During the epidemic, Bai Yansong, a part-time vice president of the Red Cross Society of China, was also questioned by netizens for some time due to the disturbance of Hubei Red Cross Society and Wuhan Red Cross Society.
At this years two sessions, Bai Yansong, member of the National Committee of the Chinese peoples Political Consultative Conference, brought a proposal to accelerate the reform of the emergency response mechanism of public charity organizations in major emergencies. We dont talk about netizens scolding. We have to talk about where the problem is and how to carry out relevant reforms. On May 19, Bai Yansong said in an exclusive interview with reporters of the Beijing News.
In response to the query, he said, part-time jobs have no grades, no desks, no salary, and money to go in.. I wont take anything from the Red Cross except to be scolded.
When it comes to what we should learn from this epidemic, Bai Yansong said, it is very important for government decision makers to listen to experts opinions when making decisions and let professional people do professional things.
On performance proposal
We should attach great importance to the emergency response of charities in major emergencies, because it is public opinion and public opinion
Beijing News: what topics do you focus on in the two sessions this year?
Bai Yansong: pay attention to the reform of public charities. I have been dealing with charitable organizations for nearly 30 years since the hope project. In the past decade, since the Guo Meimei incident, everyone has paid attention to the Red Cross Society of China. At the beginning of this years epidemic, we focused on public welfare charities, and many netizens were scolding. We dont talk about netizens scolding, but we must talk about where the problem is and how to carry out relevant reforms.
Beijing News: what are the problems?
Bai Yansong: there are many problems, not only those scolded by netizens. For a simple example, social organizations for public welfare and charity have the meaning of small horse pulling big car in major emergencies. Although it has insufficient capacity and needs to be improved rapidly, it is more that in the whole major emergency, the response mechanism of public charity is not smooth and has problems, so corresponding reform must be carried out.
If you think about it, Hubei Red Cross Society and Wuhan Red Cross Society add up to just over 30 people. In the face of the flood of money, you take a gun behind you and press it on your back. If you dont do well, you will be killed. I think the final result is all dead. This is a very simple truth.
Up to now, Wuhan Red Cross and Hubei red cross cant hold any press conferences. I remember interviewing Ma Guoqiang, then Secretary of the CPC Wuhan Municipal Committee, at the end of January. He specifically asked whether the Red Cross society could hold a press conference once every three days. He was very straightforward in his reply, but when he came and went to push forward later, no one agreed. At last, he didnt know.
Beijing News: that is to say, charities are also vulnerable groups?
Bai Yansong: in fact, in the process of emergency response, charities are vulnerable groups. You cant talk at all. Joint meetings are all held on the side of a stool. They attend the meetings but are not valued.
The first item of my proposal is that governments at all levels should attach great importance to the emergency response of charities in major emergencies. Because it is public opinion, public opinion, on the surface is to destroy the credibility of the Red Cross Society, but behind it is the credibility of the government.
Charities usually have good coping ability, but in the face of such a major emergency, it is difficult for human beings to do everything well with ten times the effort. For major emergencies closely related to peoples love, we must increase their transparency and hold a press conference every day for interpretation.
But transparency must be solved by mechanism, not by mouth. The mechanism determines the empowerment and gives them this power. It stipulates that the initial press conference will be held once a day and three days in the middle of the epidemic. If you raise any questions, trust will be established.
On the public supervision of the Red Cross Society
When scolded, if you frown and pretend that nothing has happened, you will continue to be scolded next time
Beijing News: what do you think of the publics attention to the Red Cross Society during the outbreak?
Bai Yansong: any charity must face the supervision of the public, which is what we have been promoting for so many years. There are many things that you dont understand, so we need to increase transparency through reform so that you can understand them.
Beijing News: during the outbreak, many people talked about your identity as the vice president of China Red Cross Society.
Bai Yansong: at the beginning, some people scolded me, saying that I was the vice president of the Red Cross Society and had power, saying how much money I had taken from the Red Cross Society. In fact, its not like everyone scolded.
Last September, I became a part-time vice president of the Chinese Red Cross Society. At that time, the official website released information that many people didnt know, but it was open information. Part time jobs have no grades, no desks, no salary, and money to go in. I wont take anything from the Red Cross except to be scolded.
Screenshot of the official website of China Red Cross Society
Beijing News: what do you think of this kind of swearing?
Bai Yansong: some people call for reform. There are many misunderstandings and emotions in the swearing, which will not bring progress.
Nine years ago, the joint investigation team came to the conclusion that Guo Meimei had nothing to do with the Red Cross Society of China, but people still questioned it. In fact, non-governmental public welfare institutions are most restricted. From Party discipline and national law to audit and charity related laws and regulations, they must be transparent and open to the society. Which one can avoid?
