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Iran Played Down the Coronavirus. Then Its Officials Got Sick | NYT News

March 12, 2020

In the town of Rasht,
a funeral procession for a doctor who died
of coronavirus. In Qeshm, protesters block a
checkpoint because they fear letting in clerics
coming from an infected area. And in a cemetery in Qom,
a burial is taking place. The man filming
provides commentary. Qom is the city where Iran’s first
coronavirus cases appeared. Though authorities expressed
little concern for days, and now, it appears workers
are digging trenches for mass graves. Iran says at least 237
people have died. It’s one of the highest
death tolls outside of China. How did this happen? At key moments officials
made serious missteps, and failed to take
protective measures. On Feb. 19, the
first coronavirus deaths are reported in Iran in
the religious city of Qom. But victims likely
contracted the virus weeks earlier, and in a
city full of holy sites the visitors touch and kiss, that could have
helped spread it. Iran’s health ministry
did ask the city to close the shrines, but
it was never enforced. So people continued to
visit them. Two days after the deaths
in Qom, Iran held nationwide
parliamentary elections. But out at polling stations, there was little
sign of a nation on the brink of an epidemic. No one was wearing
gloves or masks, and there was lots
of close contact. Officials tried
in the days that followed to calm the public. But their efforts
were undercut by bizarre appearances. Here’s Iran’s deputy
health minister, Iraj Harirchi, on state TV saying
things were under control. But throughout
the presser, he was sweating, coughing and
dismissing common-sense prevention methods. Harirchi went on TV a
second time that day, making jokes about
proper coughing protocol. But the next day, Harirchi
announced on social media that he, himself, had
contracted the virus. This shocking turn of events put Iran’s mismanagement
of the epidemic on international display. “People in Iran are panicking.” “Well, now he’s become
part of the story because he’s got the virus.” President Hassan Rouhani then
tried to pin the spreading virus on Iran’s enemies. It took officials nine days
after the first coronavirus death to cancel Friday prayers,
where large groups typically gather. Meanwhile, high-profile
cases started appearing. At least 23 lawmakers now have the virus. A vice president
announces that she, too, has the coronavirus —
just days prior, here she is sitting
near President Rouhani. Then on March 1, a close
aide of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, dies
of coronavirus. Shortly after, the government
ordered all schools and universities to shut
down, and Khamenei tries to rewrite history. Iran is finally putting
tougher measures in place. But by letting the virus
get out of hand, officials turned their country
into an epicenter.


  • Reply Nilo Tabrizy March 10, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    Hi I'm Nilo, I reported and produced this video where we tracked the timeline of Iran's coronavirus response. If you want more information about coronavirus, go to our live briefing here:

  • Reply 1fotcn March 12, 2020 at 12:07 am

    These nonbelievers got the virus cause Jesus. 🤪

  • Reply Salvador Fernandez March 12, 2020 at 12:11 am

    You think its capable of bringing down some governments?

  • Reply Sinti Finti Mintea ❶ March 12, 2020 at 12:12 am

    Make a similar video about the breakout in Italy. How did it get to that point

  • Reply Tavana321 March 12, 2020 at 12:17 am

    Iranians traditionally HUG, KISS and TOUCH GENITALS in greeting each other. If they break the sequence then they will not get Corona.

  • Reply logan lin March 12, 2020 at 12:17 am

    And this is exactly why the virus will not be stopped, idiotic governments.

  • Reply dojokonojo March 12, 2020 at 12:17 am

    Iran is not the only country with inept politicians and bureaucrats failing to realize the full scale of the crisis and not taking measures to mitigate it. Im looking at you America!

  • Reply Ajmalkk Aju March 12, 2020 at 12:17 am

    Old towns getting more worse
    Rome ,Persia, china next Turkey

  • Reply Max S. March 12, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Wait. I hear that the coronavirus can possible break the economy of most Western nations. Whats going to happen for an economy the size of Iran’s?

