The United States Intelligence community says the Chinese government has misrepresented the severity of its coronavirus pandemic.
According to Bloomberg, three anonymous White House officials cited a classified report that alleges China intentionally under-reported the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. One of the sources said they received the report last week, but did not indicate whether U.S. intelligence had any idea of China's true infection rate. Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University reveals the country had reported just over 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths, as of Tuesday afternoon.
The deadly disease is believed to have emerged from China's Hubei province in late 2019. Since then, three other countries—Spain, Italy, and the U.S.—have surpassed China's reported figures of COVID-19 cases, and recently claimed it had its first day with no new cases in Wuhan. The Chinese government says it was able to successfully contain the virus through strict measures, but many U.S. officials have raised doubts about these claims.
President Donald Trump has been very critical of China's response to the coronavirus, claiming they mislead the world about the extent outbreak.
"I wish they could have told us earlier about what was going on inside," POTUS said about China during a press briefing last month. "We didn't know about it until it started coming out publicly, but I wish they could have told us earlier about it because we could have come up with a solution."