China’s True COVID-19 Death Toll 366 Times Higher Than Official Figure, Analyst Says

By Eva Fu and David Zhang  January 21, 2022

The Chinese regime has likely understated the country’s COVID-19 death rate by as much as 17,000 percent, in a systematic data-suppression campaign to sustain its political image, according to a U.S. analyst.

That would put the number of COVID-19 deaths in China at around 1.7 million rather than 4,636, the two-year cumulative death figure that the Chinese authorities have maintained. That’s 366 times the official figure.

Those findings, made by George Calhoun, director of the quantitative finance program at Stevens Institute of Technology, were based on data as of January generated by a model developed by The Economist.

A vast majority of China’s officially recorded deaths came from Wuhan during the first three months of the pandemic, with only hundreds more reported in the rest of the country since then.

The Chinese regime only reported four additional deaths from April 18, 2020, ranking China as having the world’s lowest COVID-19 death rate, which Zhong Nanshan, the Chinese epidemiologist overseeing China’s outbreak response, boasted about just last week.

But that jaw-dropping data point—hundreds of times lower than that of the United States—gave Calhoun pause.

“That’s impossible. It’s medically impossible, it’s statistically impossible,” Calhoun told NTD, a sister media outlet of The Epoch Times.

Epoch Times PhotoEpoch Times Photo
Passengers wearing masks arrive at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai on March 19, 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

“Remember, in 2020, there was no vaccine, there was no treatment,” he said. “So you had an unprotected population that has shown zero COVID deaths, even though they’ve had tens of thousands of cases.”

Curating public records and previous research reports, and analyzing the regime’s pattern of hushing up scandals in the past, Calhoun arrived at a conclusion that to him seems obvious: China has made its “zero-COVID” policy a political objective, and is systematically falsifying data to prop up the claim.

“Somebody put a message out at the end of the first quarter in 2020 and said, ‘Okay, we want to see zero COVID. That’s our policy.’ And it became zero COVID,” he said.

Anomalies

The first “smoking gun” is a sudden drop in COVID-19 deaths since April 2020 from mainland China after a “raging” rate of infection, Calhoun said.

From April 18, 2020, to Jan. 8, 2022, more than 35,000 cases were reported in mainland China (excluding asymptomatic cases), according to official data from China’s National Health Commission. Only four deaths were recorded over the same period.

By comparison, Hong Kong, which counted about half as many COVID-19 infections over the period, has reported 213 deaths to date.

The case fatality rate (the proportion of those infected who died) in Wuhan during the first three months of the pandemic averaged around 7.7 percent, more than five times that of the United States and four times the world average.

chart excess mortality china and other countriesCFR-in-Wuhan--Before---After-April-1-2020_960x0
Case fatality rate in Wuhan compared with other parts of the world. (Courtesy of George Calhoun)

Two scenarios are possible: either the virus was “far more deadly in early 2020 in Wuhan than anywhere else, at any other time,” or alternatively, the official infection numbers from China were too small by a factor of three or four, Calhoun said.

Over the subsequent 20 months, there’s been a consistent lack of COVID-19 data from China. As of September 2021, China has become the world’s only country that hasn’t provided complete data on excess mortality—unexplained deaths beyond normal trends that can offer a crude estimate of uncounted COVID deaths, a survey from the University of Washington shows.

The Economist model seeks to make up for that data gap. Based on the model, Calhoun said China’s excess mortality was off by about 17,000 percent. This discrepancy, he said, even surpasses those by countries mired in large-scale civil unrest, such as Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Venezuela. Venezuela, the highest of the four, has an estimated excess COVID-19 death ratio of 1,100 percent.

Epoch Times Photochart excess mortality china and other countries
Excess mortality for China and several other countries. (Courtesy of George Calhoun)

Undercounting virus deaths is widespread across countries. Based on The Economist’s model, the United States’ official tally is short by about 30 percent. But China’s case is extreme.

“They are through the roof,” Calhoun said of the discrepancy between China’s official figures and the estimated true death toll.

“Something’s driving that.”

While the virus might not be all to blame for the jump, tight-lipped Chinese authorities have offered few clues as to what else might have happened.

Calhoun’s estimate coincides with anecdotal evidence from local residents, troves of internal documents leaked to The Epoch Times, and research studies into the impact of the virus in China, all of which indicate that the official figures have been grossly understated.