  • Reply logan lin March 12, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Why have I not heard the media talking about the fact that China did this too? And it is China that allowed this crisis to become worldwide in the first place.

  • Reply Micheal lastname March 12, 2020 at 12:23 am

    To prevent the outbreak of the Corona virus we are asking you the public to please refrain from tounge kissing All and any buildings and statues at this point in time, we are providing pictures of the sites as a way to still subside the dissire to kiss, lick, molest or temples! We are very passionate about orally showing affection!

  • Reply Tesco Primark March 12, 2020 at 12:24 am

    Still say this a regular flu?

  • Reply StepfordWifeRebel1 March 12, 2020 at 12:25 am

    Kind of like the ole old orange man we got here saying don’t panic🙄

  • Reply Juan Ignacio Pagola March 12, 2020 at 12:26 am

    Iran will probably be the hardest hit by the virus. Half of the country will be infected in a matter of months.

  • Reply Fruma Merlo March 12, 2020 at 12:28 am

    Those middle eastern people are very stuborn.

  • Reply Larry Walton March 12, 2020 at 12:28 am

    wow guys! I just got a clean hack of 3.99btc from to my wallet, they're legit the best!! WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!

  • Reply Iman Fani March 12, 2020 at 12:29 am

    You forgot to mention brutal medical supply sanctions (freeze of the banking system). If they hid anything it was because they saw no spirit of cooperation and friendship from global community. Some countries wait like hyenas for others to die. Each and every country has been on at least 2 months of denial about corona virus…do you make a doco about each one of them? Or just China and Iran?

  • Reply Kwum aix March 12, 2020 at 12:29 am

    The sub human Klan gov here is doing the same thing.. they value money more than American lives.. chickens will come home too roost

  • Reply goodmorninglife March 12, 2020 at 12:31 am

    It happened because they cursed america and israel and brought judgment upon themselves. mohammads a false prophet.

  • Reply Eric Fernandez March 12, 2020 at 12:32 am

    How did they get it without contact with Chinese people that supposedly have it?

  • Reply Jason Larsen March 12, 2020 at 12:40 am

    This is interesting

  • Reply Jwad March 12, 2020 at 12:41 am

    Where's allah?

  • Reply Kofi Annan March 12, 2020 at 1:06 am

    Trumpp's Amerika will fare far far worse. I promise you.

  • Reply Es Gara March 12, 2020 at 1:06 am

    What a rogue state!

  • Reply Jay Jay March 12, 2020 at 1:20 am

    There are more people dying from other things than a virus

  • Reply Kevin Daken March 12, 2020 at 1:24 am

    No Country can truely advance until Religion becomes subserveant to the State. Only then can Society, Science and Technlogy flourish without iideological hindrance. Let's wish the Iranian people the best during this trying time.

  • Reply YSN Rodd March 12, 2020 at 1:26 am

    Lmao the government is so stupid😂

  • Reply An Hw March 12, 2020 at 1:26 am

    Iran is a country of young modern people. If this isn’t a sign to start a revolution and overturn their incompetent government, I don’t know what is.

  • Reply Dorothy Hall March 12, 2020 at 1:29 am

    W2s wash your hands before you eat and do not eat behind anybody and take care of yourself and go to assure you when you filled out to be sure you don't Corona virus do t have no fever do not couch do l eat bind no body take a bath take care your health wash your hand with back hand sanitizer hand soap couch no body face do eat take care of yourself and don't don't don't be gone a lot of people have died from this I am kind of scared myself belly all gone so I can save you all going to be sickness l am watch the video read about this spread

  • Reply Navid Pey March 12, 2020 at 1:29 am

    Pray for the innocent people

  • Reply Poo Kk March 12, 2020 at 1:33 am


  • Reply Best Vibes March 12, 2020 at 1:44 am

    But America is not doing any better is it ? Report on that the supreme leader trump

  • Reply roger smith March 12, 2020 at 1:49 am

    link to virus casualties.. and spread through US.. click for good info.

