Is China hiding how bad the coronavirus is?

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When an authoritarian regime controls all media outlets and arrests anyone who talks outside the party line, truth is hard to discover

The Chinese government would have the world believe that the coronavirus is under control and the risks of it spreading to the rest of us is minimal. But foreign governments and intelligence agencies believe that China has been lying about the extent of the epidemic and continues to deny the truth about the numbers of dead and infected. Judging by leaked videos on social media that purpotedly show the dead lying untended in the street, bodies wrapped in sheets lying on benches and crematoriums working 24/7 with bodies unceremoniously stuffed into ovens with no burial rites, millions of Chinese people appear to agree with the foreign assessments. The official story goes like this: when the new variant of the coronavirus first emerged early last month, the Chinese government moved swiftly to contain the outbreak by quarantining the city of Wuhan with a population of 11 million where the disease was first detected. Over the next three weeks, the quarantine expanded to include 15 other cities with a total population of around 56 million.