Health Minister defends China's coronavirus figures, blasts 'conspiracy theorists'

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said on Friday that China's figures regarding coronavirus infection and death were valid, despite reports saying otherwise.

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said on Thursday that China's figures regarding coronavirus infection and death were valid, despite reports saying otherwise.

“There’s 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,” said Hajdu, citing the World Health Organization as a source of authority.

"Your question is feeding into conspiracy theories that many people have been perpetuating on the internet," said Hajdu.

Hajdu made these comments despite a conclusive April 1 report from the US intelligence community to the White house.

According to the unnamed sources who leaked the document, China's public reporting on cases and deaths was "intentionally incomplete," even calling the Chinese figures "fake."

China's transparency in the matter has been far below that which would be expected of other economic powerhouses across the globe. In mid-March, China expelled American journalists from the country.

A statement from the Chinese Communist Party stated that "American journalists working in China will not be allowed to continue working as journalists in the People’s Republic of China, including its Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions."

Coincidentally, reports of deaths and disease spread dramatically dropped after the expulsion.

It's not just the American intelligence community who is suspicious of China's numbers, either.

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer called for accountability on China's part for their response to the pandemic on April 1, as well.

When asked about how much legitimacy China's figures had, Scheer was blunt in describing his trust for the authoritarian regime. "I view anything from, a government that is autocratic, that is not democratically elected, that does not have robust and open transparency measures that controls the media in its own country—I view everything that those types of governments say with a great deal of suspicion and skepticism."


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