Chinese Reports on Coronavirus-True or False?



Written By: Emma Randich


As Coronavirus continues to spread, it seems that China has been able to stabilize their outbreak while America has surged. When comparing new reports from United States data and Chinese data reports, the U.S is now leading in Coronavirus cases in the world. But is this really true? It is no shock to see China lying and doing whatever it takes to protect their country's image. So what about Coronavirus would make them stop lying now especially when this virus began in their own country? Or have they not stopped?

First, China hid this virus for at least 1-2 months due to their first reported cases of a 55-year-old individual from Hubei province in China that dates back to Nov. 17, 2019, according to the South Morning China Post. This led to the immediate spread to other countries without anyone knowing. Now U.S officials are coming out and stating that the data given to them by China are incorrect. According to Johns Hopkins University China has reported 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths whereas U.S reports entail that they have 189,000 cases and more than 4,000 deaths. How does this make any sense? 

When America began to receive data reports they found out that China was not including the numbers of asymptomatic patients in fact they have changed their methodology for counting cases multiple times. Government officials began to pressure China for the real numbers and on Tuesday, March 31st China came out with an added 1,500 asymptomatic cases. This is a huge deal due to asymptomatic patients being a main cause of the spread among populations because these people have no symptoms present making a person believe they do not have the virus and continue living a lifestyle not meant for a person with the virus, exposing themselves to the public. Another methodology China has used is in Wuhan where residents have estimated 40,000 deaths based on urns handed out to families but this could include anyone who died during the two month lockdown, not just form COVID-19. Their data has been said to be representing only a fraction of true numbers especially with asymptomatic cases. Many politicians have noticed China's behavior and have acknowledged that ¨the claim that the U.S has more Coronavirus deaths than China is false. Without commenting on only classified information, this much is painfully obnoxious: The Chinese communist party has lied, is lying, and will continue to lie about Coronavirus to protect the regime¨ stated by Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican. With U.S politicians coming out with reactions to this data, so have Chinese officials. Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of China's state run Global Times claims that these numbers are accurate because China sent medical workers and equipment to Hubei immediately. He claims that China falsifying their numbers would ¨involve many different departments in many places to get the total numbers. If one of them is faking once, they have to fake it all the time.¨(Wadhans, Nick. Bloomberg)

Deborah Birx, the State Department Immunologist advising the white house on its response to the outbreak said that China's public reporting has influenced assumptions of the true nature of the virus across the world. If this information reported by China is false, how has this misled people all over the world?

Now we are being told that China is starting to relatively return to quasi-normality. They have decreased restrictions heavily on social distancing, they say that hospitals are not being overrun and they have withdrawn medical staff from Wuhan. But what they aren't directly telling our government is that they began to open up businesses including movie theaters and then the day after reopening the businesses they were ordered to shut down and remain that way, again. Though, China is also not the only country being questioned about their reports. Other countries like Iran, Russia, Indonesia, and especially North Korea, being that they have reported no cases of Coronavirus, have reported lower figures than expected. During these troubling times the need for information is on the rise, without true facts and figures how will we as a country and internationally combat this virus?



Bibliography:

  1. Bryner, Jeanna. “1st Known Case of Coronavirus Traced Back to November in China.” LiveScience, Purch, 14 Mar. 2020, www.livescience.com/first-case-coronavirus-found.html.

  2. “Coronavirus Emergency: Here's What We Know so Far | UN News.” United Nations, United Nations, 3 Feb. 2020, news.un.org/en/story/2020/02/1056562.

  3. Ma, Josephine. “China's First Confirmed Covid-19 Case Traced Back to November 17.” South China Morning Post, 13 Mar. 2020, www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3074991/coronavirus-chinas-first-confirmed-covid-19-case-traced-back.

  4. Palmer, James. “What to Make of China's Coronavirus Figures.” Foreign Policy, 1 Apr. 2020, foreignpolicy.com/2020/04/01/china-coronavirus-official-figures-underreporting-pandemic-response-xi-jinping/.

  5. Wadhams, Nick, and Jennifer Jacobs. “China Concealed Extent of Virus Outbreak, U.S. Intelligence Says.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 1 Apr. 2020, www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-01/china-concealed-extent-of-virus-outbreak-u-s-intelligence-says.

  6. “ China.” Worldometer, 6 Apr. 2020, www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/china/.



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