CHINA has been accused of releasing propaganda organised information to protect the communist party during the coronavirus pandemic.
China was at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic after it was first reported in Wuhan. But according to Matthew Henderson from the Henry Jackson Society, the country has lied about the far-reaching spread of COVID-19 and where it came from.
It comes as 1,300 people who died in the Chinese city of Wuhan, or half the total, were not counted in death tolls because of lapses, state media said on Friday, but Beijing dismissed claims that there had been any kind of cover-up.
Speaking to talkRADIO, Mr Henderson said: “The information released by official Chinese media is propaganda organised and designed to protect the interests of the communist party.
“It is surprising when they tell us something that’s true so, let’s start with that.
“The entire scenario in Wuhan has been massive disinformation from the word go.
“The information that was passed onto the WHO on December 31 was not true and the information given to citizens in Wuhan was also not true.
“Their claim that the infection started in the wet market is also likely not to be true but they’ve destroyed all the evidence and suppressed that scholarship to research institutes on virology that was coming up with correct information.
“If they’ve got to declare that there are more deaths now, this is very significant. It’s not the figure it’s that for some reason they’ve decided to fess up to it and that is incredibly interesting in itself.
“I believe its not likely to be a true figure the fact is, what on Earth has obliged them to say this?
“Because if you think about it, either the Chinese head of state didn’t know what happened or he knew they were lying.”
The central city where the outbreak emerged late last year added 1,290 more fatalities to the 2,579 previously counted as of Thursday, reflecting incorrect reporting, delays and omissions, according to a local government task force in charge of controlling the coronavirus.
Reflecting on the additional deaths in Wuhan, China revised its national death toll later on Friday up to 4,632.
The revision follows widespread speculation that Wuhan’s death toll was significantly higher than reported.
Rumours of more victims were fuelled for weeks by pictures of long queues of family members waiting to collect ashes of cremated relatives and reports of thousands of urns stacked at a funeral home waiting to be filled.
State media cited an unidentified Wuhan official as saying: “In the early stage, due to limited hospital capacity and the shortage of medical staff, a few medical institutions failed to connect with local disease control and prevention systems in a timely manner, which resulted in delayed reporting of confirmed cases and some failures to count patients accurately.”
Suspicion that China has not been transparent about the outbreak has risen in recent days as death tolls mount in many countries, including the United States, with President Donald Trump on Wednesday expressing scepticism about China’s previously declared death figure of about 3,000.
France said on Friday that there was no evidence so far of a link between the new coronavirus and the work of the P4 research laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the current pandemic started.
An official at President Emmanuel Macron’s office said: “We would like to make it clear that there is to this day no factual evidence corroborating the information recently circulating in the United States press that establishes a link between the origins of COVID-19 and the work of the P4 laboratory of Wuhan, China.”