A year after COVID-19 first broke out in Wuhan city, Chinese authorities claimed at a recent regular press briefing that China has been open and cooperative with the World Health Organization (WHO) in its handling of the CCP virus. However, some residents who spoke with The Epoch Times aren’t buying the regime’s claims.
At a press conference on Dec. 29, a reporter asked about the allegations regarding the Chinese regime’s initial attempts to cover up the outbreak. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, claimed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was “open, transparent, and timely” in its COVID-19 response.
A Wuhan resident surnamed Wu, who lives near the Huanan seafood market, told The Epoch Times that the CCP has lied about informing the people about the initial outbreak in a timely manner. Wuhan authorities initially claimed that the virus likely originated from the seafood market, though studies have since shown that some of Wuhan’s first patients had no link to the market.
Wu cited an investigative report by Beijing-based business magazine Caixin, which claimed that Chinese authorities destroyed virus samples.
The Feb. 26 article, titled, “Tracking the Source of Novel Coronavirus Gene Sequencing: When the Alarm Goes Off,” was deleted just hours after it was published online. According to the report, a source from a gene sequencing company revealed that on Jan. 1, 2020, he received a call from the Hubei Provincial Health Commission. He was informed that the examination of samples of new COVID-19 cases must stop; existing virus samples should be destroyed; sample information cannot be disclosed; and related papers and data cannot be released to the public.
“If you detect it [CCP virus] in the future, you must report it to us,” the commission warned the source.
The report also mentioned that the General Office of the National Health Commission issued a notice on Jan. 3, asking relevant institutions not to provide biological samples or other COVID information to other organizations or individuals prior to their approval.
The National Health Commission issued a notice on May 15, vaguely stating that it ordered the destruction of virus samples in labs on Jan. 3 “for the purpose of biological security in lab settings.”
Another Wuhan resident, surnamed Gao, told The Epoch Times, “The first virus case seemed to appear last November [in 2019]. But Wuhan hadn’t declared a lockdown until Jan. 23 .”
“They (Chinese authorities) are lying through their teeth,” Gao added.
The earliest CCP virus patient was detected on Dec. 1, 2019, according to a paper published on Jan. 24, 2020, in the medical journal The Lancet, authored by Chaolin Huang and his colleagues from Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital.
CCP Placed People Under Control Instead of the Pandemic
Gao rebuked the CCP’s claim that it succeeded in controlling the pandemic, and instead, the regime controlled the people.
He said the local authorities confined residents to their homes and brought them under harsh surveillance. Anyone who broke the rules would face a 14-day quarantine at his or her own expense.
Gao added, “The local government often sent a drone to take pictures and patrol high in the sky. Even if you come out to the rooftop of your own apartment building to get some fresh air, you may get caught and face a penalty.”
He also said that the CCP intentionally concealed the actual number of infections. Local authorities declared that the outbreak had been placed under control after hundreds of quarantined patients were transferred from a local hospital to a different area.
“No reporting, no infections. That’s their logic. They can say whatever they like. If we say something different, they’ll call it ‘spreading a rumor,’ or ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble,’ or ‘subverting state power,’” Gao said. Those charges are often used by authorities to detain outspoken critics or activists.
Wuhan’s Official COVID-19 Death Toll Doesn’t Add Up
Gao believes the CCP has been concealing the actual COVID-19 death toll from the public.
He claimed that local funeral homes were in desperate need of incinerators and that mobile incinerators from other areas were brought into Wuhan and they operated 24 hours a day.
“Even at a single funeral home, at least 6,000 bodies were burned,” he added.
A worker at one funeral home told Gao that 600 urns were distributed on the day that residents were allowed to pick up the cremated remains of their family member(s), and that continued for 12 days.
Gao said that this particular funeral home isn’t the largest one in the city, and there are ten others that are about the same size. And based on that calculation, the death toll would have been tens of thousands in Wuhan, far surpassing the official death toll of 3,869 as of April 17.
Research studies, interviews with Wuhan locals, and internal government reports obtained by The Epoch Times also reveal that Chinese authorities have been significantly understating the gravity of the outbreak.
The CCP Are ‘Gangsters’
Gao concluded that the West should impose sanctions on the CCP instead of holding a dialogue.
“It is a shame to the civilized world that (citizen journalist) Zhang Zhan was sentenced to four years in prison despite the lack of evidence, her hunger strike, and grave concern in the international community,” he said.
Zhang Zhan, a female activist and former lawyer, posted information about the Wuhan outbreak on her social media accounts upon arriving there in February last year. On Dec. 28, she was sentenced to four years in prison by a Shanghai court on the charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” and “subversion of state power.”
Gao added: “Many Western nations still wish to negotiate with the CCP. Basically, (they are) having a peaceful dialogue with gangsters. This shouldn’t happen at all. The CCP shows neither respect to people nor to their lives, to say nothing of their freedoms. In the CCP’s eyes, an ordinary person’s life may even be inferior to an ant’s; and his or her death cannot be counted as a figure after they leave the world.”
Luo Ya, Zhang Dun, Gu Qing’er, and Annie Wu contributed to this report.