- The United States, the United Kingdom, and France recently expressed doubts about the information released by China.
- French President Emmanuel Macron said that it would be “naive” to believe the official accounts published by China.
- President Trump accused Beijing of “hiding” the seriousness of the epidemic when it emerged.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel today called on the Chinese government to be transparent about the origin story of the new coronavirus. This comes after three other countries have, on their part, already expressed suspicion about the information made available by China. “I believe the more transparent China is about the origin story of the virus, the better it is for everyone in the world in order to learn from it,” Merkel said at a press conference.
In the midst of a new virus pandemic, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France recently expressed doubts about the information released by China, where the first case of infection emerged in December, in Wuhan.
In a Thursday interview with the Financial Times, French President Emmanuel Macron said that it would be “naive” to believe the official accounts published by the country. “There are manifestly things that have happened that are not known,” he added. Macron also said he was refusing to compare crisis management in countries where information circulates freely with others where it does not.
His comments came as China, an authoritarian, one-party state, in a further doubtful move revised upwards the number of people killed by the virus there by almost 50 percent. “Given . . . what China is today, which I respect, let’s not be so naive as to say it’s been much better at handling this,” Mr. Macron told the Financial Times. “We don’t know. There are clearly things that have happened that we don’t know about,” he reiterated.
On the same day, Britain’s Foreign Minister, Dominic Raab doubted China’s position, and said that China should respond to “many difficult questions” about how the pandemic began. Raab stressed that the world needs to know what happened in China in those early days.
Earlier, the President of the United States accused Beijing of “hiding” the seriousness of the epidemic when it emerged, and suspended its financial contribution to the World Health Organization (WHO). President Donald Trump accused the organization of aligning itself with Chinese positions.
Meanwhile, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a Chinese laboratory suspected by some Americans as the source of the new virus, categorically denied any responsibility for the outbreak. Scientists maintain that the virus was probably transmitted to man by a wild animal.
The pandemic caused by the new coronavirus has already infected more than 2.3 million people worldwide, 164,000 of whom have already died. Europe is the continent with the most cases (1.1 million), and the highest number of deaths (more than 100 thousand). The United States the most affected country, with about 760,000 cases and 40,683 deaths.
Merkel’s Germany has since recorded 146,200 cases of infection and 4,669 deaths, whereas 91,500 patients in the country have since recovered.