Donald Trump denies US has most coronavirus deaths and says ‘strange things are happening’ in China
President Donald Trump says that “a lot of strange things are happening” regarding the origins of the coronavirus and claims that China has far more deaths than its figures suggest.
Mr Trump cast doubt on China’s official death toll, which was revised up on Friday. China said 1,300 people who died of the coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan – half the total – were not counted, but dismissed allegations of a cover-up.
The US president said on Friday that many more people must have died in China than in the US, which is currently the epicentre of the global pandemic and has reported the largest number of deaths in the world linked to the virus.
“We don’t have the most in the world deaths,” Mr Trump said.
“The most in the world has to be China. It’s a massive country. It’s gone through a tremendous problem with this, a tremendous problem – they must have the most.”
China reported that 4,632 people have died of the novel coronavirus within its borders. US coronavirus deaths topped 38,800 on Friday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
The source of the virus is a mystery. The broad scientific consensus is that the novel coronavirus originated in bats.
Fox News claimed on Wednesday that the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory as part of China’s effort to demonstrate the capability of its efforts in identifying and combating viruses.
China has just announced a doubling in the number of their deaths from the Invisible Enemy. It is far higher than that and far higher than the U.S., not even close!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
Mr Trump has said his government is seeking to determine whether the virus emanated from a laboratory in China.
“A lot of strange things are happening but there is a lot of investigation going on. And we’re going to find out,” Mr Trump said at the White House.
Washington and Beijing have publicly sparred over the virus repeatedly. Mr Trump initially praised China’s response to the outbreak, but he and his top aides have also referred to it as the “Chinese virus”.