  • Reply M D March 12, 2020 at 1:55 am

    The NBA has cancelled its season. It is serious.

  • Reply K MA March 12, 2020 at 2:03 am

    It's call Wuhan virus where is made is serious please wear mask and wash ur hand

  • Reply Anslee Smith March 12, 2020 at 2:13 am

    "this illness doesn't distinguish between the rich and the poor"

    That's why politicians take CoronaVirus so seriously and not Climate Change and world hunger. This is an immediate threat to them and their money isn't guaranteed to save them.

  • Reply Evelynn Veleni March 12, 2020 at 2:17 am

    Very democratic virus…. Yeah okay wtf

  • Reply Ame Scape March 12, 2020 at 2:17 am


  • Reply InfonuZ March 12, 2020 at 2:18 am

    Iran- proves Islamic countries have absolutely zero IQ and it needs Christian countries to lead.. Allah failed 🤣🤣🤣

  • Reply BUTTERNUT KIKI March 12, 2020 at 2:18 am

    this is crazy

  • Reply Sam Sung March 12, 2020 at 2:20 am

    Can't talk away dead deased body

  • Reply BUTTERNUT KIKI March 12, 2020 at 2:20 am

    animals. how can you do this to people?

  • Reply 5kayonekiller March 12, 2020 at 2:23 am

    Ny times working overtime to push propaganda against iran

  • Reply John Ghader March 12, 2020 at 2:27 am

    American all News channel is against Iran , pleace God distory America . God place make dangraus Viraus against America and Americans

  • Reply Paulo Cunha March 12, 2020 at 2:27 am

    The corpses should be cremated not buried when dead persons were infected. Viruses could live thousanda years in that places.

  • Reply Ayamda Besta March 12, 2020 at 2:46 am

    Philippines will be the next digging mass grave

  • Reply frank sigwart March 12, 2020 at 2:48 am

    so who shot off 15 rockets into Iraq????? The government  in Iran will wake up …when?  who knows…..

  • Reply Satish Bharihoke March 12, 2020 at 2:48 am

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  • Reply Balaxane March 12, 2020 at 2:54 am

    The number of deaths is scarily higher than what has been reported. There are hundreds of bodies a day.

  • Reply Jorboku greatheaven2 March 12, 2020 at 3:08 am

    This is the worst case how a goverment deal with pandemic

  • Reply AA HH March 12, 2020 at 3:09 am

    Why not use incineration

  • Reply Chris Wells March 12, 2020 at 3:17 am

    We can only hope it takes out Khameni and Rouhani.

  • Reply joe 6pack March 12, 2020 at 3:19 am

    Irans deaths are 10 times higher than they're admitting

  • Reply Anita Anonymous March 12, 2020 at 3:21 am

    How you gonna talk about a virus under control, but you cough in your hands and spread your own…ummm yuck you’re supposed to cough in your arm… no thank you.

  • Reply 西西joseph March 12, 2020 at 3:25 am

    That is such a curb your enthusiasm thing

  • Reply KING JAMES OF ENGLAND March 12, 2020 at 3:25 am

    Man not good

  • Reply Reeboks Plez March 12, 2020 at 3:27 am

    I'm sure it's totally just a coincidence that those EXACT COUNTIES that are allegedly experiencing a pandemic and have now banned First Amendment Protected gatherings of more than 250 people, just so happen to be where the Fema Facilities are located… WTF?
    Inslee told the press this ban is going to be in effect for A LONG TIME!!!!! Other states have been trying to pass bills that banned large crowds BEFORE this alleged virus was propagandized 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…. Um HELLO?

    Example – Virginia tried to ban guns, ban large gatherings of people of more than 2 individuals and they tried to ban self defence training. They have introduced a ton of bills NATIONWIDE totally banning the people from getting together and protesting civil rights abuses.

    Hegelian Dialectic = THEY create the problem, they wait for a reaction and then they offer the pre-planned solution. Hence, banning constitutionally protected gatherings, banning self defence of any kind, unconstitutional travel restrictions, etc.

