As coronavirus cases have jumped in recent days, China misled the world by purposely underreporting its numbers of patients and deaths, three U.S. intelligence officials say.
In a classified report sent to the White House, the officials said that China’s public record of COVID-19 infections was deliberately deceptive and incomplete.
Bloomberg, which first reported the news, cited three U.S. intelligence officers who they said they alerted the White House last week to Beijing’s misleading numbers. Two of the three sources called the numbers flat-out fake.
While there have been skeptics all along, China’s decision to downplay its numbers could have deadly consequence for the rest of the world.
Deborah Birx, the State Department immunologist advising the White House on its response to COVID-19, said Tuesday that China’s numbers influenced assumptions in other countries about the nature of the contagion.