Report: China hid coronavirus’ severity to hoard supplies

Coronavirus

FILE – In this April 29, 2020, file photo Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department in Washington. Chinese leaders “intentionally concealed the severity” of the pandemic from the world in early January, according to a 4-page, Department of Homeland Security report dated May 1 and obtained by The Associated Press. The revelation comes as the Trump administration has intensified its criticism of China, with Pompeo saying Sunday, May 3, that China has been responsible for the spread of disease in the past and must be held accountable for the outbreak of the current pandemic. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. officials believe China covered up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak – and how contagious the disease is – to stock up on medical supplies needed to respond to it.

That’s according to U.S. intelligence documents obtained by The Associated Press. They say Chinese leaders “intentionally concealed the severity” of the pandemic from the world in early January.

Word of the Department of Homeland Security analysis dated May 1 comes as the Trump administration has intensified its criticism of China.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that China was responsible for the spread of disease and must be held accountable.

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