    1. Attempt to ban large crowds in support of 1st and 2nd Amendment Rights.
    2. Attempted Ban didn't pass.
    3. Fema Camp Facilities are located in Snohomish, King and Pierce, near seattle and Tacoma.
    4. Alleged Virus Outbreak occurs near Fema Facilities in Snohomish, King and Pierce… =O
    5. Corona Virus has been around for YEARS (since the 1930's).
    6. Corona Virus IS man made and has been patented and antivirus has already been created.

    But surely this is all just random, that they weren't able to ban large crowds a few months ago. However, just a few short months later, we allegedly have pandemic and guess what, the cancerous corrupt politicians got the large crowd ban after all!!! lol

    P.S. Once you lose ANY rights, it is nearly impossible to get that right back. I am reaching out to ALL my brothers and sisters world wide, DO NOT COMPLY with ANYTHING that goes against your God Given Rights. Please gather the appropriate information and spread it far and wide. Build your network and be ready to reclaim every single right that has been taken from you… KING, PIERCE AND SNOHOMISH COUNTIES, DO NOT GO ALONG WITH THIS.
    Here is a better idea, do not comply and demand they quit creating these viruses and releasing them onto the public…

    Do NOT give them an inch! Please, everyone call these liars out! xoxoxox

  • Reply Majid Zia March 12, 2020 at 3:41 am

    Qom ditch of iblis

  • Reply Curious People March 12, 2020 at 3:47 am

    its better to burn those dead bodies

  • Reply Texas Texas March 12, 2020 at 3:50 am

    Awesome screw those Terrorist!!!

  • Reply eddy haryadi March 12, 2020 at 3:50 am

    for all those who have been infected or not, please try consuming Black Seed oil (habbatussauda), hopefully we can fight this virus

  • Reply Viman82 March 12, 2020 at 3:53 am

    Yup back breaking sanctions , how do u expect them to fight a new disease

  • Reply hajeraa March 12, 2020 at 3:53 am

    it’s really scary how this virus is just spreading like crazy 😨😢

  • Reply Anthony Hardwick March 12, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Very curious how nations that have offended the Trump administration are struggling with this virulent and deadly virus.

  • Reply Nolymit Multilingual Robot with High Tech Products March 12, 2020 at 4:01 am

    Thank you for giving the public this useful info. I think that the following video is also very helpful to your viewers who want to learn more about protecting themselves from the  Coronavirus.

  • Reply 100MPH Selfies March 12, 2020 at 4:01 am

    See religions is only good for problems.

  • Reply MyMind TellingMe March 12, 2020 at 4:02 am

    The only religion that has been proven by the definitive evidence more than a thousand and four hundred years ago that it is the true religion and its evidence is the Holy Qur’an (the immortal miracle) which God revealed to His Messenger Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace. He defies all creatures of humanity and the South who met with each other to come up with a similar or a surah from him or a verse from him, and since that time they have not and will not be able. Because the word of God is the creator of everything.

  • Reply Majid Zia March 12, 2020 at 4:11 am

    In laws are dying? Of lung infection, translate lung in Kashmiri

  • Reply Mike Luch March 12, 2020 at 4:21 am

    Before we all die subscribe Mike Luch for 🔥 hip hop

  • Reply Samira C. March 12, 2020 at 4:22 am


  • Reply a March 12, 2020 at 4:29 am

    That Iranian health official is a clown

  • Reply JeepCherokeeful March 12, 2020 at 4:37 am

    The minister even lies from his sick bed!

  • Reply bjjlavida1 March 12, 2020 at 4:37 am

    Let your god save you idiots 🙄🤨

  • Reply Mr Yusuf March 12, 2020 at 4:48 am

    Iranian woman are very pretty i just want one lol

  • Reply K P March 12, 2020 at 4:53 am

    All started because evil doers reopened wild markets in Wuhan. Started with their abuse of animals. Then, the abuse of power from the Chinese government. What serious miscarriage of justice.

