According to a new report from the U.S. intelligence community, China is hiding the true extent of the coronavirus outbreak in their country. Months after the virus first crossed over to humans in Wuhan, the report concludes, Beijing is still downplaying the number of Chinese residents infected with COVID-19. In both terms of total infected and deaths caused by the outbreak, says the report, China is massively under-reporting the facts.
From the Bloomberg News report:
China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it’s suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House, according to three U.S. officials.
The officials asked not to be identified because the report is secret, and they declined to detail its contents. But the thrust, they said, is that China’s public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete. Two of the officials said the report concludes that China’s numbers are fake.
The report was received by the White House last week, one of the officials said.
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.
Well, this is confirmation of what any sensible American with two brain cells to rub together already believed. We already know to a certainty that Beijing did everything in their power to cover up the spread of this infection in the early days. They even prosecuted doctors who tried to sound the alarm. Why would anyone think that NOW they’re being honest about the outbreak? We don’t doubt that the extraordinary, weld-you-into-your-house measures that they took in Wuhan were effective, but we’re just going to take their word for it on the true numbers? Please.
So far, President Trump has been reluctant to directly call China out on their obfuscation.
“Their numbers seem to be a little bit on the light side,” Trump noted on Wednesday. “And I’m being nice when I say that.”
But even with that veiled shot across the bow, Trump is making it readily clear that his administration isn’t falling for Beijing’s song and dance. There will be serious questions for Xi Jinping to answer when all of this is said and done. And if he declines to answer them, we may have no choice but to shut China out of the global community for good.