In what may come as little to no shock to Americans, U.S. Intelligence has reported that China concealed the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak in their country. In their classified report to the White House, the intelligence community concluded that China has underreported both total cases of the virus and the deaths attributed to it.
Three officials asked not to be identified as the report is secret and did not go into any more details on the contents of the report. According to Bloomberg what they did agree on was that China’s public reporting is intentionally incomplete on real number of cases and deaths within their country. The conclusion, according to two of the officials, is that China’s numbers are fake. This report came to the White House last week.
The COVID-19 outbreak began in China’s Hubei province in December 2019 and since then the country has reported around 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths, according to numbers presented by Johns Hopkins University. In comparison, the United States has reported the largest outbreak in the world to date with more than 189,000 confirmed cases and over 4,000 deaths.
Vice President Mike Pence chimed in on China’s lack of truth. “The reality is that we could have been better off if China had been more forthcoming,” he told CNN. “What appears evident now is that long before the world learned in December that China was dealing with this, and maybe as much as a month earlier than that, that the outbreak was real in China.” One telltale sign that China is under-reporting their totals can be seen by the countless number of urns stacked outside funeral homes.
Politicians have begun to speak out on the lack of truth coming from the Chinese government. According to Bloomberg News, Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse said in a statement, “The claim that the United States has more coronavirus deaths than China is false. Without commenting on any classified information, this much is painfully obvious: The Chinese Communist Party has lied, is lying, and will continue to lie about coronavirus to protect the regime.”
State Department immunologist Deborah Birx concluded that assumptions across the globe about the nature of COVID-19 were directly influenced by China’s public reporting. “The medical community made — interpreted the Chinese data as: This was serious but smaller than anyone expected,” she said at a news conference, via Bloomberg News. “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.”
But China isn’t the only country under-reporting their numbers. Russia, Iran and most definitely North Korea, who have not reported even one case of the virus, have all been fudging numbers, according to Western officials. Others, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia are also probably keeping their numbers low.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has been in a constant battle with China and other nations to get them to give a more accurate count. The ability to fight this virus depends on knowing the numbers and where every nation stands in their fight. Pompeo has repeatedly accused China of covering up their numbers, slow to share much-needed information and also for refusing help when American experts offered it. “I would urge every nation: Do your best to collect the data. Do your best to share that information,” he said at a Washington news conference, through Bloomberg News. “We’re doing that.”
Let’s hope U.S. pleadings don’t continue to fall on deaf ears as we continue this battle against COVID-19.