While the world is currently a little busy trying to get a global pandemic under control, it should be understand that China will have a whole lot of explaining to do once this is all over.
From the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, China has been at the forefront, and not only because of the viral infection’s origins in a Wuhan wet market. The authoritarian communist regime has been routinely criticized for the incomplete and misleading data that they have provided for the rest of the world, and more than a few leaders have wondered whether or not this was a calculated move by a conniving cabal in Beijing.
New reports are now detailing just how the data decisions were made in China, and what went wrong.
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.
President Xi Jinping warned the public on the seventh day, January 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.
That delay, from January 14 to January 20, was neither the first mistake made by Chinese officials at all levels in confronting the outbreak, nor the longest lag, as governments around the world have dragged their feet for weeks and even months in addressing the virus.
The news could lend some weight to the argument that China is perhaps facing calls for international reparations at the conclusion of this coronavirus crisis.
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