Leaked Memo Reveals When China Knew Outbreak Was a ‘Severe Epidemic’
President Xi Jinping was aware of 'high risk' of virus in early stages
Just hours after President Donald Trump announced a halt on WHO funding, a leaked document surfaced revealing when Chinese Communist President Xi Jinping was made aware the COVID-19 outbreak had become a "severe" "epidemic."
According to the documents, Xi Jinping knew of the severity of the virus at the same time the World Health Organization insisted there no “evidence of human-to-human transmission.”
The internal documents from China show that by January 14 at the latest, Xi knew that the epidemic was urgent and that the “risk of transmission and spread” was “high."
This was also the same day WHO downplayed the outbreak.
The WHO tweeted at the time:
“Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.”
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China🇨🇳. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020
Despite reports that Xi had control of China’s coronavirus response on January 7, exactly when he was aware of the outbreak being highly contagious is revealed in the AP's report.
“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, Jan. 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.”
An epidemiologist at the University of California, Zuo-Feng Zhang, described the revelation as “tremendous" in the report.
“If they took action six days earlier, there would have been much fewer patients and medical facilities would have been sufficient,” Zhang said.
“We might have avoided the collapse of Wuhan’s medical system.”
The AP continued:
“The six-day delay by China’s leaders in Beijing came on top of almost two weeks during which the National Center for Disease Control did not register any cases from local officials, internal bulletins obtained by the AP confirm."
“Yet during that time, from Jan. 5 to Jan. 17, hundreds of patients were appearing in hospitals not just in Wuhan but across the country.”
The leaked documents also “show that the head of China’s National Health Commission, Ma Xiaowei, laid out a grim assessment of the situation on Jan. 14 in a confidential teleconference with provincial health officials.”
A teleconference was held in order to give instructions from Xi and other officials, according to the memo:
“The epidemic situation is still severe and complex, the most severe challenge since SARS in 2003, and is likely to develop into a major public health event,” the memo cites Ma as saying.
Another part of the memo titled “sober understanding of the situation,” also stated, “clustered cases suggest that human-to-human transmission is possible.”
“With the coming of the Spring Festival, many people will be traveling, and the risk of transmission and spread is high,” the memo said.
“All localities must prepare for and respond to a pandemic.”
But the Chinese proceeded to downplay the severity of the coronavirus, despite the Chinese CDC activating its highest-level response.
The Wall Street Journal wrote that China covered up the initial outbreak, and was also lying about new outbreaks.
Additionally, Neon Nettle reported the World Health Organization (WHO) received a warning about the coronavirus outbreak in China but chose to ignore it, according to a bombshell email released by Taiwan shows.
Taiwan accused the WHO of downplaying the severity of the coronavirus in an attempt to pander to China.
Meanwhile, over 100 international politicians signed an open letter calling China's cover-up of the crisis as their "Chernobyl moment."
“China’s Chernobyl moment is a self-inflicted wound,” the letter states.
“The CCP [Communist Party of China] silenced Chinese doctors who wanted to warn other health professionals during the early stage of the outbreak.”
Dr. Deborah Birx, also admitted that they "didn’t know how contagious” coronavirus was due to holes in the data reported by China, which matches up with the leaked documents.
"And so, now we’re finding out that most of the reporting was around very severe cases, severe cases that presented in a very difficult situation, and that they weren’t really measuring asymptomatic or mild disease," she added.
"In that case, that may be a significant portion of the epidemic," Birx said.
"And so, we didn’t know how it was spreading. We didn’t know the surface contact," she admitted.
What's more, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been frequently accusing China of withholding valuable information on the coronavirus, putting the world at risk.
Pompeo said that the delay in sharing information “truly put thousands of lives at risk."
He added that the Communist state’s authoritarian approach is illustrated in its handling of the crisis.
“My concern is that this cover-up, this disinformation that the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in, is still denying the world the information it needs so that we can prevent further cases or something like this from recurring again,” he added, Reuters reported.