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NBC reporter Ken Dilanian faced a wave of backlash Thursday after penning an article in which he suggested that China's coronavirus response was helping it overtake the United States as a global superpower.
The article -- titled "As U.S. struggles to stem coronavirus, China asserts itself as global leader" -- starts by highlighting Chinese aid to Italy.
"With Italy in dire need of medical equipment, an economic superpower stepped in to help. No, not the United States," Dilanian wrote. "It was China."
When Dilanian tweeted that intro, many pushed back on social media.
"You mean after they essentially burned down the world and contributed to the deaths of thousands they’re offering up one little care package?" conservative commentator Dana Loesch tweeted.
Commentator Stephen L. Miller quipped: "Has NBC registered under FARA yet?" He was referring to the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires that agents of foreign governments publicly disclose that relationship to U.S. authorities.
The controversy emerged as the Trump administration criticized China's response while fending off accusations that it was negligent in preparing for the virus.
Dilanian and his co-authors pointed to President Trump's proposal to cut funding to the World Health Organization while requesting assistance from South Korea.
"International observers have watched as American governors have squabbled with the president over whether he is properly managing the response in his own country," the article reads.
"As those scenes play out daily, China senses a moment of opportunity to portray itself as a powerful and competent player on the world stage, former officials and experts told NBC News."
The story featured quotes from multiple sources indicating that the U.S. was leaving itself open to China overtaking it as a leading superpower. Two of those were Ely Ratner, who served as former Vice President Joe Biden's deputy national security adviser, and former CIA Director John Brennan, who has repeatedly criticized Trump on television.
"This feels deeply irresponsible," tweeted Matt Whitlock, an senior adviser with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, alongside Dilanian's post.
NBC also faced backlash for a "Today" show segment touting China's preparedness to use "draconian measures" in response to major pandemics.
"China and South Korea and those Asian countries ... may have helped western Europe and America by delaying the arrival of the coronavirus here," NBC's Keir Simmons said. "But now, they are worrying that they may get reinfected by the coronavirus from the rest of the world,"
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, denounced the segment. "You’ve gotta be kidding -- @nbc tells of how China may have 'helped' the world on Coronavirus," he tweeted.
"This is blatantly false & delusional propaganda. The CCP [Chinese Communist Party] covered up the outbreak for months, endangering millions. Our media shouldn’t value Chinese govt $$ more than truth."
NBC did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.