A bombshell report resulting from an investigation by the Associated Press lays out compelling evidence that China did, in fact, hold off warning the world about the dangers of the novel coronavirus.
Specifically, although they had helpful and urgent data, the Chinese government said nothing for 6 entire days. During that 6 days, the “city of Wuhan at the epicenter of the disease hosted a mass banquet for tens of thousands of people; millions began traveling through for Lunar New Year celebrations,” reported Fox News.
“President Xi Jinping warned the public on the seventh day, January 20. But by that time, more than 3,000 people had been infected during almost a week of public silence,” Fox News learned from the Associated Press investigative report.
The experts agree that those six days of Chinese silence were exceptionally costly to the rest of the world.
“This is tremendous,” said Zuo-Feng Zhang, and epidemiologist. “If they took action six days earlier, there would have been much fewer patients and medical facilities would have been sufficient. We might have avoided the collapse of Wuhan’s medical system.”
The report notes that internally China was working quickly to learn more about the virus, but their knowledge still did not leave their country for six crucial days; during that time the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) not get any local reports from China about Covid-19 cases.
Although it is clear the communist authoritarian regime did not share this vital information with the world, the report notes it is not as clear who inside China is to blame. “It’s uncertain whether it was local officials who failed to report cases or national officials who failed to record them,” states Fox News. “It’s also not clear exactly what officials knew at the time in Wuhan, which only opened back up last week with restrictions after its quarantine.”
But what is clear, experts say, is that China’s rigid controls on information, bureaucratic hurdles and a reluctance to send bad news up the chain of command muffled early warnings. The punishment of eight doctors for “rumor-mongering,” broadcast on national television on January 2, sent a chill through the city’s hospitals.
A spokesman for the authoritarian regime denied any wrong doing claiming all allegations of a cover up are “groundless.”
To read more about the AP’s investigative report, click here.