Rumors and controversy have continued to surround the coronavirus outbreak, not just in the way it originated but also in the way that some countries are reporting about it. In particular China.
While many believed this was merely people looking for scandal that just was not there, it appears that there may actually be some truth in the theories.
Foreign Policy has managed to gain access to the National University of Defense Technology’s raw data regarding the pandemic. An organization controlled by China’s military, the data has been collated by different government departments and covers 230 cities in China.
The article confirms that, “It can serve as a valuable trove of information for epidemiologists and public health experts around the globe — a data set that Beijing has almost certainly not shared with US officials or doctors.”
Although it is not fully complete as yet, it is clear that this data, which Beijing has been using for all of their reports, has more in-depth information than we are being allowed to know. Starting at the beginning of February and running through until late April, the data set has been tracking around 640,000 cases of covid-19 and has the map coordinates of apartments, homes, hotels, restaurants, places of worship, schools, supermarkets as well as all the hospitals that have reported cases of the virus, along with the number of cases, recoveries and deaths linked to the location.
While Foreign Policy – and the co-publisher of the article 100Reporters – have as yet to make the information available to the public, they have confirmed that they are “exploring ways to make the data available for researchers studying the spread of the coronavirus”.
The outbreak of covid-19 first originated in China meaning the compiling of relevant and reliable data was a task that was new to the world. However for many years the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has instilled severe data collection procedures on meaning the data should have already been there. The CCP has also conducted countrywide censorship and strict surveillance on its citizens, which are a few of the reasons the world’s leaders became uneasy with the way China was reporting on the pandemic.
The article continues:
“Unlike in other countries, China’s outbreak peaked before rigorous testing methods were widely available, and the Communist Party often manipulates data for political purposes.”
Further documentation has also revealed that Beijing failed to inform not only its own citizens but the entire world for six days in January, which could have been vital in stopping the epidemic become the pandemic we are all still trying to fight.
Following the discovery of the virus the CCP has failed to change the way they are releasing information and has continued to only allow the world to know limited information. It is this very tactic that is causing so many to query whether Beijing is in fact lying to the world.
When the figures were released from the early stages of the pandemic many epidemiologists were struck how the numbers appeared so specifically tracked considering many other countries were struggling to get exact figures while they were trying to work out what they were dealing with.
Then in April the number of deaths from coronavirus were suddenly changed. Whereas Wuhan had previously declared 2,579 deaths, they now said there were 3,869 deaths, an increase of 50 per cent.
The Daily Telegraph received a copy of a 15-page intelligence report, put together by the Five-Eyes alliance (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and America) accusing the Chinese of covering up the true extent of the pandemic.
“It states that to the ‘endangerment of other countries’ the Chinese government covered-up news of the virus by silencing or ‘disappearing’ doctors who spoke out, destroying evidence of it in laboratories and refusing to provide live samples to international scientists who were working on a vaccine.”
The report concludes that:
“China deliberately suppressed or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak in an ‘assault on international transparency’ that cost tens of thousands of lives.”
Australia is just one of the countries that have requested an international investigation into where exactly covid-19 originated and how it was allowed to spread so far and so quickly. This has provoked angry responses from China with Beijing already taking some steps of retaliation against Prime Minister Scott Morrison. And while their Foreign Minister Marise Payne has expressed concerns of ‘economic coercion’, China has continued to put the squeeze on Australia, with the country banning Australian meat as well as barley producers.
Many are curious to why Beijing are being so overly sensitive. Foreign Policy writes, “possibly because of bureaucratic errors.” They continue:
“And possibly because Beijing fears that outside researchers will learn of its extensive cover-up, destroying the narrative that an authoritarian nation like China is better equipped to protect its people against a pandemic.”