From the very start of this coronavirus mess, there have been concerns that perhaps there is much more to the tale of a freakish outbreak in Wuhan, China at a wildlife market.
First of all, whenever China comes into the equation, skepticism is appropriate. Beijing has been notoriously tight-lipped on the world stage, particularly as it pertains to subjects that don’t paint them in the most captivating light.
Now, as the US death toll soars to well above China’s reported numbers, despite China being caught off-guard by the outbreak, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force is calling shenanigans.
Dr. Deborah Birx on Tuesday said that medical experts failed to understand the seriousness of the coronavirus because of incomplete data coming out of China.
“I think the medical community interpreted the Chinese data as that this was serious but smaller than anyone expected,” she said. “Because I think probably we were missing a significant amount of the data.”
She acknowledged frankly that when she saw early data from China reporting only 50,000 cases of the virus among the 20 million people in Wuhan, China, and the 80 million in Hubei province, she felt that the threat was similar to that of SARS, which had 8,098 cases globally and 774 deaths.
The devastation hitting countries like Italy and Spain and South Korea gave the experts much more complete data, helping them draw models that were far more alarming.
There have already been numerous calls for China to pay reparations for the damage done by the virus, due to their apparent attempt to cover-up the outbreak and smother the scientific data surrounding the ongoing pandemic.