China Hits Back at Report That It Hid Coronavirus Numbers

04 Avril, 2020, 05:57 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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Anticipating a backlash, China's official Xinhua News Agency last month suggested that Beijing could retaliate against the U.S.by banning the export of medical products that would leave the USA stuck in the "ocean of viruses".

American officials cautioned that even with their own sourcing, numerous intelligence agencies' warnings to the White House since the beginning of the outbreak have hewed relatively closely to reports from journalists, who have been aggressively reporting on the coronavirus outbreak in China and the Chinese government's efforts to suppress reporting about its spread.

A man wears a protective mask on February 10, 2020 in the Hubei city of Wuhan, China.

Based on the model, during this time period, China should have had 86% more cases of COVID-19 than what the country had reported.

"We have not received that", he said.

He noted that some of China's numbers on Covid-19 cases seem a bit "low", but he insisted his relationship with President Xi remained "really good". "Because I think probably we were missing a significant amount of the data, now that what we see happened to Italy and see what happened to Spain".

The commander-in-chief later added: "As to whether or not their numbers are accurate".

There are calls in Congress to hold China accountable for initially covering up the outbreak. He served in the Obama administration as Special Assistant to the President on the National Security Council from 2014-2017 and is the author of the forthcoming book "Isolationism: A History of America's Efforts to Shield Itself from the World".

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The American intelligence about understated numbers predates recent reporting in the Chinese news media that the death count in Wuhan could be 5,000 or more, double the official number.

Communications staff at the White House and the Chinese embassy in Washington didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

"Some US officials just want to shift the blame", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a briefing Thursday in Beijing, Bloomberg News reported.

"These comments by those USA politicians are just shameless and morally repulsive", she reportedly said. "They should abandon such politicizing of public health issues. This is just immoral and inhuman-and will be denounced by people all around the world".

China declared Saturday (April 4) a day of mourning for the thousands of "martyrs" who have died in the new coronavirus outbreak, flying the national flag at half mast throughout the country and suspending all forms of entertainment.

By comparison, the US has more than 216,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

More than 3,300 people in mainland China have died in the epidemic, which first surfaced in the central province of Hubei late a year ago, according to statistics published by the National Health Commission.

No complete picture of the virus exists anywhere because of factors beyond government suppression, including testing shortages, varying measurement standards and asymptomatic infections that could account for up to one in four coronavirus cases.

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