Foreign Policy/Health/World

Trump says he doesn’t believe China’s official virus pandemic numbers

President Donald J. Trump is seen through the window taking questions from the press during a coronavirus update briefing Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

(USA Features) President Donald Trump on Thursday strongly suggested that China’s official illness and death figures from the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak have been falsified, even while deferring on reports that U.S. intelligence has conclusively determined they were.

During a press conference, the president was asked about the intelligence report on Wednesday concluding that Beijing lied about its coronavirus casualty count.

“We have not received that,” Trump said, 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.”

The president was also asked if he had discussed casualty figures with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. Trump said he has been in constant contact with the Chinese leader, but said a discussion about the numbers of victims hasn’t arisen.

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

A number of media reports have allegedly documents Chinese efforts to hide the figures, including The Epoch Times, which has reportedly seen official documents proving as much.

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.”

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