Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian asserted Friday there has never been a cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak in China, simply some reassessment of accounting procedures. Zhao maintained the Communist Party of China (CCP) does not allow cover-ups under any circumstances so the latest figures will stand.
Allegations China is too close to the World Health Organization (WHO) were also rejected, with Zhao saying they were an attempt at “smearing” Beijing.
“I think they are all smearing China and cooking up stories about China,” he said, without specifying which countries he was referring to.
According to a Reuters report, Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing the upwards revision of the case toll in Wuhan, where the epidemic first emerged in late 2019, was the result of a statistical verification to ensure accuracy and that revision is a common international practice.
Wuhan’s health authority earlier on Thursday altered its cumulative death toll by 50 percent to 3,869 to rectify accounting errors, as Breitbart News reported.
Local authorities admitted previous figures had been skewed due to omissions, delays and mistakes.
The Wuhan government said total confirmed infections in the city have been revised to 50,333 as of Thursday, an increase of 325 cases.
Some, including U.S. President Donald Trump, have openly questioned the accuracy of such disclosures and accused China of accounting chicanery.
Trump said Monday at the White House there would be consequences for China’s misinformation but he declined to share them with the media, as Breitbart News reported.
“Why are there no consequences for China for the misinformation?” asked CBS reporter Paula Reid on Monday.
“I wouldn’t tell you. China will find out. Why would I tell you?” Trump replied. “How do you know there are no consequences? You’re going to find out. I wouldn’t tell you; you’re probably the last person on Earth that I would tell.”
Trump said that he would continue to aggressively challenge the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization in his administration.
“I call them ‘The Bobbsey Twins,’” Trump said.