Trump’s Contradictory Views on China Shift as Crisis Grows

Makeshift hospital

The military-style operation, due to begin by the weekend, is aimed at resolving a standoff between cruise line operators and authorities who fear a wave of new imported coronavirus cases would overwhelm local hospitals.

In response to a classified USA intelligence report about China's coverup of the virus outbreak, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) condemned the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for deceiving the world in order to protect its rule.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Thursday defended as "open and transparent" China's response to the virus first identified in December in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Activities in Hubei province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus seem to contradict the reported death toll in China.

Deborah Birx, a member of Trump's coronavirus task force, said on Tuesday that the USA medical community saw the outbreak as "serious but smaller than anyone expected because I think probably we were missing a significant amount of the data".

News agency Bloomberg cited three United States officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, that China's public reporting of both infections and deaths is intentionally incomplete.

President Donald Trump in recent weeks has accused Beijing of not fully sharing data sooner about the virus outbreak once it started in China.

Although imported cases only account for 1 percent of overall infections in China with the vast majority of them found in Chinese citizens, the government banned the entry of most foreigners last week.

-China policy during the next several months, but China's cover-up and disinformation campaign will color the relationship going forward, Dan Blumenthal, director of Asian studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said Wednesday.

The skeletons of coronavirus cases that China hid are apparently tumbling out of the closet.

The US, where the outbreak is the worst, has confirmed more than 200,000 infections and 4,542 deaths.

"As to whether or not their numbers are accurate", Trump said.

Residents in China have been under strict restrictions for several weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak, for almost two months in Hubei province.

On Tuesday, State Department immunologist Deborah Birx suggested that alleged under-reporting by China may have caused a mistaken perception of the threat posed by the virus, and subsequent complications when it reached other countries. Yet the numbers so far do not reveal the true scale of this category of individuals infected by the coronavirus.

But the recent war of words between United States and China over coronavirus outbreak has strained ties with some Chinese claiming that the USA military was to blame for the spread of virus in China.

Republican lawmakers this week called for an investigation into a possible coverup by China, as well as the disappearance of three citizen journalists, Fang Bin, Chen Qiushi and Li Zehua, who went missing after reporting from Wuhan. The development of medical therapies and public-health measures to combat the virus "so that we can save lives depends on the ability to have confidence and information about what has actually transpired", Pompeo said.

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