Covid 19

China Hid Coronavirus Severity To Hoard Supplies: Report

On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China was responsible for the spread of disease and must be held accountable.

Washington| Intelligence documents show that the United States officials believe China hid the scope of the coronavirus outbreak and how infectious the disease is to stock up on medical supplies required to respond to it.

Chinese leaders intentionally covered the severity of the outbreak from the world in early January, as per a four-page report by Department of Homeland Security intelligence dated May 1 and obtained by The Associated Press.

The Trump administration has intensified its criticism of China as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Sunday that China was responsible for the spread of infection and must be held answerable.

Political opponents of President Donald Trump have accused him of lashing out at China, a geopolitical enemy but important U.S. trade partner, in an attempt to divert criticism at home.

The DHS analysis states that China boosted imports and reduced exports of medical supplies while downplaying the severity of the novel coronavirus. It tried to cover up doing so by refusing there were export restraints and obfuscating and keeping provision of its trade data, the analysis states.

China held off notifying the World Health Organization that the novel coronavirus was a contagion for much of January so it could order medical supplies from abroad and that its imports of surgical gowns and gloves and face masks rose sharply.

Those results are based on the 95% possibility that China’s changes in imports and export behaviour were not within the normal range, as per the report. China informed the World Health Organisation of the outbreak on Dec. 31.

It contacted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on Jan. 3 and publicly recognised the pathogen as a novel coronavirus on January 8.

Also Read: US President Donald Trump Predicts COVID-19 Vaccine By Year End

Chinese officials muted doctors who warned about the virus early on and repeatedly downplayed the threat of the outbreak. Yet, many of the Chinese government’s failures seem to have been due to bureaucratic hurdles, tight restraints on data, and officials reluctant to report bad news.

There is no public evidence to suggest it was an intentional plot to buy up the world’s medical supplies.

On Sunday, in a tweet president seemed to blame US intelligence officials for not addressing sooner just how dangerous a potential coronavirus outbreak could be. Donald Trump has been defending himself over whether he failed to act after gaining early warnings from intelligence officials and others about the COVID-19 and its potential consequence.

Scientists say the virus emerged naturally in bats and made it clear that they believe it wasn’t man-made. Many virologists say the chance that the outbreak was caused by a lab accident is very low, though scientists are still working to ascertain a point at which it may have crossed from animals to humans.

China has regularly pushed back on US allegations that the outbreak was its fault, highlighting many failures made by American officials in their own battle against the outbreak.

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