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Fauci: China ‘did a disservice’ by withholding coronavirus info

#Fauci: China ‘did a disservice’ by withholding coronavirus info

June 7, 2020 | 8:57am

Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert, said China did a “disservice” by not allowing scientists to speak transparently about the coronavirus in the early days of the pandemic.

“I think the Chinese authorities that did not allow the scientists to speak out as openly and transparently as they could really did a disservice,” Fauci told John Catsimatidis on his AM 970 radio show on Sunday.

Fauci said if Chinese scientists had been able to sound the alarm earlier about person-to-person transmission of the virus, the number of cases worldwide could have been reduced.

“Because at the beginning of the outbreak, they were claiming that this was just animal-to-human transmission,” he said.

“And there really wasn’t a human-to-human transmission at all. And they held that line for a few weeks. And then it became very clear when the scientists were able to talk about it, that, in fact, there was human-to-human transmission. … Yes, it’s another example of the unfortunate situation of lack of transparency early on,” Fauci said.

President Trump has ripped China for not warning the world about the severity of the virus after the first cases were reported in Wuhan in late December and then not being transparent about the number of infected in the country.

He also accused China of using its influence with the World Health Organization to delay crucial real-time reporting about the pandemic.

A report last week said China held back on providing the WHO with full data on patients and cases and did not release a genetic map of the virus until more than a week after three other labs had decoded it.

The report by the Associated Press said the genetic data delay slowed the development of a vaccine and the lack of concise information about the number of cases made it difficult to determine how quickly COVID-19 was spreading around the world.

There are nearly 7 million coronavirus cases around the world and more than 400,000 have died of the virus.

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