A new data intercepted by the United States reveals that 21 million people died in China from December 2019 to March 2020, US intelligence officials conclude in a classified report for the Trump administration.
The Intelligence report stated that at least 20.9 million of the deaths were linked to coronavirus.
According to the US, the intercepted data that shows that China underreported its coronavirus infections and deaths was validated for a second time when it tallied with a data released by Beijing authorities. Beijing announced on March 19 that over 21 million cell phone accounts in China were canceled in the past three months while 840,000 landlines were closed.
China had reported little over 81,000 infections with 3,300 deaths.
An earlier intelligence report released by the US that China hid scale of the outbreak was quickly rejected by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. Hua said the country had been “open and transparent” about the extent of the outbreak before accusing Washington of trying to “shift the blame.”
But US officials say the report has been authenticated and has been confirmed that the closing of the phones numbers were as result of deaths caused by coronavirus. “Cell phones are an indispensable part of life in China and its only closed when the user is dead”, the report said.
“The digitization level is very high in China. People can’t survive without a cell phone,” Tang Jingyuan, a U.S.-based China Affairs commentator told The Epoch Times on March 21. “Dealing with the government for pensions and social security, buying train tickets, shopping… no matter what people want to do, they are required to use cell phones.”
“The Chinese regime requires all Chinese use their cell phones to generate a health code. Only with a green health code are Chinese allowed to move in China now,” Tang said. “It’s impossible for a person to cancel his cell phone.”
China introduced mandatory facial scans on Dec. 1, 2019 to confirm the identity of the person who registered the phone. As early as Sept. 1, 2010, China required all cell phone users to register the phone with their real identification (ID), by which the state can control people’s speech via its large-scale monitoring system.
Furthermore, Chinese people have to bundle their bank accounts and social security account with their cell phone because all these service’s Apps can detect the phone’s SIM card and then check with the state’s database to make sure the number belongs to the person.
Beijing first launched cell phone-based health codes on March 10. All people in China have to install a cell phone app and register their personal health information. Then the app can generate a QR code, which is possible in three colors, to classify people’s health level. Red means the person has an infectious disease. Yellow means the person might have an infectious disease. Green means the person doesn’t have an infectious disease.
The number of cell phone users decreased from 1.600957 billion to 1.579927 billion, which is 21.03 million less. Landline users dropped from 190.83 million to 189.99 million, which is 0.84 million less.
In February 2019, the number increased. According to MIIT’s announcements on March 26, 2019 and Dec. 20, 2018, the cell phone users increased in February 2019 from 1.5591 billion to 1.5835 billion, which is 24.37 million more. The landline users raised from 183.477 million to 190.118 million, which is 6.641 million more.
According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s population at the end of 2019 was 4.67 million larger than 2018, and reached 1.40005 billion.
The 2020 decrease in landline users may be due to the nationwide quarantine in February, during which small businesses were shut down. But the decrease in cell phone users can’t be explained in this way.
According to the operation data of all three Chinese cell phone carriers, cell phone accounts increased in December 2019, but dropped steeply in 2020.
China Mobile is the largest carrier, and holds about 60 percent of the Chinese cell phone market. It reported that it lost 7.254 million cell phone accounts in February, and 0.862 million in January. But in Dec. 2019, it gained 3.732 million more users.
Foreign Policy ‘s morning brief adds :
The Trump administration failed to act on numerous signals from public health experts and White House advisors as the coronavirus reached the United States, leading to a delayed response and allowing the virus to spread, according to reporting by the New York Times over the weekend.
It follows earlier reporting that trade advisor Peter Navarro had alerted the Trump administration to the dangers of the coronavirus reaching the United States in a memo on January 29 and warnings from the U.S. intelligence community throughout January and February.
U.S. President Donald Trump has pushed back, citing the limited restrictions imposed on travelers from China on Jan. 31 as proof that the administration acted. The White House announced public health guidelines on March 16, but has largely left it up to states to decide the level of restriction to put on its citizens.
Fauci appears to confirm New York Times report. Speaking to CNN on Sunday, infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci appeared to side with the Times’ reporting. Asked whether an earlier shutdown would have meant more lives saved Fauci replied that “You could logically say, that if you had a process that was ongoing, and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives.”
Today the United States has the highest recorded number of coronavirus cases worldwide at over 560,000. The next closest is Spain with just over 166,000 cases. The U.S. death toll is also the world’s highest, with over 22,000 of the world’s roughly 115,000 deaths attributed to coronavirus recorded in the United States.
How far back do the U.S. intelligence warnings go? According to a report by ABC News, concerns were raised about a potential coronavirus pandemic as far back as November in a report by the National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI). The U.S. Department of Defense, which oversees the NCMI, has denied that any such report exists.
Writing in Foreign Policy in late March, Micah Zenko described the coronavirus pandemic as “worst intelligence failure in U.S. history.” “The White House detachment and nonchalance during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak will be among the most costly decisions of any modern presidency,” he wrote.