Tom Cotton rips NY Times for Chinese scientist op-ed criticizing US coronavirus response

Tom Cotton rips NY Times for Chinese scientist op-ed criticizing US coronavirus response
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOvernight Defense: Biden administration expands Afghan refugee program | Culture war comes for female draft registration | US launches third Somalia strike in recent weeks Up next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft Chuck Todd is dead wrong: Liberal bias defines modern journalism MORE (R-Ark.) on Wednesday ripped The New York Times for publishing an op-ed penned by a Chinese molecular neurobiologist that criticizes the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The New York Times: Explicit Chinese propaganda: no problem,” Cotton tweeted to his more than 129,000 followers. “Op-ed from a Republican Senator supported by most Americans: Fire the editor!”


Cotton was responding to the Times publishing of an op-ed by Chinese scientist Yi Rao, who wrote that while his relatives in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic originated, survived, his uncle living in New York did not.

The Arkansas senator was also making reference to a situation that occurred last month regarding an op-ed he wrote for the Times advocating the deployment of the military to U.S. cities in order to help control violent protests.

The piece garnered severe public backlash from other writers at The New York Times and op-ed editor Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetLawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals How Sen. Graham can help fix the labor shortage with commonsense immigration reform For true American prosperity, make the child tax credit permanent MORE resigned from the publication.

Publisher A. G. Sulzberger cited “a significant breakdown in our editing processes” that prompted Bennet's exit on June 7.


In the July 22 piece, Rao argued that the U.S. had ample time to learn from China's "experience" in handling the outbreak and that his uncle's life should have been saved.

“The United States had two months or more to learn from China’s experience with this coronavirus,” Rao wrote, “and it could have done much more to lower infection rates and fatalities."

“My father is struggling to accept his brother’s death partly, too, because he believes that he could have treated Uncle Eric — that in China Uncle Eric would have been saved.”

New York quickly became the epicenter of COVID-19 in the U.S., accounting for more than 32,000 deaths, including more than 22,800 deaths in New York City.

The overall death toll in the U.S. climbed past 143,000 on Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.