Controversial Washington Post columnist Taylor Lorenz raised eyebrows over the weekend when she defended the Chinese Communist Party's zero-COVID policy while slamming her employer's reporting on the subject.
The Washington Post on Saturday tweeted an article about China's record number of coronavirus cases in the country.
"'A coronavirus outbreak on the verge of being China's biggest of the pandemic has exposed a critical flaw in Beijing's 'zero Covid' strategy: a vast population without natural immunity,' the tweet said.
The article seemingly hit a nerve for Lorenz, who responded with an extended Twitter rant praising China's authoritarian COVID lockdowns and accusing the U.S. of killing "millions of vulnerable people" by reopening the country.
"There is no lasting 'natural immunity' to COVID," she wrote. "You can get covid over and over and over again bc there are so many endlessly evolving strains and antibodies wane. Also, choosing not to kill off millions of vulnerable people (as the US is doing) isn't a 'critical flaw',' the internet culture reporter argued.
After facing backlash online, Lorenz issued a follow-up tweet claiming that the article contained "a lot more nuance btw."
"The original article linked is mostly about vaccines and gets into a lot more nuance btw, but I wanted to clear things up for people who may simply skim a tweet. Stay safe out there," she wrote. "And btw agreeing with forecast, large scale permanent disabilities ≠ blanket agreement with anyone's policies. So please stop saying I’ve endorsed policies I’ve absolutely never spoken about much less endorsed!"
In October, Lorenz retweeted a clip of a Chinese business consultant justifying the country's zero COVID lockdowns by claiming that the West will be destroyed in 10 years when long-Covid cripples the U.S. workforce.
"Tbh he’s right," Lorenz responded at the time. "Millions of ppl in the western world are becoming permanently disabled/chronically ill w/ an incurable condition that destroys ur ability to live a normal life and our leaders and majority of the media are simply ignoring it and misleading ppl abt the risk."
Lorenz' CCP praise comes as Chinese protesters spent the weekend clashing with police over the Draconian COVID policies as infections continue to surge in the country. The zero-COVID policy has caused tens of thousands of people to be relocated to camps after testing positive and includes severe lockdown measures, going so far as to weld some people's doors shut. Widespread protests are rare in China's repressive political environment, and police have been cracking down harshly on students and workers demonstrate.
The policy has been blamed for causing several tragedies across China, including the death of a 4-month-old baby and a fire in an apartment complex that killed 10 residents, according to official death tolls.
Lorenz's tweets ignited a firestorm online, with users calling her support of the CCP "sickening" while pointing out China's human rights violations. Lorenz's original Twitter settings did not allow users to respond directly to her post unless they are followed by her, but outraged users reshared her posts while criticizing her message.
"'Sickening. Washington Post 'journalist' and obsessive Covid maximalist Taylor Lorenz is now full-on defending the Chinese Communist Party's massive human rights violations… just days after civilians burned to death in a locked-down apartment block in Urumqi,' Christian Pushaw, aide to Gov. Ron DeSantis, wrote.
"Taylor Lorenz is to China as Walter Duranty was to Ukraine under Soviet occupation," she later added. "The legacy media has been and remains complicit in the greatest evils known to humankind."
"Lorenz just out here cheerleading China's welding people in their apartments lockdown zero covid policy and it's all good I guess," Spectator USA contributor Stephen L. Miller wrote.
"Taylor Lorenz with another bad China take," Lincoln Network senior fellow Geoffrey Cain responded.
National Review reporter Jimmy Quin said Lorenz's take "ought to be disqualifying."
"So WaPo’s tech columnist is counter-programming China’s mass demonstrations against the brutal zero-Covid policy with this comment seeming to back the logic behind Beijing’s approach," he wrote.
In a later tweet, Lorenz said her comment was not intended as an endorsement of zero-COVID but that she was agreeing with predictions of "permanent long-term disabilities" that will cripple the U.S. workforce.
Quinn responded that even "if, as she says here, her comment wasn’t meant to be an endorsement of the zero-Covid policy, it’s the wrong emphasis right now," he wrote, "and it ought to be disqualifying."
Fox News' Peter Aitken contributed to this report.