During the early months when the pandemic first emerged in Wuhan, some of the city’s funeral home workers told The Epoch Times they were working nonstop to cremate bodies. In March, thousands of ash urns were delivered to one of the crematoriums, when the official death number was over 2,000. The authorities raised the fatality figure by 50 percent a month later, attributing the gap to administrative inefficiencies.

CFR-in-Wuhan--Before---After-April-1-2020_960x0Epoch Times Photo
Medical staff wear protective clothing to protect against a CCP virus patient at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 25, 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

A study published in The Lancet last March said that as many as 968,800 people in Wuhan had antibodies by April 2020, which would mean they had been infected by the virus and developed immunity.

The data inconsistencies aren’t limited to Wuhan. During a two-week period in February 2020, an internal document from Shandong health authorities showed that close to 2,000 people had tested positive for the virus, but only 755 infections were publicly recorded.

Leaked documents suggest that the regime has continued to deem virus control a political task.

In files recently obtained by The Epoch Times, a top Chinese official of Shaanxi Province, where the virus-hit Xi’an is the capital, ordered the “toughest measures” to be put in place to block the virus’s further spread from Xi’an. With the Beijing Winter Olympics coming up, a spillover would create “systemic risk” and “smear the national image,” the document reads.

“Increased Immigration Flows” Under Biden Cause Record-Breaking Court Backlog

The Biden administration’s controversial open border policies are slamming the overwhelmed U.S. Immigration Court system, creating the largest backlog of cases in history. A new report issued by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reveals that the backlog is “growing faster than ever, burying judges in an avalanche of cases.” At the end of December pending cases reached a shocking 1,596,193, according to government figures obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). To put things in perspective, researchers point out that if every person with a pending immigration case gathered, it would surpass the population of Philadelphia, the nation’s sixth-largest city. Migrants with open cases will wait nearly five years for a court decision determining their status in the U.S.

While the system has seen backlogs under past administrations of both political parties, it has never experienced anything this dire. In fact, the TRAC report states that “a disturbing new trend has emerged during the Biden administration that demands attention: since the start of the Biden administration, the growth of the backlog has been accelerating at a breakneck pace.” For instance, at the start of the George W. Bush administration, the backlog stood at 149,338 and it grew “substantially” under Barack Obama. The problem “only accelerated” under Donald Trump but nothing compares to Biden. In recent months the rate of backlogs in the nation’s Immigration Court system has “exploded,” the TRAC report states, supporting the assessment with government data. Between October and December 2021, the quarterly growth in the number of pending Immigration Court cases shattered records.

In that short period, the backlog increased by nearly 140,000 cases, the government records obtained by TRAC show. “Even during the most dramatic growth in pending cases during the Trump administration, the largest 3-month increase in the backlog only once approached 100,000 in the June-August 2019 period,” the report says. The backlog fluctuated up and down in the following year until it skyrocketed in the last few months of 2021 under Biden. Researchers call it a “dramatic acceleration in the growth of the backlog.” The alarming government figures suggest that Immigration Courts “are entering a worrying new era of even more crushing caseloads— all the more concerning since no attempt at a solution has yet been able to reverse the avalanche of cases that Immigration Judges now face,” the TRAC report states.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played a role in the crisis because it caused a partial court shutdown, but researchers found that the key problem is the “recent deluge of new cases filed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).” Immigration enforcement has been limited dramatically under the Biden administration, which has also issued a policy to allow more new immigrants into the U.S., thus the unprecedented and expanding backlog. The dramatic increase in court cases began around June and will inevitably get worse if the administration does not make changes. “If the current pace during the first quarter of FY 2022 of newly arriving Notices to Appear (NTAs) continues, the Court will receive 800,000 new cases – at least 300,000 more than the annual total the Court has ever received during its existence,” TRAC estimates.

The U.S. Immigration Court system operates under the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which functions under the attorney general. There are 60 immigration courts throughout the nation and around 580 judges that conduct removal hearings or determine if a migrant can remain in the U.S. In its 2022 budget submission to Congress, the DOJ requests $891,190,000 for the EOIR. In the document, the agency lists “increased immigration flows,” particularly family units, unaccompanied alien children and putative asylum seekers from Central America, among the EOIR’s biggest external challenges.

