A CNN report published on Monday revealed that, according to leaked documents from communist China that were verified by multiple sources, China significantly underreported the number of coronavirus cases and deaths it was experiencing during the early days in the pandemic and failed to disclose a 2,000% surge in influenza cases that sprung up at the same time that the pandemic was starting in a nearby area.
In its report, CNN notes numerous instances of China suppressing the total number of cases that it was reporting, which altered projections by leading experts of how the pandemic would play out. White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx noted in March that any lack of preparation by the Trump administration in responding to the pandemic was due to a “significant amount” of missing data from China, which made the pandemic look like the 2003 SARS outbreak.
On February 10, “Chinese authorities reported 2,478 new confirmed cases — raising the total global number to more than 40,000, with fewer than 400 cases occurring outside of mainland China,” CNN reported. “In a report marked ‘internal document, please keep confidential,’ local health authorities in the province of Hubei, where the virus was first detected, list a total of 5,918 newly detected cases on February 10, more than double the official public number of confirmed cases, breaking down the total into a variety of subcategories.”
The documents list other examples of numbers that Chinese officials reported on specific days being significantly smaller than what their internal numbers were showing.
The documents also revealed that Chinese officials, because of a variety of reasons, falsely thought that the average time between on “onset of symptoms to confirmed diagnosis was 23.3 days, which experts have told CNN would have significantly hampered steps to both monitor and combat the disease.”
CNN noted another key finding that has previously not been reported:
At the same time that the virus is believed to have first emerged, the documents show another health crisis was unfolding: Hubei was dealing with a significant influenza outbreak. It caused cases to rise to 20 times the level recorded the previous year, the documents show, placing enormous levels of additional stress on an already stretched health care system.
The influenza “epidemic,” as officials noted in the document, was not only present in Wuhan in December, but was greatest in the neighboring cities of Yichang and Xianning. It remains unclear what impact or connection the influenza spike had on the Covid-19 outbreak. And while there is no suggestion in the documents the two parallel crises are linked, information regarding the magnitude of Hubei’s influenza spike has still yet to be made public.
CNN claims that they were given the documents by a whistleblower, who requested anonymity, that “worked inside the Chinese healthcare system, and were a patriot motivated to expose a truth that had been censored, and honor colleagues who had also spoken out.” CNN does not disclose when they were given the information.
There are some notable issues with CNN’s report. Despite its own report showing that China concealed the true scale of the pandemic, CNN takes China’s current reporting of its coronavirus numbers as being accurate. “Today, China is close to zero local cases and although small-scale outbreaks continue to flare, the virus is mostly contained,” CNN reports.
The left-wing news network appears to more harshly call into question the credibility of claims made by the United States, the world’s leading democracy, than it does claims made by the Chinese Communist Party. For example, CNN reports that claims by U.S. officials that the coronavirus may have accidentally leaked out of a lab were made “without evidence.”
CNN also claimed that their findings do not support the claim that China intentionally covered up the true extent of the outbreak and cited an expert who claimed that even if China had been transparent it would “not stop the Trump administration” from “downplaying the seriousness of it.”
It’s important to note top U.S. officials have repeatedly warned about the magnitude of China’s global influence abilities and their long history of deception. A possibility exists that the report was leaked in an effort to help control the global narrative of China’s handling of the pandemic as the communist nation is facing an international investigation for its lies and coverup of the pandemic.
U.S. officials have indicated that they believe that China “intentionally” underreported their true numbers “by at least a factor of 50.” British officials reportedly told Prime Minister Boris Johnson early in the pandemic that China could have underreported their numbers “by a factor of 15 to 40 times.” The Washington Post reported in April that “evidence” coming out of Wuhan suggested that the real death count was over 40,000, which comes as China still claims that it only has a little over 4,600 deaths total nationwide. A conservative estimate in April from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)—which gave China every benefit of the doubt when coming up with their calculations, and then some—suggested that China severely and “deliberately” underreported their numbers and that China’s true numbers at the time had to be at least 2.9 million infections with well over 100,000 deaths.