Amid international skepticism, China defends its official data after revising Wuhan death toll upward by 50 percent
Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, insisted Friday that this revision in no way indicated a coverup and is based purely on standard efforts to take into account deaths that were previously miscounted or excluded.
But President Trump tweeted Friday that China’s numbers were even higher than officials there have disclosed, saying the deaths are “far higher than the U.S., not even close!”
Nationwide, China has reported a total of around 83,760 cases of coronavirus and 4,632 deaths. Italy has reported a much higher rate of death among those diagnosed with the virus, with more than 172,400 cases and around 22,745 deaths. The United States has reported around 672,000 cases and more than 33,800 deaths.
Jude Blanchette, who leads China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said he doesn’t see it as coincidental that China publicly revised its numbers at a time of extraordinary international skepticism over how the relatively low death count compared to other hot spots around the world.
[Source: Washington Post]