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There are signs that the government, especially at the regional level in Hubei Province, the source of the outbreak, was slow to recognize the danger and is continuing to mishandle the crisis. Some public health experts have asked whether the sweeping travel restrictions that have been imposed are leaving people without access to medical care, while many Chinese remain unconvinced the government is being completely forthcoming about the toll of the disease.

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BEIJING — It took thousands of infections and scores of deaths from a mysterious virus for China’s authoritarian leader to publicly say what had become glaringly obvious to many in recent weeks: The country is facing a grave public health crisis.

After his declaration, the leader, Xi Jinping, put China on a virtual war footing to cope with the unfolding epidemic of the coronavirus. He convened an extraordinary session of the Communist Party’s top political body, issuing orders for handling the crisis with the crisp, somber stoicism of a field marshal.

Read more on The New York Times:

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