House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans released an interim report on the coronavirus Monday night that said Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders, including China’s president, knew there was a pandemic ongoing “weeks” before it was announced, and that it is “highly likely” it could have been prevented.
The report’s conclusion stated:
Senior CCP leaders, including CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping, knew a pandemic was ongoing weeks before it was announced. Research shows the CCP could have reduced the number of cases in China by up to 95%, had it fulfilled its obligations under international law and responded to the outbreak in a manner consistent with best practices.
It is highly likely the ongoing pandemic could have been prevented. As such, it is incumbent upon the United States and likeminded [World Health Organization] Member States to ensure the accountability and reforms necessary to prevent the CCP’s malfeasance from giving rise to a third pandemic during the 21st century.
The report did not draw a conclusion on exactly how the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, stating that there were still questions that needed to be answered.
However, it noted that during the 2003 SARS epidemic, the CCP tried to hide information and obfuscate the source of the outbreak, much as they have all along. In the case of SARS, the report noted that CCP leaders failed to inform the WHO about the virus for four months.
The report said:
In the wake of this malfeasance, the world demanded reforms to the International Health Regulations that govern how countries are required to handle public health emergencies. Today, it has become clear that the CCP failed to heed these lessons. The ongoing pandemic is a tragic second chapter to their mishandling of the 2003 SARS outbreak.
With the coronavirus pandemic, the report said, “almost daily, new information comes out of China and elsewhere showing the scale of CCP efforts to hide and cover up the outbreak.”
“It is beyond doubt that the CCP actively engaged in a cover-up designed to obfuscate data, hide relevant public health information, and suppress doctors and journalists who attempted to warn the world,” it said.
The report also criticized WHO Director-General Tedros for responding to the CCP’s cover-up by praising the CCP for their “transparency.” It said:
The WHO has repeatedly parroted CCP talking points while ignoring conflicting information. Director-General Tedros’ full-throated defense of the CCP’s response and embrace of their revisionist history, as well as the impact of his actions on the global response, is incredibly concerning.
The report, led by Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX), is focused on the early phases of the pandemic prior to the announcement of the pandemic on January 23, 2020, and will be updated and expanded in the weeks and months ahead.