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Leaked Cable: U.S. Eyes Second Outbreak in China

The Trump administration is looking into the rise of asymptomatic cases in the country where the virus first erupted, with hopes to get ahead of a wave back home.

As the Trump administration scrambles to get a hand on the spread of the new coronavirus across the U.S., it is keeping one eye on developments in China, the country where the pandemic originated.

According to two officials with knowledge of those efforts and cables reviewed by The Daily Beast, the administration is monitoring China’s second wave of coronavirus cases, gathering data on the ground on the number of individuals newly infected and the reasons for the recent uptick. Over the past few days Chinese officials have noted an emergence of new cases, particularly in asymptomatic individuals. But U.S. officials say it is difficult to trust Beijing’s numbers because of its history of putting out unreliable data.

The push for real-time intelligence on China’s new outbreak is an attempt by U.S. officials not only to study what factors can lead to a reemergence of the virus but also to get ahead of any attempt by Beijing to—yet again—put a spin on it, those same officials said. 

The White House is leaning on officials from across several agencies, including the State Department, Centers for Disease Control and the intel community to probe how Beijing is handling the new cases so as to better understand what the U.S. could expect later this year, when medical officials believe a second round of infections may happen as well.  

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