The coronavirus is currently sweeping across Asia.
But cases have begun to pop up all over the globe.
And health officials just gave a terrifying warning about the coronavirus.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases is exploding at an alarming rate.
In fewer than two weeks, the number of cases and deaths has nearly tripled.
There are now over 60,000 confirmed cases and a death toll of 1,357.
Roughly 100 people are dying per day in China, and the communist government seems to be more concerned with saving face than being open about the crisis and inviting resources from the outside.
But the outbreak could get significantly worse.
Professor Gabriel Leung, chair of public health medicine at Hong Kong University, said in an interview that the spread of the coronavirus in China is only the “tip of the iceberg.”
Many experts believe that each person infected with the coronavirus can infect approximately 2.5 other people.
Leung says that would give the coronavirus an “attack rate” of 60-80%.
“Sixty percent of the world’s population is an awfully big number,” Leung said.
Leung also said that the conclusion of this pandemic might not be a swift one.
“Maybe not. Maybe this will come in waves. Maybe the virus is going to attenuate its lethality because it certainly doesn’t help it if it kills everybody in its path, because it will get killed as well.”
The idea that the coronavirus could spread in waves is a scary reality for many people.
Fear from the coronavirus doesn’t only change behavior, it has an overarching effect on society as a whole, including economically.
One of the contributing factors to the spread of the coronavirus is the lack of transparency from the Chinese government.
The communist party is deadly concerned with saving face, so the public hasn’t been appropriately warned, and information has been slow to get out.
The origin story of the virus is that it was spread via bat soup at a seafood market in Wuhan, China, but that explanation is on shaky ground.
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas presented evidence to Congress that at least one-third of the original 40 people infected never had any contact with the seafood market or patient zero.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Cotton’s presentation is the pushback he’s gotten.
Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai appeared on “Face the Nation” on CBS in order to quash Cotton’s argument.
Tiankai said, “[T]his will create panic,” and suggested it could lead to racism and xenophobia.
First, nearly 1,400 people are dead, so there already is a panic, and media perception won’t change that.
Second, as soon as racism and xenophobia are invoked in an argument, the goal is to have a chilling effect on discussion.
Tiankai doesn’t seem to want an open discussion on the topic.
Tiankai also defended the Chinese government’s decision to silence Dr. Li Wenliang after he alerted the public about the coronavirus.
He has since died, allegedly due to the coronavirus.