The Chinese government is coming under fire for concealing the extent of the coronavirus outbreak, fatally delaying their response, and preventing researchers from getting to the bottom of how the deadly virus originated.
A new report from the Associated Press shows China waited six key days after determining they were facing a global crisis to alert the public, and the communist regime repeatedly underreported the deaths and the total number of infections in the origin country.
Today, China admitted their death toll is at least 50 percent higher than first reported. The city of Wuhan, the epicenter for the COVID-19 outbreak, added 1,290 deaths to its toll, bringing the total to 3,869 after many dead were "mistakenly reported" or missed entirely.
The new numbers add to growing global doubts over China's transparency. Leaders in France and Britain joined President Trump's broadsides against China, as two US media outlets reported suspicions the virus accidentally slipped out of a sensitive Wuhan laboratory that studied bats. French President Emmanuel Macron told the Financial Times it would be "naive" to think China had handled the pandemic well, saying, "There are clearly things that have happened that we don't know about."
US Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said on Fox News this week that something needs to be done to hold China's regime accountable. "The Chinese communist party is responsible for every single death, every single job loss, every retirement nest egg lost from this coronavirus and Xi Jinping and his Chinese communist apparatchiks must be made to pay the price," he said.
The Chinese Communist Party is responsible for every single death, every job lost, every retirement nest egg lost, from this coronavirus. And Xi Jinping must be made to pay the price. pic.twitter.com/OLCj5Z5rrp
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) April 16, 2020
Sen. Cotton has faced criticism as a conspiracy theorist for sounding alarm bells since the very beginning on China's mishandling of the crisis.
Now, even some mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post seem to be agreeing with Cotton's concerns. Cotton told Fox News this week it's time for action against China.
"I think we need to make the American courts open for lawsuits against Chinese communist leaders," continued Cotton.
Gordon Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, agrees with Cotton's theory that the virus may have come from a bio lab accident in Wuhan, China, the pandemic's epicenter.
"In terms of motivation, this is a really important question. Because even though this was an accidental release, Beijing had malign motives," claims Chang. "Because as I mentioned, they knew about the human-to-human transmissibility of this. They urged countries to accept travelers from China."
Chang told CBN News' Faith Nation he questions the numbers China's been reporting.
"In any reporting, you're going to have some delays, but in China, in addition to that, you're also having deliberate falsification, because the gap is too large. And we have seen, for instance, in Wuhan—the epicenter—all of those tens of thousands of urns. Those numbers have not even been reported even now," continued Chang. "What we have not seen is the reporting in China catch up for what was obviously the underreporting in the beginning. And that's the real sin."
Wuhan the epicenter of China's coronavirus outbreak is coming out of more than two months of lockdown with authorities working hard to restore businesses and factories. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Chang says he's also concerned with the Chinese government's efforts to prevent foreign researchers from studying the origin of the outbreak.
"And we know that Beijing is trying to suppress information so they've got information to hide," he continued.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, however, isn't convinced of the lab theory. "This is something we've been watching closely now for some time. The results are inconclusive," Esper told NBC News "Today".
"The majority of the views right now is that it is natural, that it was organic. But I think we need to continue to work this and once we get beyond the pandemic, we'll have a chance to look back and really find out what happened and then to take the proper precautions to make sure that we prevent this in the future," Esper said.
Adding to the tension between the US and China are new reports China might be secretly conducting nuclear tests.
China refutes the accusations it failed to comply with a suspension of nuclear tests, and says that reports the coronavirus originated in one of their labs have "no scientific basis".