A new report has claimed that a major part of the reason that China is alleged to have covered up the severity of the coronavirus crisis is due to the country’s desire to “hoard” medical supplies. The accusations against the communist nation were made on Friday in a blistering report issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
According to the Associated Press, the report harshly criticized the Chinese government for informing the World Health Organization that the coronavirus was “not a contagion” despite the fact that it had clear evidence to suggest otherwise.
Claims that China had covered up the scale of COVID-19 are not new. In fact, a major report conducted by the “Five Eyes” intelligence operations of the U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Canada came to a similar conclusion, as was previously covered by The Inquisitr.
The 14-page document detailed how China silenced whistle-blowers and censored internet searches related to the disease, which in part allowed COVID-19 to develop into the pandemic that is currently ravaging the globe. As of now, 3.5 million people worldwide have tested positive for the illness, with close to 250,000 dead.
However, the new DHS report gave another motive for China’s actions during the early stages of the crisis: hoarding supplies needed to successfully fight the virus.
The authors of the document looked into the import habits of China, and found unusual purchasing patterns — especially in medical industries.
According to the paper, imports of equipment such as face masks and surgical gowns sharply increased while China was downplaying the virus’s danger.
In fact, the DHS had a 95 percent certainty that China’s changes in its imports and exports was not within a normal range and were sparked by COVID-19.
In addition, China drastically limited the amount of medical equipment that it was exporting. To cover up its change in trade, the Asian nation continued to deny “there were export restrictions” and resorted to “obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data.”
The report concluded that China had “intentionally concealed the severity” of the coronavirus in order to stockpile needed medical gear.
It should be noted that the DHS report was not released to the public, but rather leaked to the AP. It was reportedly not classified, but nevertheless marked as “for official use only.”
The accusations come on the heels of an interview earlier this morning where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that there was “enormous evidence” that the virus had been “man-made” in a laboratory in Wuhan.
However, the “Five Eyes” report mentioned above believed that the virus likely had natural origins, and placed the odds that it had been genetically engineered at around 5 percent.