone with perspective. With such an outrageous claim, the amount of evidence in support of it would need to be overwhelming, pretty much nothing short of a smoking gun. Otherwise, the only thing either the question or the answer are doing for perspective is muddying the waters and adding to the noise.

Have a look through the Help Center, particulary the part about what types of questions to avoid asking. To quote from there:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

This question is neither practical nor answerable for hobbyists on a website.

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here.

To suppose you are right would only invite discussion on the topic, there is nothing objectively answerable about the question unless one of the many thousands of people who would be required to be "in on it" spills the secret. If that does wind up happening, feel free to check back, but I imagine by the time you do there will be a few dozen duplicate questions already having been asked/answered since that would be quite the news.

You may call it censorship, but we refer to it as moderation. Taking the stance you are proposing would allow any sort of question on this platform, and at that point there wouldn't be all that much difference between this platform and Facebook.1

1: To be clear, this is something that we actively try to avoid.

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    @JohnSlegers I compeltely agree, the world would deserve to know it. Come back when there's actual evidence. We don't want to entertain your fantasies. With your standard, I can make the same logic and guesswork to ask a question about Belgium being the offending country. They have lots of dykes, have the most to lose when sea levels rise due to global warming, the number 22 divided by 11 is 2 and the second letter of the alphabet is B, so obviously it must be them, right? – Jeff Lambert Mar 18 at 18:42
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    @JeffLambert To provide a slightly less reductio ad absurdum example: I've seen multiple people claiming that COVID-19 was a Chinese bioweapon, and that there's a bio-research lab in Wuhan just 15 minutes from where the first cases were reported. I'm almost certain that an answer alleging that would have been downvoted and deleted just the same as OP's was. – F1Krazy Mar 18 at 18:51
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    @JohnSlegers Is that what you're doing? Or are you trying to co-opt this platform to spread anti-American sentiment? I agree completely with what F1Krazy said. Replace "the US" with any other country in your scenario and you'd get a similar quality question with a similar outcome. – Jeff Lambert Mar 18 at 18:59
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    @JohnSlegers It is not up to us to prove your theory wrong, and this is not a platform for you to spread it on. See this CNN article about your previous source. Why do I trust CNN? I don't, but it's been around a whole lot longer and you definitely should not trust that one. – Jeff Lambert Mar 19 at 11:09
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    As an aside, perhaps you really are a software developer from Belgium as your profile states, or perhaps you are actually working on behalf of Iran. How am I to tell? I can't, I'm just a guy. If you seriously wish to get to the bottom of your theory, I would suggest trying a different strategy than going around to random websites asking people if they think it's true. You will not find truth that way. – Jeff Lambert Mar 19 at 11:12
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To recap your "evidence":

  • Pakistan thinks it might be a bioweapon
  • Iran says it's a US bioweapon
  • China says it's a US bioweapon

You say you want refutation? Here you go

Many Chinese people, even city dwellers, insist that freshly slaughtered poultry is tastier and more healthful than refrigerated or frozen meat. This is one of the major reasons China has been such a hot spot for new influenza viruses: Nowhere else on earth do so many people have such close contact with so many birds.

And China would never threaten a doctor who found COVID-19 early

As word of a mysterious virus mounted, Li Wenliang shared suspicions in a private chat with his fellow medical school graduates.

The doctor said that seven people seemed to have contracted SARS — the respiratory illness that spread from China to more than two dozen countries and left hundreds dead in the early 2000s. One patient was quarantined at his hospital in Wuhan, China, Li said. He urged people to be careful.

Li and seven other doctors were quickly summoned by Chinese authorities for propagating “rumors” about SARS-like cases in the area — but their warnings were prescient. Soon, health officials worldwide would be scrambling to combat a novel virus with a striking genetic resemblance to SARS.

Suppose you're right, doesn't the public have the right to know what's going on?

You're sealioning this. It's a way to promote conspiracy theories under the guise of serious conversation. You'll note that all your sources and the countries they quote aren't exactly friends with the US. And you'll note that the US is currently suffering with quarantines and economic downturns just like everyone else. In order to even entertain this, we'd have to believe that the US would create a bioweapon and then release it where it would harm its own interests. There's no way to take this seriously.

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    If you're going to post something this outlandish you'd better bring something more concrete than some random Pakistani and Iranian links. – Machavity Mar 18 at 18:48
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    @JohnSlegers It's not a matter of quantity but of quality. – Philipp Mar 18 at 18:58
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    @JohnSlegers What would convince me that this unlikely conspiracy theory might indeed be true? Well, a credible US whistleblower or authentic document proof from a US government institution which says they did it might. Or if microbiologists found stuff in the SARS-CoV-2 genome which points to it being man-made and consensus among microbiologists is that this discovery is plausible (but they didn't - everything points to it being a natural mutation). – Philipp Mar 19 at 8:34
  • @JohnSlegers The NY Times hasn't been afraid to report things and even they are skeptical of the claims you're making (they're defending the Trump administration, which they revile). And by that same token some people assert that the virus came from labs in Wuhan and somehow got out, which has also been discredited. Again, there's no way to take this seriously. – Machavity Mar 19 at 13:24
  • You might want to post some of those arguments on the Skeptics question. skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/46083/… @Philipp: there's a good Bio SE question on this. (Mentioning it in case someone else besides John needs to be redirected to it around here in the future.) – Fizz Mar 19 at 18:22
  • @JohnSlegers: you should / could raise the Bio.SE issue on Bio SE meta. I don't post there as often as here, so I'm less familiar with their standards for deleting answers (if they have such consistent standards). – Fizz Mar 21 at 9:17

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