Serious concerns were sparked recently after reports that Marine security guards at the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai were running out of food following the country’s latest coronavirus lockdown.
A consulate employee was seen posting on a private WeChat platform Tuesday, asking for spare food for the seven U.S. Marines there, according to a recent report by Reuters.
“Marines have depleted their food and can no longer get delivery,” the employee allegedly told fellow consulate colleagues living in Shanghai. “I know we are all running short on supplies. If you can spare a meal’s worth or two for 7 extra mouths, they’d be very appreciative.”
But while the Marines’ alleged pleas were answered and they were “beyond grateful,” another consulate staff member reported online, a Marine official told Marine Corps Times that although the intentions of the employees were good, the situation ultimately was misrepresented.
“The Marines have two weeks worth of MREs and water, commercial non-perishable goods, and eggs and perishable items,” the official said, “The Marines are fine.”
The official’s comments were also later confirmed by an official statement from a State Department spokesperson.
“The MSGs have been and continue to be supported and adequately provided for by Post and State,” the spokesperson said. “There are no confirmed reports of shortages.”
The latest coronavirus lockdown in Shanghai has been the source of serious controversy worldwide, as one of the more strict guidelines stipulates that infected children will be separated from uninfected parents.
The policy also is responsible for forcing nearly all of its 26 million residents to stay home, meaning that food delivery services and shopping are almost entirely impossible.
A statement from the U.S. Mission to China, however, says that despite the severity of the lockdown, all U.S. citizens are being looked after appropriately.
“The United States has no higher priority than the safety, health, and well-being of American citizens overseas,” the statement read. “We are actively working with and assisting our citizens experiencing disruptions related to recent COVID-19 outbreaks in China, particularly in the areas of Shanghai and Jilin. This includes additional U.S. staffing throughout China, including the Embassy in Beijing and our Consulates General in Shanghai, Shenyang, Guangzhou, and Wuhan, to support American citizens.
“The People’s Republic of China (PRC) authorities have expanded COVID-19 prevention and control measures as outbreaks occur. Ambassador Burns and other Mission officials are raising our concerns on some of these issues directly with PRC officials.”
Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran, Penn State alumna and Master's candidate at New York University for Business and Economic Reporting.