By Duncan Smith

German intelligence officials say they have obtained evidence that the Chinese government asked the World Health Organization to help it cover up the coronavirus outbreak in a finding that is sure to place no small amount of renewed pressure on Beijing.

In fact, Chinese President Xi Jinping personally asked the World Health Organization to delay the release of critical information early in the outbreak, German intelligence officials conclude.

Xi met with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on January 21 to request that he withhold information about human-to-human transition and delay the declaration of a global pandemic, according to German magazine Der Spiegel. The news comes amid rising sentiment that China should be held financially responsible for the pandemic.

Having an additional four-to-six weeks of preparation time could have meant the world avoided the pandemic altogether, according to a study published in early March.

Researchers at the University of Southampton said that if China had acted and gone public with its information just three weeks sooner, it could have reduced the spread of the disease by as much as 95 percent.

The U.S. intelligence community, meanwhile, concluded by mid-March that Beijing’s Communist government was fabricating its coronavirus casualty and death rate, as in underreporting numbers. That’s why the country can ‘claim’ that the outbreak has been worse elsewhere, like in the United States — where, oddly, we seem to be overcounting deaths, probably to help justify economy-killing shutdown orders.

One U.S. lawmaker who was quick to state he believes coronavirus escaped from a Chinese lab condemned Beijing for allowing COVID-19 to be exported, essentially.

In an interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said it is undeniable that Beijing let it escape and spread across the globe.

“Whatever the origins of this virus — and, right now, I think the best circumstantial evidence points to those labs in Wuhan,” Cotton said.

“But whatever the origins of it, it’s clear to me that, once China realized how deadly this virus could be to some people and how contagious this virus was, that they made the conscious decision to let it get outside of their borders. They didn’t stop international air travel. They pressured countries not to impose travel restrictions,” he continued.

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