Trump doubts India Covid data: ‘They don’t give you a straight count’


President Donald Trump said Tuesday that India does not give a “straight count” on Covid-19 deaths.

During the presidential debate Tuesday night between him and Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden, they sparred on the extent of the deaths caused by the pandemic.

Biden said that the 200,000 people who died of the coronavirus were 20 percent of the global death toll of 1 million while the US population is only 4 percent of the world.

Trump shot back: “When you talk about numbers you know how many people died in China? You know how many people died in Russia? You don’t know how many people died in India. They don’t give you a straight count.”

Earlier in his news conferences, Trump had mentioned India’s record of conducting Covid-19 tests as the second-best in the world and only behind the US.

According to India’s health ministry data early Wednesday, India’s Covid-19 case count crossed 6.2 million September 30, Tuesday, with 97,497 deaths.

Trump is not the first to express doubts about India’s Covid data. Economist Steve Hanke, a professor at Johns Hopkins, had tweeted the university’s Covid tracker as saying that India was among the “rotten apples of the coronavirus data” which “either do not report Covid data or are reporting highly suspicious data.”

At the debate, which was painful to watch because it was so unlike a presidential debate, Trump said that the pandemic was China’s fault, but Biden tried to pin the blame for its ravages on Trump.

The first debate was held in Cleveland was about domestic issues and there were no international questions on the agenda set out Chris Wallace of Fox News, who was the moderator for the debate.

The mention of India and the two other countries brought a passing reference to foreign countries.