Date: March 31, 2020
By: Louis Casiano | Fox News
China's COVID-19 death toll in Wuhan seems false to locals
Funeral homes that serve Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, have been handing out the cremated remains of about 500 people to their families every day. However, residents say those numbers put the 2,500 death toll the Chinese government has claimed into question.
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Months after the coronavirus began to surface in China, the outbreak has spread across the world, killing thousands and prompting governments to enact unprecedented containment measures.
Beijing says it's slowly beginning to emerge from the crisis that originated on its soil, while putting its propaganda machine to work to craft a favorable narrative. Weeks after announcing the outbreak, some governments — particularly the United States — are accusing China of purposely failing to inform the public, thereby exacerbating the crisis.
A Chinese doctor who has since died of the virus tried sounding alarms during its early stages. Li Wenliang — who worked in a Wuhan hospital and has since been hailed as a hero — was detained with eight other doctors for posting information about patients with respiratory problems on WeChat, a Chinese messaging platform.
Authorities claimed the doctors were spreading "unverified information" as reason for their detention. Other doctors were reprimanded and told to stop posting online about the virus. Li was released after signing a document admitting he committed "illegal acts."
He eventually contracted the virus and died in February.
“If society had at the time believed those ‘rumors,’ and wore masks, used disinfectant and avoided going to the wildlife market as if there were a SARS outbreak, perhaps it would’ve meant we could better control the coronavirus today,” the Supreme People’s Court said of Li's detention. “Rumors end when there is openness.” [FULL STORY]