China’s manipulation of data appears to have reached pandemic levels.
The ruling Communist Party has already admitted that the economic numbers simply do not add up.
In an alarming admission, the government’s powerful State Council revealed that there are serious flaws in compiling and processing data.
“The effectiveness of the statistical supervision mechanism needs to be improved. [We must] adhere to scientific methods to make statistics timely, accurate, and reliable. We must prevent falsehood and resolutely curb ‘corruption in numbers,’” new guidelines stated last month.
Since then, the spotlight has fallen on China’s Covid-19 stats and the glare threatens to expose Beijing’s zero-policy as a myth. Or even a sinister act of misinformation.
Behind the scenes:
- The coronavirus count is clouded by several anomalies.
- There are huge differences in reported mortality figures.
- They include the disappearance of Chinese Covid-19 deaths from official reports after April 1, 2020.
- Controversy also surrounds the Case Fatality Rates in China.
- They are the primary measure of the virulence of Covid-19 and various variants.
Fact or fiction: Mainland China has reported 105,811 cases and just 4,636 deaths since the virus first surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.
Delve deeper: The number of deaths was released by China’s National Health Commission and the Center for Disease Control. It has “been adopted by all of the Western sources” and has been derived “entirely from the first quarter of 2020.”
From the absurd to the ridiculous: “Zero deaths, while the virus continued to spread, with thousands of new cases emerging, as acknowledged by the Chinese authorities, is implausible, medically and statistically,” George Calhoun, of the Stevens Institute of Technology, a private research university in the United States, said.
Mission impossible: “The abrupt transition from a raging epidemic [in Wuhan and Hubei in the first quarter of 2020] – with fatality rates several times higher than those seen anywhere else over the past two years – to a complete cessation of Covid mortality after April 2020 is impossible,” he wrote in an analysis for Forbes on January 11.
Big Picture: China’s Case Fatality Rates or CFR also contradict official data. CFR estimates the proportion of deaths among identified confirmed cases as a percentage.
What was said: “The overall CFR rate for China, from January 2020 until today, is far higher than for any other country,” Calhoun pointed out in Forbes.
There is another problem: Excess mortality. “[It] is defined as the difference between the total number of deaths observed for a specific place and given time period and the number that would have been expected in the absence of the pandemic,” the United Nations stated.
Deathly silence: “The idea of excess mortality should be noncontroversial [but] Beijing refuses to provide it,” Calhoun said.
China Factor comment: Artificially low Covid-19 numbers come as no surprise. For years, the Communist Party has been doctoring economic data to hit unrealistic targets, subsidized by debt. Zero-tolerance is just an extension of that policy when you take into account that Chinese vaccines lack punch compared to Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna. Still, hiding the true cost of the pandemic is alarming.