As coronavirus cases have jumped in recent days, China misled the world by purposely underreporting its numbers of patients and deaths, three U.S. intelligence officials say.
In a classified report sent to the White House, the officials said that China’s public record of COVID-19 infections was deliberately deceptive and incomplete.
Bloomberg, which first reported the news, cited three U.S. intelligence officers who said they alerted the White House last week to Beijing’s misleading numbers. Two of the three sources called the numbers totally fake.
Deborah Birx, the State Department immunologist advising the White House on its response to COVID-19, said Tuesday that China’s numbers influenced assumptions in other countries about the nature of the contagion.
“The medical community made — interpreted the Chinese data as this was serious but smaller than anyone expected because I think probably we were missing a significant amount of data, now that what we see happened to Italy and see what happened to Spain.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, China has been accused of multiple coverups. It has shifted its timeline on what it knew and when it knew it and has gone after critics, doctors, and whistleblowers trying to sound the alarm.
Barbaccia, who spent five years on active duty as an intelligence sergeant in the U.S. Army, said China is taking advantage of the current economic landscape and using it to their advantage as other countries like Italy and Iran struggle.
Whereas U.N. released a report on Wednesday praised China for sharing the genetic sequence of COVID-19. What it didn’t highlight was that Chinese officials didn’t report the first case of coronavirus until forced to and that documents later revealed that China knew about the dangers of the virus two months before reporting it. Had China been forthright, COVID-19 could have been contained.
On Thursday, there were more than 952,945 confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world. The body count globally stands at 48,359.