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NTDTV: Paper on Virus Transmission Sparks Outrage

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A new research paper authored by Chinese health officials shows that human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus started to happen in China as early as mid-December. However, Chinese authorities did not confirm the human transmission until a month later—on Jan. 20.

A new paper published on Wednesday in the “New England Journal of Medicine” has sparked an online storm on China’s social media.

It said the coronavirus started to spread person-to-person in mid-December and evidence of this was clear in early January. But Chinese authorities insist there was no evidence until late January.

Angry internet users are accusing health authorities of withholding information about the coronavirus. Some of China’s top health authorities, including the director of the country’s Center for Disease Control, are among the authors of the paper.

Wang Liming, a biology professor in China, wrote in a post that he was “more than outraged, and literally speechless” after reading the paper, calling it “the first solid proof that human transmission was intentionally hidden from the public.” The professor’s post was quickly deleted.

The paper also contradicts some of China’s other official announcements.

It shows that from Jan 1st to 11th, 7 health care providers were infected with the virus.

However, China’s official notice said on Jan 13th there was no infection among health care providers.

One post online accused the health officials of “Risking billions of lives in exchange for a chance to publish their paper in a nice journal.”

Others wrote that “the researchers are also helpless if the authorities don’t allow them to disclose the information.”

The mayor of Wuhan said in an earlier interview with China state media, that local officials aren’t allowed to disclose information about the outbreak to the public without approval from higher officials. The comment sparked public outrage over officials’ blame game and lack of transparency.

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