In a story interrupted by Bloomberg on Wednesday, senior officials told the news service that “Chinese public reporting of the cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete.” According to a classified report from the US intelligence community, China has underreported both the number of infections and their death rates.
China denies it, of course, but it is a dictatorial regime that would deny that the sky is blue if it thought it was making them bad.
Why is it important to us?
Much of what we know about coronavirus comes from the experience that China has had with it. People at the Beijing summit have been disingenuous about the epidemic for a long time. Have they taken this seriously? Did they report it to international authorities early enough to help stop the spread? Or have they lied and obscured to save their reputation?
My money is on the latter.
It seems that the American intelligence community is also betting on it.
So should Canada be concerned that some of the key data and models we have used to determine how difficult this outbreak will be for us have been lied to?
I would say yes, but I do not lead or belong to the federal government. Those who are cannot get their message directly. On Thursday, in the space of two hours, we were told that it was something to fear later, that it was something NATO and our allies were worried about now and that this statement was in some way sort of a conspiracy theory on the Internet.
These reactions came from the Prime Minister, his Minister of Foreign Affairs and his Minister of Health.
“Obviously there will be many, many questions because all of this will be addressed in the coming months and even years on how it has been managed, what lessons are learned, who has done well, who has not done as well and who may not have been as open with the global community as they should have been. These are questions, however, for future times, “said Trudeau on Thursday.
He refused to directly address the issue of China and the US intelligence report in question.
I understand that pointing fingers is less important to the PM right now than getting this pandemic through Canada, but he seemed to be trying not to disturb China.
The Minister of World Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, was a little more open before retiring in line with the government not to upset China.
“We are very concerned about this information. I just had a call with NATO allies about this a few hours ago, “said Champagne during the daily briefing.
He went on to explain that Canada gets its health information from the UN-supported World Health Organization, but said that liberal democracies must be concerned.
I hope his cabinet colleague is also concerned. As Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu leads the charge in Canada to fight the virus from a health standpoint.
“I would say your question is fueling the conspiracy theories that many people perpetuate on the Internet,” said Hajdu in response to a very reasonable question from CTV producer Ian Wood.
Wood had no conspiracy theory – the minister avoided a difficult question.
We must be skeptical of China and their claims. We should not base our own models and experiences on theirs.
China denounced Dr. Li Wenliang for denouncing COVID-19, and then exonerated him after his death. Dr Ai Fen, director of emergency services at Wuhan Central Hospital, has now disappeared after criticizing the government’s response.
You can’t trust the Chinese government on this, no matter how much Justin Trudeau admires their basic dictatorship.