AEI Analysis: China Failed To Report Nearly 3 Million People Infected With Coronavirus

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak that emanated across the globe from Wuhan, China, the Chinese government has conducted a full-fledged disinformation campaign that includes failing to report the true number of its citizens infected with the virus. The number could be close to 2.9 million, according to a recent report from the American Enterprise Institute

“In early April,” Derek Scissors of AEI wrote in the report, “headlines read that the global figure for COVID-19 cases had breached one million. At the same time, China rejected charges by US intelligence and others that it has lied about the extent of its outbreak.”

Scissors’ report indicates that the “migrant outflow” of more than 5 million people from Wuhan in the weeks before the Chinese government instituted a citywide lockdown allowed the virus to circulate throughout the country. It’s estimated that 1.5-2 million of the people who left Wuhan, left Hubei province entirely at the time. Meanwhile, 465,000 flew to 10 listed cities outside of Hubei.

If the number was less than 5 million people and the infection rate was at 2.3 percent, which are conservative estimates, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases outside of Wuhan would’ve still surpassed what China reported, according to AEI’s report.

“How many cases China is failing to acknowledge is less a matter of the number of initially infected migrants than the days they were in circulation,” Scissors wrote.

After Wuhan closed its borders on January 23, there were already 27,000 cases of the virus from migrants who left Wuhan. Scissors concluded that after looking at the models from Italy and adjusting for China’s population size, the number of people infected with the coronavirus in the country is closer to 3 million. China, however, has reported just over 15,000 cases.