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Sep 30, 2020 Article
China and the battle to win the scientific narrative about the origin of COVID-19

by Daniel Lemus-Delgado

The emergence of COVID-19 represented a critical problem for the legitimacy and prestige of the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese authorities had to fight not only to contain the spread of the virus but also to create a favorable public opinion about how they managed the crisis. Based on Foucault's approach to the “Regime of Truth”, this article analyzes the narrative surrounding the origin of the virus and how science was employed to lend it legitimacy. The article concludes by reviewing how the idea of science as a truth knowledge is used to construct a particular viewpoint, one focused on legitimizing the outbreak containment measures taken by the Chinese government.

Volume 19 • Issue 05 • 2020 • Special Issue: COVID-19 and science communication, Part I, 2020