President Donald Trump said China “has to be” the country with the most coronavirus deaths Friday, a day after the Chinese government raised its official Wuhan death toll.
The U.S. intelligence community reportedly concluded that China has been falsifying its data on cases and deaths throughout the pandemic. China raised its official death toll in Wuhan from roughly 2,500 to over 3,500 on Thursday, but evidence suggests the true number is over 40,000. (RELATED: US Ramps Up Crackdown On China’s Spying Efforts During Coronavirus)
Trump made the comment after a reporter asked whether China’s new official total was believable. Trump did not confirm whether he thought the number was accurate, but criticized China’s handling of the virus. (RELATED: Asked Whether China Censored Early Coronavirus Data, Senior WHO Official Said He ‘Didn’t Look’)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a press conference in early April that “now is not the time for retribution” with regard to China. He said the U.S. would conduct a review of China’s handling of the virus after the pandemic has passed.
Asked later in Friday’s briefing whether China should be stripped of hosting the 2022 Olympics. He did confirm either way.
“Let me put it this way: I’m not happy,” he said.