The following report was originally published on April 15, 2020. The Intelligence Ledger has updated this page to reflect current evidence and recent discoveries.
The Pandemic of 2020 has been the largest, deadliest, and most impactful event to occur as of yet in the 21st century. COVID-19 is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of hospitalizations. Trillions of dollars have been lost as a result of economic stagnation, and millions of workers now find themselves unemployed. By the time a vaccine or anti-viral treatment is widely available, misery and pain will have entered the homes of hundreds of millions of innocent people.
After an exhaustive investigation, The Intelligence Ledger has found hundreds of examples of Chinese officials and government agencies intentionally deceiving Chinese citizens and the international community. This campaign of deception severely hindered the opening stages of the international response to the virus, and perhaps even worsened COVID-19’s spread at times it could've been halted.
In the following pages, The Intelligence Ledger’s investigative team has compiled an accurate and detailed timeline of events as they unfolded in the People’s Republic of China. Based on open source intelligence, public reporting, and interviews with whistleblowers, it highlights key deceptions that assisted the disease’s spread and reveals the blatant disinformation campaign carried out by the government in Beijing.
November 17, 2019
On November 17, 2020, the first known case of COVID-19 is detected in the People’s Republic of China. A 55 year-old man, overcome by a sharp fever and piercing cough, visits a local hospital in China's Hubei Province. Data obtained by the South China Morning Post indicates that in the days following the discovery, at least 266 more Chinese citizens contracted the virus and came under medical surveillance. From this point, it would take nearly ninety days for the government of the PRC to alert the world to the discovery of a new disease.
December 1, 2019
The first case of COVID-19 acknowledged by the government of China is recorded at a Wuhan medical facility, although it would not do so until two months later.
December 6, 2019
Five days after the first acknowledged COVID-19 patient is examined, his wife is hospitalized with pneumonia and moved to the hospital’s isolation ward. Government officials and physicians note the connection, but refuse to declare the case as an instance of human-to-human transmission. The People’s Republic of China would not acknowledge human-to-human transmission as a reality until January 20, 2020, little under two months later.
December 21, 2019
Medical professionals in Wuhan notice a, “cluster of pneumonia cases with an unknown cause.”
December 25, 2019
On Christmas Day, more evidence of human-to-human transmission emerges as staff members in two of Wuhan’s hospitals are quarantined on the suspicion that they contracted “viral pneumonia.”
December 27, 2019
A genomics company based in the Chinese province of Guangzhou successfully sequences the majority of the virus. Their report correctly declares the virus is similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Although its publication would have saved lives and precious resources, the report would remain hidden from public eyes until February 28, 2020. The Chinese government would not acknowledge the disease’s similarity with SARS until several weeks later.
December 30, 2019
Dr. Li Wenliang, a physician in Wuhan, posts in a private WeChat group, "7 confirmed cases of SARS were reported from Huanan Seafood Market." He further notes, "the latest news is, it has been confirmed that they are coronavirus infections, but the exact virus strain is being subtyped." After warning friends to take measures to protect themselves against the respiratory infection, his post is leaked in public forums. It gains widespread attention across China, with censors struggling to contain its spread.
December 31, 2019
Nearly a month and a half after the first known case of COVID-19 on November 17, the People’s Republic of China alerts the international community to a developing situation by contacting the World Health Organization (WHO). According to a report made public by WHO, "the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China."
The government in Beijing begins to censor coronavirus-related terms, including “Unknown Wuhan Pneumonia” and “Unknown SARS”.
Health experts from the Republic of China, otherwise known as Taiwan, warn the World Health Organization (WHO) that a new and unknown virus is spreading in the People’s Republic of China. The WHO never publicizes or acknowledges their warning.
January 1, 2020
Chinese officials from the Wuhan Public Health Commission order one genomics company to cease testing and immediately destroy all samples of the virus.
The Ministry of State Security, an agency known for its brutality and effectiveness, summons Dr. Li Wenliang and seven other physicians on the charge of, "spreading rumors."
January 2, 2020
The Wuhan Institute of Virology successfully maps the genome of COVID-19, a major step in combating the deadly virus. The Chinese government would not announce the institute’s success for another week.
January 3, 2020
The National Health Commission, China's main federal health agency, orders all institutions to cease publishing information relating to the virus and directs that all samples destroyed or transferred to designated facilities.
The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission publishes its second report, stating dishonestly that, "no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission and no medical staff infections."
According to the New York Times, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar begins to receive reports and data about, "a new coronavirus" from Chinese officials. Secretary Azar quickly informs the National Security Council.