Minister says Canada has no evidence that China is underreporting virus impact
Canada's health minister said Thursday that the federal government has no reason to believe China's government is hiding the full extent of novel coronavirus infections and deaths in the country.
"There is no indication that the data that came out of China in terms of their infection rate, and their death rate, was falsified in any way," Patty Hadju told reporters at an Ottawa briefing.
Canada has not seen any evidence that China has underreporting the impact of the virus, Hadju stressed, as Canada relies on the World Health Organization to coordinate the flow of data from all countries.
She also accused a journalist who asked her about the matter of fueling conspiracy theories.
"Your question is feeding into conspiracy theories that many people have been perpetuating on the internet," Hajdu said. "There is no way to beat a global pandemic if we are actually not willing to work together as a globe."
Her remarks came after a report from Bloomberg News that said U.S. intelligence officials have told the White House Beijing has concealed the full extent of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying also slammed some U.S. politicians' "shameless" remarks that cast doubt over China's reporting of coronavirus cases in the country.
"Regarding international public health security, the most qualified judges are the World Health Organization and related experts in infectious diseases and medical control, not a few politicians who are full of lies," Hua said as she rejected the so-called hidden data claim on Thursday at a daily briefing held in Beijing.
Some U.S. officials, including U.S. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have questioned the accuracy of Chinese figures during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In response, the spokeswoman said the Trump administration was attempting to shift blame to China for its slow response to the epidemic, and outlined a timeline of measures and orders given by the U.S. government.
"Blame games can't make up for lost time," Hua hit back.