According to three U.S. officials, China hid data showing severity of COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, under-reporting both the total cases and deaths the socialist authoritarian country experienced, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report.
The officials asked not to be identified because the report is secret and 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 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.
While China eventually imposed a strict lockdown beyond those of less autocratic nations, there has been considerable skepticism of China’s reported numbers, both outside and within the country… Stacks of thousands of urns outside funeral homes in Hubei province have driven public doubt in Beijing’s reporting.
Deborah Birx, the State Department immunologist advising the White House on its response to the outbreak, said Tuesday that China’s public reporting influenced assumptions elsewhere in the world about 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 a news conference 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.”
Shorter Birx: China lied, people died pic.twitter.com/4ehGZbKF5R
— Jorge Bonilla (@BonillaJL) March 31, 2020
MacDailyNews Take: Shocking. (dripping sarcasm)