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US Youtuber questions CDC transparency in COVID-19 numbers, citing leaked message

(People's Daily Online)    16:29, February 24, 2020

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hiding information (on the novel coronavirus outbreak) from the American public to prevent panic,” said Paul Cottrell in a YouTube video he recently recorded.

Cottrell, a youtuber with about 27,000 subscribers, claimed that he received a text message he said was exchanged between a CDC employee and a listener to his channel who is close to the source from the CDC.

He then went on to read out the text message in which the alleged person from the CDC said it’s worse than what is being said on social media and national news. “There have already been over 1,000 cases in the US, although on the news, they are just keeping things quiet for now and reporting far less to the public,” Cottrell reads in his video quoting the message.

According to the CDC official webpage, the number of total confirmed coronavirus cases in the US was 35 as of February 21. 

In the message Cottrell reads, the alleged source from the CDC also advised wearing masks when traveling even short distances as “CDC suspects cases in over 32 states at this point”.

“This is much bigger than I thought,” Cottrell then commented in the video: “I’m revealing this because our safety is at risk here.” 

Cottrell further adds that he has “a data point with a caller from Buffalo, New York, stating that there are six confirmed COVID-19 cases that the CDC has not released to the public.”

“By them (CDC) not being transparent, they are going to make things worse,” Cottrell said.

A comment below the video by a netizen named John Maldonado said: “CDC doesn’t want mass panic. It’s simple. All we can do is prepare and stockpile supplies.”

Admitting that he cannot verify the message, Cottrell said: “We have to, in the fog of war, sometimes shoot first and then aim later.”

Paul Cottrell’s LinkedIn info shows that he’s currently studying biology for a master’s degree at Harvard University, and that he obtained a Ph.D in finance at Walden University and finished his Pre-Medical studies at Fordham University. He updates his YouTube videos on a daily basis covering topics on economics, medicine and current events. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liu Ning, Bianji)

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