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    Storm in a Teacup: TCM Remedy Claimed to Cure COVID-19 Sparks Furor

    State media reports triggered a rush to buy the traditional medicine Shuanghuanglian. Then came the pushback.

    Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, which has killed more than 1,300 people in China as of Feb. 14, rumors about possible cures for the disease have run rampant online. So when two prestigious Chinese medical institutes reported that the traditional remedy Shuanghuanglian could “inhibit” the coronavirus, it triggered a buying frenzy. The product sold out on e-commerce platforms within minutes, and even versions of the medicine designed for use on animals became scarce.

    But it wasn’t long before experts and netizens started questioning the report’s claims. The next day, the institutes and state media outlets that had touted the remedy’s effectiveness issued clarifications, making it clear that Shuanghuanglian couldn’t cure COVID-19.

    In this video, Sixth Tone explores how “Shuanghuanglian-gate” came about, and how the story gathered so much momentum.

    Editor: Dominic Morgan.

    (Header image: Fu Xiaofan/Sixth Tone)