Beijing terms US comments on virus data as ‘shameless’

BEIJING: China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that US officials are making “shameless” comments casting doubt about China’s reporting of coronavirus cases in the country.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying reiterated during a daily briefing that China has been open and transparent about the coronavirus outbreak that began in the country late last year, and said the United States should stop politicising a health issue and instead focus on the safety of its people. US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the coronavirus statistics China was reporting seemed “a little bit on the light side”, while his national security adviser said Washington had no way of knowing if Beijing’s figures were accurate.
The comments came after a senior Republican lawmaker cast doubt on Beijing’s data and Bloomberg News said a classified US intelligence report had concluded that China had under-reported the total cases and deaths it had suffered. The coronavirus outbreak began in China in late 2019 but Beijing has reported fewer cases and deaths than in America, which now has the world’s largest outbreak, with 215,000 confirmed cases and more than 5,000 deaths. Trump told a daily briefing by his coronavirus task force that he had not received an intelligence report on China’s data, but added: “The numbers seem to be a little bit on the light side and I am being nice when I say that relative to what we witnessed and what was reported.”–Agencies