White House Questions China’s Reported Coronavirus Statistics


China reports a mild Coronavirus impact compared to other COVID-19 hotspots, including the United States.

By Alexa Soroka, Senior Editor

The United States recently received intelligence that China may have severely understated the rate of infections, the number of deaths, and the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US Central Intelligence Agency has suspected since early February that China was not accurately reporting their COVID-19 statistics.

Deemed the outbreak center of the new Coronavirus, China first harvested the virus in late December of 2019, which many believe originated from a seafood and poultry market in Wuhan, capital of the Hubei province.

China has only reported six COVID cases per every 100,000 residents, which is far below the rates of Italy, Spain, and the United States.

China’s reported roughly 82,000 cases and around 3,300 deaths. For comparison, the United States reported about 500,000 cases of the coronavirus and over 18,000 deaths due to the disease.

There are also been a drastic and unexplainable decline in cell phone users in China, with a net loss of about 21 million subscriptions. Tang Jinyuan, a Chinese affairs expert, states that having a cell phone subscription is very common in China.

Mobile carrier China Mobile Ltd. saw a drop of nearly 7.25 million subscribers,  and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. lost 7.8 million. China Telecom Corp. also lost 5.6 million subscribers.

This had led some to believe the 21 million estimate more accurately correlates with the number of deaths in the country due to the virus.

The nation’s secrecy has also sparked much speculation. Li Wenliang was a doctor in China who, during the initial outbreak, attempted to warn others about the potential severity of the Coronavirus. However, he was silenced by Chinese authorities and eventually died after contracting the virus himself.

American journalists in Beijing working for The Post, Wall Street Journal and The New York Times were expelled and not allowed to report on Chinese Coronavirus cases.

The motive behind faking Coronavirus numbers lies in the hands of China’s leader and General Secretary of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping.

Jinping runs a propaganda campaign to promote his image as a powerful and effective ruler. Many believe the cover-up is a part of his plan to shelter his image from being tarnished. If the real number of cases and deaths were reported, Jinping would risk looking weak and powerless.

The University of Southampton estimates 95% of coronavirus infections may have been avoided if China acted just three weeks earlier. Instead, Jinping ordered his officials to spend four weeks trying to hide the problem instead of acting to contain or warn others of the potentially harmful impacts of the virus.

Understanding the true impact of the new virus in China is crucial to combating the pandemic in the United States. With knowledge of viral patterns and trends, such as when China reached its apex, can help the U.S. plan for what’s to come.