The New York TimesThe New York Times

Chinese censorship is quietly rewriting the COVID-19 story

By Mara Hvistendahl and Benjamin Mueller

23 Apr 2023 · 9 min read

Editor's Note

How deep does China's censorship of scientific data go? The NYT investigates Chinese suppression of crucial research that hampered efforts to determine the virus' origins and fueled misinformation.

Early in 2020, on the same day that a frightening new illness officially got the name COVID-19, a team of scientists from the United States and China released critical data showing how quickly the virus was spreading, and who was dying.

The study was cited in health warnings around the world and appeared to be a model of international collaboration in a moment of crisis.

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