Wuhan Coronavirus

The Coronavirus Cover-Up: A Timeline

How the Chinese Communist Party Misled the World about COVID-19 and is Using the World Health Organization as an Instrument of Propaganda 

Executive Summary

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have deceived the world about the coronavirus since its appearance in late 2019. In this situation brief, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation compares the timeline and facts with China’s ongoing disinformation campaign about the coronavirus’ origins, nature, and spread. This brief also demonstrates how the World Health Organization (WHO) has promoted and helped legitimize China’s false claims.

The consequences of China’s deception and the WHO’s credulity are now playing out globally. It is normally difficult to assign culpability to governments and organizations charged with ensuring public health in any pandemic, but the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is materially different. The denial of information, outright fabrications, and disregard for human life—both within and outside of China’s borders—is so shocking and pervasive that the contracting of the virus by millions worldwide and the resultant death toll was not only foreseeable but entirely avoidable.

If the Chinese Communist Party had taken early steps to warn the world instead of covering up its spread, and if the WHO had simply questioned or cautioned against China’s assertions, the harm would have been significantly reduced. Instead, the PRC’s actions and WHO’s inaction precipitated a pandemic, leading to a global economic crisis and a growing loss of human life. 

As a matter of justice, and to prevent future pandemics, the PRC must be held accountable through demands for economic reparations and other sanctions pertaining to human rights. China should also be suspended from full membership in the WHO and the WHO, which U.S. taxpayers fund annually, must be subject to immediate investigation and reform. Media organizations reporting on the claims of China and WHO regarding the pandemic without scrutiny or context must be cautioned against misleading the public.

Communist regimes have been responsible for the death of more than 100 million worldwide, according to global experts.1 The final human toll of the current pandemic cannot yet be determined, but those who have perished and will perish from the novel coronavirus must be included in that count—victims of the Chinese Communist Party and its willful disregard for both human life and its own international legal obligations.


Timeline of China’s possible coronavirus cover-up

December 6: 

A man linked to the Wuhan wildlife market experiences pneumonia-like symptoms. Five days later, his wife, who had no direct connection to the market, also experienced similar symptoms, which would suggest a human-to-human spread, according to The Lancet, a peer-reviewed medical journal

December 27:

Zhang Jixian, a doctor from Hubei Provincial Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine, tells health authorities that the novel disease that was then affecting some 180 patients was caused by a new coronavirus, the South China Morning Post reported.

December 31:

The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto discovers that Chinese authorities began censoring certain Internet terms from social media, such as Wuhan Unknown Pneumonia, SARS Variation, Wuhan Seafood Market, and other keywords that condemned the government’s handling of the outbreak.

January 1:

CNN features a story about Dr. Li Wenliang, one of eight doctors in Wuhan who warned about the spread of the virus on social media in late December. He not only ended up contracting COVID-19 but was labeled a “rumor-mongerer” by Wuhan police, after being detained for making false statements.

He was also forced to write a self-criticism saying his warnings “had a negative impact,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

January 3:

China’s top health officials at the National Health Commission follow the Hubei Health Commission and issue a gag order directing that Wuhan pneumonia samples be moved to testing facilities or destroyed.

The National Health Commission also orders institutions not to publish any scientific information related to the virus, Caixin Global reported.


January 5:

WHO releases a statement characterizing China’s initial Dec. 31 notice about a “pneumonia of unknown etiology.”

The agency wrote: “Based on the preliminary information from the Chinese investigation team, no evidence of significant human-to-human transmission and no health care worker infections have been reported.”

January 6:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers Beijing technical expertise to help with the virus. Beijing ignores the offer for over a month, along with additional offers of assistance from Heath and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and other senior U.S. officials, according to The New York Times.

January 14:

The chief of the WHO’s emerging diseases unit reports that “it is possible that there is limited human-to-human transmission, potentially among families, but it is very clear right now that we have no sustained human-to-human transmission,” Reuters reported.

The WHO also sent out a tweet claiming that Chinese authorities had conducted a preliminary investigation that found no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus.

The Jan. 14 tweet came less than two months before WHO declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic.

January 21:

One week later, a WHO delegation concludes a two-day field visit to Wuhan and notes that “data collected through detailed epidemiological investigation and through the deployment of the new test kit nationally suggests that human-to-human transmission is taking place in Wuhan.”

January 23:

Chinese authorities lock down Wuhan, after letting some five million people leave the city without any medical screening in the weeks prior, The Wall Street Journal reported.

February 6:

According to the South China Morning Post, China’s Internet watchdog has tightened control over social media platforms, following President Xi Jinping’s directive. Citizen journalist and former rights lawyer Chen Qiushi disappears in Wuhan after posting cell phone videos of packed hospitals and distraught families, according to The New York Times.

February 19:

Beijing’s relationship with the American media worsens when three Wall Street Journal reporters had their press credentials revoked. The reporters covered the outbreak in Wuhan, according to the Journal.

February 26:

Li Zehua, a citizen journalist who had worked at CCTV is detained, according to The Guardian. He records the encounter.

March 11:

Researchers from the University of Southampton, in the United Kingdom, say that if Beijing had responded early to the outbreak, there would have been significantly fewer cases. They said if Beijing had acted three weeks sooner, 95 percent of its cases could have been avoided.

March 27:

Bloomberg reports that thousands of urns were found at funeral homes in Wuhan, which sparked even further doubt that Beijing was providing accurate data on its death toll. Radio Free Asia reported that 40,000 may have died there, compared to reports at the time of 3,200 in the entire country.


Categories: Wuhan Coronavirus

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