China Concealed Extent of Virus Outbreak, US Intelligence Says

Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping walks along the red carpet during a welcome ceremony for Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it’s suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House, according to three U.S. officials.

The officials asked not to be identified because the report is secret, and they 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 report was received by the White House last week, one of the officials said.

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. full story

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