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Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 22:50
Wuhan residents reject US claims on China death toll
By Cui Jia and Liu Kun in Wuhan
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 22:50 By Cui Jia and Liu Kun in Wuhan

Health workers in Wuhan carry out physical examinations for employees at a company who return to work on April 9, 2020. (ZHOU GUOQIANG / CHINADAILY.COM.CN)

Many people in Wuhan, the Chinese city hit the hardest by the novel coronavirus, said it's irresponsible for some US politicians to claim China's COVID-19 figures are "unrealistic" without presenting any proof.

Wuhan govt revised the death toll in the city from 2,579 to 3,869 after local authorities had the opportunity to look back and correct some inaccuracies in reporting that occurred in the early stages of the outbreak

In the past few days some politicians from the United States, including President Donald Trump, have cast doubt on the accuracy of China's novel coronavirus statistics. They called China's death toll "unrealistic" and claimed that the actual number was "way ahead" of the US'.

Such comments have angered many in Wuhan.

"How can the US guarantee the accuracy of their death toll? How would the US leader react if people questioned their numbers without any evidence?" Xu Duo, a graphic designer in Wuhan asked on Tuesday. "It's a blame game. This time, China is a clear target."

Such groundless accusations are merely to divert attention from domestic conflict in the US and let China take all the blame, the 37-year-old said. "Everyone can and should see that."

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On Friday, Wuhan government revised the death toll in the city from 2,579 to 3,869 after local authorities had the opportunity to look back and correct some inaccuracies in reporting that occurred in the early stages of the outbreak. By the end of Monday, the COVID-19 death toll on the Chinese mainland stood at 4,632, of which about 83 percent of deaths were in Wuhan, according to the National Health Commission.

Born and raised in Wuhan, Xu said he believes China has never attempted to conceal the truth, but the discrepancy is caused by the chaos at the early stage of the epidemic.

"Both the public and the government in Wuhan had zero experience in fighting the epidemic of such scale. I have experienced the epidemic from the beginning to the end, and I can understand that it took a while for us to figure out what happened."

Wang Qianxi, 20, a university student from Wuhan, said the revision of the death toll in Wuhan shows the government wants to show the true picture of the epidemic.

"I wonder in the mind of those US politicians, what is the satisfactory death toll in China?" she said.

Wang said all of her family members who were infected have received proper treatment and are now recovered.

Liu Weidong, a 29-year-old supermarket owner, said Wuhan residents are the ones who care about total fatalities the most.

"It hurts us to see them making up such claims so easily without presenting any proof," he said. "On the other hand, I would like to see more details about how the government has verified the figures. The more detailed information the public gets, the less misunderstanding there would be."

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Zhou Fengying, 64, a retiree from Wuhan, said that China can better explain to the world what had actually occurred to refute such groundless comments from the US.

"They try to slander China to disguise their incompetence. We shouldn't let them achieve that goal," she said.

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