Dr. Anthony Fauci is doubting China’s coronavirus data, saying he’s not certain the country of 1.3 billion has reported an accurate death toll.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who has been at the forefront of the country’s COVID-19 response, shared his suspicion Thursday during an appearance on Fox News, saying he doesn’t “feel confident at all” regarding the official COVID-19 fatality count being reported by the Chinese Communist Party.
“I mean I think any of us who have been dealing with this now for the last few months don’t feel confident at all that we have all of the data of the originally infected individuals, how long there were people in the circulation or even now, how many deaths there really are in China,” Fauci said. “That number’s really rather a low number, that number surprises me, that that number is so low.”
Fauci’s comments came just hours before the death toll in Wuhan, China – where the global outbreak originated – was revised to show an increase of 50 percent, from 2,579 to 3,869 fatalities. China had yet to update national totals as of early Friday, but the new count pushed the country’s total death toll to 4,632, up from a previously reported 3,342.
Dr. Anthony FauciAlex Brandon/AP
The revised death toll in Wuhan follows reports that the Communist Chinese government waited six days before warning citizens of the severity of the outbreak in Wuhan, a city of 11 million.
Fauci has previously criticized the “misinformation” from Beijing in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak.