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Ignoring experts, China’s sudden zero-COVID exit cost lives

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AP reporters Dake Kang and Kanis Leung produced the first story to nail down how China’s sudden exit from its zero-COVID strategy cost thousands of lives, which could have been saved with the more gradual reopening recommended by experts.   

It’s become more and more difficult to get any real news out of China, especially on a subject as sensitive as deaths from COVID. Yet Dake Kang managed to do it with great persistence, awesome source building and dogged reporting, putting together an illuminating picture of how China ignored the advice of its own medical experts to slowly reopen after COVID. The story was firmly grounded in academic modeling, more than 20 interviews with current and former China Center for Disease Control and Prevention employees, experts and government advisers, and internal reports and directives obtained exclusively by the AP. 

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