The U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau confirmed yesterday (15) that two employees had tested positive for the Chinese Communist Party virus, but were smear by Chinese media claiming that consular staff had refused quarantine arrangements on the grounds of diplomatic immunity. The U.S. consulate issued a rebuttal to the reports on Tuesday (16), criticizing the media for releasing false information that was inaccurate.
Hong Kong on Tuesday added 18 new confirmed cases of the Chinese Communist virus, including staff of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau. One of the cases of unknown origin is a 41-year-old female employee of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau, who was found during a forced inspection at the siege of the Imperial Garden on Old Peak Road a few days ago. She has no signs of illness, the last day of work last Friday, the same consulate work in the 40-year-old husband also confirmed the diagnosis, as a case of concern. The two couples have been admitted to hospital for treatment, two children were also admitted to the hospital quarantine, of which the daughter was initially confirmed, living with another person sent to quarantine.
After yesterday’s news that two employees of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong had been preliminarily diagnosed, Chinese communist mouthpieces used the news to make a big deal out of it. The first is the online media “dot news”, owned by the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government, which suddenly claimed to have an “exclusive” report at noon on Monday, saying that the two preliminary confirmed cases found in the Central and Western District’s Royal Garden were staff of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau. The two men refused to accept the quarantine arrangement on the grounds of diplomatic immunity, and are still roaming the community and returning to the U.S. Consulate as usual, posing a huge risk to the prevention and fight against the Epidemic.
A number of pro-establishment political parties, including the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) and the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), then held a press conference at noon on the same day and protested at the U.S. Consulate.
The Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece “Wen Wei Po” reported on Tuesday with the headline “U.S. Consulate’s infected couple refused to be quarantined”, saying that “sources said the U.S. Consulate’s infected couple had refused to be quarantined on the grounds of diplomatic immunity”.
The U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong posted a high-profile rebuttal to the report via Facebook on Tuesday morning. The post said the Chinese Communist Party-controlled media was conducting a “disinformation campaign” about the two people diagnosed at the consulate, criticizing the report as false: “We reject these efforts to spread disinformation on important public health issues. These efforts to spread disinformation about a critical public health issue”.
The statement emphasized that the Hong Kong government issued a press release late Monday night stating: “The U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong has been cooperating fully with the government’s efforts to prevent and combat the epidemic. After learning that the two initially diagnosed persons were working at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, the government has immediately contacted the consulate, and the Center for Health Protection has also contacted the relevant persons and arranged for their hospitalization for isolation and treatment in accordance with the mechanism.”
Chief Executive Carrie Lam responded at a meeting on Tuesday morning that the quarantine measures were carried out in strict accordance with the law, regardless of nationality and status, and were treated equally. As for some concerns about the arrangements for the children of the staff concerned, she stressed that the discretion to allow young children do not need to enter the quarantine camp is not specifically for the consulate staff.