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A new report from the Epoch Times suggests the government of China has been significantly underreporting the number of Coronavirus infections in the communist nation.

The New York-based news outlet claims to have obtained leaked internal documents from Shandong province’s local government that allegedly show Chinese authorities may have underreported daily Covid-19 infection rates by up to 520%  in Shandong province.

WIBC host Tony Katz spoke with Dr. Dana Chang of the Epoch Times, Thursday morning about the spread of Coronavirus in China and the communist government’s attempts to downplay the actual rates of infection.

“[The Chinese government] waited a long time before they alerted the public about the spread of the disease,” said Chang. “As a consequence, that caused the virus to spread very quickly.”

Chang suggested, however, that the communist government is working diligently to control the disease for the purpose of maintaining a position of power with its people.

“So they consider the power of the communist government ahead of their own people and their own citizen’s lives,” said Chang. “But 20 days before they told the general public about the disease, they had already arranged for the military college to guard their gate.”

Meanwhile, The World Health Organization has designated Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and it may soon label it a pandemic as the virus spreads rapidly around the globe.

Vice President Mike Pence announced a global health official as the “White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator” Thursday, effectively giving him authority to guide the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak.

Ambassador Debbie Birx, who will report to Pence, serves as the U.S. government’s leader for combatting HIV/AIDS globally, according to the White House. She will also join the White House’s coronavirus task force led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Tony Katz sat down Thursday with Kerry Picket, Senior Campaign reporter for the Washington Examiner about the Trump administration’s response to Coronavirus. In their discussion, Picket noted the irony of Democrats’ sudden concern about the health of those individuals who enter our borders in the U.S.

“For the longest time, our President wanted to make sure our borders are secure and the Department of Homeland Security wanted to ensure that the people entering the country don’t have criminal backgrounds and are healthy,” said Picket. “Now all of sudden the Democrats and the President’s detractors are saying, ‘Oh my God! We need to make sure the people coming into the United States don’t have Coronavirus!'”

Picket said she’s waiting for the moment when Democrats will suddenly voice support for shutting down the border.

The World Health Organization said earlier this month that it hopes to have a vaccine to battle Coronavirus within 18-24 months, but until then, countries will have to make do with resources available to them.

CNN said Thursday that President Trump remains open to Senate Democrats’ call for more than $8 billion in emergency funding for anti-coronavirus efforts – a dramatic increase from the $2.5 billion in total funding initially proposed by the White House.

“We’ll spend whatever is appropriate,” Trump said at Thursday’s White House news conference. “Hopefully, we won’t have to spend so much because we really think that we’ve done a great job in keeping it down to a minimum.”

Speaking from the halls of CPAC, former U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter told Tony Katz that the Obama administration is partially responsible for extreme U.S. vulnerability to disease pandemics.

“What have we been doing under the Obama years to get ready for an epidemic health crisis?” said McCotter. “We knew this was a vulnerability; we knew about viruses as far back as 1918 with the Spanish Influenza.

“So what was the Obama administration doing for eight years?” McCotter continued. “Nothing! So at least [Trump] has started to do some things, and he’s more than willing to work with the Congress if they want to.”

(Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images)