Three months ago, Wuhan resident Zhang Yi was sitting next to two local Hubei province reporters at a restaurant. He overheard them talking about the Provincial Party Committee secretary, who was upset about a news story. The official told the reporters negative stories would no longer be published.
A month later, a mysterious virus started spreading though Wuhan’s residents, causing pneumonia-like symptoms.
In early January, Chinese officials called this new virus “preventable and controllable.” They said they had seen “no evidence of person-to-person transmission.” Throughout the week of January 11, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission published the same number of confirmed cases: 41.
Those official statements failed to convince Zhang. In his mind, he kept hearing what he’d overheard the reporters talking about in the restaurant.
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