Washington: President Donald Trump has cast doubt on the accuracy of China's official coronavirus death toll, terming it "unrealistic" and claiming that the actual number was "way ahead" of the US' which is not the world's "number one" country in terms of COVID-19 fatalities.
Trump's comments have come two days after another 1,300 fatalities were added to the official count in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak started in November last year.
The revision puts China's overall death toll to more than 4,600. "We are not number one; China is number one just so you understand," Trump told reporters at a White House news conference on Saturday. "They are way ahead of us in terms of death. It's not even close," he asserted.
According to Trump, when highly developed healthcare systems of the UK, France, Belgium, Italy and Spain had high fatality rates, it was 0.33 in China. The president asserted that the actual number was much more than the official Chinese death toll figures, which he said were "unrealistic". "You know it, I know it and they know it, but you don't want to report it.
Why? You will have to explain that. Someday I will explain it," he said. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has warned China that it should face consequences if it was "knowingly responsible" for the spread of the novel coronavirus, upping the ante on Beijing over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump, who has expressed disappointment over China's handling of the coronavirus disease, alleged no transparency and initial non-cooperation from Beijing with Washington on dealing with the crisis. "If they were knowingly responsible, yeah, then there should be consequences.
You're talking about, you know, potentially lives like nobody's seen since 1917," he told reporters at a White House news conference on Saturday. Trump said his relationship with China was very good till the time the deadly COVID-19 swept across the world.