Skip to content

Hiding Information: Expert Group Members Thought Hubei Officials Hid Information

[Editor’s Note: As people have been trying to find out who is responsible for the government not taking any action to prevent or contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan until January 20, though the SARS-like pneumonia cases had already been reported to the local government and the central government in late December and early January, the Hubei and Wuhan local governments and the Central government have been trying to clear their own names and to hold the other party accountable.]

Recently, Caixin reported two members of the National Health Commission’s high-level expert groups were sent to Wuhan spoke and indicated that Wuhan officials had hidden information during their visits.

The first expert remained anonymous and was a member of the second expert group. He said that they were particularly concerned if any medical staff had been infected because a “Yes” answer would mean the virus could transmit from person to person and could be highly contagious.

They asked about it at every hospital they visited and always got “No” as the answer. They suspected the result and asked hospitals to tell the truth.

A local Health Commission official countered back, “Do you think that I am lying to you?”

The expert said, “Based on the true situation (that we now know), he was lying.”

Caixin’s article was deleted. United Daily News, a media based in Taiwan covered Caixin’s report.

The second expert was Yuan Guoyong, a Professor at the Department of Microbiology, the University of Hong Kong. As a member of the third high-level expert group, he went to Wuhan from January 17 to January 19. He said in an interview with a Caixin reporter:

“I want to give a true account. The places that we visited in Wuhan were probably the ‘demo units.’ Whatever we asked, they gave an answer as if they had already prepared the answer. Zhong Nanshan kept asking ‘Are there more cases?’ ‘Are there truly just these many cases that you told us about?’

“They said that they were conducting testing to confirm cases. However, the Hubei Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not receive testing kits until January 16.

“Under our questions, they said that there seemed to be a case in which a patient infected 14 medical staff members, but they said those medical personnel had not been confirmed to have the  coronavirus infection yet.

“They are the people from the Wuhan Health Commission, Wuhan CDC, Wuhan local hospitals, and Hubei Provincial Health Commission.

“They kept emphasizing that the testing kits were just given to Wuhan and without the testing kits they could not have confirmed the cases.”

1. Excerpt in Chinese:






Source: United Daily News, February 29, 2020

2. Image of Caixin Report:

Source: Caixin, March 8, 2020