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Taylor Lorenz defending China lockdowns latest instance of media shielding communist regime

Washington Post columnist Taylor Lorenz recently defended the Chinese Communist Party’s “zero-COVID” lockdown policy, adding herself to the list of left-leaning media figures who have downplayed China’s human rights abuses and touted its coronavirus response as a success. 

On Saturday, Lorenz angrily responded to a Washington Post article, slamming her own employer after it tweeted out an article critical of China’s “zero COVID” policies. 

“A coronavirus outbreak on the verge of being China’s biggest of the pandemic has exposed a critical flaw in Beijing’s ‘zero Covid’ strategy: a vast population without natural immunity,’ the tweet said. 

Lorenz’s Twitter rant praised China’s authoritarian COVID lockdowns and accused the U.S. of killing “millions of vulnerable people” by reopening the country.

“There is no lasting ‘natural immunity’ to COVID,” she wrote. “You can get covid over and over and over again bc there are so many endlessly evolving strains and antibodies wane. Also, choosing not to kill off millions of vulnerable people (as the US is doing) isn’t a ‘critical flaw’.”


Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz is regularly criticized online.

Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz is regularly criticized online.
(Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images) | CNBC Television/YouTube/Screenshot)

After receiving widespread social media backlash, Lorenz accused critics of putting words in her mouth by claiming that she had endorsed policies she’s “absolutely never spoken about.” She also asserted that her commentary included significantly more nuance than her detractors had portrayed.

Lorenz is no stranger to controversy and hasn’t been shy about attacking her own employer, having also publicly criticized her own editor for errors in a story about YouTubers and the Depp-Heard civil trial. A Washington Post insider told Fox News Digital they weren’t sure “how she gets away with it.”

“Some colleagues were startled by it—not necessarily disagreeing with the opinion (though maybe that, too), but more so that she would say that publicly. I don’t understand how she gets away with it, but apparently she does. I’m unaware of any internal discipline against her,” the insider said. 

Lorenz’s comments about China’s coronavirus policies are part of a larger trend in journalism that has seen media personalities point to the communist regime as a government at the forefront of COVID mitigation. Such reports have frequently skirted key details about the human cost of such sweeping measures.  

In January 2021, The New York Times was lambasted for publishing a story that praised China, calling it one of the “safest places in the world” for their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Times reporter Li Yuan penned the story headlined, “In a Topsy-Turvy Pandemic World, China Offers Its Version of Freedom,” which criticized the U.S. response to the pandemic, touted China’s economic growth, and spoke positively about China’s “freedom to move around.”

“The pandemic has upended many perceptions, including ideas about freedom. Citizens of China don’t have freedom of speech, freedom of worship or freedom from fear — three of the four freedoms articulated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt — but they have the freedom to move around and lead a normal day-to-day life. In a pandemic year, many of the world’s people would envy this most basic form of freedom,” Yuan wrote.


Lockdown enforcers in China were arrested after being seen beating civilians.

Lockdown enforcers in China were arrested after being seen beating civilians.
(Viral Press)

Several articles from American media outlets were used by prominent Chinese official Zhao Ligian to promote propaganda from Beijing. 

Zhao tweeted or in some cases retweeted stories from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CBS News, and USA Today, which labeled former President Donald Trump’s comments about the pandemic “xenophobic,” and often painted a dire picture of the U.S. COVID response.

On-air personalities ripped into Trump for calling it the “Wuhan virus,” or the “China virus,” despite previously using similar terminology to describe the virus in the past. Some critics were concerned that the phrases could spark hate crimes against Asian Americans, but others took it a step further, urging Americans to avoid referencing where the virus originated. 

“We need to stop calling it or labeling it like its they did it us. Mother nature really did this to us,” “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg said in March 2020. 

Numerous outlets also claimed that the coronavirus lab leak theory in Wuhan was a “debunked” “conspiracy theory,” including the Post, even though no final determination about the origins of the virus have been made.  


The Post revised a February 2020 report, 15 months later, which had the headline, “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked.”

The headline was changed to “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus fringe theory that scientists have disputed.”

On two separate occasions, CNN host Fareed Zakaria painted a glowing portrait of China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. In one instance, he claimed that China had “essentially vanquished” the virus without a vaccine. During another segment, he said that Trump and other officials were pushing a “conspiracy theory” with lab leak discussions, comparing it to a theory that HIV was invented in CIA labs. 

Last December, Bloomberg Politics suggested that China was “vindicated” for its approach to containing COVID-19 after the discovery of the new omicron variant. 

“The emergence of a new coronavirus variant has provided some vindication for China’s Covid Zero approach, which has kept strict border controls in place since the start of the pandemic,” the account tweeted at the time. 


Protesters hold up white paper, some with writings commemorating the Nov 24 deadly Urumqi fire, during a gathering at the University of Hong Kong, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022.

Protesters hold up white paper, some with writings commemorating the Nov 24 deadly Urumqi fire, during a gathering at the University of Hong Kong, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022.
(AP Photo/Bertha Wang)

In one contentious back and forth, CNN’s Brianna Keilar quickly ended an interview with then-Trump administration official Peter Navarro when he said the U.S. was “dealt a bad hand” by China, calling his comments a “waste of time.”

Chinese protesters are clashing with police across the country as outrage against the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian policies grows.

China’s COVID-19 authorities have relocated tens of thousands of people to camps after testing positive and imposed draconian lockdown measures, going so far as to weld some people’s doors shut. Widespread protests are rare in China’s repressive political environment, and police are cracking down harshly on students and workers who dare to demonstrate.


Protests erupted in part due to a fire at an apartment building in China’s Xinjiang region that killed 10 people and injured several more. Citizens were outraged after reports suggested that COVID-19 lockdown measures had prevented first responders from stopping the blaze faster.

Fox News’ Yael Halon and Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.