Market Overview

Chinese Coronavirus Infection And Death Numbers False, Says US Intelligence Report

Chinese Coronavirus Infection And Death Numbers False, Says US Intelligence Report

An intelligence report submitted to the White House claims China concealed the true number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

What Happened

The first cases of the novel coronavirus were reported from China’s Hubei province in late 2019. According to the Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, as of Wednesday, there were 82,361 confirmed cases reported, with 3,316 fatalities. The number of dead in Hubei stands at 3,193 cases.

Last week, a secret report submitted to the White House claimed that China has under-reported both the total number of cases and deaths, so the data from the country is intentionally incomplete. This conclusion was drawn by two of the three unnamed United States intelligence officials, according to Bloomberg.

On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence cast blame on China and told CNN, “The reality is that we could have been better off if China had been more forthcoming,” the vice president claimed, “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.”

Why It Matters

China has revised the way it counts cases. Previously, the Chinese government did not include the number of asymptomatic individuals in its total case tally, but on Tuesday, the Chinese authorities added 1,500 asymptomatic cases to the total, reported Bloomberg.

On Tuesday, Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, said that China’s public reporting influenced thinking on the nature of the virus in other countries. She remarked, “The medical community made -- interpreted the Chinese data as: This was serious, but smaller than anyone expected.”

Other countries under the scanner for their coronavirus numbers include Iran, Russia, Indonesia, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.


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