A CIA report revealed that the Wuhan virus outbreak was kept secret by local authorities possibly in an attempt to hide the situation for fear of reprisals by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

According to Express UK, local officials in Wuhan did not report the threat of the CCP virus (COVID-19) for several weeks.

The report, which comes from the CIA as well as other intelligence agencies, was reportedly released to the United States last June.

Officials said the report still supports the general idea that the CCP withheld information relevant to preventing a pandemic, implying that due to Beijing’s negligence in withholding information from the WHO, many countries were affected.

The Associated Press said the internal report was commissioned as a follow-up to a May report by the Department of Homeland Security that said CCP officials initially hid the virus in an attempt to stockpile medical supplies.

“We assess the Chinese government [CCP] intentionally concealed the severity of COVID-19 from the international community in early January while it stockpiled medical supplies by both increasing imports and decreasing exports,” the analysis said.

It should be remembered that while global trade was crippled as a result of the pandemic, the CCP began exporting medical supplies en masse to its partners in Europe in hopes of boosting its image as a responsible global leader.

However, several European governments ended up rejecting the CCP’s help because of the defective standard of the supplies sent.

According to European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, the CCP’s alleged support was a “a geo-political component including a struggle for influence through spinning and the ‘politics of generosity.’”

Meanwhile, current and former U.S. officials noted that information circulating in June did not completely absolve the CCP, since, as the Business Insider indicates, several doctors were soon silenced while trying to raise alarm about the outbreak.

The best known case is that of eye doctor Li Wenliang, who tried to alert about the Wuhan virus outbreak via the internet and three days later was forced by the CCP to sign a document for him to denounce its publication as “illegal behavior.” Li died from the virus in February.

President Donald Trump has therefore repeatedly blamed the Chinese regime as the main culprit in the current situation. During a July 4 speech at the White House, Trump reiterated that “China’s secrecy, deception and cover-up” allowed the pandemic to occur.

Current administration officials also have repeatedly blamed China for the global alarm generated by the CCP virus. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was emphatic that there is a “Communist cover-up of that virus.”

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on Saturday that the pandemic was “perpetrated on America by the Chinese Communist Party.”

However, the U.S.’s internal assessment of the CIA report and the culpability of local Chinese officials would also have foreign policy implications.

Michael Pillsbury, a China scholar at the Hudson Institute and Trump’s informal adviser, told the New York Times, “It makes a big difference whether it’s Wuhan or Beijing.”