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Congressional Research Service, Covid-19 and China: A Chronology of Events, May 13, 2020

This report by the non-partisan CRS was written by Susan V. Lawrence.

May 13, 2020


In Congress, multiple bills and resolutions have been introduced related to China’s handling of a novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, that expanded to become the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic.1 This report provides a timeline of key developments in the early weeks of the pandemic, based on available public reporting to date. The timeline starts with the onset of symptoms among the first known patients later identified as having COVID-19. The timeline documents the subsequent responses in China, at the World Health Organization (WHO), and in the United States through January 31, 2020, the day U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared the pandemic had become a public health emergency for the United States. The report opens with short sections on disease terminology and the Chinese geographic and political context of the outbreak in its early weeks. The report next offers discussion of select issues raised by the timeline. A detailed timeline follows. A concise timeline is included in an Appendix. 

Read the full report below.