Letter from Chinese Communist Official to US Governor Raises Red Flags
‘Welcome to the Pandemic’
The Chinese government conducted an influence operation to push harsh lockdown measures in the United States early on in the Covid pandemic. A Chinese official recommended the measures to at least one U.S. governor, according to letters obtained by an investigative journalist.
Jessica Hockett, a Covid researcher, recently revealed a letter addressed to Governor J.B. Pritzker from Du Jiahao, a prominent Chinese Communist Party official and Chairman of the Standing Committee of Hunan Provincial People’s Congress.
“Recently, we have noticed that Covid-19 cases had emerged in the State of Illinois, and a State of Emergency was declared,” Jiahao’s letter reads.
“On this special occasion, on behalf of the Hunan Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People’s Government, and the 73 million Hunanese people, I would like to express my condolences and support to you and to friends in Illinois.”
“Public health security is a common challenge facing humankind. Under your leadership, Illinois is actively fighting the epidemic. I believe you will be able to overcome this challenge soon and minimize its impact. Recently, by effectively promoting various prevention and control measures, Hunan has strictly implemented the deployment and requirements of President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government, and has always put the people’s lives and health in the first place. The situation here continues to improve, and the recovery of economic and social order is accelerated. Hunan is willing to work together with Illinois by sharing our experience in epidemic prevention and strengthening relevant cooperation, and we will donate a batch of anti-epidemic materials to you.”
“In September, 2018, I led a delegation to visit Illinois, Hunan and Illinois have signed a Letter of Intent for Sister Province-State Relationship, and have well collaborated in the fields of agriculture, machinery manufacturing, environmental protection, education and culture. Hopefully with your support, the two sides can strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in more fields and at a deeper level, and work together for the benefìt of both peoples.”
“I sincerely wish the State of Illinois an early victory over the epidemic! I wish you and your friends in Illinois good health and good luck! We are with you!”
Hockett questioned on Twitter if every U.S. governor received such a supportive letter from a Chinese official in March 2020, or if it was only sent to the Governor of Illinois. Hockett remarked on her impression of the letters.
“Letters are dated March 13, 2020, but were sent as attachments in an email to the Governor chief of staff on March 16, 2020,” Hockett wrote. “Reads like a ‘Welcome to the Pandemic’ greeting, doesn’t it? Is this a video game?”
She shed more light on the correspondence, mentioning that the letters were dated March 13, 2020, but were emailed to the Governor’s chief of staff on March 16, 2020. There is also a Chinese language copy of the letter, according to Hockett.
Hockett expressed concerns over the nature and content of the letters, claiming that the implications could be problematic regardless of whether one, some, or all governors received similar correspondence.
The letter, addressed to “Governor Jay Robert Pritzker,” mentioned the emergence of Covid-19 cases in Illinois and the declaration of a state of emergency. Jiahao, on behalf of Hunan’s provincial party committee, government, and its 73 million residents, extended his condolences and support, while expressing his willingness to share Hunan’s experience in epidemic prevention and promising to donate a batch of anti-epidemic materials.
According to ChinaVitea.com, Jiahao, aged 68, is a long-standing member of the Communist Party of China and has served in various leadership positions.
Just a few weeks after receiving the letter, Pritzker was discovered to have covertly procured medical supplies from China, an act that was met with criticism from the Trump administration. According to Forbes, the Illinois governor reportedly spent over $1.7 million on flights bringing medical supplies from China in secret out of fear the Trump administration would seize the cargo for the federal stockpile. The masks purchased by the State of Illinois from China were recalled by several states soon afterwards, however.
Further controversy arose when the Pritzker Group, associated with the governor’s family, was found to be connected to two companies involved in Covid testing. As reported by Illinois Policy in May 2021, “Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s family investment firm, Pritzker Group, owns stakes in at least two companies creating COVID-19 tests, according to a news report.”
An exhaustive Johns Hopkins University comparative analysis found that strict lockdowns failed to significantly reduce Covid-related deaths.
“Lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe had little or no impact in reducing deaths from COVID-19, according to a new analysis by researchers at Johns Hopkins University,” the Washington Times reported. “The lockdowns during the early phase of the pandemic in 2020 reduced COVID-19 mortality by about 0.2%, said the broad review of multiple scientific studies.”
“We find no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality,” the researchers wrote.
Importantly, the Covid lockdowns and policy mandates were unprecedented in their scope for any global pandemic in world history. They caused a massive amount of economic damage and social division, but produced virtually insignificant net benefits for public health.
“Overall, we conclude that lockdowns are not an effective way of reducing mortality rates during a pandemic, at least not during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors conclude.
Hockett, a vocal critic of lockdowns, is the editor of Substack Woodhouse 76 and holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Virginia. Her Twitter account was suspended in mid-2022 for sharing content critical of public policies related to the pandemic response. The account has since been reinstated.
In February 2020, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned governors that they are being targeted by the Chinese government for influence operations.
Pompeo informed approximately 44 governors at the National Governors Association winter meeting that at least one Chinese government-affiliated think tank is carrying out individual assessments of them. These assessments determine their susceptibility and likelihood to collaborate with China. Furthermore, he cautioned the governors to be vigilant about everything, from business contracts to pension funds to the D.C. Metro system.
“They’ve labeled each of you friendly, hardline or ambiguous,” he said, describing the report. “I’ll let you decide where you think you belong. Someone in China already has. Many of you indeed, in the report are referenced by name.”
As reported by Newsweek in 2020, China relies on what Xi calls the country’s “magic weapon” to help carry out its program of influence and interference in the U.S.. This is the party’s “United Front” system, led by a Communist Party division called the United Front Work Department.
“Newsweek has identified the following types of organizations as affiliated with the United Front throughout the U.S.: at least 83 Chinese hometown associations for immigrants from the same place in China; 10 ‘Chinese Aid Centers;’ 32 Chambers of Commerce; 13 Chinese-language media brands; about half of the 70 associations for Chinese professionals in the U.S.; 38 organizations promoting the ‘peaceful reunification’ of China and Taiwan; five ‘friendship organizations’ and 129 other groups engaged in a range of activities such as education and culture,” the report noted. “In addition, there are 265 Chinese Student and Scholar Associations for the approximately 300,000 Chinese students in the U.S. These are connected to CPC politics, often via Chinese diplomats, usually the education secretary in a consulate.”
“Start digging, and the number of groups in the U.S. with ties to the United Front seem endless,” the report added.
(TLB) published this article from Becker News as compiled and written by Kyle Becker
Header featured image (edited) credit: Xi Jinping/org. BN article
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