New York University students in Shanghai have been committing suicide amid lockdown despair, while the school has sought to cover it up, NYU Chinese studies professor Rebecca Karl wrote in an explosive allegation to fellow faculty in an April 25 email.
“I have heard that there have been several suicides among the students already, all of it swept under the rug for the sake of NYU’s reputational convenience. Students are suffering. Many faculty are as well,” Karl wrote in the email, which was obtained by The Post.
NYU denied there have been any lockdown-related suicides.
“It is very disappointing, to say the very least, to see a University faculty member traffic in misleading gossip about something so serious,” said university spokesman John Beckman.
Beckman said a student committed suicide a month before the lockdown. Karl declined to comment.
Shanghai’s 26 million people have been trapped in a crushing lockdown since March 28. Food and medicine have become scarce, while the streets are patrolled by hazmat-suit-wearing authorities.
NYU-Shanghai Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman appeared in a staged and heavily edited video for the Chinese media agency Xinhua which aired on April 21 to downplay the city’s lockdown fallout.
“I am recording this video from lockdown in my apartment. Our university is now in its fourth week of online teaching,” he said in the video “I am very proud of how positive and resilient our community has been during the B.A. 2 variant wave in Shanghai.”
Lehman’s remarks sharply contradicted his dire assessment of the situation in a zoom meeting with faculty on April 11.
The Chinese Communist Party maintains total control over domestic media, which they have traditionally described as the “eyes, ears, tongue, and throat of the party,” according to Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a DC Think Tank.
NYU said Lehman’s original words had been twisted and they were looking to have the video removed.
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