If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…
For weeks, the Chinese government has been claiming that there have been virtually no new cases in their country of over 1 billion people.
While their draconian lockdown was the harshest around the world, there are many doubts surrounding the validity of their numbers.
Some have even accused China of covering up their actual COVID-19 tally in order to change the narrative away from the "Wuhan Virus" into an American conspiracy theory.
Now, the CIA is getting involved.
A new report reveals that the CIA has assets in China who are raising the alarm on the numbers that the communist government is reporting.
Even if China is lying about their coronavirus cases, would it be possible to figure out the true number of infections?
More details on all of this below:
According to Americna intelligence officials, the belief isn't necessarily that China is lying.
Rather, the most likely scenario is the China itself doesn't know its true infection rates.
The COVID-19 testing kits that China has sent to countries around the globe, for example, have experienced wrong results up to 70 percent of the time.
It is even reported that Italy returned testing kits that it received from China.
According to the New York Times, the CIA has been warning about China's numbers since February:
The C.I.A. has been warning the White House since at least early February that China has vastly understated its coronavirus infections and that its count could not be relied upon as the United States compiles predictive models to fight the virus, according to current and former intelligence officials.
The intelligence briefings in recent weeks, based at least in part on information from C.I.A. assets in China, played an important role in President Trump’s negotiation on Thursday of an apparent détente with President Xi Jinping of China. Since then, both countries have ratcheted back criticism of each other.
Obtaining a more accurate count of the Chinese rate of infection and deaths from the virus has worldwide public health implications at a time of grave uncertainty over the virus, its speed of transmission and other fundamental questions. For American officials, the totals are critical to getting a better understanding of how Covid-19 will affect the United States in the months to come and of the effectiveness of countermeasures like social distancing, according to American intelligence agencies and White House officials.
So far, to the frustration of both the White House and the intelligence community, the agencies have been unable to glean more accurate numbers through their collection efforts.
But American intelligence agencies have concluded that the Chinese government itself does not know the extent of the virus and is as blind as the rest of the world. Midlevel bureaucrats in the city of Wuhan, where the virus originated, and elsewhere in China have been lying about infection rates, testing and death counts, fearful that if they report numbers that are too high they will be punished, lose their position or worse, current and former intelligence officials said.
Bureaucratic misreporting is a chronic problem for any government, but it has grown worse in China as the Communist leadership has taken a more authoritarian turn in recent years under Mr. Xi.
No complete picture of the virus exists anywhere because of factors beyond government suppression, including testing shortages, varying measurement standards and asymptomatic infections that could account for up to one in four coronavirus cases. Iran has obfuscated its struggles with the pandemic. Italy’s death count of more than 13,000, the most worldwide, leaves out people who died outside hospitals. Testing in the United States lags behind other countries.
The world has suffered from misinformation coming from China.
Not only did China delay telling the World Health Organization about the novel coronavirus, but they also claimed that human-to-human transmission was impossible.
Because China is attempting to overtake the United States as the world's leader, many believe that China has a reason to downplay the severity of the pandemic in its own country.
The pandemic could have been prevented or vastly slowed down if foreign experts were allowed into China to investigate the novel coronavirus, experts claim.
Even after the virus has gone global, China is engaged in utmost secrecy, banning American reporters from entering the country.
In an interview with Breitbart, former CIA station chief officer Daniel Hoffman said that the United States is "collateral damage" of the Chinese communist government's lies about COVID-19.
Breitbart reports that Hoffman compared the novel coronavirus to Chernobyl:
I’ve called the coronavirus pandemic China’s Xi Jinping’s Chernobyl because you’ve got the same kind of troubles — obsequious bureaucrats who aren’t telling the truth, an opaque bureaucracy that was slow to respond. This, you know, George Orwell 1984, try to shape the facts to fit Chinese propaganda.
Chernobyl refers to the 1980’s nuclear disaster in Russia attributed to negligence at the hands of Soviet officials who refused to acknowledge the spread of dangerous levels of radiation across Europe stemming from the meltdown of an atomic power plant in Ukraine.
“The Chinese are lying. They’ve lied right from the very beginning about the severity of this health crisis and they did it because they were afraid of their own people. Now, we were collateral damage in that,” Hoffman, who has a combined 30 years of distinguished government service in the CIA and other federal entities, told Breitbart News Saturday, echoing U.S. officials and the American intelligence community.
Hoffman went on to note that there is a role for the U.S. intelligence community to play in lifting the veil on what is taking place in China with the coronavirus.
“We need our intelligence community to mount a full-court press to determine how bad it is in China,” he said. “How fast it’s spreading. What they’re doing about it. This has implications for China’s own stability.”
Anonymous members of the U.S. intelligence community allegedly agree that Beijing has been hiding the severity of the viral outbreak in China, Bloomberg reported this week.
Several U.S. officials – including Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force – have questioned the legitimacy of China’s official coronavirus death toll and infection rate.
More accurate numbers from China would help our understanding of the coronavirus.
The more data that's available, the better researchers can understand the infection rate as well as the mortality rate.
While we learn more and more every day about COVID-19, there's still a treasure trove of information that we don't know.
The more knowledge that our medical researchers and scientists have, the more lives we'll be able to save.