The Chinese government has received plenty of attention in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic regarding its possible role in covering up the extent of the virus’ initial spread.
Now, newly leaked documents from one Chinese source — which were subsequently verified by multiple other sources — indicate that the communist regime vastly undercounted early coronavirus case numbers, thus delaying the response in the United States and elsewhere around the world, the Daily Wire reported.
A factor of 50
According to the Daily Wire, the internal document marked confidential and leaked to CNN listed more than twice the number of new cases on Feb. 10 compared to the tally reported by China publicly: 5,918 vs. 2,478.
The documents further showed that Chinese officials mistakenly thought, and then reported to international agencies, that the virus’s incubation period from infection to onset of symptoms was an average of just over 23 days. The erroneous time frame further impacted the reaction of other nations relying on accurate data.
In late April, one Trump administration official told Fox News that China might have underreported the number of COVID-19 casualties by as much as a factor of 50.
The estimate was based on satellite and intelligence evidence including constant operation of cremation facilities in Wuhan and other areas of the Hubei province for weeks on end following the initial outbreak.
At roughly the same time, China was also in the grips of a major spike in influenza cases. In Wuhan, Yichang, and Xianning, the rate of flu infections was about 20 times higher than the previous year.
“More like SARS”
As White House coronavirus task force adviser Dr. Deborah Birx said in March, the data coming from China during the previous month led American officials to believe that the outbreak would be more like the prior SARS outbreak — in other words, not a global pandemic.
At the time, Birx blamed China’s inaccurate information for any lack of preparation by the U.S. for the scale of the early outbreak in the states.
Pandemic expert Dr. Deborah Birx says U.S. officials initially responded to the coronavirus outbreak the way that they did because they thought it was going to be “more like SARS” and not a “global pandemic” *BECAUSE* “we were missing a significant amount of the data” from China pic.twitter.com/yFkzqqDBHh
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 1, 2020
The Trump administration nonetheless ramped up production of vital equipment and dealt officials across the nation dealt with the unprecedented strain on health care facilities and personnel.
According to Politico, the president declared in April: “Last year, America manufactured, from a dead start, 30,000 ventilators. And this year, the number will be over 150,000 ventilators. It could be as high as 200,000 — far more than we’ll ever need.”