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US intelligence report says China misled the world about coronavirus

Published Apr 1st, 2020 4:43PM EDT
Coronavirus news
Image: ROMAN PILIPEY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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  • The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that began with an initial outbreak in China has gone on to ravage cities around the world, resulting in more than 911,000 confirmed cases globally as of Wednesday afternoon. That’s according to the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University.
  • US intelligence officials, meanwhile, have delivered a report to the White House accusing China of basically lying about all of the important facts related to the virus — including about its numbers of confirmed cases as well as deaths.
  • Those have been critical pieces of information, because public health officials and the White House coronavirus task force has used data from China to inform its modeling and predictions about what the novel coronavirus will do in the US.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

As the number of confirmed cases and deaths stemming from the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spike in the US, intelligence officials have submitted a report to the White House accusing China — which saw an initial outbreak of the virus in late 2019 — of misleading everyone about the most important aspects of the deadly virus.

The report, which was actually delivered to the White House last week, reaches a definitive conclusion about China’s number of cases and deaths from the virus which officials think the communist nation has deliberately under-counted. That matters in a big way, because US officials have based a lot of their modeling and understanding about the virus on what they’ve seen unfold in China, as well as what leaders there have reported about the virus.

News about this report with US intelligence conclusions was reported by Bloomberg, which noted that the Chinese government has only just now started to add asymptomatic cases to its total number of coronavirus cases after leaving them out of the total for weeks. Decisions like that have been among the reasons for the widespread skepticism of China’s official totals of virus cases and deaths.

To date, China has publicly reported more than 82,000 cases and more than 3,300 deaths, according to the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University. At the same time, cases in the US have now topped 206,000 with deaths surpassing 4,400, making the US now the worldwide epicenter of the virus on the basis of numbers that have been publicly reported.

Already, national lawmakers have been using the existence of this new report to bolster their antagonism towards China, with Nebraska Republica Sen. Ben Sasse going so far as telling Bloomberg that irrespective of the published numbers, “The claim that the United States has more coronavirus deaths than China is false.

“Without commenting on any classified information, this much is painfully obvious: The Chinese Communist Party has lied, is lying, and will continue to lie about coronavirus to protect the regime.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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