China underreports COVID-19 mortality by 17,000%, economists say

According to analysis by U.S. economists, the Chinese government may have underestimated the death toll of COVID-19 by as much as 17,000 percent in a systematic data suppression campaign to maintain its political image. ..

As a result, the number of deaths from COVID-19 in China will be about 1.7 million, instead of the cumulative two-year deaths of 4,636, which the Chinese authorities maintain on their books.

The majority of officially recorded deaths (about 97%) occur in Wuhan during the first three months of the pandemic, with only a few hundred reported in other countries.

The Chinese government has reported two more deaths since April 1, 2020, ranking China’s COVID-19 mortality rate as the lowest in the world.

But its staggering data points are hundreds of times that of the United States, causing a pause in George Calhoun.

“That’s impossible. It’s medically impossible, and statistically impossible,” Calhorn, director of the Stevens Institute of Technology’s Quantitative Finance Program, told The Epoch Times affiliate NTD. rice field.

Epoch Times Photo
Passengers wearing masks will arrive at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai on March 19, 2020. (Hector Retamaru via Getty Images / AFP)

“Remember that there was no vaccine or treatment in 2020,” he said. “That is, there was an unprotected population with zero COVID deaths, even with tens of thousands of cases.”

Curating public records and previous research reports and analyzing patterns of government rushing past scandals, he came to the conclusion that Calhorn looks obvious to him: China has its “zero COVID” policy. Data for political purposes and systematically tampering to support claims.

“Someone sent a message at the end of the first quarter and 2020,” Well, I want to see Zero COVID. That’s our policy. “And it became Zero COVID,” he said. Told.


According to Calhorn, the first “smoking gun” is that since April 2020, the number of deaths from COVID-19 from mainland China has dropped sharply after the “rogue” infection rate.

From April 1, 2020 to January 8, 2022, more than 22,102 cases were reported in mainland China, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Only two deaths were recorded during the same period.

By comparison, Hong Kong, which counted about half of COVID-19 infections during the period, reported 213 deaths.

In the first three months of the pandemic, Wuhan’s case fatality rate (mortality rate of infected people) was about 7.7%, more than five times that of the United States and four times that of the world average.

CFR-in-Wuhan--Before --- After-April-1-2020_960x0
Case fatality rate of Wuhan compared to other parts of the world. (Provided by George Calhoun)

There are two possible scenarios. “In Wuhan in early 2020, it was far more deadly than at any other time,” or the official number of infections from China was just three to a quarter less. ..

For the next 20 months, COVID-19 data from China is consistently lacking. As of September, according to a University of Washington study, China is the only country in the world that does not provide complete data on mortality.

On the basis of the model Developed by economists, Calhorn said China’s mortality was reduced by about 17,000 percent. This means that authorities have reported only 1% of all COVID-19 deaths. He added that this discrepancy outweighs that of countries suffering from large-scale civil insecurity, such as Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Venezuela, which underestimate COVID-19 mortality by up to 1,100%. ..

Graph excess mortality in China and other countries
Excessive mortality in China and several other countries. (Provided by George Calhoun)

Underestimation of viral deaths is widespread throughout the country. Based on the economist’s model, the official US tally is about 30 percent short. But in China, it’s extreme.

“They are going through the roof,” Calhorn said of the discrepancy between official Chinese figures and estimated true death toll.

“Something is driving it,” Calhorn said.

The virus may not be the fault of the jump, but the stubborn Chinese authorities provide little clue as to what would otherwise have happened.

Calhorn’s estimates are consistent with anecdotal evidence from locals, a pile of internal documents leaked in the Epoch Times, and research into the effects of the virus in China, all of which are significantly underestimated by official figures. Indicates that it has been done.

During the early months of the first pandemic in Wuhan, China, some funeral home workers in the city said they were working non-stop to cremate the Epoch Times. Thousands of ash jars were delivered to one of the crematoriums in March when the official death toll exceeded 2,000. Authorities increased the number of deaths by 50% a month later, creating a gap in administrative inefficiencies.

Epoch Times Photo
Medical staff will wear protective clothing to protect against CCP virus patients at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan, China on January 25, 2020. (Hector Retamal / AFP via Getty Images)

By April 2020, as many as 968,800 people had antibodies in Wuhan, according to a study published at The Lancet last March. This means that immunity to the virus has developed after infection.

Data inconsistencies are not limited to Wuhan. During the two weeks of February 2020, internal documents from Shandong health authorities tested nearly 2,000 people positive for the virus, but found that only 755 infections were publicly recorded. Shown.

The leaked document suggests that the regime continues to view antivirus as a political mission.

A file recently obtained by The Epoch Times, China’s top executive in Shaanxi Province, where the virus has attacked Xi’An, ordered “the strictest steps” to be taken to prevent the virus from spreading further from Xi’An. .. When the Beijing Winter Olympics were held, the spillover created “systemic risk” and “dirty the national image,” the document read.



Eva Fu is a New York-based writer of The Epoch Times, focusing on Sino-US relations, religious freedom, and human rights. Contact Eva at [email protected]