Trump Rejects Death Toll Numbers, Says China Is Lying Big Time

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

President Trump took to Twitter again on Friday to echo a claim that the Chinese government is lying about their coronavirus figures. Trump drew attention to a recent correction that the Chinese government announced and claimed the number of confirmed cases and deaths in China, where the coronavirus originated, was likely much higher than their government is willing to admit.

Fox News reports: “China raised Wuhan’s coronavirus death toll by nearly 50 percent Friday following weeks of allegations that officials were underreporting the numbers to make the situation there look better than it actually was.”

In response, Trump tweeted: “China has just announced a doubling in the number of their deaths from the Invisible Enemy. It is far higher than that and far higher than the U.S., not even close!”

The Chinese government has been saying for weeks that they are mostly untouched by the disease but the Daily Wire reports that many experts are not buying it. Instead, some experts have suggested the Chinese government is being more impacted than they are letting on.

From the report:

The low number of reported deaths in China has long prompted suspicions from many experts, who have said that the death rate in Wuhan, ground zero for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, appeared far too low. In the Hubei province — which includes Wuhan, a city of more than 11 million residents — China initially said there were just 1,290 deaths.

And:

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, though, reports that China has had 83,760 cases and 4,512 deaths. Both sets of numbers — from China and Johns Hopkins — are both likely well short of the actual numbers, experts say.

In the U.S., which has a population of about 328 million, there have been 671,493 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 33,288 deaths. That makes the numbers from China, a nation with 1.4 billion people, seem unusually low.

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Fox News reports many people have been skeptical of China’s official numbers, noting the figures are much lower than the people on the frontlines at hospitals, clinics, funeral homes, and even crematoriums were saying they were.

From the report:

Wuhan residents have been saying for weeks that the numbers coming out of the city didn’t add up.

In late March, they told Radio Free Asia that Beijing’s claims that there were only 2,500 deaths in Wuhan is far from reality.

For more than a week, seven large funeral homes that serve Wuhan reportedly had been handing out the cremated remains of about 500 people to their families every day.

“It can’t be right … because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died,” said Zhang, a Wuhan resident who only gave Radio Free Asia his last name. “They started distributing ashes and starting interment ceremonies on Monday.”

There have also been claims of city officials paying off families in exchange for their silence.