If the ability is not enough, you need to improve the ability quickly, but it is not appropriate for you to let it carry the black pot. A lot of people advised me to stop talking about it, Lao Bai, and then someone scolded you. Is it a lot of things in life that people scold you for not doing and protecting yourself?
Some people scold may also be a kind of love. But when you have the space and ideas to think, you can do it. Its not known how much it can play, but at least its a kind of promotion.
Beijing News: so you have a part-time job as vice president of the Chinese Red Cross Society. In fact, you have a lot of work to promote reform.
Bai Yansong: I sometimes joke that Im also a rebel, and Im undercover.. I understand the meaning of part-time and supervision. Otherwise, why do you choose to let the media do this? I dont have any interest relationship with the Red Cross Society. As an official, I wrote it in my book more than ten years ago. The answer is absolutely impossible to be an official.
I am also vice president of volunteer association and vice president of host association. In the past, I may have been a part-time job. The voice of this outbreak is that I need to do more to promote reform. There are many misunderstandings and misunderstandings that we dont understand. We need you to do more work to eliminate them slowly.
In addition, there is no leadership authority between the part-time China Red Cross Society and the local Red Cross Society, only the authority of business guidance. The leadership and personnel rights of the local Red Cross Society belong to the local management. We can only provide business guidance. One glory is not all glory, but all harm. A lot of public opinions about the Red Cross Society are caused by the poor mechanism.
We need to tell you that we need to use proposals, daily lectures and other ways to promote reform, so that more than 20000 Red Cross workers at all levels and millions of volunteers across the country can stand up and do what we expect. When scolded, if you frown and pretend that everything has not happened, you will continue to be scolded next time.
Beijing News: will you feel aggrieved?
Bai Yansong: it doesnt matter whether there are misunderstandings or grievances. We have to change them into the driving force of reform. Let charity not only play a role in daily life, but also in major emergencies.
On the publicity of epidemic information
A lot ahead of time, but think about what would happen if you were a little faster and a little earlier?
Beijing News: novel coronavirus pneumonia reported 17 years ago, and you participated in the SARS report. How do you evaluate the government information disclosure in this epidemic?
Bai Yansong: compared with SARS 17 years ago, the epidemic is much more serious and far more widespread. In the future, when mankind looks back on history, it will be a major setback, injury and disaster. This is true for China and the rest of the world.
When SARS happened in 2003, the government had many problems in information disclosure. 17 years ago, my column was the first one in the central media to continuously report the epidemic. In February of that year, three consecutive issues of time and space connection were made, and the title of the third issue was government information disclosure. SARS brought a lot of warnings and lessons. At the end of that year, the new office of the State Council held a training course for spokesmen in Huangpu, which opened the system of government spokesmen.
The official information disclosure of SARS began on April 20, 2003. Zhang Wenkang, then Minister of health, and Meng Xuenong, then mayor of Beijing, were removed from their posts, alerting all officials to the outbreak. From that day on, Deng Haihua and Mao Qunan, two spokesmen of the Ministry of health, began to broadcast the epidemic data to the whole country at 4 p.m. every day. This is a live broadcast of the landmark event of government information disclosure.
After all, the Chinese people have learned from their mistakes. After the outbreak of the new crown, news 1 + 1 connected a member of the expert group on January 15 this year. He said in the program that there are limited human to human transmission, but it is not sure whether it will last.. On the evening of the 20th, academician Zhong Nanshan told all Chinese people in the way of live broadcast that human to human transmission and doctors have also been infected, it is better not to go to Wuhan, and individuals should wear masks. This January 20th and April 20th, 17 years ago, are three months ahead of schedule. The two outbreaks started in December of the first year without much difference. Of course, we still need to trace the source of the virus.
The virus is cunning and has a wide range of impacts. We can imagine what the consequences would be if the announcement was delayed for some time this year, as it was 17 years ago? Can we afford such a shock? From this point of view alone, the information disclosure of the epidemic has been advanced a lot.
Beijing News: what else do you think needs to be improved for information disclosure?
Bai Yansong: as a media person, we always hope that information disclosure can be faster and earlier. We cant say its OK compared to 17 years ago. But think about what happens if you get faster and earlier? The epidemic is spreading all over the world. Some people will say that you are not handing knives to foreigners? No, Im giving our future a scalpel. Curettage can make our body healthier.
Information chart: photo taken by Tao Ran, reporter of Beijing News, at the national two sessions by Bai Yansong in March last year
On the Enlightenment of epidemic situation
Let professional people do professional things, which is the most valuable
Beijing News: compared with 17 years ago, whats your biggest feeling?
