On Monday, Chinese state media arrived at a Los Angeles high school to photograph and distribute images of pupils receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.
Several children receiving vaccinations at Woodrow Wilson High School during the introduction of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s first mobile vaccination clinic were photographed by China’s official news agency Xinhua. Officials say teams would eventually visit every middle and high school campus in the district to give eligible kids and employees their first and second Pfizer doses. Children aged 12 to 15 must be accompanied by an adult, while those aged 16 and 17 must sign a consent form. The LAUSD, America’s second-largest public school system, has over 600,000 students enrolled.
On Xinhua’s verified Twitter account, One of the images shows an LAUSD student who was posted in support of a story claiming that the US study on COVID-19’s origins is “ironic and politicized,” according to a Chinese analyst. The account is labeled as “China state-affiliated media” on the social media platform.
In the linked story, the adolescent’s picture was also included.
The photo caption reads, “A student receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Woodrow Wilson Senior High School in Los Angeles, California, the United States, on Aug. 30, 2021.”
Xinhua’s American division registered as a foreign agent in May, three years after Trump’s Justice Department ordered the outlet to do so. “The media organ is owned by the Chinese government, run by senior Communist Party officials, and widely recognized as a Beijing mouthpiece,” Axios wrote at the time. The filing, according to Axios, “disclosed $8.6 million in payments from Xinhua’s Chinese parent to its U.S. subsidiary since March 2020, including payments directly to bureaus in Washington, Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, and Chicago.”
The Axios report said, “Thanks largely to its stable of propaganda operations, China is now the top spender on foreign influence operations in the U.S.”
Xinhua’s pictures from Monday are available for licensing through Getty Images, which describes itself as “the largest global distribution network” for premium visual content in the industry. Along with numerous legacy and alternative news outlets, The Daily Wire is a subscriber to the service but has a policy against publishing state-run media images without disclaimers.
LAUSD announced a new mandate earlier this month requiring all teachers and staffers to be fully vaccinated by October 15 as a “condition of continued employment/service.”
On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the teachers union had demanded mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all eligible students but noted that “there is no indication” the district would go along with the request.
LAUSD’s coronavirus protocols are widely considered among the strictest in the country. As The Daily Wire previously reported, officials informed parents of a new policy in July requiring every student, teacher, and staffer returning to campus to take part in weekly testing, regardless of vaccination status. There are also indoor and outdoor mask mandates in place on campuses.