That is the question emerging again and again in headlines around the world as repeated U.S. government leaks cast doubts on the official case numbers from China, which muzzled early scientists raising alarm bells about the virus and tried to cover up the 2003 SARS outbreak.
But Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland isn’t saying whether Canadian officials have seen any of the intelligence data behind the reports and questions — questions that Health Minister Patty Hajdu claimed last week were simply fuelling what she called “conspiracy theories.”
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“Of course we do share intelligence information through the Five Eyes … we have very frequent security and intelligence conversations with the United States,” Freeland said on Wednesday.
“A reason we are able to have those conversations — which are very important in the crisis that the world is experiencing today — is because those conversations happen in private and so I am not able to share details of what is discussed in those conversations.”
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Freeland also said Canada relies on the data its scientists get from the World Health Organization.