China is deliberately obfuscating the true number of coronavirus deaths in their country, the US intelligence community is claiming.
Intelligence briefings relating to China’s cover-up of the coronavirus deaths have been received by the White House in recent weeks, with the CIA warning the Trump administration since the start of February that their assets reveal huge under-reportings in the death toll.
The American intelligence community believes that midlevel bureaucrats in Wuhan, the origin point of the coronavirus, are currently vastly underreporting the infection rates, testing and death counts of coronavirus, fearing repercussions if the numbers given to the authorities are too high.
A report leaked to Bloomberg by three American officials said that the reporting is deliberately incomplete, suggesting that a number of edits of the figures may be taking part at different levels of the Chinese state institutions.
The intelligence reports follow months of speculation and leaks from whistleblowers within China that their coronavirus figures are not accurate.
This has, of course, been virulently denied by the Chinese government and state-backed institutions. Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of Global Times, a state-run media operation, claimed on the Chinese social media app Weibo that this is all a smoke-screen by Western governments designed to distract citizens from their own spiralling death tolls.
Hu claimed it was impossible for any meddling with the data to take place, due to the international attention on coronavirus. The death toll reduction is simply down to the Chinese government sending medical workers and equipment to Hubei province, along with other quick actions of the authorities.
“To fake the casualty data, which departments will be deployed? Who will implement the plan?” Hu argued. “It will involve many different departments in many places to get the total numbers. If one of them is faking once, they have to fake it all the time. The risk of screwing up could be very high.”