AP: China Hid Pandemic Status Of Coronavirus For Six Days

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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Chinese government officials determined the coronavirus was likely to become a nationwide pandemic on January 14th, but waited six days to warn its citizens and the world, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Health officials began secret preparations for facing the disease over the course of nearly a week but did not warn the public until Jan 20. A study from early March determined that China could have reduced global cases by 66 percent had it warned the world and acted just one week earlier.

“This is tremendous,” Zuo-Feng Zhang, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles told the AP. “If they took action six days earlier, there would have been much fewer patients and medical facilities would have been sufficient. We might have avoided the collapse of Wuhan’s medical system.” (RELATED: Top WHO Official Won Election With China’s Help)

China’s efforts on the early coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan have been widely criticized, and this six-day delay comes as only a piece of the controversy. The nation’s leading communist party also allegedly censored doctors who attempted to warn the world of the danger and falsified data on the number of cases and deaths.

The regime’s official tally claims 2,500 people died of the virus in Wuhan, but evidence indicates the total was actually more than 40,000. (RELATED: US Ramps Up Crackdown On China’s Spying Efforts During Coronavirus)

Just one of the city’s eight mortuaries received shipments of 5,000 urns over the course of two days during the crisis to carry ashes of the deceased, according to Shanghaiist.

The mortuary released urns at a rate of 500 per day until April 4. Starting with the first confirmed delivery on March 26 and including the city’s seven other mortuaries, this puts the total at roughly 40,000 urns.

Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley was the first U.S. politician to call for holding China accountable for its actions regarding the coronavirus, introducing legislation that would open an international investigation into the Chinese Communist Party and explore ways to “compel” compensation.