China sat on COVID-19 info for more than two weeks – AP

According to the internal documents, emails and dozens of interviews found by the Associated Press (AP),  the “Chinese officials sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) for over a week after multiple government labs had fully decoded it, not sharing details key to designing tests, drugs and vaccines.”

Key findings

“Health officials only released the genome after a Chinese lab published it ahead of authorities on a virology website on Jan 11.

Even then, China stalled for at least two weeks more on giving World Health Organization (WHO) the details it needed, according to recordings of multiple internal meetings held by the U.N. health agency in January all at a time when the outbreak arguably might have been dramatically slowed.

Throughout January, the WHO publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus and thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus immediately." 

This report comes at a time when China is already under scrutiny by the US and rest of the world for its mishandling of the virus situation. US President Donald Trump could likely appreciate the above narrative, giving his administration an extra zest to go hard on Beijing.

All eyes remain on any comments from both countries on the AP report, as the US-China trade deal looks at jeopardy following China’s new security law imposition on Hong Kong last week.

Market reaction

The market mood remains upbeat despite this report, with AUD/USD scaling higher towards 0.6900 amid relentless dollar selling across the board while the  S&P 500 futures gain 0.65%.

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