Trump Doubts China’s Official COVID-19 Numbers

April 2, 2020 Updated: April 2, 2020

President Donald Trump cast doubt on the Beijing regime’s official numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths inside China, while responding to questions during an April 1 CCP virus task force briefing.

Trump was asked whether he had received an intelligence report concluding that Beijing concealed the true extent of the outbreak, as reported by Bloomberg, which cited three anonymous U.S. officials.

“We have not received that,” Trump responded, referring to the classified report. “But their numbers seem to be a little bit on the light side. And I’m being nice when I say that, relative to what we witnessed and what was reported.”

He was also asked if he had addressed the numbers in his recent conversation with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. While the president said he’s in constant communication with Xi, he said they haven’t really discussed the numbers.

“As to whether or not their numbers are accurate, I’m not an accountant from China,” Trump added.

Internal government documents obtained by The Epoch Times have highlighted how the Chinese regime purposefully underreported cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus and censored discussions of the outbreak, helping to fuel the spread of the disease.

At the same briefing, national security adviser Robert O’Brien also said to reporters that no official data coming from China can be verified.

“Unfortunately, we are just not in a position to confirm any of the numbers that are coming out of China,” he said. “There’s no way to confirm any of those numbers.”

U.S. officials, including Trump, have in recent times become more vocal in addressing China’s mishandling of the CCP virus. The United States has also been a target of an increasingly aggressive propaganda campaign by Beijing.

Although the narratives pushed by the CCP can change quickly, the goals are the same: to deflect responsibility over its botched handling of the CCP virus and to portray an image that it has successfully contained the outbreak.

At a March 17 briefing, Trump said: “China was putting out information which was false, that our military gave this [virus] to them. That was false, and rather than having an argument, I have to call it where it came from. It did come from China.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, suggested at a March 31 briefing that the United States response was slowed by flawed data from China.

“When you looked at the China data originally … you start thinking of this more like SARS [severe acute respiratory syndrome] than you do a global pandemic,” she said.

“The medical community interpreted the Chinese data as, this was serious, but smaller than anyone expected,” Birx said. “Because, probably … we were missing a significant amount of the data.”

Meanwhile, in Europe, scientific advisers warned the United Kingdom’s prime minister that China’s official statistics on the CCP virus could be “downplayed by a factor of 15 to 40 times” and that Downing Street believes Beijing is attempting to exploit the pandemic for economic gain, reported by The Mail on March 28.

A China insider told The Epoch Times in January that public health authorities were attempting to cover up the severity of the virus by limiting the number of diagnosis kits sent to Wuhan hospitals.

The Epoch Times has also documented stories of some Chinese citizens—including whistleblower doctors, citizen journalists, scholars, and business people—who have been silenced by the regime for exposing the truth.

And in an April 2 Twitter thread on China, former national security adviser John Bolton, wrote that “China’s falsehoods and concealment of data about coronavirus are dangerous to America and the whole world.

“Untold numbers of people have died needlessly because of the authoritarian Beijing regime’s conduct,” Bolton wrote on Twitter. “The global economy has suffered a catastrophic setback that might have been substantially mitigated had China just been honest.”

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