In a latest development the US intelligence has accused the Chinese government of lying about the total number of deaths and infections in the country. In a classified report sent to the White House, the officials said that China’s public record of COVID-19 was fake. 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 incomplete.
The outbreak began in China's Hubei province in late 2019, but the country has publicly reported only about 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Last week, reports emerged that thousands of urns — many times the number required for those who died in the outbreak — had been delivered to funeral homes across Hubei province. Long lines of bereaved relatives outside funeral homes have also boosted concerns that the true scale of the outbreak has not been made public.
While China eventually imposed a strict lockdown beyond those of less autocratic nations, there has been considerable skepticism of China's reported numbers, both outside and within the country. U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has publicly urged China and other nations to be transparent about their outbreaks. He has repeatedly accused China of covering up the extent of the problem and being slow to share information, especially in the weeks after the virus first emerged, and blocking offers of help from American experts. On Wednesday, US president Donald Trump denied having read an intelligence report about the outbreak in China, but told a White House new briefing on the pandemic that China's numbers "seem a little on the light side and I’m being nice when I say that."