China assumes moral high ground to ‘refute’ Covid-19 underreporting allegations

A woman wearing a protective mask walks past a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping on a street as the country is hit by an outbreak of the coronavirus in Shanghai, China, March 12, 2020. (Photo courtesy: NR)

(, Apr03’20) – China has on Apr 2 assumed a moral high ground it never had any basis to swear by as it sought to refute widespread allegations that it had fudged its figures of infections and deaths from the Covid-19 pandemic which broke out late last year in its central city of Wuhan and which has now engulfed the world.

In particular, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying has sought to refute several United States intelligence officials’ and leaders’ accusations that Beijing had concealed the extent of the coronavirus epidemic and under-reported the number of the cases and deaths, retorting that such remarks were “shameless and immoral.”

“China has been giving open, transparent and timely updates to the world as demonstrated clearly in the details my colleagues and I have elaborated on China’s response many times,” China’s official Xinhua news agency Apr 2 quoted Hua as saying.

However, in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, being “open, transparent” is not something that even the Chinese people associate with President Xi Jinping’s administration. Many who were courageous enough to point this out have ended up being admonished or disappeared.

Nevertheless, the report cited Hua as saying, “On international public health security, it is the World Health Organization (WHO) and experts on epidemiology and disease control who are entitled to make judgement, rather than several politicians who are habitual liars.”

Unfortunately, the WHO itself stands accused of playing second-fiddle to the Chinese government throughout the pandemic’s outbreak and spread, including by refusing to declare it a pandemic after its chief meeting with President Xi.

Nevertheless, Hua has cited “a senior WHO official” as refuting Apr 2 “unjustified accusations against China’s epidemic data at a press conference in Geneva.”


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