CDT has recently acquired and verified a collection of propaganda directives issued by central Party authorities to state media at the beginning of this year. These directives were issued on an almost daily basis in early 2020, and we will be posting them over the coming weeks. The following directive was released on February 16, 2020.
1. Reports on plasma donation by cured coronavirus patients must progress in accordance with unified arrangements by the provincial health bureau, and informed consent must be given in advance to prevent a bad reaction or conflict.
2. Some localities are implementing control measures for people returning from other places in an oversimplified, dogmatic way. You must be sure to properly downplay such instances to prevent regional discrimination or resentment.
3. Cautiously ensure the strength and point-of-view taken in reports on donations from disadvantaged social groups, medical professionals giving up looking after their families, etc. to prevent exaggerating sadness and stirring up emotion. (February 15, 2020) [Chinese]
These directives were part of a stream of censorship orders controlling coverage of various aspects of the coronavirus outbreak. On February 15, the Chinese government called on recovered coronavirus patients to donate their plasma for coronavirus research and treatments. At the time, Wuhan and other cities were still on lockdown, and travel between cities was tightly controlled. Several other recent directives also covered donations made during the COVID crisis.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. Some instructions are issued by local authorities or to specific sectors, and may not apply universally across China. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth since 2011.