The US has, extracting import-export data, explained to the world how China reduced exports and increased imports so that, while its inventory is full, the international community would not suspect something was amiss. The US intelligence report says China knew that the situation was going to be dire due to COVID-19, but it did not tell the world the truth even as it kept preparing itself.
China continued to underreport the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, which eventually turned into a global pandemic, says the four-page Department of Homeland Security report dated 1 May.
Not classified but marked “for official use only”, the report has surfaced at a time when the Donald Trump administration is constantly attacking China for its alleged mischief. Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo on Sunday said that China was responsible for the spread of the disease and should be held accountable for it.
Speaking on 3 May on ABC’s “This Week,” Pompeo said he had no reason to believe that the virus was deliberately spread. But he added, “Remember, China has a history of infecting the world, and they have a history of running substandard laboratories.”
“These are not the first times that we’ve had a world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab,” Pompeo said. “And so, while the intelligence community continues to do its work, they should continue to do that, and verify so that we are certain, I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” he said with an apparent reference to the COVID-like Severe and Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that had attacked 26 countries of the world in 2003.
Pompeo just stopped short of accusing China of unleashing a biological weapon on the world.
“Intelligence has just reported to me that I was correct and that they did NOT bring up the coronavirus subject matter until late into January, just prior to my banning China from the US,” Trump wrote without citing specifics. “Also, they only spoke of the Virus in a very non-threatening, or matter of fact, manner.”
US officials believe China concealed the scale of the outbreak of COVID— as well as its nature (contagious or otherwise) — while hoarding the medical equipment needed to deal with it.
The report says further that almost the entire January, China did not inform the World Health Organisation (WHO) that coronavirus was contagious so that it could seek medical supplies from abroad. During that time, its import of face masks, surgical gowns and documents rapidly increased.
According to the report, there is a 95% probability that the changes in the import and export policy of China were not normal.
Meanwhile, the US opposition is betraying its discomfiture with President Donald Trump’s attack on China, much as neither the administration nor the American media has so far mustered the courage to accuse the communist country of biological warfare.