'US wants to shift the blame': China denies hiding coronavirus cases

Andrew Cummings
April 2, 2020

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying reiterated during a daily briefing that China has been open and transparent about the coronavirus outbreak that began in the country late previous year, and said the United States should stop politicising a health issue and instead focus on the safety of its people.

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

The French news agency AFP reports there had been mass calls online for the NHC to release the information after it was reported an infected woman in Henan province had been exposed to three asymptomatic cases. As a result, they reported 33% fewer confirmed cases during the first week of their outbreaks than cities that did not implement a Level 1 Response.

China's public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing three officials, who asked not to be identified because the report is secret.

Bloomberg said two of the officials, who declined to be identified, said the report concludes the Chinese numbers are fake and downplays the real mortality rate.

President Donald Trump said China's novel coronavirus infection and death toll numbers appeared to be "a little bit on the light side" at a Wednesday briefing.

China has reported roughly 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths from COVID-19-related complications.

"The claim that the United States has more coronavirus deaths than China is false", Sasse said on Wednesday in a statement sent to the Washington Free Beacon.

The tally, the first daily count of so-called asymptomatic patients, establishes a new benchmark to measure the scope of the outbreak amid a growing chorus of domestic and worldwide criticism of China's data.

"The number of confirmed cases in China by day 50 (February 19) of the epidemic, was around 30,000", said Christopher Dye, visiting professor of zoology and visiting fellow at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford.

Many on social media said they were terrified of the high number of asymptomatic carriers, and some called for health officials to break down the data by province.

It's not known how many asymptomatic cases have been confirmed since the start of the outbreak. At the same time, cases in the USA have now topped 206,000 with deaths surpassing 4,400, making the USA now the worldwide epicenter of the virus on the basis of numbers that have been publicly reported.

"It could have been stopped in its tracks", Mr Trump said March 19 at a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House.

Pyongyang had thus far reported zero cases.

This would mean China is less impacted by coronavirus than the U.S., Italy and Spain.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged during a press conference Tuesday that China and other nations to be honest and transparent about coronavirus outbreaks in their respective countries. He has repeatedly accused China of covering up the extent of the problem and being slow to share information, especially in the weeks after the virus first emerged, and blocking offers of help from American experts.

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