In a new chapter to the growing US-China hostility, Chinese state media recently posted an animated video titled 'Once upon a virus' wherein it mocked the United State's response to COVID-19 pandemic and deflated its leadership. The video spread like wildfire on social media for its Lego-like figures trading barbs in animated voices. Now, the Danish toymaking company has issued a statement to distance the Lego brand from the controversial video.
The US-China relations have seen tense exchanges in the last two years, with the Western superpower waging a trade war on the Asian giant. However, the coronavirus pandemic has marked a new low in their diplomatic relations with continues war of words from both sides on Twitter. The Lego-like animated video was also shared on the official Twitter handle of the Chinese Embassy in France and has been viewed over a cumulative of 3.9 million times so far.
China: We discovered a new virus.— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) April 30, 2020
America: So what?
China: It's Dangerous
America: It's only a Flu
China: Wear a Mask
America: Don't wear a Mask
The video starts with red curtains opening to show a Lego-like Chinese terracotta warrior in blue medical mask informing about 'strange pneumonia cases' which are immediately acknowledged by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The masked terracotta warrior then informs that China has discovered a new virus, to which a Lego-like figure of the Statue of Liberty shows indifference, saying "it's only a flu".
The 1.46 minutes long video continues with both sides indulging in a war of words and ends with the US side tangled in contradictory statements. The video has been critised in the international media as 'Chinese propaganda' and is seen as China's attempt to vindicate itself of pandemic mishandling allegations. However, the Trump administration has reserved any comment on the animated video.
The Lego Group, for its part, has clarified in an email statement to international media that it has nothing to do with the video. As per reports, a Lego spokesperson said, "We weren't involved in making the animation in any way. As a toy company, we are focused on bringing play to children and families."
The novel coronavirus named COVID-19, which emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year, has spiralled out to infect over 3.5 million people worldwide.
With a total 3,559,593 positive cases of infection, more than 247,994 people have died and 2,158,685 people remain 'active'. The pandemic have affected over 200 countries, with the US continuing to be the worst affect nation with a total of 1,185,285 positive cases and 68,507 deaths according to the Worldometer website.