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Increased Skepticism and Pressure Forces China to Revise Claimed Coronavirus Death Toll in Wuhan

There has been widespread skepticism from many corners, especially from President Donald Trump, regarding Wuhan’s death toll.

With other hard-hit countries reporting more than 10,000 deaths each, it just didn’t make sense how the epicenter of the virus could have such a low number.

Well, Trump and other non-believers have been vindicated as the prevention and control task-force in Wuhan revised the death toll from 2,579 to 3,869.

A whopping 50% increase! (But still, quite a low number, no?)

In defense, the agency claimed that double or mistaken reporting, the inability for patients to reach health centers, plus challenges in linking information from temporary and private hospitals is the reason for the bad data.

According to a CIA report for the White House, ‘China’s official figures are vastly understated.’

It is now clear that China has been hiding the exact death toll from the coronavirus.

Do you believe the latest revised numbers from Wuhan or do you think China is up to its usual tricks?

Should We Read Too Much into US’s $5 Million Coronavirus Aid to Palestine?

The Trump’s administration longstanding stance of denying funding to the Palestinians may be changing – or so it seems.

The US ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman posted a late-night tweet regarding a $5 million grant for ‘Palestinian hospitals and households to meet immediate, lifesaving needs in combating COVID-19.’

This comes after Trump had earlier cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in annual aid to the UN agency for refugees in Palestine.

Other related eliminated support includes a $25 million annual grant towards the East Jerusalem Hospital Network and funds to the Palestinian Authority.

The US didn’t offer any details as to where the funds would end up other than saying the money will be utilized on the West Bank and not Gaza.

Do you think the Trump administration is loosening its tough stance towards Palestine or we are reading too much into this action?

Brazil’s Health Minister Fired After Clashing with the President Over Lockdown Measures

Before the coronavirus is over, it will likely kill many careers.

One of the virus’s latest casualties is Brazil’s health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta, who was fired on Thursday by President Jair Bolsonaro.

Although the president and the health minister have repeatedly locked horns in the past, matters became heated after they disagreed on how tight the lockdown should be.

While Mandetta has been advocating for strict social isolation measures, Bolsonaro has played down the severity of the pandemic.

The two leaders have also disagreed over hydroxycloroquine, a malaria drug being touted as possible coronavirus treatment. The the president supported it, while the minister remained wary.

Their disagreements have been serving as a soap opera for the nation, leaving Brazilians with conflicting messages from the government.

You would think that in current times, every health minister should be on the same page as the country’s leader.

Do you think Brazil’s President was justified to sack his health minister?

Asian Markets Rally on Despite Disastrous Economic Report from China

In a strange twist, Asian markets experienced a strong surge on Friday, even as China reported undesirable economic data.

Investors in Asia (excluding China, of course), have a reason to smile after shares started the day on a high on a strong trading day.

By midday, South Korean shares led the pack with many markets experiencing a rise of more than 2%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index had risen 2.3%, in South Korea, the Kospi climbed 3.3%, while Hang Seng index of Hong Kong gained 2.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index managed to jump on board too, with a 2.1% bump.

On Wall Street, futures suggest a similar positive opening.

US Treasury bonds prices experienced a downward plunge in early Friday trading, a sign that investors were ready to take extra risks.

China’s Economy Shows Worst Run Since 1976

It was only a matter of time before the world’s most populous nation began to really feel the pinch of the coronavirus and the ensuing measures.

After having an extraordinary fairy-tale run of growth that lasted nearly fifty years, China’s cookie has finally crumbled.

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics report on Friday morning, China’s economic output dropped 6.8% between January and March this year compared to 2019.

While China has been releasing incorrect coronavirus death toll numbers, it is interesting that they are actually acknowledging the first economic shrinkage since 1976.

This is a stark reminder of the massive task at hand for global leaders in bringing the global situation back on its feet.

According to experts, China’s economy has grown too big for it to easily restart. It won’t be like 2008 this time.

One new hurdle, thanks to the spread of coronavirus to other continents, is that the situation has greatly diminished the market for China’s goods.

Considering this scenario, do you think China stands a chance of restarting its economy soon?

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