President Donald Trump questioned the accuracy of China’s official CCP virus case and death toll statistics during a press briefing held by members of the coronavirus task force on April 15.
“Do you really believe those numbers in this vast country called China—and that they have a certain number of cases and a certain number of deaths—does anybody really believe that?” Trump told reporters at the briefing.
“Do you think you’re getting honest numbers from some of these countries?” he asked earlier, pointing out that in the United States every death is reported.
Internal government documents obtained by The Epoch Times have highlighted how the Chinese regime purposefully underreported cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus—commonly known as the novel coronavirus and which causes the disease COVID-19—and censored discussions of the outbreak, fueling the spread of the disease.
While responding to questions, Trump said “everything we have is documented, reported,” and that in the United States “we have more cases, because we do more reporting.”
“All I know is: We report the facts, and we’re a country that’s getting better,” he added.
Trump, administration officials, and lawmakers, meanwhile, have recently become more vocal in addressing China’s mishandling and coverup of the CCP virus.
At the same time, Beijing is continuing to focus on the United States and the president himself as part of an aggressive propaganda initiative. Most recently, the regime has been using Facebook ads to criticize Trump, spread disinformation, and attempt to alter narratives on the pandemic.
Beijing unintentionally admitted to having hidden the number of virus cases in the country when it announced it would begin reporting cases of asymptomatic carriers on April 1, revealing that it hadn’t been doing so. China’s National Health Commission also acknowledged that asymptomatic carriers can infect others and cause outbreaks, which it had previously dismissed.
In the past three months, the number of Chinese cellphone users dropped by 21 million, suggesting that deaths due to the CCP virus may have been a factor. Since Sept. 1, 2010, China has required all cellphone users to register the devices with their real identification.
In China’s Shandong Province alone, daily new infection numbers were up to 52 times higher than officially published data. Information provided by residents in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, also indicates the death toll there could be more than 32,000—12.7 times the official figure.
And for the second time this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to China’s top diplomat, this time pressing China to be fully transparent about the pandemic.
In an April 15 phone call with Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi, Pompeo stressed “the need for full transparency and information sharing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent future outbreaks,” according to a State Department statement.
Earlier this week, Trump said he would stop U.S. funding of the World Health Organization (WHO) because of its role on behalf of China as the administration reviews its response to the global crisis. At a news conference, he said the organization had “failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable.”
Trump said the U.N. agency had promoted China’s “disinformation” about the CCP virus that likely led to a wider outbreak of the virus than otherwise would have occurred. The United States is the biggest overall donor to the Geneva-based WHO, contributing more than $400 million in 2019, roughly 15 percent of the organization’s budget.
In a Jan. 14 Twitter post, the WHO repeated Chinese propaganda, writing that “preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” of the virus that originated in Wuhan.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx expressed similar concerns in an April 15 interview with ABC’s “The View.”
“I think once this is over, we’ll be able to look back and see, ‘Did China and the WHO say and do everything to alert the rest of the world to the nuances of this virus’” Birx told the network. “Because when it first explodes, someone had to have known that there was human-to-human transmission.”