Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse charged China with reporting false figures related to the Wuhan coronavirus Wednesday as reports emerge from the East Asian giant that the epidemic appears to be subsiding while cases surge in the United States.
“The claim that the United States has more coronavirus deaths than China is false,” Sasse said in a statement. “Without commenting on any classified information, this much is painfully obvious: The Chinese Communist Party has lied, is lying, and will continue to lie about coronavirus to protect the regime. Beijing’s garbage propaganda shouldn’t be taken seriously by the World Health Organization, by independent journalists, or by the American epidemiologists who are going to beat this terrible virus.”
The statement comes on the heels of a new classified report from the U.S. intelligence community delivered to the White House last week documenting a series of deliberate omissions in China’s reported numbers on the virus.
According to Bloomberg News, officials familiar with the report said Wednesday it definitively concluded China was manipulating its numbers to show things are going better than they really are.
As of this writing, data from John Hopkins University shows China has only publicly reported just more than 82,000 cases with more than 3,000 deaths. The United States, meanwhile, has more than double China’s cases with more than 190,000 infections and more than 4,000 dead.
The report that China is releasing false figures comes as no surprise to anyone paying attention to the global pandemic resulting from the virus that began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in the Hubei province late last year.
New estimates released last week from the U.S. government-funded nonprofit Radio Free Asia already began to contradict China’s reported deaths in Wuhan. Looking at cremation capacity and urn delivery data, Radio Free Asia estimates the true death toll in Wuhan to have surpassed 46,800, which is far higher than the 3,000 fatalities claimed.
At the start of the outbreak, China actively suppressed whistleblowers raising the alarm and turned a blind eye to its lethal threat. Now the virus has spread across the globe, crashing markets worldwide, and is projected to possibly kill millions. The White House estimated Tuesday that with current social distancing measures in place, the epidemic will peak in the United States in about the next two weeks, when a projected 100,000 to 240,000 people will fall victim to the virus. Those numbers do not include the many lives lost to the economic devastation and extreme isolation that preventative measures will claim through suicide.