Judicial Watch Sues HHS on Behalf of OpenTheBooks.com for Calendars and Calendar Entries of Dr. Anthony Fauci

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on behalf of OpenTheBooks.com against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for calendars and calendar entries of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Anthony Fauci (American Transparency, d/b/a/ OpenTheBooks.com and Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:22-cv-00036)).

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is an agency of HHS, failed to respond to a November 5, 2021, FOIA request for:

All calendars or calendar entries for Dr. Anthony Fauci, including calendars maintained on Dr. Fauci’s behalf. For calendars or calendar entries created electronically, the records should include the names of invitees, notes, and other attachments for a given entry.

The time frame of the request was identified as “November 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.”

“It’s an understatement to say that Dr. Fauci’s daily calendar from the earliest days of the pandemic is in the public interest. By not producing it, NIH is acting like it has a lot to hide,” said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and founder of OpenTheBooks.com.

“Fauci wields enormous power and the American people have a right to know what he has been up to,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

On October 28, 2021, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit on behalf of OpenTheBooks.com against the HHS for the employment contracts; financial, conflict of interest, and financial disclosure documents; and job description of Dr. Fauci, as well as royalties paid to NIH employees by outside entities (American Transparency, DBA OpenTheBooks.com v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-02821)).

Judicial Watch has several other FOIA lawsuits concerning Dr. Fauci. One of these lawsuits recently  uncovered emails and other records that confirm Fauci agency funding for gain of function research in Wuhan, China.

Pfizer Tied to Investigation of Project Veritas – Oh My God!

(Washington, DC)Judicial Watch announced today the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) told Judicial Watch in a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that it has communications from Pfizer in an investigative file targeting Project Veritas.

(In October 2021, Project Veritas, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization, published two viral stories [here and here] about the Pfizer covid vaccine.)

On December 21, 2021, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request for:

All records of communications, whether by email (on .gov or non.gov email accounts), text message, or instant chat, between officials in the FBI, including but not limited to officials in the offices of the FBI New York Field Office on the one hand, and employees and representatives of Pfizer Inc. on the other hand, regarding Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe and/or Project Veritas.

Email communications with Pfizer Inc. employees or representatives include but are not limited to those with the email domain “@pfizer.com”.

On January 6, the FBI denied the request for all “communications regarding Project Veritas between FBI officials and employees/representatives of Pfizer” the following reason:

The material you requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(A). 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(A) exempts from disclosure:

records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information … could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings….

The records responsive to your request are law enforcement records; there is a pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to these responsive records, and release of the information could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.

On January 10, the FBI denied the request for “email communications with Pfizer Inc. employees or representatives including email domains ‘@pfizer.com’ (On or after September 1, 2021),” stating: “Please be advised the FBI will neither confirm nor deny the existence of such records …”

On November 9, 2021, the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, participated in an online discussion in which Bourla states that he was working with the FBI regarding “dark organizations” that were “targeting” Pfizer.

“It is disturbing to see that Pfizer evidently has the Biden FBI at its beck and call to target journalists at Project Veritas,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This development is especially concerning coming on the heels of the FBI’s outrageous Ashley Biden diary raid on the home of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe.”

Fulfilled In Our Hearing

Teaching in the Temple, Jesus combined in himself scriptural prophecy and our salvation. He does the same at every Mass.

“The eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.” Indeed, they did. And with reason. The Savior, who was for the inhabitants of Nazareth their neighbor, cousin, childhood playmate, fellow student, coworker, and, it seemed, aspiring rabbi, had just claimed to be the Messiah—that is, the Anointed One, the Christ, promised by God and foretold by the prophets, and most explicitly by Isaiah.

The selection from the Torah that the Jewish liturgy reads along with this passage of the prophet is from Exodus. And what does it recount? Precisely Moses’ giving of the Law for the first time. And of course, the only man who would be greater than Moses when he finally had come, would be the Christ of God, the Messiah. All this as an introduction to Our Lord’s announcement of its fulfillment, that is of the Law and the Prophets, was a very rich combination indeed. As is later shown in this passage, the Savior’s fellow townsmen and even relatives did not take kindly to what he said. So yes, astounded, amazed, and moving toward outrage, the eyes of all were fixed on him.

He read standing up, like any good Jewish layman would do, but then after his announcement, he sat down, a clear assertion of the authority to teach and to interpret the scriptures. This left little room to think that he was not serious about his assertion “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Well, when the Church proposes a Gospel reading for holy Mass along with the other readings from the Old and New Testaments that accompany it, the priest, standing in the person of Christ, could legitimately say precisely not of himself only, but of Christ and of his mystical body the Church—all of us, along with the saints in heaven and the souls of the faithful departed who await their entry there—“All of this has been accomplished, all of this is fulfilled in us who are united to Christ.”

