The allegations came in a new 96-page report published by the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. The committee is currently controlled by the Democratic Party, although the report is authored by Republican members.

It claims that the pandemic could have been avoided completely if China acted more openly in its response.

He also criticizes the World Health Organization, as the authors accuse the International Health Supervision Authority of being “complicit” in spreading Chinese “propaganda”.

The report was obtained prior to its official release by the New York Post.

Parts of it allegedly stated: “Undoubtedly, the Chinese Communist Party has actively engaged in a cover-up operation aimed at concealing data, concealing relevant public health information and suppressing doctors and journalists who have attempted to warn the world.

“Research shows that CCP could have reduced the number of cases in China by up to 95 percent had it fulfilled its obligations under international law and responded to the outbreak in a manner consistent with best practice.

“It is very likely that the ongoing epidemic has been prevented.”

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The New York Post added that the lawmakers behind the report also called on Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, to step down.

The committee’s post reads: “Director General Tedros must take responsibility for his adverse impact on the COVID-19 response and resign.”

China confirmed that it was treating dozens of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan on New Year’s Eve 2019, although the cause at the time was not clear.

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On January 2, Wuhan Central Hospital issued a ban on staff speaking about the disease publicly, according to the British Foreign Policy Group.

The BFPG adds that on January 14, Hong Kong reporters were taken to a police station after trying to register inside a hospital in Wuhan.

The first confirmed case appeared in the United States on January 21, with other cases confirmed in Japan, South Korea and Thailand around that time.

At the time of writing, there have been a total of 31,091,469 cases of COVID-19, with 961,351 deaths, according to the European Center for Disease Control.

Despite the WHO’s criticism, the report advises that the United States should not withdraw from the organization – something President Donald Trump has threatened to do.

It states that the United States can instead “push forward the necessary reforms” of both the WHO and the International Health Regulations.