In a report from Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst (Federal Intelligence Service), Chinese President Xi Jinping “personally asked the World Health Organization to delay the release of critical information regarding its coronavirus outbreak.”
As reported by Berlin’s Der Spiegel magazine via the Daily Caller (emphasis mine);
Xi met with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on January 21 to request that he withhold information about human-to-human transition and delay the declaration of a global pandemic, according to German magazine Der Spiegel.
The news comes amid rising sentiment that China should be held financially responsible for the pandemic.
“The BND’s verdict is harsh: At least four, if not six, weeks have been lost in Beijing’s information policy in the fight against the virus,” Der Spiegel reported.
BND is the native German acronym for its Federal Intelligence Service. Four to six weeks of additional preparation time could have avoided the global pandemic entirely, according to a study published in early March.
Researchers at the University of Southampton found that if China had acted and gone public with its information just three weeks sooner, it could have reduced spread of the disease by as much as 95%.
The U.S. intelligence community similarly concluded by mid-March that China had been falsifying its data on both coronavirus cases and deaths in its outbreaks in Wuhan and elsewhere.