Coronavirus: China hid scale of outbreak - United States intelligence report

Coronavirus: China hid scale of outbreak - United States intelligence report

There have been murmurs in the world intelligence community of China not disclosing real coronavirus figures, which Beijing has always denied.

"China's control measures appear to have worked by successfully breaking the chain of transmission - preventing contact between infectious and susceptible people".

The controversy around Beijing's transparency has strained ties, adding to bad feelings triggered by a conspiracy theory in China that the U.S. military was to blame for the virus.

Beijing has reported a steady drop in new COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks, painting a rosy picture while the rest of the world struggles to fight the pandemic.

According to RFA, some city residents said on social media that Wuhan's funeral homes were "handing out 3,500 urns every day". "They should abandon such politicising of public health issues".

"This data set matters", he said at a news conference in Washington on Tuesday.

Ottar Bjornstad, a professor of entomology and biology at Penn State, added: "Since the time period we studied included the Spring Festival holiday and Chinese Lunar New Year, we were able to compare patterns of travel into and out of Wuhan during the outbreak with cell phone data from two previous spring festivals".

A study published in 2007 from researchers at the University of Hong Kong described the culture of eating at these wet markets as a "time bomb" for a new virus. Decisions like that have been among the reasons for the widespread skepticism of China's official totals of virus cases and deaths. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been skeptical of the data coming out of China from the start, repeatedly accusing China of covering up information about its coronavirus cases and of spreading misinformation.

China's lockdown was once seen as unthinkable in Western democracies, but has since been emulated across most of Europe. They did not speak about the details in the report but said that it generally maintains that Chinese government officials have intentionally underrepresented the severity of the outbreak in the country.

Republicans in Congress, pointing to a report by Bloomberg citing USA intelligence, expressed outrage that Beijing apparently misled the global community on China's infections and deaths that began in late 2019 in the city of Wuhan.

In Britain, Cabinet minister Michael Gove says China had not been clear enough about "the scale, the nature, the infectiousness of this".

The United States has accused China of lying about the extent of its deadly coronavirus outbreak, according to American lawmakers who on Wednesday cited an intelligence report presented to the White House.

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