Chinese Official’s Remarks on COVID-19 Proves the Authorities Concealed the Initial Outbreak

January 25, 2021 Updated: January 25, 2021


During a press conference held by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Jan. 19, spokesperson Hua Chunying refused to acknowledge the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she may have inadvertently exposed the fact that high-level officials were concealing information about the first outbreak of the CCP virus in Wuhan city late last year. Hua’s statements hit directly at the CCP’s lies about the outbreak and embarrassed Party leader Xi Jinping.

A reporter from NHK asked: “In its second report released on January 18, the WHO-led Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response said that WHO has been underpowered to do its job. It also said that public health measures could have been applied more forcefully by local and national health authorities in China in January 2020. What’s your comment?”

Hua tried to shift the blame on the medical and health system. “As President Xi said earlier, in view of the weaknesses and deficiencies exposed by COVID-19, we need to improve the governance system for public health security and to respond more quickly to public health emergencies,” she said.

However, Hua’s argument which cited Wu Zunyou, a chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), had the opposite effect. She claimed, “He [Wu Zunyou] said that between December 31, 2019 and January 1, 2020, when only about 40 cases were found, China made the decision to close the Huanan seafood market in just a few hours.”

This should have been the first official acknowledgement of the problem by the CCP. Hua said on Dec. 31, 2019, around 40 COVID-19 cases were confirmed, which proved the existence of human-to-human transmission. Instead of disclosing this information to the Chinese people in the mainland and the outside world, the CCP decided to conceal the facts and divert attention to the Huanan seafood market, using it as a scapegoat. However, subsequent cases repeatedly confirmed that the CCP virus outbreak had nothing to do with the seafood market.

The so-called weaknesses and deficiencies of the medical and health system are not the real problems. At that time, the hospital in Wuhan had already reported numerous cases of patients with pneumonia-like illness, and the CCP’s National Health Commission also sent experts to investigate the situation. Why did it fail to declare a public health emergency response right then? The reason is the medical system does not have the right to make such a decision.

Furthermore, after Wuhan was locked down, former mayor Zhou Xianwang made a special appearance on CCTV, saying that he must be authorized by the central government to report the cases. This decision needs approval from the top tier of the CCP.

During a meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee on Jan. 7, Xi Jinping stated that he personally gave instructions to declare a public health emergency; and yet, state-run media reports on the meeting did not mention it at all.

The Chinese regime tried to silence doctors, such as Dr. Li Wenliang, who first exposed the CCP virus outbreak in Wuhan. Even the original virus sample data was destroyed. Now the WHO claims that it may never be able to find patient zero. The CCP is “firmly against politicizing the issue of origin-tracing,” Hua said in response to the NHK reporter’s question.

Hua also said, “It took a little over three weeks from the detection of the outbreak to the lockdown of Wuhan, when there were only around 500 cases reported.”

The CCP should have made an official announcement before the lockdown of Wuhan because the outbreak involved at least 500 cases. She still referred to the 500 cases as “only.” During this period, the CCP denied human-to-human transmission, and the Hubei Provincial People’s Congress held meetings as usual, in which some people wore masks. It can be seen that they knew there was a major problem. However, more than 40,000 families were not prevented from attending the Chinese New Year banquet in the Baibuting community of Wuhan.

The CCP’s senior leaders highly politicized a public health emergency and deliberately concealed the epidemic, which caused COVID-19 to get out of control and become a worldwide public health emergency.

The revelations in Hua’s denial not only failed to absolve Xi Jinping of any responsibility, but also embarrassed him. By repeatedly saying “only” to refer to the number of COVID-19 cases, Hua’s statements reveal the CCP’s disregard for the victims. To prevent similar disasters from happening again, the Chinese people and the international community must realize that the CCP is like a political virus that endangers the world.

Zhong Yuan is a researcher focused on China’s political system, the country’s democratization process, human rights situation, and Chinese citizens’ livelihood.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.