Sen. Tom Cotton blasts New York Times for publishing 'explicit Chinese propaganda'

The senator juxtaposed the Times' publication of a recent opinion piece with the uproar over his own op-ed that resulted in an editor's resignation.

Updated: July 24, 2020 - 8:42am

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Senator Tom Cotton on Wednesday blasted the New York Times, accusing the news outlet of publishing communist Chinese propaganda.

The Arkansas Republican called out the news organization over an opinion piece in which molecular neurobiologist Dr. Yi Rao criticized America's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

In his tweet, Cotton juxtaposed the Times' publication of the piece with the uproar over his own op-ed that eventually lead to the resignation of editorial page editor James Bennet.

"The New York Times: Explicit Chinese propaganda: no problem. Op-ed from a Republican Senator supported by most Americans: Fire the editor!" Cotton tweeted.

Rao in his opinion piece harshly criticized the United States, and explained that while he had once become an American citizen, he later renounced his American citizenship.

"I completed the process in 2011 — a decision that has been validated since by the advent of President Trump and Trumpism, which are a natural expansion of what was put in motion after 9/11," Rao wrote.

Rao noted that he became a U.S. citizen in 2000, and his children were born in America.

"But then 9/11 happened, and this axis of evil emerged: Dick Cheney (vice president); Paul Wolfowitz (deputy secretary of defense); David Addington (counsel to the vice president); John Yoo (Justice Department lawyer and author of the 'Torture Memos')," he wrote. "These men were ready to do anything to advance their agenda, imposing their own law — meaning, really, no proper laws and no rule of law — in Iraq, at Guantánamo and elsewhere. And too many Americans went along. That period proved to me that America was not the democratic beacon many of us had thought it to be."

Rao noted that his uncle, an American citizen, died in New York after contracting coronavirus.

"Our family has 12 members in Wuhan, mostly on my mother’s side, and six in New York, mostly on my father’s side. All my relatives in Wuhan are safe. Uncle Eric died in New York after the pandemic had moved to the United States — the world’s strongest country militarily, the richest economically and the most advanced medically," Rao wrote. 

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

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