The British government has allegedly removed China from its official coronavirus death toll when it compares other country's responses to the pandemic. The removal comes amid suspicions that the Chinese Communist Party is deflating numbers to downplay the scale of the outbreak. As reported by Evening Standard, 10 Downing Street, the headquarters of the government of the United Kingdom — often referred to as "Number 10" — stopped showing China's COVID-19 infections and deaths in its daily press briefings as of Thursday.
According to Breitbart, top members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government are reportedly angry at China's recent attempts to suggest that the American military created coronavirus. Such anger has allegedly sparked a push for reevaluating the U.K.'s relationship with China. In addition, Evening Standard claims that conservative members of Parliament are worried that China's purportedly inaccurate figures could negatively impact the United Kingdom's response to the pandemic.
Tom Tugendhat, the founder of the China Research Group and chairman of the Commons foreign affairs select committee, addressed this possible conflict and its implications for Britain.
"This data is used to judge the effectiveness of our own response, whether good or bad. It's important we are comparing like with like, otherwise our own responses could be distorted leading to more deaths in the UK.""Clearly No 10 believes the same as the rest of the world — that China's data is unreliable and possibly false," he added.
The China Research Group was created to examine and determine the role and ambitions of the CCP on a global scale. Tugendhat modeled the group on the pro-Brexit European Research Group. According to Tugendhat, passing power over to China would not make sense after the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union and seizure of power from Brussels.
China recently revised its official coronavirus death toll on April 17, increasing the death figure in Wuhan by 1,290 to a total of 3,869 — a 50 percent increase in the city. As for the country as a whole, China reported a total of 4,642 deaths as of Monday morning.
According to Breitbart, there are indications that the number is still being underrepresented. A recent study in The Lancet claimed that approximately 232,000 people in China are infected with COVID-19, which is four times as high as the official reporting from the country's government.U.S. President Donald Trump has also criticized the death toll numbers released from China and suggested they are being reduced.
"We don't have the most in the world deaths, the most in the world has to be China, it's a massive country, it's gone through a tremendous problem with this. They must have the most."