The U.S. intelligence community has reportedly concluded that China concealed the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak in its country, underreporting the number of total cases and deaths.
According to three officials with knowledge, a classified report received by the White House last week concluded that China’s public reporting has been intentionally incomplete and their numbers fake.
China’s lies have been obvious for a long time, but the message should have been out, officially, a lot sooner that China’s numbers were fake and this virus was going to be a huge global problem.
It would have led to better early risk calculations and preparations. https://t.co/eCxqi3PbeT
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) April 1, 2020
The outbreak began in China’s Hubei province in late 2019, but the country has publicly reported only about 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That compares to more than 189,000 cases and more than 4,000 deaths in the U.S., which has the largest publicly reported outbreak in the world.
China eventually imposed a strict lockdown, but there has been growing skepticism of China’s reported numbers, Bloomberg reported.
The Chinese government has repeatedly revised its methodology for counting cases, for weeks excluding people without symptoms entirely, and only on Tuesday added more than 1,500 asymptomatic cases to its total.
Stacks of thousands of urns outside funeral homes in Hubei province have driven public doubt in Beijing’s reporting.
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 23, 2020
In the past week, some in the media have even depicted Communist regime’s response to COVID-19 as more competent than the United States’ response.
Deborah Birx, the State Department immunologist advising the White House during the outbreak, said Tuesday that China’s deeply flawed public reporting has influenced how health officials elsewhere in the world have viewed the nature of the virus.
“The medical community made — interpreted the Chinese data as: This was serious, but smaller than anyone expected,” she said at the COVID-19 task force news conference at the White House on Tuesday. “Because I think probably we were missing a significant amount of the data, now that what we see happened to Italy and see what happened to Spain.”
Former CIA officer Bryan Dean Wright called for the world’s “Five Eyes” intelligence agencies to investigate China’s culpability in spreading the deadly virus throughout the world.
“We need a Five Eyes response,” Wright tweeted in response to the Bloomberg report. “The intel services of the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, & the UK should release a public assessment of China’s culpability. Most especially whether the virus escaped a lab. It’s time to organize the allies.”
China is not the only country with suspect public reporting. As American Greatness reported on Monday, Russia and North Korea (which has not reported a single case) also appear to be drastically under-reporting cases of coronavirus in their countries. Western officials also point to Iran, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt as potentially downplaying their numbers.