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‘The Chinese CDC Went Dark on Their U.S. Counterparts’

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21.09.2021

You already knew that the Chinese government was spectacularly unhelpful and secretive in the pivotal early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. You probably suspected that any book about the pandemic written by former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb was going to be insightful and illuminating.

But you probably didn’t know how Gottlieb could, in a matter of paragraphs, perfectly illustrate the culpability of the Chinese government in how COVID-19 went from a virus spreading around Wuhan to a global plague that has killed, so far, more than 4.7 million people. Page 48 of Gottlieb’s new book, Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic:

[On] January 1, CDC Director Robert Redfield emailed his Chinese counterpart, Dr. George Fu Gao, a virologist and immunologist who had served as director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention since 2017. After receiving no response, later that day Redfield called Gao to press for more information. By January 3, the two had talked multiple times about the outbreak. The following day, on January 4, Redfield sent Gao another e-mail, again entreating for more information on the situation in Wuhan and requesting that the U.S. CDC staff be given access to the hot zone.

“I would like to offer CDC technical experts in laboratory and epidemiology of respiratory infectious diseases to assist you and China CDC in identification of this unknown and possibly novel pathogen,” Redfield wrote. Gao was emphatic that there........

© National Review


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