Families in Wuhan who have suffered losses due to the novel coronavirus pandemic have claimed that they are being "threatened" by authorities to keep silent about the Chinese government's handling of the crisis. The revelations come as the World Health Organization has sent in a team to investigate the origins of the virus, as was previously covered by The Inquisitr. The unit is expected to visit hospitals, virus laboratories, and wet markets as part of their inspection.
However, residents of Wuhan have expressed their doubts that the group will be able to find a truthful picture as many in the city are afraid to discuss their experiences due to pressure from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Citizens have also alleged that the government will present an airbrushed picture of their actions during the crisis, per the Australian Broadcasting Company.
"I am highly concerned that the WHO experts in Wuhan are not a match for these counterfeiters," stated Zhang Hai, who lost his father to COVID-19 last year.
"My father, a very patriotic soldier, had devoted his youth to the nation … but he was killed by COVID-19 in his later life. The epidemic would never happen if the Government had truly put the people's interest [as their] first priority," he said.
Zhang also added that the CCP likely "trained" patients at hospitals and clinics to repeat the government's narrative to the WHO inspectors.
Zhang is not the only one to speak up about the pressure facing residents of the coronavirus' origin city. Over 100 Wuhan-based individuals who had suffered losses due to COVID-19 joined a group on WeChat, hoping to find answers about the crisis. The group was censored early in January, with three members receiving temporary bans from the platform.
Worse, however, is that many in the network have since been put under surveillance.
"[I had] police interviews, cameras pointing at home, and dismissal from work. They pressured my families, stalked my activities, which is completely unscrupulous," said one parent, who lost their only child.
In addition to the surveillance, members have been contacted and warned not to speak to the press with derogatory statements about the Chinese government.
"[I am told] don't contact the foreign media, because it will be used by anti-China forces," the parent added. "I just want everyone to know that the Government is a murderer for hiding the epidemic."
Though officials have claimed that the death toll in the city was fewer than 3,900, residents have alleged that as many as 47,000 people actually died, per The Inquisitr.