With a new cluster of cases prompting school closures and Hong Kong, and a team of “independent” WHO investigators beginning their inquiry into the earliest days of the outbreak, is it any surprise that the Beijing propaganda machine is pumping out stories about new and even more deadly pathogens emerging outside China’s borders?

On Thursday, the Global Times reported that a new form of pneumonia had been discovered in Kazakhstan that is even more deadly than SARS-CoV-2. The report was couched in the form of a “travel warning” issued by Beijing’s embassy in Astana (yes, we know that’s no longer the city’s official name).

According to the report, this new disease, which is of unknown origin, had a “much higher” fatality rate than COVID-19, which has infected more than 50,000 people in the country.

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