The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) released a new “conservative estimation” on the true extent of China’s coronavirus outbreak and determined that China, even when given every benefit of the doubt, has severely and “deliberately” under-reported its real numbers.
The estimate from AEI resident scholar Derek Scissors, PhD, was included in an article published Monday night in The Wall Street Journal.
The estimate found that China had at a minimum 2.9 million coronavirus cases “outside Hubei,” which is the province that Wuhan is located in. Scissors used travel data that was published with the approval of the Chinese Communist Party and then lowered those numbers even further just to give China the benefit of the doubt.
A natural reaction to figures in the low millions: China is plainly lying but not by nearly that much, because the Communist Party cannot hide 2-3 million cases. Yes, it can. Flu illnesses in the US neared 20 million before the end of January—before COVID-19 was widespread here, with two months left of flu season, and at less than one-fourth China’s population. Chinese respiratory illnesses of all kinds could easily exceed 100 million, hiding 2.9 million COVID-19 cases. …
Mortality remains sadly unsettled, but China’s size would obscure even a high rate. Hubei’s COVID-19 mortality should be quite high, due to the obvious inability to prepare and being initially overwhelmed. It is 4.7 percent. If extended over the rest of China—which is thankfully an exaggeration—that would produce 136,000 deaths over what is now more than three months. In a typical three-month period in ex-Hubei China before COVID-19, nearly 2.5 million people died. Even that many deaths would be easily obscured.
The Wall Street Journal article was about the new coronavirus outbreak that is happening in China and claims that China is again engaged in a cover-up that is going to hurt the rest of the world:
As the world struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak without triggering a new Great Depression, China is withholding vital information that would save lives and significantly alleviate the economic catastrophe that now threatens to immiserate hundreds of millions of people around the world.
This isn’t the old coverup, when Communist Party bumbling and deceit allowed a local outbreak to turn into the worst global disaster in decades. The new coverup is even more brazen. China continues to falsify vital information about the epidemic on a massive scale.
In his concluding remarks, Scissors wrote: “It is the party’s intent that no estimate of Chinese COVID-19 cases can be entirely convincing. Getting to 2.9 million cases starts with information offered by state media, uses the lowest available infection rate, applies days in circulation with a deliberately reduced figure to reflect a superior Chinese virus response, then stirs in the 1.39 billion people. Or you can believe that 1.2 million travelers from ground zero of a pandemic, some freely circulating for weeks, resulted in national contagion of a little over 15,000 cases.”
AEI’s “conservative estimation” reflects a similar estimate that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was reportedly given last month from a group of scientific advisers.
“Mr Johnson has been warned by scientific advisers that China’s officially declared statistics on the number of cases of coronavirus could be ‘downplayed by a factor of 15 to 40 times,’” The Daily Mail reported. “And [the British government] believes China is seeking to build its economic power during the pandemic with ‘predatory offers of help’ [to] countries around the world.’”
Bloomberg News reported at the start of the month that U.S. intelligence officials told President Donald Trump that China intentionally lied about its numbers and that they concluded that the numbers were “fake.”
An analysis from The Washington Post earlier this month stated:
The coronavirus pandemic ravaging the globe officially claimed 2,563 lives in Wuhan, where it began in a market that sold exotic animals for consumption. But evidence emerging from the city as it stirs from its two-month hibernation suggests the real death toll is exponentially higher. …
Using photos posted online, social media sleuths have estimated that Wuhan funeral homes had returned 3,500 urns a day since March 23. That would imply a death toll in Wuhan of about 42,000 — or 16 times the official number. Another widely shared calculation, based on Wuhan’s 84 furnaces running nonstop and each cremation taking an hour, put the death toll at 46,800.
Even officials from Iran, which is one of China’s allies, say that China’s numbers are a “bitter joke.”