After Coronavirus death toll hit 17,900 in France, the French President Emmanuel Macron has raised questioned over China's handling of the Coronavirus outbreak and said that things happened in the country which "We don't know about."

He also told media that it was "naïve" to suggest that China, from where the Novel Coronavirus emerged in December 2019, had dealt better with the crisis.

France raised questions

The comments from Macron came from after a row sparked by an article on the Chinese embassy's website which claimed that Western countries had left elderly to die in care homes but the authorities in China dismissed the row while stating it as a "misunderstanding." Even the spokesperson of the Chinese government, Zhao Lijian said they never made any negative comment about how France has been dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak and "has no intention of making any."

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference after the European Union's Informal Summit in Salzburg, Austria, Sept. 20, 2018. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan/IANS)
French President Emmanuel Macron IANS

It should be noted that as per earlier reports, a stack of urns at a Wuhan funeral home, the city's official cremation rates and reports of an overwhelmed healthcare facilities have prompted speculation that the real COVID-19 death toll in Wuhan could be in the tens of thousands. Later, on Friday reports revealed that China's coronavirus epicentre Wuhan abruptly raised its death toll by 50 percent as local authorities said that many fatal cases were "mistakenly reported" or has been delayed which brings the total number of deaths in the city to 3,869 from 1,290.

However, along with France, the US and UK have questioned China's transparency over the outbreak. While addressing China, Macron told the Financial Times that "Let's not be so naive as to say it's been much better at handling this. We don't know. There are clearly things that have happened that we don't know about."

As per the French President abandoning freedoms to fight the COVID-19 pandemic would threaten Western democracies and "We can't accept that. You can't abandon your fundamental DNA on the grounds that there is a health crisis."

Criticizing China

Michael McCaul
Michael McCaul Wikimedia commons

On Thursday, April 16 during a press conference British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that there would have to be a "deep dive" into how the deadly Coronavirus was able to spread from China and said it could not be "business as usual" after the crisis, while US President Donald Trump said during White House briefing on Wednesday, April 15 that "Does anybody really believe the numbers of some of these countries?"

Meanwhile, Michael McCaul, top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, asserted Thursday that the Chinese authorities engaged in the "worst coverup in human history by failing to inform and protect their own people, as well as the world from the Coronavirus. He mentioned that "We know when this virus first appeared December 1st -- actually back to mid-November -- that the Chinese Communist Party went in and detained eight of the doctors who were sounding the alarm that we had a different kind of virus here that was more lethal."

In addition, McCaul said that the Chinese officials detained those doctors and got retractions from them. He claimed that "After that point in time, they went into the laboratory and they destroyed lab samples in an attempt to cover up and also control the investigation." He also added that "This could have been stopped. This could have been contained. But, instead, now we have a global pandemic,"

However, on Friday Lijian stated that there was never a cover-up of the COVID-19 outbreak in China and the CCP does not allow any cover-ups. At a daily briefing, he told reporters that the revision of the case toll in Wuhan, where the epidemic first emerged in late 2019, was the result of a statistical verification to ensure accuracy and that revision is a common international practice.