The 15-page document from the intelligence agencies of the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, was obtained by Australia's Saturday Telegraph newspaper and states that China's secrecy amounted to an “assault on international transparency."
TIMELINE OF CHINA'S POSSIBLE CORONAVIRUS COVER-UP
The dossier touches on themes that have been discussed in media reports about the outbreak of the virus, including an initial denial by China that the virus could be transmitted between humans, the silencing or "disappearing" of doctors who tried to speak up, the destruction of evidence in laboratories and refusal to provide live samples to international scientists working on a vaccine.
Specifically, the file notes that China began censoring news of the virus on search engines and social media beginning Dec. 31, deleting terms including “SARS variation," “Wuhan Seafood market” and “Wuhan Unknown Pneumonia.”
Three days later, on Jan. 3, China’s National Health Commission ordered virus samples to be either moved to designated testing facilities or destroyed, while simultaneously issuing a "no-publication order" related to the disease.
Two days later, on Jan. 12, a Shanghai professor's lab was closed down after it shared data on the virus' genetic sequence with the outside world. On Jan. 24, Chinese officials stopped the Wuhan Institute of Virology from sharing virus samples with a lab at the University of Texas.
Perhaps most damningly, the dossier states that Chinese authorities denied that the virus could be spread between humans until Jan. 20, "despite evidence of human-human transmission from early December."
The file is similarly unsparing about the World Health Organization (WHO), stating that it toed the Chinese line about human-to-human transmission despite the fact that "officials in Taiwan raised concerns as early as December 31, as did experts in Hong Kong on January 4.”
As of Friday night, the WHO's official Twitter account still featured a tweet from Jan. 14 that stated: "Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China."