Coronavirus

Report: U.S. Intelligence Concludes China Is Lying About Coronavirus

Chinese president Xi Jinping / Getty Images

A U.S. intelligence report concluded that China lied about the impact of the coronavirus within its borders, under-reporting total case numbers and deaths in public figures, according to Bloomberg News.

China today claims to have roughly 82,000 confirmed cases and 3,300 deaths, but skeptics have long doubted the veracity of those figures, citing accounts from Chinese crematoriums that are processing thousands of urns with coronavirus remains every day. The classified report, which Bloomberg said was submitted to the White House, found that China's coronavirus figures are "intentionally incomplete," corroborating circumstantial evidence that China falsified its figures.

"A *single mortuary* in Wuhan reportedly ordered more urns in two days than the Chinese Communist Party has reported total deaths in the whole country," Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) tweeted on Sunday. "I’m sure you’re shocked by evidence of Chinese lies."

Beijing has reported a steady drop in new COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks, painting a rosy picture while the rest of the world struggles to fight the pandemic. However, China's official count changes by the day as the Chinese Communist Party routinely shifts the standards for who is included in the statistics. For instance, the country started to release its daily tally of new asymptomatic patients starting Wednesday, after the public expressed concerns that asymptomatic carriers might unwittingly transmit the disease.

The report comes as Republican congressional leaders such as Rep. Jim Banks (Ind.) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) push to hold China accountable for exacerbating the coronavirus outbreak. These measures have encountered pushback from Democrats, who accuse Republicans of inflaming racial animosity.

In addition to falsifying its figures, China also launched an aggressive disinformation campaign in March, accusing the U.S. military of bringing the virus into Wuhan. The legislation being pushed by Banks seeks to counter those efforts by urging China to disavow that falsehood.

"The House of Representatives calls on the Chinese Government to (A) publicly state that there’s no evidence that COVID–19 originated anywhere else but China; (B) denounce the baseless conspiracy that the United States Army placed COVID–19 in Wuhan," the bill states.