(PresidentialWire.Com)- Many people in the media and some in Washington have questioned the United States’ alleged slow response to the coronavirus pandemic here, which they believe has led to a rapidly-increasing spread as well as more deaths than was necessary.
On Tuesday, the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Deborah Brix, said this happened because China reported faulty data regarding the initial outbreak there. At a press conference, Brix said:
“When you looked at the China data originally, you start thinking of this more like SARS than you do a global pandemic. The medical community interpreted the Chinese data as, this was serious, but smaller than anyone expected. Because, probably … we were missing a significant amount of the data, now that we see what happened to Italy and we see what happened to Spain.
The original data reported 50,000 people infected with coronavirus. That is a relatively small amount when compared to the 80 million people in that region of China.
When Brix joined the Coronavirus Task Force back on February 26, there were just less than 80,000 total cases being reported from China, with those 50,000 in the Hubei Province, which is where the city of Wuhan is located.
This accusation is nothing new, unfortunately. It originated back in February, when out of nowhere, it seemed, the number of reported cases coming out of China increased almost 10 times than the day before, with deaths more than doubling.
Those dramatic increases came after China reported eight straight days of declining numbers. The rise was attributed to changes in the methodology of discovering cases that now included “clinically diagnosed” cases, whereas they didn’t before.
This led many health experts around the world to question both the accuracy and the timeliness of China’s reporting data, which in turn led to many other countries not properly responding as early as they probably should have.
A professor of epidemiology at Imperial College London, Neil Ferguson, even said “only the most severe infections were being diagnosed” in China, and as little as 10% of actual cases were properly being detected. Ferguson claimed that the official numbers coming out of Wuhan would capture only about 1 in 19 actual infections.
China continues to confuse the world with their reporting, too. Just this week, the country said it was switching up what it defined as positive COVID-19 cases to include asymptomatic infections in official data for the first time. This would mean that for all this time, China has been vastly underreporting how many cases have actually been confirmed.
In fact, this is the eighth time that China has changed its own definition of what a confirmed coronavirus case is, so how can their data be trusted?
At a virtual G7 meeting on March 25, Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, blasted the “intentional disinformation campaign that China has been and continues to be engaged in. The information that we got at the front end of this thing wasn’t perfect and has led us now to a place where much of the challenge we face today has put us behind the curve.”
You’re only as good as the data you have, as the saying goes.