Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Ryan Saavedra.
Leaked documents reveal that Chinese Communist President Xi Jinping knew that the coronavirus outbreak in China was a highly contagious "epidemic" at the same time that China told the World Health Organization (WHO) that there was no "evidence of human-to-human transmission."
The Associated Press reported
late on Tuesday night that leaked internal documents from China show that Xi knew that the situation was dire and that the "risk of transmission and spread" was "high" by January 14 at the latest, the same day that the WHO downplayed the outbreak.
That same day, the WHO tweeted: "Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China"
It has already been reported that Xi had taken control of China's coronavirus response on January 7, but the AP's report sheds light on when he knew that the outbreak was highly contagious. China did not tell the world that the coronavirus could be spread from human-to-human until January 20.
"In the six days after top Chinese officials secretly determined they likely were facing a pandemic from a new coronavirus, 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,"
the AP reported. "President Xi Jinping warned the public on the seventh day, Jan. 20. But by that time, more than 3,000 people had been infected during almost a week of public silence, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press and expert estimates based on retrospective infection data."
Zuo-Feng Zhang, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, told the AP that the revelation is "tremendous."
"If they took action six days earlier, there would have been much fewer patients and medical facilities would have been sufficient,"
Zhang said. "We might have avoided the collapse of Wuhan's medical system."
"The six-day delay by China's leaders in Beijing came on top of almost two weeks during which the national Center for Disease Control did not register any cases from local officials, internal bulletins obtained by the AP confirm,"
the AP continued. "Yet during that time, from Jan. 5 to Jan. 17, hundreds of patients were appearing in hospitals not just in Wuhan but across the country."
The leaked documents obtained by the AP "show that the head of China's National Health Commission, Ma Xiaowei, laid out a grim assessment of the situation on Jan. 14 in a confidential teleconference with provincial health officials."
A memo showed that the teleconference was held to give instructions from Xi and other top Chinese communist officials.
"The epidemic situation is still severe and complex, the most severe challenge since SARS in 2003, and is likely to develop into a major public health event,"
the memo cites Ma as saying.
A section of the memo titled "sober understanding of the situation,"
stated that "clustered cases suggest that human-to-human transmission is possible."
"With the coming of the Spring Festival, many people will be traveling, and the risk of transmission and spread is high,"
the memo said. "All localities must prepare for and respond to a pandemic."
The next day the Chinese CDC activated its highest-level response to the epidemic, but only internally, as the Chinese communists continued to downplay the risk and clearly stated in the memo that the information was "not to be publicly disclosed."
China not only lied about and tried to cover-up the initial outbreak, they are also accused of trying to lie about and cover-up what appears to be a new wave of outbreaks in China. The Wall Street Journal reported
- 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.
- The evidence comes from many sources. In a classified report to the White House, the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that China underreports both deaths and the total number of cases. The Economist magazine compared China's reported statistics with those from other countries and found that numbers changed dramatically in response to political events, such as the firing and replacement of local officials.
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) reported last week that a "conservative estimation" found
that China's initial outbreak produced 2.9 million coronavirus cases in China and up to 136,000 deaths - a far cry from the roughly 83,000 cases and 3,300 deaths that China has reported