As the Numbers of COVID-19 Infections Soar, Officials Doubt the Accuracy of China's Infections
China was once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, as all evidence points to the initial outbreak taking place in the city of Wuhan sometime around the end of November or early December, 2019. Since the onset, cases sprung all over the densely populated country of 1.4 billion people, before reaching pandemic levels in early March. However, the city of Wuhan has reportedly taken the majority of infections, leaving other provinces allegedly unscathed. Now, as other countries struggle to contain the virus, the rate of infection in China has suspiciously slowed to a pace that seems inconceivable, even with the best of preventative measures, given how highly contagious this virus. While China has claimed a strong central government and united response as the key to their success, skepticism has grown amongst the international community.
Earlier this week a report drafted by the American CIA alleged that the number of infections were drastically under reported in China and their data provided is inconsistent with what other countries have been experienced when their own country fell victim to this pandemic. Other countries have also made similar claims, most notably the UK prime minister Boris Johnson, who publicly expressed his grievance with China, and insisted they may have "underreported by a magnitude of 40".
China is no stranger when it comes to providing fraudulent data and/or information for self gain, as its government has long used this tactic when reporting economic data or recounting certain contentious political events such as the Hong Kong protests that were taking place throughout the summer and fall of 2019.
Nevertheless, the veracity of these allegations made by the CIA are still unknown, however they are fitting with some statements made by China that we already know to be false. First, we know that China reported to the World Health Organization in late January that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the disease, and secondly it was also reported in January and reiterated in February that there was no need for travel restrictions to and from China. As the world currently battles this pandemic, it is clear that both of these statements were not only false, but jeopardized those nations who relied on China for an honest depiction of the severity of this disease.
While providing fraudulent statements for economic and political gain is one thing, providing erroneous data that could jeopardize the health and economies of the entire global population is an act that cannot be dismissed. It is too late to know if China could of prevented this global pandemic, however, if these allegations are indeed true, China must atone for its misdeeds.