Chinese leaders negligent in alerting public about virus

It was only after weeks of thousands of infections and scores of deaths that China's leader Xi Jinping admitted it had a public health crisis on its hands.
Once the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus is nearing pandemic proportions, China lost the upper hand on messaging.

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Opinion

February 4, 2020 - 10:29 AM

Sarah Chong, middle, who is visiting from Shanghai, and her family wear masks in precaution of the coronavirus while shopping at San Gabriel Square on Wednesday in San Gabriel, California. She and her family are visiting the U.S. for a month. Photo by (Gina Ferazzi/Los AngelesTimes)

That China let the initial spread of a new virus go unchecked is, ironically, symptomatic of its obsessive need for control.

President Xi Jinping’s insistence on secrecy and a facade of perfection has led to its mishandling of the coronavirus epidemic that has killed at least 425 and infected more than 20,000.

It was only after weeks of thousands of infections and scores of deaths that China’s leader admitted it had a public health crisis on its hands.

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