Chinese Regime’s Lack of Transparency on Coronavirus Outbreak Slowing Global Solution: Congressman

February 19, 2020 Updated: February 19, 2020
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Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) in a Houston Chronical editorial has criticized the Chinese Communist Party’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the mainland, saying that its secrecy and control of information is jeopardizing Chinese citizens’ lives and making it harder for the global community to effectively stop the spread of the virus.

“The lack of government transparency from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in dealing with the coronavirus global public health emergency is contributing to the international community’s inability to resolve the crisis,” said Hurd.

“Addressing this crisis must be a global effort, but China’s record of opacity has hindered efforts aimed at understanding its origins and mitigating its effect.”

Hurd reprimanded the regime for its response when the outbreak first went public as officials under-represented the facts about those infected, diminished the severity of the situation, and silenced doctors who tried to warn the public about the outbreak of a SARS-like disease.

“The number of confirmed cases in China has skyrocketed to over 40,000, and the global death toll has risen to almost 2,000 with all but two of the deaths occurring in mainland China,” said Hurd. “The numbers have been rising so quickly that it is difficult to maintain an accurate count. In their response to this outbreak, the Chinese government’s penchant for secrecy and total government control has threatened the lives of their own citizens and risked the safety of the world.”

Hurd praised the U.S. response to the crisis and its swift evacuation of U.S. citizens from Wuhan, as well as the precautions in place for quarantining travelers. He also praised the United States for offering assistance to the Chinese regime at the onset of the crisis.

“I have witnessed firsthand the exemplary efforts being made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and others to ensure the health and safety of all Americans,” he said.

Hurd hit back at China’s accusation that the United States has not done enough or offered assistance to combat the epidemic.

“The U.S. first offered to send expert assistance and resources to China on  Jan. 6, and it took the Chinese government over a month to allow a small advance team of WHO experts into the country.”

The congressman further highlighted the CCP’s lack of integrity in sharing information about the virus with the global scientific community and stressed how this attitude is preventing solutions that have the potential to saving lives.

“This lack of transparency has come even as the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine released a letter insisting that the scientific community needs more sequence data and samples to better understand the virus and its origins. Delaying an understanding of the virus has delayed the development of an effective global response.”

The first case of coronavirus in the United States presented on Jan. 19, 2020, and has since risen to 15.

The World Health Organization has labeled the outbreak as a global emergency.

Outside of mainland China, there are 447 cases in 24 countries and eight deaths. The two most recent deaths were reported from a hospital in the city of Qom, Iran. The two elderly patients are the first deaths from the virus in the Middle East. Deaths have also been reported in the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and France.