  • Reply Travel Voyage March 12, 2020 at 4:58 am

    place where coronavirus does not survive

  • Reply ABC Engineer March 12, 2020 at 4:59 am

    #USA imposed Medical sanctions against Iran, Trump responsible for iran miseries

  • Reply أحمد خلف March 12, 2020 at 5:07 am

    UK health Minster just got diagnosed with corona, i hope the Iranian government have more dignity than the NYT and they don't politicize an epidemic.

  • Reply barrych mak March 12, 2020 at 5:19 am

    Wuhan has just closed several of their temporary hospitals.
    Don't give up !

  • Reply Xavier Guerra March 12, 2020 at 5:21 am

    0:30 literally thought he was butt naked

  • Reply Wetblanket March 12, 2020 at 5:22 am

    Iran got it because they refuse to have a Rothschild bank, just like all of their "unconfirmed" attacks on Israel.

  • Reply gektor ps March 12, 2020 at 5:30 am

    4,000 died. The business plan for saving the elderly (70-90 years old) is cheap and simple .Moving from China to Russia until 2019.The Chinese accepted death.Treatment is cheaper in Russia.Expensive treatment and complicated in China. Old men died for the boys."The old men did not have time to run away.Ukraine people escaped from poverty 2014-2019. 1 million fugitives.1 year to wait for the vaccine.Then 2022 moving to China.Again superprofit life up to 100 years .

  • Reply George Tyreek March 12, 2020 at 5:36 am

    America has sanctions against them

  • Reply 333059 March 12, 2020 at 5:38 am

    New Yorkers doing the same

  • Reply racoonzattack March 12, 2020 at 5:52 am

    Shouldn’t they burn the bodies instead of burying them? Or is it because their beliefs don’t allow cremation?

  • Reply ZARA Ph March 12, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Create Report on Cause of Iranian Death Due to US and Other Countries Sanctioning Health Infrastructure and Crime Against Humanity The cause of Iranian death is being determined, Corona is the result of human oppression against its own species. Corona is the punishment of man by God, a man who does not have mercy on his own kind and even nature.

  • Reply Jim franco March 12, 2020 at 6:35 am

    They gotta cancel their weekly circle jerks too

  • Reply Mc C March 12, 2020 at 7:05 am

    What a joke. America government also played down the Coronavirus. Let see the US situation in a week from now.

  • Reply Alternative View March 12, 2020 at 7:10 am

    Iran regime is threat to world and to Islam

  • Reply travel keepsyouyoung March 12, 2020 at 7:13 am

    Video of Iranian missile hitting U.S base in Iraq

  • Reply travel keepsyouyoung March 12, 2020 at 7:14 am

    .Video of Iranian missile hitting U.S base in Iraq

  • Reply 321 123 March 12, 2020 at 7:16 am

    played down? sounds like US

  • Reply EvoMon March 12, 2020 at 7:21 am

    US is replaying what's happening in Iran

  • Reply Arsalan Ahmed March 12, 2020 at 7:23 am

    It is the same country that shot down a commercial airline 🙄what else do you expect from them?

  • Reply Rebecca Grace March 12, 2020 at 7:27 am

    Suicide claims 50,000 lives each year in the US alone

  • Reply vpasify March 12, 2020 at 7:31 am

    In conclusion-you politicians,do it better than your Irani fellows..

  • Reply Ragnar Andersson March 12, 2020 at 7:32 am

    From limbic.arc you get info immune boost makes your immune system more stronger. 😁👍

  • Reply ZGCuber March 12, 2020 at 7:33 am

    She actually pronounces the Q correctly! 🙂

  • Reply John Jantjies March 12, 2020 at 7:33 am

    no wonder trump did'nt attack iran.

  • Reply Door-to-Door Hentai Salesman March 12, 2020 at 7:33 am

    I hope the virus kills all the government of Iran.

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