An event organised by the National Association of Black Journalists on coronavirus ‘misinformation’ was cancelled after it was pointed out that the biggest sponsor was the Chinese technology company Huawei, which has extensive ties to the communist Chinese government.
The ‘webinar’ event, titled “The Rise of Misinformation”, was scheduled to feature such virus expert luminaries as CNN commentator Van Jones and pop star will.i.am, but was scrapped by NABJ, with the organisation saying it had “become a distraction from other priorities.”
NABJ claimed that Huawei had no ‘editorial control’ over the event, but outsiders had charged that having the company as a sponsor was a bizarrely poor decision.
“And isn’t Huawei working alongside the Chinese government in Xinjiang to persecute the Uighur minority group?” the report continued, pointing out that the cancelled event was aimed at specifically highlighting the effect of coronavirus on minority groups.
After it was cancelled, CNN’s Van Jones quickly claimed that he had been planning to back out of the event regardless:
I accepted invite to participate in NABJ webinar, warning black community about #COVID misinformation. I said “yes” without knowing sponsor. Glad NABJ canceled; I wouldn’t have participated. I’ll keep raising alarm about pandemic’s impact on vulnerable people. #StaySafe #StayHome https://t.co/CtIodwQfzZ
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) May 12, 2020
The description of the event claimed that ‘misinformation’ about coronavirus is hitting minority groups the hardest.
“Since the 2016 general election, Americans have faced an endless barrage of misinformation designed to undermine democratic values and sow social division among various communities,” the description read.
“Now in the face of a global pandemic, the misinformation tide continues to rise, hitting African Americans, as well as Asian, Hispanic, rural, and lower-income Americans particularly hard,” it continued.
Huawei is the biggest telecom company in the world, but is thought to be almost wholly controlled by the communist government in China. As a result, the US government has banned much of the company’s new 5G technology over concerns that it could be used for espionage purposes against America.