LYING TO THE WORLD China ‘purged’ coronavirus database from Wuhan lab to cover-up full scale of pandemic, leaked data suggestsSource: The Sun
Cyber security expert Robert Potter said analysis of the leaked figures showed "major discrepancies" with the data China gave to the World Health Organisation.
He was speaking alongside Professor Christopher Balding who also said the data leak shows China was "fudging their own numbers".
It is latest in a growing dossier of cover-up allegations to be fired at China as the nation comes under scrutiny for its actions in the early days of the pandemic.
China has been accused of attempting to downplay the virus as it spread out from the city of Wuhan.
It has now infected almost 22million people and killed nearly 800,000.
Beijing has always denied any improper behaviour over its handling of the pandemic, saying it was "open and transparent" over the virus.
Mr Potter said the mismatched data was revealed after a string of passwords linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) were leaed online.
Hackers were able to get inside the institution's systems and some of the data from WIV was sent to Mr Potter and Professor Balding for analysis.
He said: "When we anaylsed that, it was a bit of a mismatch of data against what they’d been publicly putting out there to the World health Organisation."
Mr Potter explained much of the database of 640,000 entries appeared to have been deleted before a certain date and "day to day" case numbers were skewed.
He said: "Once the story became quite a bit contentious, and when the Chinese Communist Party realised that the coronavirus was going to become a global pandemic, they went about purging the data."
Meanwhile, Professor Balding, from Fulbright University Vietnam said the database is likely an example of Chinese government officials "censoring upwards" to please their bosses.
He explained: "It appears to have been censored upwards, so it had been censored internally many times before they released the data.
"This seems to indicate they have some kind of internal targets they want to hit to try and show progress.
"This seems to imply they were fudging their own numbers for their own purposes as well as external purposes."
Mr Potter admitted it is going to take "some time" to fully understand what data missing and by how much it was altered.
He said a team are now working to drag out the "real numbers" from the depths of the purged database.
China has so far recorded 84,849 cases and 4,634 deaths - with the figures being just a fraction of those being seen in countries like the US and UK.
WIV has come under scrutiny during the pandemic as a potential source of the outbreak as it was known to be studying bat coronaviruses similar to Covid-19.
The scientific consensus is that the virus originated naturally - potentially from a wet market in Wuhan where it jumped from animals to humans.
Questions remain however with figures such as US President Donald Trump demanding answers from China and suggesting there could be more to the origin of the pandemic.
Trump continues to call coronavirus the "China Virus" and has accused Beijing of a cover-up - casting doubt on its "light" figures.
The Trump administration has even gone as far as suggesting the pathogen could be man-made - and that they have "evidence".
The row has seen Chinese-US relations plunge towards a new Cold War, with Trump saying the pandemic changed his "great" relationship with President Xi Jinping.
Meanwhile, a bombshell spy dossier has outright claimed China lied to the world about coronavirus by covering up the outbreak.
The dossier, from the Five Eyes intelligence agencies of the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, stated that China's secrecy surrounding the virus led to an "assault on international transparency".
It said: "Despite evidence of human-human transmission from early December, PRC authorities deny it until January 20.”
The spy dossier also discussed China's silencing or "disappearing" of doctors who tried to speak out about the virus.
And it also looks at the destruction of evidence in laboratories and refusing to provide samples to scientists who were working on a vaccine.
The 15-page document, obtained by Australia's The Saturday Telegraph, has laid the foundation for a case being created against China.
And then, Chinese scientist Dr Li Meng-Yan who fled the country in April, has also claimed the Communist Party sought to cover up the virus.
Dr Li claims that when she took her findings about Covid-19 to her superiors she was told to "keep silent and be careful".
She explained: “I have to hide because I know how they treat whistleblowers, and as a whistleblower here I want to tell the truth of Covid-19 and the origin of the SARS-2 Covid virus.”
Doctors have reported being detained after speaking out on social media about what they were witnessing, while journalists have recounted being harassed and having their equipment confiscated after trying to report on the outbreak in China.
Ill-fated "whistle blower" Dr Li Wenliang tried to warn the world about the killer virus but was sent a chilling letter by the police before he died.
He was told by cops "if he refused to repent he would be punished" not long before he was killed by the deadly virus.
Scientists have also claimed this week the new coronavirus may have actually originated 1,000 miles from Wuhan in 2012.
China continues to insist there has been "no delay or cover-up whatsover" in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.