Sometimes we may hear it blandly said that we are to apply the scriptures to our own practical lives. This is true enough. Today’s Gospel, however, shows that application to be nothing less than a fulfillment. It is a thing of great power that has been predestined for us, designed and planned for us by our loving God and Redeemer.

The life of the Christian in the light of God’s Word is an event, a saving event, an episode that once again fulfills the Lord’s promises and the prophets’ longing for their coming true at last.

How chilled to the bone and terrified Our Lord’s enemies must have been when they heard him recite Psalm 21 as he hung on the cross. This psalm visually describes the crucifixion, and was fulfilled unmistakably in their hearing. Now their eyes were fixed intently upon him as another prophecy was coming about “And they shall look on him whom they have pierced.”

Today, beloved people, we have according to the Lord’s promise his own Body and Blood offered for us on the cross presented to our eyes under a sacrament of bread and wine. The very words that bring about the consecration are ones that tell us, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

He is with us, as he promised, until the end of the world. His words are so powerful that they bring about what they say. “This is my Body. This is the chalice of my Blood.”

When we are in church, at that moment, the eyes of all should look intently upon him raised up for our adoration, and hasten to receive the graces in abundance on ourselves, our families and all the world, as well as our dear dead, that his sacrifices pours out on us.

And we will not be skeptics like the villagers of Nazareth, but believers and lovers of the One who promised “The one who feeds on me will live because of me” and “I will raise him up on the last day.”

What a great hope is ours! What graces in profusion flow from every holy Mass in our own congregation. Glory to Christ who has given us all this and heavenly glory besides!

When Home Is a Person, Not a Place

To understand the evil of abortion, think about what “home” is for the innocent pre-born child

As the Christmas season comes to a close, popular carols have reminded us, “There’s no place like home for the holidays” and “I’ll be home for Christmas.” Beyond yuletide travels, even Michael Bublé croons to us in no specific season, “Another aeroplane, another sunny place, I’m lucky, I know, but I wanna go home.”

Home signifies family, connection, tradition, refuge, comfort, love, and freedom to be yourself.

This is often tied in with the house we grew up in—the familiar smells and sights. But what makes a house a home is more than its construction, photos on the wall, indents in the well-sat-on furniture, or the aroma from a comfort meal. It is the people with whom so many memories are made. It is the closeness with loved ones, the communion of persons. And that is why we can experience home without the four walls of a wooden or brick structure, for as the lyrics to another song go, “Home is whenever I’m with you.”

Our first lesson that home is ultimately a person more than a place is taught to us by the youngest of our kind.

Pre-born children do not know the sights, sounds, and smells of man-made architecture. Instead, home for them is the person of their mother. It is the sound of her heartbeat and voice. It is the warmth and comfort of her womb. That is why, when a baby is newly born, placing the crying child on the chest of her mother instantly soothes. Because in that moment, the child is home.

In light of that, consider the great tragedy of abortion. To violently end a pregnancy is to rip a child from her home. It is to invade the place of comfort and to deny a person the one whom she is meant to be with.

Abortion has become commonplace over so many decades that society is unfortunately used to it. Even in the pro-life movement, while we know that abortion is wrong, we may not emotionally feel the same outrage now as we did upon first learning about it. To re-sensitize ourselves to the evil so as to reignite our deep opposition, particularly in light of January 22 having marked forty-nine years of legalized abortion in America, it is worth reflecting on this concept of home.

How terrible is it when a family home burns to the ground? People rightly grieve destroyed photo albums and a familiar gathering space that is no more. Worse than such a fire by accident, though, is arson. And worse than arson by a stranger is a deliberate fire started by a trusted relative. And worse still than that is the intentional incineration of the arsonist’s sleeping kin alongside lighting their home on fire.

Abortion is no accident. It is a planned execution. And it involves the closest and most beautiful of all relationships—that of mother and child. A pregnant woman, unlike others, gets the privilege of her own body being a sanctuary for a helpless baby. It is she who has the power, by her loving presence, to bring calm and peace to a child as no other human, and no place, can. It is up to us to take this unique relationship and ensure that it is protected and praised.