Wuhan officials kept China in the dark for weeks about coronavirus, US intel says

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Aug 22, 2020, 06:02 AM(IST)

Healthcare workers carry out coronavirus tests (representative image) Photograph:( Reuters )

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They also believe that there came a point where China President Xi Jinping did become aware of the full extent of the outbreak in Wuhan and realised that coronavirus was spreading but continued to downplay the situation publically.

US intelligence has found out that officials in the Chinese city of Wuhan kept senior officials in Beijing in the dark for weeks about the coronavirus outbreak that resulted in the pandemic. The intelligence contains indisputable evidence of the local cover-up attempt, the officials say.

The reports also say that when the Chinese Communist Party learned about the virus, it sought to obscure the full extent of that knowledge from the rest of the world. They also believe that there came a point where China President Xi Jinping did become aware of the full extent of the outbreak in Wuhan and realised that coronavirus was spreading but continued to downplay the situation publically.

These findings are on the lines of the Trump administration's repeated accusations against China. The Trump administration has for long looked into the possibility that the novel coronavirus spread from a Chinese laboratory rather than a market, but has presented no proof to back up that theory. 

US officials say the Chinese conduct fits a pattern that was also seen during the outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, in 2003.

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US intelligence shows that even within the Chinese Communist Party, officials did not freely share information with their counterparts in Beijing. 

The last official statement from the intelligence community on the origins of the virus, in April, said it would "rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan."

The pandemic has killed 175,000 Americans and now infects more than 5.5 million in the US.

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