Bai Yansong: 17 years ago, almost no one experienced the disaster in the field of public health. But this time, the first question I asked Zhong Lao on the night of January 20 is what kind of virus is this time? Whats different from SARS? After 17 years, you have a reference system to compare with the experience, lessons and dangers accumulated 17 years ago.
In the past 17 years, I have worked as a health advocate in the health system for 15 years, always dealing with Zhong Nanshan, Wang Chen and others in the disease control system. It also stems from the stimulation of SARS. For individuals and countries, health is 1. The more 0 is behind 1, the more valuable it is. If there is a problem with the 1 in the front, the 0 in the back is zero no matter how many zeros there are. In the past 15 years, we have learned more about and judged health and infectious diseases, and made programs more professional.
Beijing News: what do you think we should learn from this epidemic?
Bai Yansong: let professional people do professional things, which is the most valuable. On January 20, academician Zhong Nanshan, on behalf of the expert group, told the Chinese that the virus would spread from person to person, which became a kind of national mobilization. Everyone began to take precautions, and everyones life and travel were affected. Academician Li Lanjuan put forward that Wuhan should be closed and it will be implemented on January 23. When Academician Wang Chen arrived in Wuhan, he saw that many suspected cases and patients with mild illness did not achieve the goal of full collection of receivables. He proposed to build a shelter hospital. Two days later, the shelter hospital began to accept patients. Its all about letting professional people do professional things.
It is very important for the government to listen to the opinions of experts when making decisions. Because the right decision is too important for what we are going to do. At present, there is a lack of think tank experts who can make scientific research and judgment on the overall situation of the world in various fields, thus affecting our decision-making.
China should be worthy of the status of a great power. Not only in the field of health, but also in the future, I hope there will be more experts like Zhong Nanshan, Li Lanjuan and Wang Chen. If anything happens, we know who to look up to, ask and listen to.
Beijing News: sometimes professionals may misjudge. What should we do?
Bai Yansong: the width of speech for experts involves where China is going. If China wants to go to a more open and enlightened place, there may be some twists and turns in the middle, but the general direction must be this.
In the face of this epidemic, dont we need to respond with more enlightened reform attitude? At such a high price, I think we should have a positive response.
There are many voices in the world saying that China should pay attention to but not too much. The most important thing for us is to do our own work well. If we do our own thing well and make continuous progress, which is beneficial to other countries, and become a community of shared future for mankind and a promoter of core human values, who will be disconnected from you? Hes good for you, so a voice should not disturb our inner concentration.
During this period, I often say a word, keep calm and move on. At this time, China needs to be calm and determined. Its better to do our own things well than to say a thousand things.
On the report of epidemic situation
The only core weapon in reporting is to ask questions to get close to the most real conclusions
Beijing News: during the outbreak, Dr. Zhang Wenhong became popular rapidly at first, but was later questioned. Whats your opinion?
Bai Yansong: there are always people who dont understand and have rhythm. Isnt this the normal state of the Internet? At the beginning of reporting the epidemic, I had a live broadcast at night. During the day, I saw many people scold me for comments. Later, when I thought about it, even academician Zhong Nanshan was slandered, Academician Li Wenjuan was questioned, and Doctor Zhang Wenhong accumulated a lot of troubles, I wanted to open up. In the face of the national disaster, personal reputation is not important. Lets think of Dr. Li Wenliang. I think its a long way to do what you should do.
During the epidemic, in addition to the ferocity of the new coronavirus, in our public opinion environment, there are tears, confrontations, rumors flying all over the world This kind of virus is not light at all. We need to think about it.
In fact, it is to return to common sense, respect professional, and let facts come to the front of rumors. I believe that many people have seen the horror of the new coronavirus and other viruses, havent they?
Beijing News: when it comes to expertise and common sense, what should media people do?
Bai Yansong: media people want to pursue speed and accuracy, but they cant make their own conclusions. Only by interviewing experts like academician Zhong Nanshan can they make conclusions.
I do report, the only core weapon is to ask questions, using questions to get close to the most real conclusion. If your question is far away from the real conclusion, it is pretended to mention, the other party pretended to answer, and the program was broadcast, but this is not what the media should do.
There are still a lot to think about and improve in the media. Over the years, we have been discussing new media and financial media every day, but the question is, how many more questions do we have at press conferences? How much more ability to gather facts? Are we the best journalists in this society? How many of us can insist on being a good journalist without promotion for a lifetime? The media should also think that no matter the old media or the new media in the future, professionalism will never be out of date.