US officials are at the belief that China covered up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak, in addition to how contagious the virus was and to stock up on medical supplies needed to respond to it, according to intelligence documents.
A Department of Homeland Security report found that: "China likely cut its exports of medical supplies prior to its January WHO (World Health Organization) notification that COVID-19 is a contagion." The latest details were citing an administration official familiar with the report.
Comments from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo further backed the claims on Sunday. He was asked if China intentionally stockpiled medical supplies in early January while it concealed the severity of Covid-19. Pompeo said:
We can confirm that the Chinese Communist Party did all that it could to make sure that the world didn't learn in a timely fashion about what was taking place.
The released report comes following last week, Trump announced that he was formulating a long-term plan to punish China on multiple fronts for the coronavirus pandemic. As noted in a previous blog, with the President exploring fresh tariffs on Chinese goods.
What does this mean for the market?
Following the Asian market open overnight, there have been big flights into safe havens; USD and JPY. The riskier currencies are taking a hit, AUD, NZD, CAD, GBP, EUR. Stocks globally have been under pressure. In terms of the risk-off theme, it has very much been carried through into the
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