Classified US Intelligence Document Reveals China Hid Extent of Coronavirus Outbreak: Report


A classified U.S. intelligence report to the White House revealed China has hidden the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, according to three anonymous U.S. officials.

The officials, who asked not to be identified or detail the contents of the report, told Bloomberg the gist of the document said that China’s reporting on COVID-19 cases and deaths was “intentionally incomplete.”

As of Wednesday morning, there were 82,361 cases of COVID-19 in China and 3,316 fatalities from the disease, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Comparatively, there were 190,740 cases in the United States and 4,127 fatalities.

However, two of the officials told Bloomberg the classified intelligence document concluded China’s reported numbers are fake.

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According to Bloomberg, Chinese officials have revised the methodology for counting cases of the virus and imposed a strict lockdown, causing skepticism of the reported numbers both inside and outside of the country.

There have also been reported stacks of ash urns at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, which have also increased scrutiny of the government’s containment narrative, Bloomberg reported last Friday.

The Trump administration has long criticized China for covering up the extent of the coronavirus.

“The medical community made — interpreted the Chinese data as: This was serious, but smaller than anyone expected,” White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Do you think China tried to mislead the world about the extent of the outbreak?

“Because I think probably we were missing a significant amount of the data, now that what we see happened to Italy and see what happened to Spain.”

Other countries have also been accused of hiding the actual number of coronavirus cases and deaths.

In a statement on March 23, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed the ways the Iranian authorities have contributed to the global spread of COVID-19, including by lying to the public about the true scale of the crisis in the country and continuing flights to China as the virus was spreading.

“The regime continues to lie to the Iranian people and the world about the number of cases and deaths, which are unfortunately far higher than the regime admits,” Pompeo said.

Moreover, despite there being 9,887 cases of COVID-19 in South Korea as of Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins, North Korea has not reported any cases of the virus.

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However, the Financial Times reported March 25 that North Korean officials have been secretly seeking international help in the last several weeks, citing people familiar with the matter and a document it had viewed.

Pompeo has urged the nations to be transparent about the virus, according to Bloomberg.

“This data set matters,” he said at a Tuesday media conference.

“I would urge every nation: Do your best to collect the data. Do your best to share that information.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith