Amid a growing number of reports that the number of cases in the coronavirus outbreak in China is incomplete, there’s a new report. U.S. intelligence officials may finally have proof to back up the mounting pile of signs pointing to a much worse outbreak than what has been reported.
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China concealed cases in coronavirus outbreak
Citing three U.S. officials, Bloomberg reports that U.S. intelligence concluded that China concealed the severity of the coronavirus outbreak within its borders. The conclusion came from a classified report sent to the White House.
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Although the officials did not provide extensive details on what the report said, they did say that intelligence officials say China under-reported both the number of COVID-19 cases and the number of deaths from it. Two of them stated that the numbers reported by China are fake.
The coronavirus outbreak did begin in Hubei province in China in late 2019. Beijing has reported about 82,000 cases of the virus and only 3,300 deaths, based on data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
Vice President Mike Pence told CNN today that if China had been more open about the extent of the coronavirus outbreak, the rest of the world could have been more prepared. He noted that the world learned about COVID-19 in December, but China may have known about it as much as a month earlier.
Skepticism about China's numbers
A growing number of reports have pointed to evidence that just didn't make sense when compared to the number of deaths reported due to the novel coronavirus. For example, China's mobile carriers have lost millions of subscribers early this year. Although there are some explanations like Chinese canceling their work phone account, the sheer number suggests that this isn't the only reason millions of mobile subscriptions vanished.
Additionally, photos from a mortuary in Wuhan indicated that 5,000 urns were delivered in only two days. Long lines outside funeral homes also made it seem as if the death toll from the coronavirus must be much higher than Beijing has officially reported.
Other signs also call China's tally for the coronavirus outbreak into question. Chinese officials repeatedly changed their methodology for counting the number of COVID-19 cases. It was revealed that they didn't include asymptomatic patients who tested positive for the virus unless they later developed symptoms. Then on Tuesday, China added over 1,500 cases involving asymptomatic patients to its tally.
The only question is how many people actually were infected and died? China said around 3,300 were killed, but some estimates say it could be 40 times that. Others go further and think that as many as 21 million may have died from this plague.