China under-reported coronavirus cases and deaths, U.S. intelligence reportedly concludes

Tim O'Donnell

There has been some skepticism about China's reporting on the novel COVID-19 coronavirus for some time, especially as smaller countries like Italy surged past the world's most populous nation in both overall cases and deaths. On Wednesday, U.S. intelligence officials told Bloomberg on condition of anonymity that the skepticism is valid.

Per Bloomberg, the U.S. intelligence community reportedly concluded in a classified document that China, where the pandemic originated, has under-reported its totals. The officials didn't reveal any of the reports contents, but said the gist of it is China intentionally left death and cases reports incomplete — two officials reportedly said the numbers out of China are fake.

Officially, China has tallied more than 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths, whereas the U.S. already has more than 189,000 cases and 4,000 deaths. Beijing somewhat acknowledged their stats were skewed after they changed their methodology to include some asymptomatic cases, but it's unclear how many more asymptomatic infections were discounted overall. Thousands of urns outside funeral homes have reportedly led people to doubt the Chinese government's death total, as well. Read more at Bloomberg.

More stories from theweek.com
The Secret Service signed an 'emergency order' this week — for 30 golf carts
Trump to New York: 'Stop complaining'
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is what real coronavirus leadership looks like