Hong Kong (CNN)As the deadly novel coronavirus spread throughout China and the world last month, it was clear that something had gone wrong. Officials in Hubei, the province at the center of the outbreak, were blamed for downplaying — and potentially even deliberately covering up — the severity of the virus, ignoring evidence that it spread from person-to-person until it was too late. Against this tale of irresponsibility there was another story being told in China, one of a competent central government which had been denied the full picture by local officials, and once it understood the true ramifications stepped in to take drastic action to stop the virus’ spread. And indeed, there was a major shift on January 20, when Chinese President Xi Jinping commented publicly for the first time on the virus, and ordered “resolute efforts” to control the outbreak. Speaking alongside Xi in Beijing a week later, World Health Organization (WHO) director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the “seriousness with which China is taking this outbreak,” and thanked Beijing for its “transparency.” Over the weekend, however, a transcript of an internal Communist Party speech appeared to throw doubt on this narrative, revealing Xi knew about and was directing… Read full this story
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