Accessibility links

Breaking News

Trump Questions Coronavirus Numbers Announced By China, Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions about his administration's plans for "Opening Up America Again" during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, April 16, 2020

President Donald Trump questioned the coronavirus pandemic numbers announced by China and Iran in his daily press briefing on April 18, asking “Does anyone believe” these numbers?

After more than a month from the acceleration of the pandemic in the West, the numbers China has officially announced are very low compared to countries such as Italy, Spain, France and even Germany.

China’s death tally shows just three fatalities per one million population, while in most Western countries it ranges from 100 to 450 deaths.

Trump also threatened China saying it should face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the pandemic.

At the press briefing, Dr. Deborah Brix, a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force team called China’s official figures unreal, pointing to a chart showing numbers in different countries.

President Trump then asked, “You see what’s going on over there,” referring to Iran. “Does anyone believe [Iran’s] number? Does anyone believe [China’s] number?

“We saw more bags on television than that”, Trump added.

Iran’s latest numbers put the death toll a little over 5,000 and infection cases at over 80,000.

Many in Iran have questioned the officially announced infection and death figures. Radio Farda’s preliminary estimate based on local media reports puts the numbers much higher. But the Iranian parliament’s research center on April 15 issued an estimate saying at least 600,000 are infected with the deadly virus.

Iran says its official numbers are based on multiple tests on patients at different intervals todetermine if a case can be included in the official numbers, but its testing ability is limited and much lower than in Western countries.