Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. military, directing users to "get the facts about COVID-19."

Why it matters: The labels were added after criticism that Twitter had fact-checked tweets from President Trump about mail-in voting, but not other false claims from Chinese Communist Party officials and other U.S. adversaries.

  • The New York Post reports it pressed Twitter to annotate Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao's tweets from March, arguing the fact-check warnings against Trump and no one else are a double standard.
  • After initially saying it would not take action at "this time," a Twitter spokesperson told the Post that “after further review, we’ve added labels to these two tweets.”
  • “The tweets in question contain potentially misleading and harmful content about COVID-19 and have been labeled to provide additional context to the public. This enforcement decision is in line with the approach we shared earlier this month.”

The big picture: Twitter has now added fact-check labels to hundreds of tweets amid backlash over its action toward Trump, the New York Times reports. Trump, who has accused Twitter of election interference, has said he will sign an executive order on Thursday involving social media platforms.

Go deeper: Mark Zuckerberg says social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Go deeper

China, public markets and secrecy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

National security concerns drove a recent bipartisan Senate vote to crack down on Chinese companies that can hide their books from U.S. regulators even though they are publicly traded on U.S. exchanges, according to interviews with six current and former US. officials.

The big picture: The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which the Senate passed May 20, targets fraud and aims to promote transparency. But U.S. officials are also hoping to uncover hidden links between these companies and the Chinese government.

Updated Jul 3, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Adm. Brett Giroir, the Health and Human Services official overseeing the nation's coronavirus testing efforts, expressed concern that the July 4 holiday weekend could worsen already troubled cities and cause new outbreaks for others.

The big picture: The annual Macy’s fireworks show in New York is taking place as five-minute displays throughout the week in unannounced locations to prevent viewers from congregating, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Trump's national security adviser to hit China in Arizona speech

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien will lambast China's leadership in a speech tomorrow in Arizona, one day after President Trump visits the crucial battleground state to promote his border wall.

What we're hearing: O'Brien's speech "will focus on the challenge presented by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to American values and the values of democratic societies around the world," a senior administration official familiar with his prepared remarks tells Axios.