Beijing's COVID cover-up cost countless lives, says former chief of staff to Dick Cheney

"If they had alerted us earlier, and we had cut off travel earlier and taken precautions earlier, we would not have had as many casualties by the time the vaccine was ready," said Scooter Libby.

Updated: October 22, 2022 - 11:03pm

China bears great responsibility for the spread of COVID and the extent of its deadly impact across the globe, says Scooter Libby, who served as chief of staff to former VIce President Dick Cheney. 

"China knew they had a deadly disease going on loose in their country," Libby said on the National Security Alert podcast. "For whatever reason, or however it got loose, it was loose in their country. They knew it. They had obligations to inform the world that we have a dangerous situation coming on here which may be transmissible through the air, human to human, which may be resistant to particular types of drugs, and, you know, beware, and keep your citizens away, keep them safe. 

"Instead, they invited people in. They hid the truth for what looks to be now months. There is recent reporting that they knew back in August and September [of 2019]. They were beginning to hoard medical supplies, which was against their pattern in that time."

Beijing's cover-up cost many lives worldwide, Libby believes.

"If they had alerted us earlier, and we had cut off travel earlier and taken precautions earlier, we would not have had as many casualties by the time the vaccine was ready," he said.

"So however people calculate this — and some scientists have undertaken calculations — we now have a million dead from COVID," he continued. "That number could have been significantly less."

Whatever the true toll of avoidable fatalities, there were, Libby concluded, "a lot of people who died in that era who did not need to die if the medical countermeasures had been developed sooner, which is to say, if we had not had as vast a level of exposure as we had, because of what they hid."