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CIA believes China underestimates coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak

Alexander Alexeenko - 05.04.20

Visit Express Novosti to read articles on Donald Trump latest news about coronavirus outbreak over the globe and further relations with China.

In early February, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency warned the White House that coronavirus outbreaks from China were underestimated and that other countries should not rely on them to build a strategy to combat Covid-19. This was announced to the American media on condition of anonymity by former and current CIA officers. Get more information about confirmed cases and death toll.


According to the New York Times, some representatives of the White House at the end of January began to be skeptical of the information that came from China, and asked the American intelligence agencies to take this issue with all seriousness. Based on CIA agents reports, who, for obvious reasons, wished to remain anonymous, after a while a report was sent to the presidential administration that stated directly that the data from China was untrue.

US President Donald Trump did not attach much importance to this information, but that all changed last week. A few days ago, Bloomberg wrote that at a March briefing at the White House, Trump said that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases provided by China may be more optimistic than in reality, but the US and Beijing are in constant contact and everything is under control.

"As for whether they give exact numbers or not ... I'm not a bookkeeper from China," Trump said.

Recently, there has been a warming in relations between countries, and much attention has been paid to a trade agreement between them. More recently, the American president recalled that China is ready to spend $ 250 million on American goods, and the parties are interested in the deal taking place.

However, over the past week, the epidemiological situation in the United States began to deteriorate at a record pace. Almost immediately, the country overtook Italy and a new pandemic epicenter appeared on the planet with the largest number of confirmed cases in the world - almost 312 thousand people, more than 8 thousand people died.

Against this background, writes NYT, Beijing and Washington again fell upon each other with criticism. Now, the White House administration claims that having accurate data on the number of people infected and dead in China, as well as the true spread of the virus, is critical for people around the world, including Americans.

However, so far, intelligence has not been able to collect reliable data confirming or disproving. Based on the fact that the information from China is far from being valid, the CIA concludes that the Chinese authorities themselves do not represent the true extent of the disaster. Officials from Hubei province, where an outbreak of coronavirus occurred at the beginning of the year, as well as from other regions of China, deliberately underestimated the number of infected and dead, fearing punishment if the center decides that they can’t cope with the situation, agents said.

Finally, stay tuned for experts’ and analysts’ opinions on the Trump and China relations, and on the US in general.

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